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Review : Star Wars Black Series Ahsoka Tano, Rebels


In 2020, Hasbro announced a new packaging format for the Star Wars Black Series. This Phase 4 packaging would be called the Galaxy Collection. This new format would group figures by movie or series - and would launch with two waves. Wave 1 was a mixed wave, while a 2nd wave would be a special release for Rebels. It would finally complete the Ghost crew with the release of Zeb as a Deluxe figure. It would also repack the previous Rebels figures, updating those who predated face printing to an improved decor. In this review we will be taking a look at the re-released Ahsoka Tano.

Packaging 3.5


Ahsoka is packed in the new for 2020 Galaxy Collection (Phase 4) packaging. It retains the exact same dimensions as the previous box but now has a cut in angled side spine on the right hand side. Here we have character specific artwork with a specific colour hue running through it which is unique to Rebels. The artwork links in to previous and future releases and allows boxed collectors to display these at an angle to create a large montage of images. The illustration for Ahsoka has her facing directly forward with her lit lightsabers crossed in front of her. Unlike some of the other Rebels figures, there is nothing but a handful of asteroids in the space above Ahsoka and no clue to the right hand side of what figure we might expect next? The illustration does present a more real world Ahsoka as opposed to her animated look.


The purple hue for rebels continues throughout the box with a purple stripe running under the window on the front, where it is confirmed this is a Star Wars Rebels release. Under this is the character name, also in purple. The stripe then continues round the left hand side where it angles upward and continues onto the back of the box where it provides a divider between the lower legal and safety text to the figure details above. The new figures still have a numbering system, which is now specific to the source material. Sabine is REB 06 and this numbering designation sits on the box reverse within the purple border stripe. Above this is another zoomed in version of the Hera artwork and some top line background text in 4 languages. Like Sabine and Hera, the text is written in the past tense which doesn't quite feel right as none of these characters have passed on on screen. The text is also Clone Wars focused, and does not refer to her role in Rebels - which is a shame?


"Ahsoka Tano, a Togruta female, was the padawan learner to Anakin Skywalker and a hero of the Clone Wars. Alongside Anakin, she grew from headstrong student to mature leader. But her destiny laid along a different path to the Jedi "



The shape of the new packaging dictates the need for quite a lot of sealing tape on the top flap and the straight left hand spine - this does look messy against the duller black of the new box. It is easiest to extract Sabine via the base flap which is only held in with one piece of tape. The innards of the box slide out complete, including the window front which is part of the inner tray. Hera is set against a plain grey neutral card back - there is no re-use of the purple here and this grey is consistent on all Galaxy Collection releases.


The figure and two lightsabers are held into the inner tray purely by the way it is shaped, there are no ties or straps to cut through or untangle and nothing is taped into place.

Paint & Sculpt 4.0


Ahsoka in hand is an impressive sculpt and takes an animated character and converts her to a real life setting in terms of looks and proportions. This is an older Ahsoka of course in Rebels and the sculpt - like the box art - reflects this maturity. The figure uses face print tech, but without an actor to base the look on the results are less effective than usual. You can see some more detail in the eyes, but the skin remains quite flat in tone and depth and the facial markings remain painted as far as I can tell.


Her head tails are cast in a softer plastic and have been painted in white with the blue patterns added. These are a little off colour in places with blue leaching into white. There is also a line where her headpiece meets the head tails and the way the white is presented on the edge it looks like the forehead headpiece goes under the head tails and not the other way round.


Ahsoka is wearing a variation of her Rebels outfit, with tones of brown throughout. In the show this is presented with more a blue hue and it's a shame that this new version couldn't tweak the base colours to match. The painted brown detail is good with definition around her belt and stripes on her boots. You can also see the individual button details on her wrist piece and at the base of her chest armour. The skirt piece is soft goods which is well scaled to the figure and it does not look out of place.



This is the same figure as was originally released in 2016. The face sculpt is the same but the 2020 version has much better defined likeness thanks to the photo real tech. There are some minor variances in the outfit, particularly the shade of brown on the skirt piece. And for some reason my 2020 Ahsoka is a touch shorter than the 2016 version. The variance looks to be around the hips and waist joints which may be pushed in further in assembly - this may be specific to my figures.


As mentioned above, the costume base colours are off vs onscreen and this 2020 re-release was an opportunity to correct this - but it has not been taken.



Accessories 2.5


Ahsoka comes with her twin lightsabers. These are both case in silver and feature a larger curved hilt and a smaller straight hilt. Both include a very light blue translucent blade that clips into the hilt. Due to the size, the peg on the blades is extremely thin and fragile and you should handle the blades with care. There are paint apps applied to each hilt with a black grip and button on the larger hilt, and a small red button on the smaller saber hilt.



Ahsoka can hold either saber in either hand, and either in the traditional grip or the Ataru-Shien reverse grip. When not in use both sabers have a loop cast at the end and a corresponding hook either side of Ahsoka's belt. The larger curved saber fits fine and hangs naturally at Ahsoka's side - this is the same accessory as was included in 2016.


For some reason the smaller saber has been changed vs the 2016 release and is now shorter. It also has had the loop section significantly reduced. Sadly the hook on Ahsoka's belt has not been adjusted to match - so while the small saber works when being held, it can't be hung on Ahsoka's belt on either peg due to the size difference. This is a disappointing oversight.



Articulation 4.0


Ahsoka has a total of 16 points of articulation, standard for the time the figure was developed in 2016. All of the joints on the 2020 version are secure and tight with no issues around loose joints, although the knees feel like they could be a weak spot in the future.


Head : ball joint neck with pivot

Body : ball joint torso

Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot

Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker


The arms are slim and unencumbered by any armour so have a full range of movement and this gives the opportunity for a lot of saber posing options including the often used promo shot of Ahsoka with her sabers in a reverse grip behind her back.



The original 2016 Ahsoka was terrible to stand and remain standing. This newer version seems to have solved that problem and I am not sure if that is some tweak in the leg assembly which may also explain the height - the older version always looked to have warped legs.


The legs have a pretty full range of movement, supported by the soft good skirt and rubbery trim.



Summary


Like much of the Rebels wave, Ahsoka is a minor improvement but not substantial enough to warrant a repurpose unless you are a boxed collector who wants a full set of the new packaging and its associated artwork.


Ahsoka offers an improved face decor to the original, but then a reduced level of accessory application by changing the small light saber and not the hook to hang it on her belt. There was also an opportunity missed - as with all the Rebels repacks - to offer an updated paint job to the bluer tones we see her outfit in in Rebels, and/or to offer her cloak as an added extra.



If you don't have Ahsoka yet, then this is a good figure with a handful of inaccuracies and niggles. I score her 3.5, another middle of the road score as applied to most of the Rebels figures in this wave with the exception of Zeb.




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