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Review : Star Wars Black Series, The Mandalorian


The Mandalorian is one of the three big Star Wars properties for Winter 2019, and is the first live action TV show from the Star Wars universe. As the Star Wars Black Series hit Wave 22 of the 3rd Phase we have our first figures from the show, the titular character The Mandalorian.


The figure was #94 in the line, and was also released as a special exclusive "Carbonized" edition with metallic packaging and figure paintwork. The Carbonized Mandalorian was exclusive to Target in the US and Star Action Figures in the UK.


We compare the standard and carbonized editions through this review, but you can click through for the full carbonized release review.

Packaging 4/5


The standard Mandalorian arrives in the Phase 3 black packaging with red side spine and figure backdrop. The artwork shows the helmet and shoulders of The Mandalorian leaning forward and is repeated on the box reverse along with a short, non spoilery, piece of text.


"His body is shielded by beskar armor, his face is hidden behind a T-visored mask, and his past is wrapped in mystery. The Mandalorian is battle-worn and tight-lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy."



The Carbonized packaging is the same dimensions as the standard release, but the black is replaced with a foil bronze colouring. A circular insert has been added to the right of the figure which states this as the "Carbonized Edition". The red is replaced by a silver foil down the side spine and behind the figure in the box.


The artwork remains the same as the standard version, but in the foil it looks much better with clearer textures and a reflective effect. The figures are laid out the same in both packs with the Carbonized Mandalorian's hand blaster covered by the circular panel.



Paint & Sculpt 4/5


The Mandalorian is a brand new sculpt and includes a new T-visor helmet that is coloured in a dull metallic finish with black paint visor. The helmet is weathered with splashes of brown paint.


The armour for the Mandalorian looks piecemeal, as though pieced together, and it includes some familiar items like the shoulder panel of an Imperial Shoretrooper. The armour design means there are lots of colours used across the armour, including brown for the majority of the panels - but also beige and silver - and all of it is battleworn with silver chips added across each of the panels. All the paintwork is neat and well executed with a good colour pallette.

The Mandalorian is wearing a belt with a soft rubber holster, and up from this stretches a strap that goes over the shoulder and back down. The cloak is also a seperate item, cast in soft plastic and not soft goods as we saw on the original Black Series Fett. It is shaped to hang neatly off one side and can be removed if you wish.


All the paintwork is neat and well executed with a good colour pallet. From what I can tell from the trailers, this armour is reflective of the earlier parts of the series and the panels are upgraded at some stage through the series to a more polished metallic finish.



With that in mind you might have expected the Carbonized version to the the updated metallic armour, giving fans a reason to buy both (apart from the cool box and exclusivity). Instead the Carbonized version simply adds a metallic finish to all the base colours on the standard armour. The helemt is shinier, but still weathered with brown paint, and the armour goes from brown to a dull bronze. Even the cloak is painted to look metallic.



Accessories 4/5


The Mandalorian is armed with a version of a Westar-34 blaster. This is cast in a gunmetal finish with a darker grey painted on the grip. It fits snugly into the Mando's right hand, and I do mean snugly as the figure has very stiff hands compared to a lot of Black Series figures - getting the trigger finger into place is tough work.


The Blaster can be holstered in the working holster at the belt. This is opened by pulling the strap out of a plug in the holster and inserting the weapon.


The second weapon is of course widely reported as being influenced by Boba Fett's weapon from the animated portion of the Star Wars Holiday Special. This long barreled blaster includes what we assume are two shock prongs as seen in the trailers, and it can be used as a melee weapon as well as for firing. It is cast in a grey plastic and then has a brown painted stock, and silver painted barrel and trigger mechanism.


This weapon is a little tougher to pose. The best bet is to get the barrel seated in the left hand first, then get the trigger finger on the right hand into the trigger. Once this is one the stock can be lined up behind the arm and into the shoulder.


The weapon can also be slung and to achieve this Hasbro have put a hole in the soft rubber strap and the back of the figure. The first issue is that these don't line up initially. The strap is stuck a little further over in the wet paint and it takes a bit of teasing to free it (hopefully without damage) and to line it up. Once lined up there is a plug on the long barreled rifle to slot into the whole. Sadly the second issue is that the peg is too large for either hole. With some force it can go into the strap, but you would need to trim it down or widen the hole for a tight fit. Being so tight and with so much force, the third issue is then paint rub and you will lose silver paint almost instantly from your rifle.



While the Carbonized figure has a metallic finish over the base colour, the weapons are painted in differing finishes. The rifle has a much brighter silver and the stock is a metallic bronze. In the same vein, the blaster is bright silver and the grip on this also a metallic bronze.



Articulation 5/5


The Mandalorian features the standard 16 points of articulation. The hips and neck joints are a little too loose, with the hips being troublesome in wider stances as they can slide off into the splits and cause your figure to fall over. The rest are tight and secure and the figure stands and poses really well


Head : ball joint pivot neck

Body : torso ball joint

Arms : ball joint shoulders, single rotating elbow, wrist pivot

Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers


I particularly love the fact he can kneel, something not all Black Series figures can achieve and remain looking natural. The arms also have enough motion for two handed firing poses with the long barrelled rifle.



Summary


The standard Mandalorian is an excellent looking figure and very well designed, sculpted, painted and weathered - with very good articulation and posing options.


The only gripes are with the weapon slot on the back and the very stiff hands which make the weapons very difficult to insert.



I score the standard Mandalorian Black Series figure a very solid 4 out of 5.




See More Star Wars Black Series Figures


Figure Hacks


With so much being made of the Mandalorian using elements of the Star Wars Holiday Special, I was delighted to see our Mando riding a Dewback in the trailer. I can confirm that the articulation on the Mandalorian does allow him to sit quite well on the Black Series Dewback and grip the reins in either hand.



The look is brilliant, and I wouldn't be cross one bit if Hasbro recycled the Dewback and gave us a Mandalorian themed creature set at some point in the future.




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