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Review: Star Wars Black Series Baylan Skoll, Galaxy Collection Wave 15, Ahsoka (Disney+)



“War is inevitable. One must destroy in order to create.”


The newly introduced characters of Baylan Skoll and his apprentice, Shin Hati, from the Ahsoka Disney+ series in 2023 were soon added to the Star Wars Black Series roster for a release in late 2023. Baylan Skoll formed part of Wave 15 alongside his apprentice and a trio of other figures including Starkiller, R2-D2 and the Mandalorian Fleet Commander.

Baylan Skoll is number 9 in the Ahsoka series of the Galaxy Collection, following on from Marrok and preceding his Padawan, Shin Hati. The packaging uses the blue accent colour assigned to Ahsoka releases and this is applied to the front text, and the side and rear artwork. As has been consistent with all the Ahsoka figures the rear text is a simple plot summary for the Ahsoka show rather than giving any details about Baylan himself - either because the info wasn't available to Hasbro in time, or to prevent spoilers.

Baylan Skoll arrives in his black armour and robes as seen during his run in Ahsoka season 1, but his cloak is not included. The entirety of the body and armour is cast in black with the metallic armoured elements of his chest piece, shoulder pauldrons, and wrist gauntlets giving some additional weathered copper blue/green effects that also recreate a level of weathering and battle wear. Paint is applied with more details on the controls of the wrist gauntlets, and to pick out the sculpted gold ring on Baylan’s right hand. The lower skirt piece, a separate softer plastic section, is completely black with the only variation some gloss finish to the belt itself around the middle and the part of the belt that then hangs down the front of the skirt. The belt is finished with a further piece of detailing with a silver buckle inlaid with a green metallic clasp.

The head sculpt is OK, but doesn’t quite do the late, great, Ray Stevenson the justice he deserves. It is another of those heads that looks brilliant from certain side angles, but not face-on. I think it's the shaping of the beard that throws it with the lower part of the beard very bushy and 'Santa-like' while on-screen Baylan’s beard has less volume. Facial printing is used to create the intense eyes, with red rings around the sockets. For some reason, the eyebrows are done in black when they should be much lighter. The rest of the hair contains plenty of sculpted detail and is enhanced - unusually for the Black Series - with a darker wash.

The elephant in the room with Baylan Skoll is his height. Ray Stevenson was 1.9m tall, which should translate to around 16cm in the figure. In reality, the Baylan Skoll figure only measures 15.5cm tall and is the same height as Ahsoka and Shin Hati - characters he towered over with his depiction in the show as someone quite a bit taller and more imposing. The height issue is in the legs for sure with the lower half looking far too compact and the skirt piece running to the middle of his shins just above his boots, whereas on screen it flowed to his knees. There are fixes for those comfortable in customising their figures, scroll down past the bottom of our review to find out more.

Baylan Skoll arrives with his lightsaber, made up of a large hilt in black and silver with a looped end and the usual removable blade. The saber hilt is ridiculously soft, with almost the same rubber finish as the skirt or robes sections we see on our Black Series figures. It includes a loop to add it to the hook on Baylan’s belt but the soft plastic of both makes getting it to hook into place and sit naturally extremely frustrating. It will sit in either or both hands, but the grip is not tight enough in either hand (the left is marginally better than the right) to hold the lightsaber securely. We then get to the blade, which should be orange as per the show and the differentiation made between these Dark Jedi and the Sith themselves. Hasbro has simply given us another translucent red blade - albeit longer to reflect the on-screen effects. 

Baylan has 17 points of articulation and uses the newer format where the thigh swivel is removed and functionality built into the knee. We have butterfly shoulders to aid the arm movement, and the large armoured panels across the shoulders are jointed to flow with the arm so as not to impede movement. This works, almost too well, with more soft plastic in these armoured shoulder pieces and a less than secure fixing which sees them slip off to the side quite often. The skirt does hold back some of the leg articulation but is split at the sides to allow some posing in wider fighting stances. There is sadly another issue at the ankles where the joint is far too weak for the bulk of the figure it's holding upright - we then also have feet that are too small which further impacts the ability of Baylan Skoll to remain standing once posed.

Baylan Skoll was perhaps one of the most anticipated figures from Ahsoka, and indeed perhaps in the Star Wars Black Series this year. In terms of execution, the figure fails to deliver in several areas - most notably the height/stature of the figure. There are also issues with the likeness, a very soft lightsaber hilt and incorrectly coloured blade, the lack of a soft goods cloak, and some articulation with the questionable shoulder armour movement and stability issues thanks to weak ankles and tiny feet. There are positives, the body armour and the paintwork are good with some neat details like the belt buckle and the ring on his finger. Sadly, the figure is still likely to sell out and Hasbro is unlikely to resolve any of the key issues anytime soon - and most likely the best we can hope for is a second release or an exclusive probably with soft goods robes.



Keep Track of all the Star Wars Black Series figures from Hasbro at our comprehensive



 

Baylan Skoll Height Hack


For those comfortable enough with customising their figures (we hold no responsibility for anyone damaging or breaking their Baylan Skoll figure), there is a method to extend the height on Baylan Skoll without making any adjustments that can’t be reversed in the future.

Check out Landspeeder Luke’s tutorial on YouTube - but essentially you will need a spare Reva figure who will donate her upper legs. Both figures need to be soaked in hot (not boiling) water then the hips gently detached from the torso and then the legs split at the knees. Baylan’s original one-part thigh can then be replaced with the two-part upper leg from Reva adding the extra height Baylan needs for display and considerably changing the overall look and stature of the figure. 










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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...

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