The first Star Wars Black Series from Episode 9, The Rise of Skywalker, started to hit stores as of the 4th October 2019 - badged as Triple Force Friday. There was a base wave of 8 figures, including 4 from Episode 9. There were also a number of exclusives, including a new format of Carbonized figures - repainted and reboxed versions of the base figure with metalized paint job. Here we look at the Carbonized Sith Trooper.
You can checkout the standard release here
The Carbonized packaging remains the same dimensions and base layout as the normal releases. On the Sith Trooper the colours are reversed and metalised. We have a deep metallic red for the box and a glossy foil black for the side spine and for the cardback which does make the figure stand out. Being metallic and foil the box will be more susceptible to damage and shelf ware,
To indicate this as a special edition there is a circular insert in the packaging - it's not a sticker as we though it might be - which carries the word CARBONIZED and under it the various translations. There is a new addition to the front of the box in the Age 4+ white circle, this may be part of the new global packaging strategy.
Unusually for an exclusive the figure remains numbered, and has the same #92 designation as the basic release. We still get the lined artwork of the Sith Trooper helmet and shoulders, and round the back a short write up.
"In its ultimate push towards galactic conquest, the First order readies and army of elite soldiers that draw inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy."
You can see the direct side by side comparison here with the base version. The numbering, character name and the back text are all identical - as is the illustration, just presented in grey on the basic release and in black on the Carbonized version.
There is a stark contrast in card backs with the Carbonized trooper on sleek foil black which does make him stand out. The regular release is red on red which does leave him a little lost in the box.
You will also notice in these side by side shots that the Carbonized Trooper is sold short on weapons, coming with one blaster and not two like the Regular version.
Paint & Sculpt 3/5
The Sith Trooper is a new designation of Trooper, and while it looks very similar to previous First Order Stormtroopers it is a brand new sculpt throughout. The helmet and armour is more angular and is textured in places where the basic First Order Troopers are smooth. You have other new touches like the gubbins on the shoulder armour.
The Carbonized figure is painted with a metallic finish paint, something that has always proved problematic for toy makers for a number of years. Our version was devoid of any serious chips hankfully, but I have seen plenty of images of damaged versions straight out the box.
We do have some thinning of the paint covering around the armour plates, and the layers of paint is not even all over. There are also areas where the metallic red has sprayed into the black joints and it leaves it looking a bit messy.
The benefit of the added paint on a trooper - these figures are usually cast in the base colour - is the depth and clarity it brings out in the sculpt, especially when lit and the light is bouncing around on this armour.
Aside from the paint job, both Sith Troopers are identical in sculpt and construction.
I may be controversial here but I find the Carbonized version looks mucky and too dark and on a side by side comparison I am leaning towards the look of the regular release which is crisper and more defined. Imperial and First Order Troopers do not where metallic armour, except of course Phasma, and the metallic version might make a good looking figure but it is not looking all that accurate to the on screen Trooper.
Our Carbonized Sith Trooper comes with a single weapon. This is a new blaster rifle and includes a chunkier barrel, and a sort of mini sights on top. It is cast in grey with parts picked out in the same metallic red colouring. The end of the barrel and sites are picked out in silver.
It fits into the Trooper's right hand, but the fit is not overly snug when you bring the trigger finger into play. It seems to tip the blaster too much and then the bottom grip can be lost. Takes a bit of teasing into place.
What is cool is the continuation of the holstering function. The Sith Trooper has a slot in his right thigh into which a panel on the gun slot for holstering.
It is a pity that the 2nd blaster included in the standard release is not included with the Carbonized version.
The larger blaster rifle is packed with both Carbonized and Standard versions of the Sith Trooper. The only difference is the red paint on the blaster which is darker metallic on the Carbonized version.
The Sith Trooper has 16 points of articulation. While this is a full new body, it does have some of the same articulation issues as other armoured troopers.
Head : pivot ball joint neck
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, pivot wrist
Legs : ball joint hip, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker
The shoulders cannot raise more than a few degrees as the shoulder armour hits the chest armour and blocks the movement. The head will rotate but can't seem to look up or down, it moves that way but springs back to the starting position. The torso joint is more maneuverable.
Leg joints are much better and the legs can move fully into wider stances and even kneeling positions are possible with the double joint knees. The figure stands perfectly well.
The Carbonized figure is a nice exclusive variant, but perhaps more suited to be kept boxed. As this is an Amazon exclusive I suspect that may be tricky in that a lot of the boxes are arriving damaged.
The paint job is OK, but a bit too metallic and dark for me and uneven in places. I suspect flaking will occur too if it is handled too much. I also feel a little sold short by getting only one blaster vs the two in the standard release.
I score the Amazon Exclusive Carbonized Sith Trooper a 3 out of 5.