This review may be a lot shorter than you might be expecting. The main reason is that this new 4 figure box set is essentially a repeat of 4 figures we have had before. To that end, I won't be repeating a full review of each figure, but I will link in to earlier reviews if you want a run down of the figure (click on the header for each figure to go to a corresponding review). This review will then concentrate on the key tweaks in this box-set as well as showcasing the set in our image gallery.
Firstly, looking at the box, and this is a quite different piece than any we have seen previously in the Black Series. Essentially the size is that of 2 standard boxes side by side, and then 2 deep. There are no windows, with the front of the box taken up fully with grey scale artwork of the 4 contained characters. The Black Series logo is slotted in top an centre, and along the bottom of the front panel are the names of each of the four figures. These are in red text and in dual language. The right hand side of the box uses the red panel we now are familiar with on the 2015 releases. There are no numbers, but instead four symbols representing the Republic (2 of), Empire and finally the First Order. The left hand side has a repeat of the Black Series logo and the word TROOPER as a shadow writing on the black background. The Top has a similar design with the Black series Logo and head shots of the First Order Troopers. The rear panel repeats the logo and Republic, Imperial and First Order symbols. There is then four text panels, each covering the four troopers contained in the box and with a short paragraph about each - that is then repeated in four languages.
The box doesn't finish there though as if you go to the left hand panel there are two velcro tabs, and once undone the box folds out on itself to reveal the Troopers within. It is this inner display with windows that MIB collectors will no doubt display, with each figure presented as it would be on a single release with grey-scale character art, red character name and the widow displaying the figure itself against a stark red background. My only criticism is that opening the box does start to cause creasing on the red right panel and I am not sure how robust the box will be over time. The box opens well enough and you can open at the top of bottom of each half. Once open a double tray slides out with the red cardboard background and an inner plastic tray.
There are no differences in this figure vs the three that have come before other than paint application.
The Yellow trim represents a Clone Commander, and that is applied neatly against the white of the armour. The figure comes with the Clone Rifle and smaller blaster, both of which have additional white paint panels added vs the original Clone Phase 1 Trooper. The only other noticeable difference is on the rear of the Commander where the back pack has been painted in plack in the recessed areas - this looks a lot nicer.
The figure is thankfully the shinier white, and not the duller finish we saw on the Green Clone Sergeant.
The only real new sculpt of the set is the helmet of the Phase 2 clone as seen in Revenge of the Sith. This is still a probable tweak on the Commander Cody bucket, but it is about time we saw this helmet version hit the Black Series.
The figure itself is quite plain, using the same body as the Mark 1 - and sharing the same issues with the odd patch of paint bleed and the painted elbows and knees showing a different finish to the rest of the armour.
The weapons included are again the Clone Rifle and Blaster - and for some reason we are back to plain black with this figure.
The main excitement from this figure is the potential for the future as we now have a good selection of Clone Parts to start getting Arc troopers, Commanders and various legions like the 501st or Shock Troopers.
I am really not sure what to make of this figure. He is obviously made to look battle damaged, but it looks more like he has been playing paintball.
He comes packed with same weaponry as the 2014 release. Now I do have an issue with this figure in that he is massively warped at the arms which stick out at odd angles. The joints feel very rubbery vs the original troopers.
My view is that you can't get enough Stormtroopers and I would have simply dropped in a basic version - or perhaps thought out of the box and done an orange pauldron version as seen recently in Rebels?
We have had this First Order trooper so very recently, both as SDCC exclusive and then within wave 1 of the Force Awakens figures. All this one adds to that release is the Orange Pauldron, which is the same one used on the Snowtrooper officer - albeit maybe a different shade of orange.
Like the Stormtrooper, but weirdly not with either Clones, the First Order Officer is really poor quality. The immediate issue is that the arms and legs are very soft and at wierd angles which make him really difficult to stand. There is then a very obvious shade different in the chest plate which is more off white on this version vs the original trooper. The painted white knee pads and belt are also going towards a cream. Had I not bought this direct from Amazon then with this and the Oily Stormtrooper being so poor I would have worried I'd bought a cheap knock off.
None of these figures are a real wow, but then again none really offend all to much and as a set you can see the logic. The quality concerns on the two Stormtroopers may be isolated and will frustrate when you compare to the original releases.
Marking this set comes down to price. So far, this set has only been available via the US Amazon site. They have been shipping to UK however, and once delivery and customs are added the set will come in around £75 for UK collectors. At that price then this set is good value. However, UK sites who are looking to import this are starting to quote circa £100 which makes this £25 per figure, and for tweaks and repaints it starts to look less appealing.
If you can get this anywhere near £80, then this gets a 3 out of 5 score as a set. The Clones would score 4 out of 5, I really like these - where as the Stormtroopers would get a 2 out of 5 as the quality is really low and that Stormtrooper paint job is just bizarre. The set will bolster your troops, and will look realy nice in a MIB display.
The biggest positives to take from this have to be that Mk2 Clone lid which will open lots of doors going forward - if you like Clone variants of course...