Star Wars Black Series Wave 25 arrived in Summer 2020 and was predominantly based around Episode II : Attack of the Clones. It brought us four new Jedi in the shape of Kit Fisto, Plo Koon, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Bolstering the Separatist forces with a re-pack of Count Dooku from Wave 24 and a new Geonosis Battle Droid.
The Battle Droid arrives in the usual Phase 3 packaging and is specifically named under the window as BATTLE DROID with GEONOSIS in brackets as opposed to confirming he movie as Attack of the Clones.
The Geonosis Battle Droid is #108 in the 3rd phase of packaging with the red backing and side spine. The backing colour does obscure the red of the droid somewhat and it gets lost in the window. The Titus artwork is in place and while similar to the original Battle Droid artwork, it is posed differently. The artwork repeats on the back of the box with the following text. This is very similar to the original Battle Droid text with some minor amends.
"Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer tall thin battle droids to serve as mindlessly loyal soldiers that are easily controlled."
Paint & Sculpt 3.5
The sculpt for the Battle Droid is a faithful representation of what we see on screen from the angled beake head down to the segmented body parts. Each section is panelled with sculpted panel lines and joints and these are also worked into the articulation, almost mimicking how the droid was jointed on screen.
The Droid is cast in a the brown plastic, the colour used for the Battle Droid troops on Geonosis at the start of the Clone Wars. Paint apps on top include the painted grey eyes and some weathering effects with grey patches and silver scrapes added to the Droid body in various sections.
This is the same Battle Droid as released in 2019 from The Phantom Menace, and has been used again in the Gaming Greats line. The first Droid felt cheap with the pale colouration and limited paint. While the Geonosis version has no additional paint - the darker colouration does make it look more realistic. Both versions would however still benefit from a dark wash to enhance the panel lines and sculpt of the head and body.
The first accessory is essentially the back pack that the figures comes with. While it looks securely attached and part of the body - it does cip off from two peg sections that slot in just beneath the shoulders.
Like the body, this is cast in the brown withs silver and grey weathering and with the peg connectors in a darker grey. The two aerial pieces on the top are retracted and these will actually extend when you pull them out - which is impressive at such a scale.
Without any instructions or feature "point outs" this could easily be missed, and I am not ashamed to say that I missed this feature completely on the 2019 Battle Droid (that review has now been updated) and on first play with this version.
The Battle Droid is armed with the E-5 Blaster, again a direct reuse from the original release. This is cast in grey and dry brushed in silver and there is quite a bit of detail in the gun that is brought out by the paint effects.
The Blaster has to be slid sideways into the clawed right hand of the droid then straightened into the grip. It can also be stowed on the backpack by means of a notch in the backpack and a corresponding plug on the blaster. While it holds in place, the fit is far from secure as neither peg and socket are deep enough for tight fitting finish.
The reason the Back Pack detaches is to allow an alternative look for the Battle Droid with the include aerial piece. These are worn by Commander Droids and gives you a variant option for Army Building.
The aerial piece is quite flimsy and the two aerials on my figure had detached in the box from the main section and needed slotting back into place. The piece can attach to either of the holes left by the backpack, but is really designed for the one on the left as you look at the rear of the droid.
The variant look is a neat option, and looks good on display especially if it is heading up an Army of droids. It might have been nice for Hasbro to include some instructions on how to swap the back packs. And potentially something to plug that 2nd hole with when not in use.
Articulation is the big issue for the B1 Battle Droid figure, specifically the ability to stand. The Hasbro version has the same issue due to those slim legs and while it is possible to get him to stand for a while, I recommend dropping him onto a stand - the one I used was a Protech Vintage Figure stand - and even with the stand the posing is awkward with the legs not wanting to hold the figure up straight.
Joints on the droid are unique to the figure as ball joints are not used, and the figure has more traditional singular directional pivots in various locations. All in all there are 20 points of articulation.
Head : jointed neck - top and bottom, jointed rear head piece
Body : torso pivot joint
Arms : pivot shoulder, bicep swivel, pivot elbow, wrist swivel, wrist joint
Legs : pivot hips, single pivot joint knee, ankle rocker
Once you have your Droid stable the articulation will get your droid into various poses including two handed weapon poses and marches.
Sadly there are further issues with the security of some joints, the right arm in particular is not secure enough to support the weight of the blaster unless cradled by the left hand - unsupported it kind of hangs loose. Legs too are quite loose, and then the head is too stiff at the neck joint
While standing is problematic, you can't knock the flexibility of the Droid joints and the articulation will allow your Battle Droid to fold down to his deactivated/travel position which is impressive in itself.
There is nothing wrong with the Hasbro Black Series Battle Droid sculpt, but there are some issues that will need addressing in the articulation and particularly the weak elbows and the ability to stand on its own. Paint job feels better on the Geonosis version, but like the previous releases - a black wash would take the figure to the next level.
I am impressed by the accessory options including those extendable aerials on the back pack and the detail in the blaster. But I am not fully sold on this having the same value as a standard figure with face print tech, multiple layers of paint and more substantial articulation.
The Battle Droid is a figure that screams out to be Army Built. As it stands this is tough in the current wave pack in and this sort of figure may be better served in a slimmed down packaging like Marvel Legends Army Builders at a cheaper price, or in multipacks - perhaps a Deluxe sized box with two Battle Droids with varying equipment.
As it stands the Star Wars Black Series Battle Droid (Geonosis) scores 3.0
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars, hasbro, black series, attack of the clones, episode 2, battle droid, geonosis