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 Hera Syndulla.
Hera 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 Hera features her in her flight suit with her blaster readied in hand. The Ghost can be seen swooping in over her head. Hera's artwork does not look overly different from what we see on Rebels, there is not as much adjustment to a real life Hera vs what we have seen on Ezra and Kanan.
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. Hera is REB 05 and this numbering designation sits on the box reverse within the purple border stripe. Above this is another zoomed in version of the Hera artwork and some top line background text in 4 languages. The text is very much written in the past tense which I do not like and it certainly is not in line with the way the synopsis has been written for the first few figures in the wave.
"The captain and heart of the Ghost crew, Hera Syndulla was a gifted pilot and leader. The Twi'Lek could bring out the best in her team, making them believe in themselves"
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 Hera 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. Hera 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.
The figure and blaster 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 4.0
The head sculpt on Hera is very clean and accurate to the Twi'Lek physiology and takes Hera from her animated setting and brings her to a real world look. It is not immediate obvious that the likeness of voice actor Vanessa Marshall has been an influence here. The head is cast with the Lekku trailing off evenly to the back, and these are wrapped in the coverings Hera wears from her forehead backward, and on top of these are a pair of flight goggles. While these are a seperate part to the head, they can't be articulated down over her eyes.
The figure uses photo real decor, and this is OK but not as impressive as when there is an actual actor to scan and imprint onto the figure. The eyes are natural enough and the shading gives Hera some depth to the head sculpt. The figure pre-dates the more realistic look of Hera from the new Star Wars Squadrons game, but its still reasonably close and I would hope we might get a tweaked version at some point with her jacket
The outfit is replicated directly from the show with the two tone upper suit and then the brighter orange flight suit trousers and straps. The colours are muted slightly from the show, but the orange is a nice match to the suits worn by Luke and Wedge so matches up well in terms of a Star Wars Universe tie-in.
Paint work is neat, but the figure is one wash away from a small level of weathering and wear that we might expect.
Hera is the same figure as was originally released in 2017. The face print decor does give a softer look to the face and the eyes are more natural, although it will be personal preference as to which look collectors would prefer as the 2017 version still has a more defined look. The patterns on the Lekku on the new version are slightly more pronounced in the silver colour. The rest of the body is practically identical in terms of colour and sculpt.
Hera is armed with a small hold out blaster that is cast in dark plastic and then painted with silver and gold panels. The weapon lacks any real detail. Naturally you go to put this in Hera's right hand, but the fit is very poor as there is no trigger finger to line up to the tiny trigger on the weapon. The hand shape is all wrong too for the grip. The left hand has a little more to it as this has a trigger finger to hold the gun a little better.
What then doesn't make sense is the holster on Hera's right leg, this indicates she is right handed - and indeed on most shots of Hera with a blaster she is holding it in her right hand. The holster holds the gun much better than either hand. It is a tight fit, but be careful for the thing dropping out as its very tiny.
I think with Hera's depiction on screen that a blaster is OK, but there was an easy value add here too if Hasbro had included Hera's Kalikori that was packed with the SDCC Thrawn set. It would have been a nice touch to bring that piece into a more general release.
Hera has the base articulation for a Black Series figure, a total of 16 points. Each joint is tight and secure with no issues of looseness.
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
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
Hera's upper articulation allows for most poses with her blaster (if she can keep hold of it) and some more gesticulating poses such as hands on hips or adjusting her goggles. The arms can only be raised so far up until the shoulder panels hit the torso. They are flexible and will bend with the movement, but this can look a bit awkward.
The legs will also pose well enough, with the strapping moving with the joints. If we gave her a pilot seat, she could sit in it (anyone for a Black Series A-Wing?).
There is little to complain about with the articulation and she can stand unaided in a number of posed positions.
Hera was a good figure on first release, and this new version for 2020 has given her a marginal update with slightly crisper markings on the Lekku, a more natural look to her eyes and mouth and, assuming you like the principle, a nice new packaging design and artwork.
The figure is crying out for better execution of the blaster which doesn't fit well in either hand, and will end up stowed away in the holster. It would also have benefited from some added value with another thrown in accessory considering what we've seen included with other figures like Sabine or Ezra.
I score the new 2020 Hera Syndulla a total of 3.5
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars, black series, galaxy collection, rebels, zeb, ezra, kanan, hera, chopper, ahsoka, hasbro