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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Star Wars Black Series Deluxe Dark Trooper, The Mandalorian

"You're about to face off with the dark troopers. You had your hands full with one. Let's see how well you do against a platoon."

The Imperial Dark Trooper has been an Expanded Universe staple for many years, and in 2020 was brought into the new Disney canon with its appearance in the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2. It took a good 18 months for Hasbro to bring us a Star Wars Black Series 6-inch version of this new Dark Trooper, releasing it in 2022 as a Deluxe set. The Dark Trooper is part of The Mandalorian Galaxy Collection and is number 28 in the line utilising the umber colour accent and artwork on the window box.

The Dark Trooper in hand is not actually much taller than a standard figure which initially prompts questions about the requirement for this to be a Deluxe release with a higher RRP. The Trooper is cast predominantly in a high black gloss finish with the component parts assembled using joints that mimic how the Dark Trooper appears on screen, a technique seen previously with figures like K-2SO. Paintwork application is minimal and added only to the silver joints, with a hint of red indicators on a chest panel, and then crisp red lenses on the eyes.

The mobility of the figure is impressive throughout even with only a distinct 16 points of articulation. The droid-like joints allow both bend and rotation while looking exactly like part of the figure. The chest and shoulder armour are almost floating pieces that rise and fall with the torso and arm movement, and the head despite only having a top joint has plenty of movement for menacing looks. There is a problem with these types of joints in that they are often not articulated and the ankle rocker suffers in particular (as it did on K-2SO) with a bit too much play for the weight and bulk of the figure it is supporting. I have two Dark Troopers and both have the same issue and are often falling over within my display.

The Deluxe nature of the pack is obviously not due to the size of the figure or the paint complexity, so it must be the accessories. Sadly not! Our Dark Trooper features a single pair of alternative clenched fist hands for hand-to-hand combat, and a new blaster that features quite a bit of sculpted detail but only a single blob of silver paint across the entire weapon. The hands swap out easily enough, and the blaster fits into the right hand and can be cradled with the left.

You do also get a pair of flame booster effects cast in translucent yellow/orange plastic. These are made to simulate the Troopers in flight and slot into the peg holes on either foot. This works in principle, but it does require you to source an aftermarket stand that will take the weight and shape of the figure - for the deluxe price point that should have been included.

There is no denying that the Star Wars Black Series Dark Trooper is an impressive, and imposing release with the high gloss black armour, red eyes and mechanical integrated joints. These will be army built where costs and availability allow and their only downside is the decision and justification to make these deluxe and charge between £30 and £35 for them. For that price, I would have liked to have got a purpose-made stand to support the flight mode and rocket booster effects. And I also look on enviously at the Vintage Collection release that featured the Trooper’s alcove at a markup price not entirely different to that applied to the Black Series Deluxe release when compared to a standard 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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