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Review : Star Wars Black Series Ezra Bridge, 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-released Ezra Bridger

Packaging 3.5


Ezra Bridger 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 Ezra shows him in his Season 1 look and like the figure he has been converted into a more realistic styling with his ignited lightsaber held aloft. To the top you can see a large Purgill swimming across the sky - a theme in the larger Rebels montage. For some reason, and this is disappointing considering I ordered the full wave and the key theme of this packaging is the montage, my Ezra artwork has a different base colour to all the others. In stands out with more brown in the background vs the grey on other characters.


The purple hue for rebels continues throughout the box with a purple stripe 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. Ezra is REB 03 and this numbering designation sits on the box reverse within the purple border stripe. Above this is another zoomed in version of the Ezra artwork and some top line background text in 4 languages.


"With his introduction to the crew of the Ghost, a small band of rebels fighting back against the Empire, Ezra comes to believe that he can help change the galaxy for the better"


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 Ezra 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. Ezra 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.


Ezra, his helmet and lightsaber are held into the inner tray purely by the way it is shaped, there are no ties or straps to cut through or untangle and nothing is taped into place.

Paint & Sculpt 3.0


Ezra is realized, as are all the rebels, in a real world style as opposed to the more stylistic animated approach we see on screen for Rebels. Ezra is based on his Season 1 appearance with the longer hair. The looks to be some influence in the sculpt from voice actor Taylor Gray, but not a full likeness. The overall result is certainly a likeness that is a match to what we see on screen, but it doesn't feel quite right for some reason? The proportions of the head may be off, as a 14 year old boy the head is perhaps too large for the shoulders and Ezra may have benefitted from being bulked out just a little. The face print does a good job of adding further realism to the sculpt with the eye detail and shading around the nose and mouth. The hair is OK but has a purple hue to it that again is translated off screen and maybe not fully real world if we assume Ezra is human as indicted and does not dye his hair.


The costume is the Season 1 orange jumpsuit with brown over jacket and yellow trim. There is a lot of layers and detail to the outfit including the holster and belt as well as the shin guard on the right leg and the ripped and different colour trouser leg. The colours are bright and neatly applied and there are good details on smaller elements like the silver studs on the belt or the wrist device on the left arm. The back of the jacket carries the phoenix bird logo which is applied as a decal by the looks of things over a yellow circle. There is a lack of any weathering or dirt which I think would have helped with the "lived in galaxy" look for Ezra.



The original Ezra figure was only released a year ago in 2019 as part of the Phase 3 line. This 2020 version is virtually identical to the older release aside from the usual minor paint variances we see from the factory. The 2020 version does have a less prominent Phoenix bird logo on the rear of the jacket and the 2019 version presents quite a bit brighter.


The 2019 Ezra was relatively short packed and was in demand on the secondary market, while they could have given us an adjusted or variant Ezra - there should not be any issue in selling this one through with many collectors who missed out the first time round. Had Ezra been a peg warmer like Chopper on first release, then I would have been challenging the reason for a direct repack and not a variant such as an Imperial Cadet Disguise Ezra (wishful thinking) or even an adjusted helmet accessory and artwork.



Accessories 3.5


Ezra comes with the Imperial Cadet training helmet which is cast n glossy bright white plastic. Over this are applied the various red panels, the black of the visor and the mouthpiece. The helmet is cast in a softer plastic and it fits over Ezra's head snugly for an alternative look for this Rebel. It is a pity we haven't been given the more striking Sabine painted version of the helmet as seen in Gathering Forces (Season 1) and for this repack - and as mentioned above - a new paint job or even a new helmet like the Biker Scout helmet he dons in later Seasons would have perhaps added a little more interest.

The helmet fit being quite snug does mean there is a minor risk of paint rub and I have already seen a small patch of Ezra's hair rub off when the helmet has been applied. Use with caution.



We also have Ezra's lightsaber / blaster. This duo weapon is made up of the hilt and a removable blue translucent blade. The lightsaber hilt is cast in a silver plastic with blue and black paint applications over the top.


It is designed, as in the show, to be a blaster as well as a lightsaber and Ezra's right hand is sculpted to hold it so both functions can be achieved. They have given Ezra a trigger finger, while the weapon has no trigger as such. This is fine though as the trigger finger still sits behind the second part of the grip and is not sticking out like when a saber is being held as we have seen on some figures who use both blasters and sabers.


There is a loop piece on the saber that fits onto a hook on the right side of Ezra's belt. This works ok, but whichever way round I place it - the saber hilt still wants to ride up at the bottom and tick out at an angle rather than laying flat. Either the hook or most likely the loop needed to be a touch larger.



Articulation 3.0


Ezra, despite being a smaller figure base, still weighs in with a strong articulation count of 17 points.


Head : ball joint neck, ball joint neck base

Body : ball joint torso

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

Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker


This is one more than the standard articulation for a Black Series figure with the addition of a two part neck articulation which joints the neck top and bottom and removes the unsightly pivot. This doesn't work overly well for Ezra as the bottom joint is held in place by his collar but I am glad to see the back of the neck pivot.



All the joints work well apart from the ankle rockers and this makes Ezra difficult to stand. For some reason the rocker is blocked at the flattest part of the foot by the sculpt of the trousers on the left leg. This is made worse by some very springy hips that don't want to move without springing back into a neutral position. This makes balancing Ezra on both feet a challenge - not impossible, but frustrating at times. These issues existed on the 2019 version, but the springy hips does appear much more significant this time round. Many of us will need to drop Ezra onto a foot peg stand to help him pose.



Summary


If you bought the 2019 Ezra and are not a boxed collector who wants the full montage the Rebels wave provides via the side artwork - then this figure is an easy pass. Like Chopper, it does not expand on or improve the previous release at all.


The packaging is impressive and the thought process on the side angled artwork starts to become clear when you see it and are able to display either face on with both figure and art on show, or side on at an angle with the artwork only. They do need to sort out the amount of tape being used which looks unsightly.



The figure itself has been converted quite well to a real world style although taking another good look at the figure this time round has left me questioning the proportions a little fo head vs body. The outfit might have benefitted from some weathering - but that is often a comment I make with any Black Series release, although more recent figures like Cad Bane and Hondo are seeing a shift to that extra little enhancement.


I score Ezra Bridger an above average 3.0 with the biggest issue being the stability of the figure with those springy hips that do not seem to want to move and stay posed and the ankle rocker configuration.




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