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Review : Star Wars Black Series Chopper (C1-10P), 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-release for Chopper

Packaging 4.0


Chopper 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 image for Chopper shows him taking off with his rocket booster with his various manipulator arms extended. To the top you can see some Purrgils swimming across the sky.


The purple hue for rebels continues throughout the box with a purple strip 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. Chopper is REB 02 and this numbering designation sits on the box reverse within the purple border stripe. Above this is another zoomed in version of the Chopper artwork and some top line background text in 4 languages.


"Chopper is the resident droid of the Ghost, assisting the crew in everything from ship maintenance to combat, even though he doesn't always want to."



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 Chopper 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. Chopper 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.


Chopper and the various accessories are held into the inner tray purely by the way it is shaped, there are no ties or straps to cut through or untangle.


Paint & Sculpt 4.0


As with all the Rebels and Clone Wars figures to date, Chopper has been converted from an animated style to a real world equivalent. Essentially the droid we saw fleetingly in Rogue One. He remains squat and with that angular head and large communications antenna on top.


The colours are not muted too much from the show, with a bright orange dome trimmed in yellow and some green and yellow patchwork on the body and legs. There is also some nicely applied weathering and dirt around the body - giving him some character and age.


In terms of scale, we can only go off what we see on screen - and therefore if you use the episode Droids in Distress as a guide, then Chopper is indeed the right scale alongside a Black Series R2-D2. Of course there is the long held view that the R2 itself is undersized.


When we lineup Chopper with the other Rebels characters he remains in scale, coming up just short of Ezra's waist - the same height as we see him in the show.



Chopper was only released for the first time in 2019 as part of the Phase 3 releases and this new 2020 version is virtually identical when compared side by side. The sculpt is the same and the colour pallet identical to the naked eye. There are some variances in the application of the weathering splashes.



Accessories 3.5


Chopper is packed with the exact same accessories as first time round. Other than the box, there is nothing included to tempt collectors to repurchase Chopper. With him being such a small figure with limited articulation, Hasbro has tried to pack in a sufficient value into the release and this starts with his central leg. In previous astromechs this has been a permanent piece that retracts with a turn of the dome. For Chopper it is a slot in piece that can then be adjusted to the height needed to position all three points to the floor as Chopper rolls around. This central leg does include a working castor wheel.



Chopper, as we know from "The Forgotten Droid", has two odd legs. Hasbro has packed an alternative version of his left leg in the box if you wish to amend his look. The legs pop off from a socket on the body and the new one clips in place. This new leg is painted and weathered like the rest of the droid and is a good match when installed.



The final accessory is a two part piece that is designed to show Chopper in flight using his rocket booster. You first slip a smaller piece into the central hole we were using earlier for the central leg. This flame piece, cast in translucent orange, then slots into a wider base piece that is cast in the same translucent plastic to look like Chopper is taking off. FX pieces like this are not everyone's cup of tea - but for me this works and gives Chopper a bit of focus on display if you choose to pose him in this flight position.



Articulation 3.0


Chopper has 10 points of articulation through his astromech body. This is comparable with the R2 sculpt but lacks the ability to extend the inner leg which has been engineered as the swap out accessory instead.


Head : swivel head, two part extending claw arms

Body : two part extending manipulator arm

Legs : jointed hip, jointed ankle


While the head and legs are standard, and expected on this type of droid, the other elements are well designed and thought through. The two arms on the dome extend out then bend to create the claw arms Chopper often brandishes in the show. And similarly the manipulator arm folds out and then articulates on a second joint along its length.


While not articulation as such, the droids legs do carry two small wheels each to aid rolling him around if you wish.



Summary


Chopper, as he was in 2019, is a solid release with plenty of added value by means of the diorama stand. The issue is that he is less than a year old, and we are getting the exact same figure again in a new box. I do like the new artwork and approach to segmenting and numbering by films, and can see how the angled side allows a figure to be displayed face on while still showing the figure and the artwork.


While most of the other re-released Rebels figures are getting a face print makeover, there is little to incentivise non-boxed collectors to pick this one up - and perhaps Hasbro have missed a trick by not looking to Choppers various paint-job disguises in the show to give us a variant like his black Imperial disguise, or the cool Yellow paint job he got in "In the Name of the Rebellion".



If you don't have him yet, then he is worth picking up. If you are a boxed collector and want the full set of Rebels with the artwork, then you will have to pick him up - most likely begrudgingly. Everyone else, if you have the original then this one brings nothing new to the table.


I give the 2020 release of Chopper a final score of 3.5.




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