Welcome to our review of the 6 inch action figure of L3-37 from Star Wars, The Black Series, L3-37 is the "self made" droid who travels with Lando Calrissian in Solo, A Star Wars Story. She was released in 2018 as part of wave 19, the final wave of that year. She is number 73 in the phase 3 (red) packaging.
L3-37 arrives in the standard phase 3 red line packaging, numbered 73. The character name is simply given as L3-37 with no reference to the Solo movie as such - this is of course standard for the Black Series releases.
The Titus artwork is quite emotive considering L3-37 is a droid and he has captured her looking almost mournful, although that might be just my imagination and because I know about the character and her role in the film. Either way the detailing on the illustration is impressive, especially on the various parts of the neck.
You see more detail on the reverse where there is a larger image of the illustration, this is overwritten with some basic background text for L3-37 - taken as usual from StarWars.com
"A "self-made droid" build from astromech and protocol parts, L3-37 is an enlightened navigator who cares deeply about droid rights."
The text on this packaging seems smaller than usual, and there is a big chunk of the StarWars.com bio text cut off - this is a shame as it goes on to talk about her link to the Millennium Falcon and the whole Droids Rights movement.
The figure is accessed in the usual way and as per normal is not strapped into the tray, just held in by the shape. Be careful extracting her from said packaging as she is a bit more fragile than usual figures with her slim limbs and various wired parts.
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
Up until now, there hasn't really been any stand-out droids in the Black Series line. While Troopers usually are hits, the droids have been a bit "meh" from the undersized R2 units to the less than shiny C3-PO. While K-2SO came close, it is this release of L3-37 that has really set the bar for sculpting and painting of a droid figure.
The astromech droid head is cast to include the triangular symbol on top, and this section is painted in silver with green detailing. The rest of the head is the base plastic cream with some fantastic wiring detail to one side that hangs down from the head and is painted in silver, red and yellow.
The rest of the body is well executed also, being first cast in the off white plastic and then connected by various robotic constructs and parts with exposed wiring and workings. Checkout the stomach section for the level of detail on the inner workings and wire - brilliant.
The paint application is incredible with a green panel theme throughout, silver and grey on the workings and various colouring for the wires. The body is also dry brushed in parts to weather L3 and give her that worn and Galaxy weary look we see in the film. Up close this is a little patchy and there are areas you'd think would be distressed that aren't - the bottom of the legs being a good example - but we are of course nitpicking.
L3-37 is devoid of accessories of any kind and therefore we can't mark this segment. I have struggled to think of anything she could include, and my best idea was an extra "head" that Lando and Han could carry ready to plug into the Falcon?
I guess the level of paint apps used the budget for the figure.
L3's articulation is anything but standard, and after checking I am going to go with a figure of 15 points of articulation.
The head is jointed initially at the top of the neck where the Astromech dome is connected. This can rotate and tilt. We then have a second joint at the base of the neck giving further rotation and pivot action as far as the torso will allow.
The arms are essentially a ball joint plugged directly into the torso. They can swing out to about 45 degrees before the upper arm rounded shoulder hits the torso and impedes the movement. Being a rudimentary joint the movement is also springy and the arms don't always hold and behave as you'd like them.
The elbows are odd in that they do not bend at all. They are certainly designed too, but wiring on both keeps them straight. The same elbow joint does then rotate on a circular pad between upper and lower arms. The wrists are the usual traditional pivot which rotates and bends.
Moving back to the body and the torso is jointed where the upper section meets the stomach wiring and parts. This is a ball joint so the torso rotates and L3 can lean forward and back on the joint.
The legs are a similar joint to the shoulders, with a socket in the leg this time pushed onto a ball on the hips. Once again movement is restricted by the large rounded top to the legs and the mass of connected wiring. Beneath this is a knee that is more of a pivot allowing the lower leg to bend forward and backward on a peg.
We finish with the biggest issue on articulation (and sculpt to a degree) and that is the feet. These are jointed to the lower leg by a pivot which means they aren't rockers and instead rotate around the base of the leg. Being true to the screen these are mismatched and the surface area that is in contact with the ground is minimal. As L3 is also so light, standing her and keeping her stood are big issues with the figure. There isn't even a peg hole in the foot to help her by dropping her on an aftermarket stand.
All of this makes L3-37 a wonderful figure to look at, but a difficult one to display in anything outside a neutral pose.
L3-37 is a figure I cannot find much fault with on looks, the painting and sculpting are excellent. I am not even bothered about the lack of any accessories - it's clear to see where the money was spent on this figure.
She looks brilliant alongside Lando, or other Droids like the Disney 2-pack.
The issue is sadly the articulation, and specifically the ability to stand. I am no figure designer, but using some licence and making the feet bigger would certainly have helped. Perhaps also putting some weight into the lower legs to help balance.
L3-37 is not a bad figure and I would recommend all collectors add her to the Solo collection if you are going in that direction. I score her a 3/5 and would hope Hasbro can iron out the articulation (or have done so already) on these types of droids before Grievous and the Battle Droids hit final production.