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 general release review.
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. The artwork 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 essentially aimed at boxed collectors in the main, and looks stunning on the Mandalorian with a good choice of contrasting foil metallic colours. Being foil it is more prone to shelf wear and dings and defects.
The standard Mandalorian arrives in the Phase 3 black packaging with red side spine and figure backdrop. Apart from the circular insert and the colours, the boxes are identical in dimensions, wording and layout.
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
The Mandalorian is a brand new sculpt and includes a new T-visor helmet that is coloured in a bright silver 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. To create the Carbonized metallic look a metallic finish was painted over most of the armour to create the bronzed armour panels and give the under-suit a silver sheen. Even the cape is coloured to give off a metallic hue.
While this is impressive, it is a bit of a "miss" considering the Mandalorian looks to acquire some more silver metallic armour later int he series. The Carbonized version would have been a brilliant way of giving fans this look as well as the more piecemeal armour - but instead we have predomiently the same look with one having a sheen. All the paintwork is neat and well executed with a good colour pallet, but watch out for flaking and rubbing.
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 separate 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.
Our standard Mandalorian uses the same base colour pallete, but is missing the metallic sheen. To that end the figures do look very similar. With the more worn armour not showing a metallic sheen in the show I would argue that the standard version may be closer in screen accuracy - although the Carbonized is much more visual for display.
The Mandalorian is armed with a version of a Westar-34 blaster. This is cast in a silver finish with a metallic bronze painted 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. Watch out for rubbing and chipping of the metallic paint on the blaster when it is being holstered.
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 metallic bronze 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.
Our standard version has identical weapons an the only difference is in the paint finish. The standard version replaces the metallic bronze grips and stock with a browns and greys and the silver is more muted and gunmetal in finish.
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.
The Carbonized Mandalorian is a much crisper and better looking figure than the basic release, even if it may be less screen accurate. The metallic armour and helmet does make the figure pop, but it is a shame that the Carbonized version wasn't the more snazzy polished armour we see in the series trailers.
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 Carbonized Mandalorian Black Series figure an impressive 5 out of 5.
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.
(these shots were taken with a standard Mandalorian)
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.