The Bad Batch is essentially a continuation of the Clone Wars story, moving to a time after Order 66 and the events of Revenge of the Sith. It will focus on Clone Force 99, The Bad Batch, who were introduced during the final season of Clone Wars.
Ahead of the show's debut on May the 4th 2021, Hasbro has released two of the main Bad Batch troopers in the Star Wars Black Series line as part of the 4th Wave of the Galaxy Collection. Two further figures are in the works.
Hunter is the leader of The Bad Batch, and this is reflected in his numbering as the first figure in the Galaxy Collection, Bad Batch series. This new branch will use a deep red colour accent and features the usual side art that combines into a larger montage. Background text on the rear of the box reads:-
"The Bad Batch, technically known as Clone Force 99, is the result of Kaminoan experiments to create a specialist unit of clone commandos. Hunter, their leader, is a strong and stoic soldier with extraordinarily keen senses that give him an edge when tracking down his targets"
Hunter is wearing a variant version of the Clone Trooper armour, while it may borrow parts from other figures, the majority of the configuration is new including the shoulder armour, knee pads and the chest piece.
The design of the figure is one converted from animation to a real-life setting and this is seen in the head sculpt and face-print technology which creates an impressive realistic head sculpt complete with facial markings. In contrast, the proportions of the body remain rooted in the animated style with a very slim waist compared to other armoured Troopers in the Black Series line.
The armour is predominantly cast in its base colour, and has lots of nicks and scratches built into the sculpt which would have looked brilliant with a weathering wash. The applied paintwork does include red piping on the chest, shoulders and shins. There is also some silver paint scrapes on the chest and the right thigh. Decals are applied to the shoulder armour with a skull icon on the right, and the number '99' on both shoulders.
Hunter features a removable backpack that is plugged into the back of the figure by way of a shaped peg hole. The backpack is cast in grey plastic with deliberate scrapes and scratches into the piece and red paint used to highlight certain elements. It does not open, nor provide any storage options for any of the other accessories.
The first of these accessories is a knife, which has a black handle, silver blade, and some yellow markings down the blade. The weapon fits in either right or left hand. It can also be stowed away on a sheath which is attached to the left wrist. This works fine on the figure, but I question how practical it would be in reality as the handle does impede the hand.
Hunter has two blaster weapons. A larger piece, the DC-17m Clone Commando weapon. that is new to the line. It is cast in black, with no other paint apps. It fits into the right hand, where a trigger finger can be slipped into place. When not in use there is no storage option on the backpack that you might expect.
A second smaller weapon, the DC-17 hand blaster that has been released previously with Captain Rex and other Clone Commanders. We only get the one, and again this is cast in the black colour with no other details. It fits in the right hand, and can be held in the left - but there is no trigger finger on that size. There is no holster or storage for the blaster when not in use - this is a miss for me although is consistent with Hunter's costume.
Hunter's helmet is a wearable piece, cast in the softer plastic as seen before on figures like Rex and Wolffe. The helmet is the standard Phase 2 helmet, but includes an extensive paint job with red central markings and white to mirror the skull markings on Hunter's face.
The fit is good and covers the chin - an issue we sometimes have - and is not so tight as that you'd be worried about paint rub.
Hunter features 19 points of articulation and includes the butterfly shoulders and double joint neck. Elbows and knees are single joints but bend to 90 degrees and beyond with the knee armour being attached to the thigh only. This can cause some issues if you rotate the thigh out of line with the lower leg.
Hunter can't really kneel, the armour blocks this at the hips, but everything else is quite expansive and some nice poses can be achieved. There are two issues, the first is the choice of wrist joint on the right hand which is vertical and not horizontal, this allows some better gun poses with one hand but works against the hand for double hand posing with the larger blaster as it cant be bent in towards the body. The other issue is the ankle rockers which are looser than I would like and Hunter is a little trickier to pose - not helped with the backpack that moves the centre of gravity to the back of the figure.
Having picked up Hunter and Crosshair, I am now more excited for the Bad Batch. Both figures look the part with their unique armour adjustments, while still evoking the spirit of the Clone Wars Clone Trooper and the Republic Commandos.
Hunter has a great head sculpt with face print tech, a well-executed body with sculpted in wear & tear that might have benefitted from a few more paint apps. The downsides for me are a lack of functionality with the backpack, the waist looking a little slim vs a 'real world' figure from say The Mandalorian.
Roll on the arrival of Tech and Wrecker, and hopefully Echo in the near future also.
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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...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars, black series, galaxy collection, bad batch, hunter, crosshairs