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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Star Wars Black Series Pre Vizsla, Galaxy Collection Wave 14, The Clone Wars




“This lightsaber was stolen from the Jedi Temple by my ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic. Since then, many Jedi have died upon its blade. Prepare yourself to join them.”


The latest addition to the Star Wars Black Series Clone Wars contingent is the December 2023 release of Pre-Vizsla, part of the Wave 14 of the Galaxy Collection. This five-figure wave was the second to focus on the Ahsoka Disney+ series but also inserted this new Pre Vizsla figure as well as a general release for the new R2-D2 figure. 

The packaging is a window-boxed design after the plastic-free packaging was abandoned for Wave 13. The standard black base colour is overlaid with the yellow accent colour assigned to The Clone Wars and this is utilised on the front wording and the side art of Pre Vizsla in action. Round the back is a repeat of this same artwork and a short text piece that talks briefly about Vizsla’s role during the events of The Clone Wars. Vizsla is number 17 in the Clone Wars collection, following on from the exclusive release of ARC Trooper Fives. 

With several Mandalorian armoured bodies in the Black Series catalog, Hasbro has chosen to re-use the older Jango Fett mold for this new release. This is likely an aesthetic choice but does have some considerable issues with articulation as we will see later on. The bulk of the figure is cast in a deep grey finish with metallic silver used on the armoured parts and a bronze metallic finish to the belt, holsters, and wrist gauntlets. The Clan Vizsla crest is neatly painted across the central chest piece in blue. The Jet Pack is the usual plug-in arrangement and it is a brand-new piece with wider thrusters and a central body more aligned to what Vizsla uses in the Clone Wars. This too is cast in dark grey, with the central section then painted a bright silver with red and white indicators and buttons. 

The helmet is another new piece featuring the antennae at either side that are iconic to Pre Vizsla’s look. The grey cast helmet is overpainted with a second gun metal finish around the gloss black visor and a further Mandalorian crest is painted on the forehead in an ivory finish. The helmet sits over a brand new Vizsla head sculpt, one that translates the animated character into a real-world setting as has been done for all Clone Wars and Rebels releases. This is an impressive head with a good ‘as you’d expect him to look’ likeness to Vizsla, complete with facial hair and a scar under his left eye. The face print expands on this detail with a level of detail around the eyes, brow ridge, and nose in particular. The hair is sculpted to be close-cropped, and is painted as such. This then allows a good fit for the removable helmet. 

The origins Jango Fett body has been utilised a few times previously and always comes with some articulation issues. The older format of 16 points of articulation does mean you benefit from double-jointed pinned knees, but lose out on a lot of elbow movement - more so than usual with a pair of arms that barely bend to 45 degrees. The torso joint too is restricted beneath the armour, allowing just a swivel in the waist and nothing more. Posing Pre Vizsla is also a frustrating business thanks to some very small feet, restrictive ankle rockers, and a figure that is heavier at the rear thanks to his jet pack. 

Vizsla is armed with a pair of Mandalorian Westar blasters. These are a basic design cast in grey plastic but with no additional decor. They are designed to fit in the holsters, and can then be held in either hand - with both left and right hands featuring a flexible and separate trigger finger.

Pre Vizsla also comes with the Darksaber a re-use of the one originally released with Moff Gideon. This features a black cast hilt and a removable black blade. This time around the Darksaber does feature a crisper and thicker white edging more aligned to the Clone Wars appearance. The Darksaber fits in either hand, but can’t be held by both hands due to the restricted arm movement. When not in use there is no holster option.

Pre Vizsla is certainly a very good-looking release with a good level of decor, particularly the metallic hues, as well as the Clan Vizsla iconography. The head sculpt is glorious, as is the helmet. And there is not much wrong with the accessories - although the blasters might have looked better with a darker wash as a minimum. The articulation however is not up to the current standard of the Black Series and has been a known issue with this Jango Fett base for many years. The arms are pretty static which you can work around a bit when posing with blasters, but it becomes more frustrating when attempting Darksaber poses.

The legs are more mobile, but the balance issues are hard work. There are better Mandalorian bodies and parts out there in the line, but I do understand using these to increase articulation would have lost some of the key parts of Vizsla’s armour configuration such as the lack of any thigh armour, and the particular shoulder pauldrons. A good release, excellent in some areas, sub-par in others. Once posed and stable in your display you won’t be disappointed.




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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...

 

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