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.
Han and Leia are packed and posed together in the left hand segment against a backdrop piece of the Imperial Bunker Door on Endor. The piece is wedge shaped and has a 3D effect with the side of the bunker an additional cardboard segment to the right of the piece. Removing it from the outer box is via the back wide panel which is taped in place by one circular tab. Cutting this will allow the flap to open and the piece to slide out.
Han and Leia are posed in a clear tray that is then attached through the cardboard backing diorama and secured by tabs on the back. If you are trying to keep the packaging or the diorama then you will have to carefully cut the tape at the back and then slide out the tray from the four slots.
You will also need to remove the baggie that is on the far right up against the wall of the diorama. This is taped into position and contains the safety notice slip, and more importantly Han's Trenchcoat and Leia's helmet.
The backing cardboard wedge is a pretty nice design and feature for display, although it does have plain cardboard surround and the slits where the figures were attached are also quite visible. With some work I can see this being a nice backdrop to a shelf piece - its almost a perfect width for an Ikea Billy or Detolf.
The tray piece, once separated from the box, is holding in Han and Leia by means of clear plastic ties. These are not easy to cut from behind as they dont wrap through fully. You will need to work round each figure and trim them carefully at the arms and legs.
Paint & Sculpt 4.5
We will start with the base figure for Leia, the Rebel uniform we see in the briefing before they head to Endor. The head sculpt is a fantastic likeness for Leia in Return of the Jedi and the sculpt is enhanced by the application of the face print technology. The hair piece is braided with two braids and then swept round at the back. There is sadly an area at the back of this hair piece towards the rear of the head that shows as flesh coloured.
The uniform and body are well executed with the rebel rank insignia badge on the right of the tunic. The blue trousers are trimmed in a yellow stripe and the boots a gloss black with painted tan heel. The belt, as we will see, is an individual piece cast in black plastic and with a working holster.
Leia arrives with her Poncho in place, posed in the box with Han at the Imperial Bunker doorway. The belt holds the soft goods poncho in place, and the clasp on the belt is cleverly hidden behind the pouch at the front. The Poncho is a soft patterned piece with a hole for the head and a hood piece behind this. The hood, like the one on Luke, is stitched in place so it cannot be used but is kept in place. The head hole is trimmed in a folded collar.
The belt wraps around Leia's waist at the back and then you slot the ends of the belt through two slots on the front of the poncho to hold it in place. This does leave a lot of loose free flowing fabric at the back and sides.
The flow of the poncho is perhaps not as fluid as some of the Jedi robes we've seen and it might have been nice to allow the belt to tie up the back piece too and maybe some additional stitching at the sides to keep the arms a bit more in check. The collar feels too big too and I can not get it to sit naturally around the neck
Leia is armed with a long barrelled blaster, the same model as used in the A New Hope Leia. It is cast in black plastic and has a tiny silver element added to the very end of the barrel. It fits into the right hand of Leia where there is a trigger finger for a full grip. When not in use it goes into the holster on Leia's belt.
The final piece, and giving Leia a third distinctive look, is her Rebel helmet. This is cast in a tan rubber with green and brown painted panels - some silver scratching and damage and a red and yellow circular motif. While it looks the same as the one that comes with Luke, it is a touch smaller to fit Leia's head.
There is a chin strap that holds the helmet in place. This is a soft rubber and fastens on the right hand side of the helmet by way of a plug and socket. Getting this into place when the helmet is on the head is tough. The shape and fitting for the head is snug and perhaps over time it is tight enough to give some rub to the hair piece. Once worn it looks the part and is not oversized as is often the case with these type of hats & helmets.
Leia has 17 points of articulation, including the newer neck format with joints top and bottom and therefore no ugly pivot visible on the front of the neck.
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
Body : ball joint waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, single joint rotating knees, ankle rocker
All the joints work as they should with a good level of bend available on the elbows and full motion on the shoulders.
The legs too are fully mobile, although it seems one leg may be a touch longer than the other and I had to bend Leia's left knee to get her to stand straight. Leia will kneel and sit, and the joints are secure enough to keep her in place once posed. The joints do not however feel as robust as some figures and there is less secure ratcheting around the ankles - looseness may therefore creep in over time.
The Poncho, being soft good and with no real tailoring around the arms, has no impact on the articulation.
Like Luke, one of the questions for the Endor Leia is if she can be posed to ride the Speeder Bike that is included in the set. The answer is yes, and very well. Unlike Luke, the Leia has been cast with the holes in the right place on her feet to line up with the pegs on the Speeders foot plates. The hands hold the steering veins and then the body articulation - including that waist joint - line up to sit Leia in the seat. Her head even angles up enough to be looking where she is going.
She looks the part too riding the Speeder, and I was chuffed to find that the Speeder also allowed the Luke to sit behind Leia for that part of the Speeder Bike chase to be recreated. The only issue for many of us now will actually be a shortage of Speeders - and I would love to see Hasbro release the Speeder in a single box like the recent exclusive Wampa.
Leia is a wonderful looking figure with three distinct looks in the box for three parts of the Return of the Jedi story. The rebel uniform is great. The poncho works to a point but needs work to secure the excess fabric. Articulation is fantastic and the figure has been designed to ride the Speeder Bike included in the set.
Leia may be the best of the Heroes of Endor Set, or at least joint first with Paploo. I score her a very impressive total of 4.5
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