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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Star Wars Black Series 10-Year Anniversary Advent Celebration

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

To mark 10 years of Hasbro's Star Wars Black Series 6-inch line I've picked some of our favourite figures from each year, spanning 2013 - 2023, and have been revealing them daily in our advent calendar countdown through December. The approach I have taken was to pick two figures for each year starting with 2013 through to this year's releases. To ensure we had 24 picks in total for our Advent I allowed myself two wildcards that can be picked from any year.



These are of course my choices only and they are not reflective of anything other than allowing me to reminisce a little from collecting the Black Series over the past 10 years. To consider what may be the favourite release in the line we'd also like you to get involved and tell us which are your favourite Star Wars Black Series figures from the last ten years.


First, visit our comprehensive Star Wars Black Series Collectors Database & Checklist. Filter the list by year, source, or faction, then pick your favourites. Fill in our form to submit your picks, with the overall winners, voted by you, revealed on Christmas Eve.

 

Star Wars Black Series 10-Year Anniversary Advent

We kick off our Advent in 2013 and the launch of the Black Series, and our first pick is that of Darth Maul. Despite some limited articulation, Maul has aged well in the line and was very much reflective of the early ethos of the figures with a single release covering Maul's two distinct looks from The Phantom Menace. Our second pick is Boba Fett, the first figure I ever bought in the Black Series and while it now feels a bit dated, again in terms of articulation, it remains a great display piece - particularly alongside the Han Solo in Carbonite from the SDCC 2013 exclusive boxset. And talking of great display pieces, our third pick is one of the first Deluxe releases in the line with the 2014 release of the Imperial Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike, a huge step for the line in terms of introducing vehicles and larger creatures for our collections.

Our second pick of 2014 sticks with the Deluxe theme and is one of my personal favourites from The Original Trilogy, Jabba The Hutt. Jabba was released as a standalone Deluxe as well as a 2014 SDCC exclusive alongside Salacious Crumb and parts of his throne. 2015 was a big year for The Black Series as well as seeing another packaging change. One of the last blue line releases is our pick at number 5 - the first named Clone in the line and the first Clone Trooper in Phase II armour, the original release of Clone Commander Cody. 2015 was the year Star Wars returned to the big screen with The Force Awakens, and there was a lot of excitement over the figures which also saw us move over to the Phase III red box packaging. At the time we knew very little about most of the characters and early releases like the Guavian Enforcer - our pick at number 6 - got us excited as the design is particularly impressive as was the execution as a figure, even if they did only have seconds on screen.

While 2016 was very much focused on The Force Awakens and Rogue One, it also saw the first-ever fan's choice figure released having been voted into production for by collectors - this figure also represented the first release of a character from the old Expanded Universe, or what is now termed the Star Wars Legends. Our pick therefore for 07 is the 2016 release of Darth Revan. 2016 was also the year we got our first Black Series release from a Star Wars Video Game and therefore our 8th selection is the Star Wars Battlefront Shock Stormtrooper, the figure that would see a trickle of gaming figures eventually evolve into the Gaming Greats line. Moving into 2017, the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope, the Star Wars Black Series line celebrated this milestone with the first Anniversary carded figures paying homage to the original Kenner 12 figures - which introduced the Tusken Raider into the 6-inch scale, our pick for number 9. Not only is this an awesome figure, but the lore of the Tusken Raiders themselves would go on to be expanded considerably by the Disney+ shows making this Sand Person figure part of the wider Star Wars Universe.

2017 presented me with the biggest decision of this entire Advent countdown in so much that the year saw a lot of re-releases and a fair few average general releases from The Last Jedi. In the end, I have made Hera Syndulla my pick for number 10. While she has been re-released with better decor, she did represent one of the first female aliens in the line and continued the journey towards a full Ghost crew. Hasbro have given us figures of all six of the Empire Strikes Back Bounty Hunters, but my personal favourite is my number 11 pick, the 2018 release of Zuckuss. There is no doubt that the Jabba's Palace scenes from Return of the Jedi have always been my favourite and I do have a soft spot for those characters who frequented these scenes. 2018 saw us get another key figure for our Jabba's Palace, the first true Deluxe release of the Gamorrean Guard, and he is our pick for number 12.

As we pass the halfway point of our countdown I am going to include my first wild card, a third pick from 2018 in the shape of the exclusive Bespin Escape Princess Leia. This, for me, remains the best Leia figure to date in the line and remains a short step away from the more formal gown version. As we move into 2019, our number 14 pick represents another groundbreaking release for the Black Series with the release of Doctor Aphra, one of the newer comic book character creations under the Disney banner translated into 6-inch action figure format along with her two murder droids. 2019 also saw one of arguably the best diorama releases of the Black Series to date with the re-release of Emperor Palpatine with updated skirt/legs, additional heads, force lighting effects and, most importantly, his throne!

Our 10th Anniversary Advent now reaches 2020, and the next of the 40th Anniversaries - this time for Empire Strikes Back. One of the most impressive releases in the anniversary series is our number 16 pick, another Deluxe release, the Imperial Probe Droid as seen on Hoth and complete with a snow-covered flight stand. Our 17th pick was also part of the Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary releases, the very brilliant 2-pack of the Jedi Training Luke and Yoda from Dagobah. The set features a very acrobatic Luke figure, and a new resized Yoda as well as his backpack. Our 18th pick takes us into the newest format of the Black Series and the Galaxy Collection figures where the packaging is now split into releases by source material. Our first pick from this era is the 2021 release of Asajj Ventress, the first Clone Wars character in our shortlist.

Another character translated from animation into the Black Series, and our number 19 pick, is Grand Admiral Thrawn. While Thrawn had seen a release in 2016, it was his 2021 Archive release that brought the character to life with the updated face decor enhanced by the photo-real printing process. My pick at number 20 is another figure from Jabbas Palace with the 2022 release of Bib Fortuna, the Twilek majordomo. We stay on Tatooine for our 21st pick, the 2022 release of the Cantina Band's Figrin D'an. This release, alongside the companion piece of Naan Cheel allowed collectors to - if they wished - buy multiples to recreate the Model Nodes.

Our final three picks are all from 2023 and we start with the Rebel Commando figure from the Battle of Endor. Like the Hoth Trooper (who narrowly missed a slot in the list), the Endor Commando features alternative face plates to allow for two differing looks using the same figure. The penultimate choice was released under the Gaming Greats banner but is also another Legends character that means a lot to fans of the old Expanded Universe. Darth Malgus is an impressive figure in terms of his height and design and warrants his deluxe release status. Our final figure in this celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Star Wars Black Series will probably top a lot of people's lists for the best figure of 2023. From the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, the Final Duel Darth Vader is a beast of a figure combining the best of the existing Vader figure with that smashed helmet and Anakin's scarred face beneath,


In conjunction with our Advent Countdown, Collectors have been voting across December picking three of their favourite figures from 2013-2023. Many of the choices mirrored my own with a strong showing for Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Gamorrean Guard, and the Duels' End Darth Vader.


Joining these three at the top of the voting pile were three surprising entries with the Imperial Stormtrooper, Bossk, and the Slave Leia figure from Jabba's Palace.








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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

 

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