Pros : Well detailed head sculpt and great likeness to Peter Cushing
Cons : The head can look a little large when posed with other figures
While half of Wave 16 of the Black Serie was turned over to Solo, A Star Wars Story - the other half was Original Trilogy themed with two repacks from the 40th Anniversary and a brand new figure in the shape of Grand Moff Tarkin.
Tarkin had been announced some 8-months earlier at San Diego 2017, and while most other figures confirmed at the show had seen a late 2017 release - Tarkin was subject to a few delays. I guess we should be grateful as holding him back for the face print technology has really enhanced the figure.
The packaging remains consistent for phase 3 and Tarkin is number #63 in the line. The Gregory Titus artwork used front and back shows the gaunt features of Peter Cushing. Round the back the bio talks about the ambitious and ruthless Tarkin and how he was a favourite of Emperor Palpatine.
Tarkin sits into his inner tray with the IT-0 interrogation droid to the side.
As I stated in the opening, the real beauty of this figure is the head sculpt which faithfully captures the look of Peter Cushing from the movie, and will also stand in just as well as the CGI Tarkin from Rogue One. The face printing enhances this deep sculpt with emotive and cunning looking eyes peering out from under that furrowed brow.
My only criticism of the had is that it appears a touch too large for the body - particularly when we pose Tarkin with other human characters.
The Imperial Uniform sculpt stems from the Rogue One DIrector Krennic figure - with arms and legs repainted and re-used for Tarkin. The main body may or may not be tweaked from Krennic, but what it does have is accurate ranking badges and the twin canisters that we see on Tarkin in his scenes in A New Hope.
The uniform is simply painted in that battleship grey, with high gloss jackboots. The belt is a matt black with silver buckle, and silver is used on those canisters either side of the main tunic. The final paint job is the intricate colouring on that ranking badge wit blue, red and yellow neatly painted.
Wilhuff Tarkin is not a man of action, but the figure gets the standard 16 points of articulation we are used to on the Black Series. The head is only a ball joint, with no pivot in the neck. This does mean the figure is held back a bit looking forward and backward. A second ball joint sits at the waist allowing the torso to turn and lean forward and backward by a few mm. Arms are ball jointed, rotating single joint elbows and pivot wrists. Legs are ball jointed hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers.
Despite using the same legs as Krennic, the ankle rockers are tight and Tarkin stands fine on his own. My only disappointment with the articulation is that the single elbow joint wont allow the hand to be posed on Tarkin's chin, an iconic pose we see in the movie as Tarkin Considers his options while trying to find the location of the Rebel base.
With the similarity in uniforms there will be some significant comparisons between Tarkin and the other Imperial Officers like Veers (as we see here) and the incoming Piett. This image illustrates the head sizing issue, and you can also see the distinct part re-use - which is not a bad thing if it makes it cost effective for Hasbro to bring us lots of Imperials - anyone for Tagge?
Tarkin does not come with any accessories as such, it is not as though he needs or uses any weapons. Instead we get what can almost be classed as a second figure in the pack in the shape of this IT-0 Imperial Interrogation Droid. The droid is the one deployed to torture and interrogate Princess Leia while she was imprisoned on the Death Star. It is cast in a black plastic with various appendages coming off it in silver. It sits on its own flight stand which is pre-attached out of the pack. There is a ball joint between the droid and the stand which does mean you can angle your posing if you wish.
Up close the droid is well painted with some very small circular details in both silver and red. Saldy, none of the appendages are articulated - although they look like they could be. To avoid breakages these are also cast in a softer plastic and can look misshapen out of the box.
Grand Moff Tarkin is one of those figures that helps collectors start to recreate iconic scenes. As well as scenes like the above with Leia and the interrogation droid, Tarkin looks just as at home facing down Krennic or "holding Vaders' leash". You will just need to be careful with that slightly oversized head in putting him directly with other human figures.
Grand Moff Tarkin is a well sculpted, neatly painted and well articulated figure. The addition of the IT-0 interrogation droid adds some real value to the pack. He is a chase figure, coming with the Solo line and that is disappointing as everyone should have the opportunity to add the Grand Moff to their display. On his own the head size isn't too much of a problem - but choose where you pose him as putting him with Veers for example makes them look like they are two different scales.
I score Grand Moff Tarkin and his IT-0 droid a 4 out of 5.