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Review : Star Wars Black Series The Mandalorian (Beskar Armour)


In Summer 2020, Hasbro moved to a Phase 4 packaging for their Star Wars Black Series figures, entitled the Galaxy Collection. This new design moved away from a fully uniform look for the series and introduced accent colours for each movie or show within the Star Wars Universe. The Galaxy Collection launched with two full waves - a Rebels wave with a number of repacked figures, and Wave 1 of the new Collection made up of 7 figures from across the Star Wars Saga. In this review we look at The Mandalorian, in his Beskar Armour, from the hit Disney+ show.

Packaging 4.0


The new Galaxy Collection packaging uses the same footprint dimensions as the previous Phase 3 boxes, although the window section is reduced and the right hand side is cut in at an angle. The base colour of the box remains black, with the Black Series logo on the top rail above the figure window. Each part of the Saga has been given an accent colour, and for The Mandalorian we have a deep, almost rusty, brown tone. The brown colour is used as a border under the window where the movie is named, and again as text for the character name which is kept simply as "The Mandalorian" with no reference to the Armour despite this being widely marketed as Beskar Armour Mandalorian.


This angled panel on the right is used for an illustration of the character. This is done in a grey scale with the green accent at the base of the image. The Mandalorian is illustrated in his Beskar Armour and holding his disintegrator rifle. Each art panel in a collection lines up with the next figure in the line to create a larger montage. When you begin to look how this works in practice then it will take up a bit more room as the figures have to be angled to create the wider panel. However, the logic of the side panel is more evident when figures are displayed side on where both the figure and the art are on display.


The brown band wraps round the other box side and angles upward and round to the back. It is here we still get a numbering system for the figures - now specific by movie or series. The Mandalorian is rightly the first in The Mandalorian series and is numbered #01.



Due to the angles used for the box, there is a significant amount of tape in use which does look unsightly although they have avoided use on the front and the art panel. The figure is accessed via the top or bottom flaps - the bottom being a little easier to get at with less tape used.


The figure sits in an inner tray as normal, but now the outer window is part of this inner piece and is not attached to the box. I do wonder if that makes recycling easier where the parts can be separated more efficiently. The cardboard backing card is quite a dull grey and this is uniform on all figures. I wonder what it would have looked like if the accent colour was used as the backdrop? Watch out for Mando's cape which is pushed through a slot in the plastic and needs some maneuvering to remove it safely.

Paint & Sculpt 4.5


This is Mando with his full Beskar armour from the 2nd half of Season 1. The sculpt across all the armoured panels is crisp and includes details like the Mudhorn Sigil on the right Pauldron. The helmet is well proportined but maybe looks a little low o the neck, mainly due to the thickness of the cloak piece that sits beneath the chin.


Mando has his belt and bandolier strap with painted ammunition, clasps and rivets. We also have some further ammo on the right shin and the thigh armour above it, still being his older armour, is painted in a varying shade of silver as scratches and with a rusted brown colour to one side.


The cape is a rubbery piece that slots over the head and hangs slightly to one side on his back. The cape lacks any paint application but it has a lot of texture and detail in the sculpt which is then defined by the light catching each fold and crease.



At first glance this looks like a repainted version of the 2019 Mandalorian, but up close you can see some significant differences. Yes, the helmet and base body are the same. But we have an updated chest piece, shoulder pauldrons and both wrist sections - with the Beskar Mando having his Whistling Birds installed on the left arm.


The back panel has also been adjusted with additional socket holes for the Jet Pack which we will look at shortly. The hole for the rifle remains out of line with the hole on the bandolier strap. The cape remains the same, but is slightly darker on Beskar Mando.



Accessories 4.0


Mando comes with his blaster, the same as the original figure. There is some clear details in the sculpt and is then painted in silver with a brown grip. It fits into Mando's right hand, with trigger finger slotting in place. When not in use it'll go in the holster on his hip. This is closed off with a strap that slots into a hole on the front of the holster. The fit on this is not perfect and it is both fiddly to clip closed, and hard work to keep closed.



We also have the same Amban Phase-Pulse disintegrator rifle as the first figure. The rifle is a very detailed piece with two pronged barrell, sites and swooping grip that is shaped to fit around the shooters shoulder. The gun has brown paint aps on the grip and base of the barrel, with a darker grey on top and for the sites. The rest is in silver.


Once again it fits in the right hand, although it's tougher to get into position simply due to its shape. Once gripped it can be up and shouldered for firing thanks to the articulation.


When not in use it the rifle can be slung thanks to a notch on the rifle, and a socket on the back. The socket is meant to line up with the bandolier strap but the two sit out of line - the same issue as on the original figure. With some work you can get the two aligned, and once inserted the rifle holds in place and looks great as it sits aside the cloak.



The new accessory for this version of Mando is the Jetpack. This is a grey plastic piece, with no paint apps at all and rudimentary sculpt details which leaves it looking a little strange against the bright silver and well painted Mandalorian. The one on screen was glossy metallic silver like the armour, and it is a shame Hasbro have left this so very plain.


The pack has three plugs that line up to the three larger sockets on Mando's back armour piece. The fit is good, but the Jetpack cannot be worn with the cloak. While in reality wearing a cape while using a Jetpack may not be a good idea, Mando was using the Jetpack with his cape when he was facing off against Moff Gideon's Tie Fighter. The answer here would have been to use a soft good cape and I can see why these aftermarket soft goods capes are so popular since this figure was released.


That all being said, Mando does look great with the Jetpack and with no cape. Removing the cape opens up the lines of the armour even more and raises the neck level a little more. It is also worth noting that the Jetpack has holes in the bottom of the jet sections which may indicate that an FX blast piece was considered and not included.



Articulation 4.5


The Mandalorian features the same 16 points of articulation as his predecessor. The loose joint issues with the original figure do not translate over and the new Beskar Mandalorian is very robust in terms of joints and posing.

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


The arms are mobile enough to wield both weapons and the two handed posing with the rifle include the ability to get it up and shouldered as though firing.



The Jetpack addition opens up more posing options for Mando if you drop him onto an aftermarket flight stand. The waist clip type work well to put Mando into a hovering position and the legs and arms pose well in this scenario to show him in flight. Again, I wonder if a Deluxe Release was ever, or remains, on the cards with a flight stand (a la Black Widow) and FX jet effects for the Jetpack.



Summary


This may be the second Mandalorian figure in less than a year, but this is the Mando we want considering this is the look he sported for most of the first Season and will carry into Season 2. It is not a quick repaint from the original, with many new parts and details like the addition of the wrist weaponry and whistling birds.


The weapons remain as good as they were in the first set and the Jetpack is a nice addition. It should have been painted and a soft goods or adjusted cape was needed to make the parts work together as they should - with these tweaks then Mando would have been pushing top marks.



Personally, I do like the new box design and particular the artwork and even as a loose collector I am considering how to retain the art and the wider montage panels.


I score The Mandalorian an impressive 4.5. This is the way....




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