Updated: Apr 17
It was 2016 when Hasbro brought us the first animated Rebels character to life with the release of Kanan Jarrus, soon followed by Sabine Wren. Hera and Ahsoka followed in 2017 as did Grand Admiral Thrawn. We've then had a two year wait to add the next members of our Ghost crew, and its two together as wave 21 in 2019 brings us Ezra Bridger and Chopper.
Ezra is packed in the usual phase 3 black box packaging and he is number 83 in the phase so far. Following suit with nearly all Black Series releases, the character name is simply that - "Ezra Bridger" - with no sub-label on the show he is from or even a Rebels TV show logo.
One of the difficulties in bringing animated characters into a realistic line like the Black Series is imagining their real world counterparts, and while the figure in the box looks pretty good the exterior illustration is - for me at least - quite wide of the mark and shows Ezra as older than he appears in the first couple of seasons on which this release is based.
The same illustration is repeated on the rear of the box with a short background text - again not referencing the source material as such, but quoting the background of Ezra from the show.
"Growing up, Ezra learned to trust no one and to rely on his street smarts - and subconscious Force abilities - to survive. This all changes with his introduction to the crew of the Ghost, a small band of rebels fighting back against the Empire. Ezra comes to believe in their cause, and sees that he can help change the galaxy for the better."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
As we said above, the difficulty with any of the animated or illustrated characters like Ezra is the translation to a real world equivalent. It is therefore difficult to say if the Ezra sculpt is a good one. What we can say is that it is well executed using the face print technology and does look lie a real person and not an animated character. I suspect the sculptor has borrowed some of the look from Ezra's voice actor, Taylor Grey, and I am happy with that link.
Ezra's outfit is based on the one seen in the first and second seasons of Rebels, an orange flight suit over which we have a a belt and holster, armour to his right leg and a coat which carries the pheonix squadron logo on the back. The costume is really detailed when you start to examine it, with the ripped trousers on the left leg, the green fingerless gloves and the wrist communicator on the left arm.
Everything is painted well, and while there are no applications of depth such as dry brushing or weathering for example, the figure doesn't look out of place with any other Black Series figure - a testament to the realism of the final product.
Scale wise, and the Ezra figure reaches Kanan's shoulder which is accurate to the show - while Chopper reaches Ezra's waist. Ezra is a touch shorter than Hera and Sabine.
I am pleased the Hasbro team have stuck with the early Rebels seasons looks for all the characters and not mixed and matched as we go along. All we need now is Zeb....
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 then beyond.
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 fits into Ezra;s right hand, and when not in use can be hung and clipped to a space on the utility belt.
Ezra, despite being a smaller figure base, still weighs in with a strong articulation count of 17 points. 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.
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
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 makes balancing Ezra on both feet a challenge - not impossible, but frustrating at times.
Ezra Bridger is a solid release with a good level of detail to his outfit and sculpt. The accessories work well and the articulation is also strong once you bypass that funny ankle rocker and put him on a stand for stability in posing.
Ezra Bridger take us one step closer to a full Ghost crew from Rebels, which can only be a good thing. I score Ezra a 4 out of 5.