Updated: Oct 9
The Star Wars Black Series Heroes of Endor Exclusive Box Set was originally planned as a San Diego Comic Con Exclusive in 2020. With the Covid 19 pandemic the SDCC 2020 event, like all conventions, was cancelled and the exclusives from Hasbro were held back from July and then sold in September during Hasbro Pulse Con, Hasbro's online convention event. The set features four figures and a re-issued Speeder Bike, all wrapped up in an exclusive box with diorama panels.
Our review of the Heroes of Endor Set will be broken down into four reviews - one for each figure included - as well as a look at the packaging and unboxing each element.
The Heroes of Endor set is presented in rectangular black box with green Star Wars Black Series Logo on the front face, and beneath this - in a solid black stripe - is a confirmation of the film base as Return of the Jedi and then the name of the set as the HEROES OF ENDOR. It is impressive when you start to look closely at the box that there are images in the black of the box using different finishes with the trees of the Endor Forest Moon visible on one side and the Death Star looming above. This pattern continues down the right hand side panel, while the left is plain, except for some green shades towards the back.
The back of the box see's a repeat of the Black Series logo and a green fading segment coming in from one side. The movie name is repeated again in the same black stripe that runs round the full box. Under this we have the various legal and safety messages.
Our review copy is a UK/European release and we have an over sticker on the front to the side of the 4+ message blanking something out. On the back, the safety messages are also an over sticker ensuring the messages are region specific I assume.
The only window initially visible on the box is the triangular cut out on the top through which you can see the top of Paploo's head and the Speeder Bike.
Box Dimension : Closed
Width 25cm / 9.75 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
This outer packaging is a sleeve that is then lifted off to reveal the contents of the set beneath across three diorama windows. The sleeve itself is quite thin and will damage easily so needs to be handled with care.
With the sleeve section removed, the box now presents with three windows - one front, and one either side. Each panel shows a diorama from The Return of the Jedi with the accompanying figure(s).
Paploo is front and centre, named underneath the window as PAPLOO and under this, SPEEDER BIKE. The window backdrop features a speed blurred Endor Forest backdrop with Paploo sat in the centre hanging on to the Speeder Bike.
To the right hand side is Luke in his Endor Poncho and Helmet brandishing his lightsaber between two tree trunks. Again, the character name sits bottom left under the window and is simply named as LUKE SKYWALKER.
To the left we have Han Solo and Princess Leia at the door of the Imperial Bunker. Han is not wearing his Trench coat and Leia is without her helmet - screen accurate for the scene they are recreating. Han is posed with his blaster outstretched to one side, with Leia kneeling and aiming her blaster to the other side. Under the window we have the characters named again with HAN SOLO on the top line and PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA underneath.
If you go all the way to the back of the box you find the three segments combining to make up the box reverse. The right hand panel, as we look, carries the Black Series logo. And the left panel has a piece of background text which is pretty extensive vs what we normally get on the Black Series boxes.
"The Empire built the second Death Star in secret above the lush forest moon of Endor, located on the fringes of settled space in a far corner of the galaxy. To protect the station during construction, Imperial engineers placed a shield generator on the moon's surface. Scout Troopers patrolled the woods on Speeder Bikes, but the Empire dismissed Endor's native Ewoks as primitives that posed no threat.
The Ewoks, however, were not to be underestimated. They were brave warriors and quick to learn new ways. They accepted the Rebel Alliance's warriors into their tribe and decided to join the fight against the Galactic Empire, using bows and arrows, catapults and log traps to take down Stormtroopers and Scout Walkers. The Ewoks turned the tide, allowing the Rebel commandos to destroy the shield generator and leave the Death Star vulnerable to orbital assault."
The three triangular segments are designed with a hinge connecting the two side segments to the central piece. This allows the whole box to be opened up to display all three dioramas at once.
The practicality of displaying this way is that it will take up quite a bit of shelf space both in terms of its width, and in the fact the shelf needs to be deep enough to accomodate the central Paploo section. There is a part opened option where the two side panels are swept back a little which reduces the overall width, but leaves all three diorama panels visible.
Box Dimension : Open
Full Width 96m / 36.75 inches
Partial Open Width 78cm / 31 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
There is further artwork on the reverse of these opened panels with green glow added to the Forest Moon and Death Start artwork. It is truly beautiful, and a waste almost considering its on the back of a box.
The central segment containing Paploo and the speeder bike is accessed via the bottom flap of the segment where a number of tabs have to be slit to clear them of tape so the flap can be opened safely. I will say due to the shape and the number of tabs, doing this without any damage to the box will be difficult.
The diorama slides out as a complete piece, with Paploo and the Speeder Bike sat into a plastic tray in the centre. This central tray encompasses the stand for the speeder bike and the easiest way to free the bike is to turn the piece upside down and carefully remove or slit the tape holding the tabs in place until the unit lifts off.
Don't miss Paploo's spear on the right hand side which is held in by two plastic ties.
The cardboard diorama is simply plain cardboard on the sides, but there is probably a display piece in there with some work. You can open it up by cutting the tape on the right hand side which separates the base from the side piece.
Once the tray holding Paploo and the bike is out of the box you can pull off the stand from the bike. There are then a number of bands holding the bike in place, once these are snipped the bike can be lifted free. Paploo remains posed on the bike, held on with clear elasticated ties securing the hands to the handlebars. Don't worry, Paploo will go back on easily enough in his riding position.
Paint & Sculpt 4.0
Teebo looks fantastic with an individual face sculpt for the character with glossy black eyes as well as the nose and open mouth with bared teeth. The fur across the body is all sculpted detail and in great detail and executed well around the joints without upsetting the flow of the figure. Paploo is cast in the brown colour of his fur with the only body paint detail added to the hands and toes.
Paploo's hood is a rubbery piece and this is cast in its base tan colour with feathers and trophies added under the chin and above the head and these are then painted in a single colour and done neatly. Like a lot of the Black Series, a wash or weathering would have been nice here to bring out more detail on the hood including the stitching.
The final outfit section is a belt strap that is a further separate piece cast in rubbery plastic. It hangs unfixed around his waist. It features a knife in a sheath on the right hand side and some black paint is applied to the sheath in two circular panels, which is accurate to the movie prop. Sadly the knife is not removable.
The hood on Paploo is removable to reveal the full sculpted head underneath. These flexible rubber hoods and head pieces will be the root for Hasbro to bring us more Ewoks over time, and this is fine by me assuming these parts offer the variation for different Ewoks as well as their fur cover.
Paploo uses the buck from Teebo as expected although the head is a variant sculpt and further variation is provided by the hood and the weapons straps. He stands 4 inches tall and therefore in scale with the human figures like the Imperial Scout Trooper shown below.
The Speeder Bike has a brand new stand for this release. The triangular stand has gone and we now have a clear cloud like effect that is the same one as used on the Enfys Nest Speeder from Solo : A Star Wars Story. This new base gives a better aesthetic look, but you do lose the ability the old release had of displaying the bike at three varying heights by alternating the points of the triangular base.
The bike itself is almost identical to the older release, although the foot pedals seem to be sat a little higher. The paint work is neat and tidy with a brown base with gunmetal and silver brushed metallic components. Silver paint is used to add scratches and scrapes with a sand colour used on the saddle bag.
Paploo has one singular accessory, a two pronged spear that is cast like it was constructed from a sapling tree trunk. Detail is added underneath the prongs with some twine wrapping. There is also a fur section further down - these two are painted while the rest of the speak is left in the base light brown colouring.
The spear is screen accurate, but might have looked better if darker tones were used. It fits in either hand, and the articulation of Paploo will allow two handed poses.
The lack of the knife being a useable accessory is a shame, but aside from this there is nothing else I can think of to include with Paploo - other than the Speeder Bike of course.
The newly introduced Ewok buck has a total of 15 points of articulation. Paploo's articulation count is therefore good considering his stature, but the body shape has seen some of them changed from more mobile double joints to single pivots only.
Head : ball joint neck post top and bottom
Body : ball joint torso
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, single joint rotating knees, ankle rocker
The head is reasonably mobile on its double ended ball joint post and it can be rotated and tilted, which is great as an Ewok mannerism in the movie is the tilted head quizzical look. The body joint allows rotation of the torso and also allows a degree of lean forward and backward and side to side. While the arms are quite stubby they are fully mobile and the elbow in particular can bend well beyond 90 degrees. While they do not have a butterfly joint, the length of the weaponry and the articulation of the arms allows two handed poses with the spear.
The legs are also stubby, and will just about allow Teebo to sit. Balancing him in stances needs you to work with all three leg joints or a secure stance, but once posed Teebo stands fine. All the joints are secure and tight.
The one pose that is in place from the point the box is opened, is Paploo riding the Speeder Bike. This has to be disassembled to extract the parts from the packaging - but thankfully can be realised again quite easily. Paploo's hands grip the steering controls easily, using the rotation in the wrist to get them to the required angle.
Like we see on screen, Paploo's legs are too short to straddle the bike seat, so he sits just above the seat and leaning forward into the steering. This looks fine, but I would have liked a little bit more movement in the torso or neck so he could be looking fully forward.
It is worth noting that the Speeder Bike itself includes some articulated parts. These are a rotating cannon underneath the main chassis and the pivot joints on the two thrust panels at the back of the bike.
Looking first at the set, and the box for Heroes of Endor is glorious and I love the diorama settings for each panel. It is not overly robust, with a very slim cardboard on the sleeve. If you want to open it but keep the box and an option for repacking at a later date - then extreme care needs to be taken and you are unlikely to come out with the box completely unscathed. If you are keeping this boxed, then displaying it will require a significant shelf size to have it opened up. It is also a pity the glorious green artwork is on the rear of the opened box and not used more on the front facings of the box.
Paploo as a figure is an excellent sculpt, and despite it being a shared body with Teebo it looks significantly different and brings his own personality to the Black Series. The articulation work, and allows him to ride the Speeder Bike and the accessory is screen accurate - it is just a shame that the knife is fixed in the sheath. Paploo is, as we are lead to believe, exclusive solely to the Heroes of Endor set.
The Speeder Bike has not changed significantly, although I do like the new stand from a visual perspective - although you do lose the option or displaying at varying heights. With other Speeder Bike riders included in the set (Luke and Leia) I do hope Hasbro might consider a re-release of this one in the future too. Stick it in the same box as the Exclusive Wampa and sell it without a figure for collectors to choose how many they need to go on their Endor display.
Looking solely at Paploo and the Speeder Bike, I score them a total of 4.0
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...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars. black series, endor, exclusive, heroes of endor, return of the jedi, paploo, luke skywalker, princess leia, han solo