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Review : Star Wars Black Series Cara Dune, The Mandalorian


Cara Dune, the former Rebel Shock Trooper, was introduced in Chapter 4 of the Mandalorian, Sanctuary. Her action figure, released in wave 23 of the Black Series, hit stores shortly after the episode aired in December 2019. Cara is number 101 in the 3rd phase of the Black Series and was joined in wave 23 by Luke Skywalker (Yavin), Wedge Antilles, First Order Jet Trooper and Jannah.

Packaging 5/5


The Black packaging remains unchanged for wave 23, with the only real difference being the significant numbering milestone of 100 - reached with Yavin Luke - that now puts us with three digits on the side spine and reverse of the box.


The illustration of Cara Dune is gorgeous and an excellent likeness is grey lined artwork of Gina Carano. The background text, which accompanies the larger illustration on the box reverse, gives us a bit of detail about the character and her history.


"A veteran of the Galactic Civil War who fought for the Rebellion, Cara Dune is a seasoned warrior who has put her days of military discipline behind her, and now has reinvented herself as a mercenary"



Paint & Sculpt 5/5


Hasbro have been on top form in the last few months for head sculpts in both Marvel Legends and Black Series, and particularly with female characters. Cara Dune is no exception and the facial sculpt and face print brings out an excellent likeness to Gina Carano and even includes her tiny tattoo under her eye. The hair piece is added on top of the head and hangs down the right side of her face, as seen in the show and across the collar of her outfit.


Said out fit is a mix of different textures and colours, starting with the blue armoured shoulder pauldrons and chest piece which then sits on a textured combat vest. These armoured parts are weathered with silver scratch and scuff marks added. There are more tattoos on the right arm with the ring of rectangular markings that go round her bicep. Under these are armoured wrist gauntlets, with more scratching and scuffing.


There are two belts around her waist, the first sculpted in with the body and the second lower hanging gun belt as a separate cast piece that retains a little bit of mobility. More armour sits on the right knee and we finish with a pair of combat boots.


Painting across the figure is excellent with not a hint of paint bleed or errors. The weathering of the armour with the scratched silver exposed metal detailing is excellent and even the smaller details like the various buckles and canisters are crisp and neat.



Accessories 5/5


Cara comes packed with three accessories, a good number for a Star Wars Black Series general release. We start with a combat knife, cast in a fairly rigid plastic. Apart from the basic shape there is a touch of sculpted detail on the grip which is then painted in brown.


The knife fits in either hand, but is most snug in the right and can be held up or down depending on the required pose. While there is no specified holster either on the belt or in the boots - the knife can be slipped in the belt if you wish.


The second accessory is a blaster, similar in style to the DL-44 as used by Han. This is a slimmer blaster and cast in silver with a painted grey grip. It lacks a great deal of detail, but with the harder plastic it is straight and robust. This is designed to fit in the right hand and here we have a trigger finger ready to slot into place, although this is much harder in recent waves thanks to much harder plastic in the hands.


When not in use this blaster has a dedicated holster on Cara's right hip. The blaster is a tight and secure fit and the strap that comes down over the top in rubbery plastic snaps into place via the peg and socket.



Cara also wields a larger heavy blaster, similar to the RT-97C that we see some of the Sandtroopers using in A New Hope. On unpacking you will find a loose rubber piece hanging from the rear of the weapon. At first I thought this was a tube/pipe of some kind that would clip into a corresponding part of the armour. It turns out this is the weapon strap, and rather than fix it in place Hasbro have now employed a small circular grip on the end of the strap that can clip onto the barrel at any location. This means no stretching or struggling to get a strap over figures head and shoulders. In stead we pose the figure then attach the strap last in a suitable location.


The heavy blaster rifle is cast in solid plastic in grey and has a painted rear grip and stock and some effects on the barrel. It fits into the right hand and can be cradled also with the left. When not in use the strap and clip are strong enough to see it slung over Cara's shoulder.



Articulation 5/5


Cara has a total of 18 points of articulation, two more than a standard Black Series figure wih the addition of a swivel fitted at the top of the boot below the knee. In reality this adds very little mobility but is a cleaner option of swivelling the feet out when posing than using the thigh swivel which can throw the cut of the legs.


Head : ball joint pivot neck

Body : torso ball joint

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

Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knee, boot cut swivel, ankle rockers


The joints are all secure and mobile, with no issues with loose joints or stuck joints needing treatment. Cara can kneel and crouch into poses and she stands perfectly in most positions.



The only issue you will find is the upper arms which are blocked by the permanently fixed shoulder pauldrons. That restricts the raising of the arms beyond the shoulders. In reality this makes very little difference as figures are rarely poses with arms up in the air.


Even with the shoulder armour, Cara can hold her rifle in both hands and achieving firing poses thanks in part to very mobile wrists alongside the rotating elbows.



Summary


Cara Dune is another knock-out figure from The Mandalorian. She has a brilliant sculpt, crisp paint job, plentiful accessories and great articulation.



The only issue I can note is the shoulder articulation with that fixed armour piece, and that in itself is minor considering the need to ever raise the arms that far on any figure.



I score the Black Series Cara Dune top marks with a 5 out of 5 rating.




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