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Star Wars Black Series – Chirrut Imwe

I cannot, for the life of me, properly remeber Chirrut Imwe. I keep wanting to go with Churrit Imwe, or Chimwe Irrut, or some backwards variation. Last week I commented on his partner Baze Malbus.

So Chirrut Imwe is the closes thing Rogue One has to a Jedi in it’s cast. Ok, technically Darth Vader is in the cast, but he’s kind of a minor character who mostly exists for fanservice. It’s never super clear if Chirrut is force attuned or anything, though given his martial arts skills adn that his character is blind, it seems likely. Unfortunately for Chirrut, he lives in a time without Jedi, so no one was able to train him. He is sort of a Jedi sympathizer monk of some sort.

Where Baze Malbus is kind of a stocky brick of a figure, Chirrut Imwe is considerably less restricted. This is great since he is sort of a martial artists character. He has a nice cloth skirt that allows his legs to still be posed in kicking or jumping poses without limiting the articulation. His torso doesn’t have anything particularly glaring that gets int he way of the arms either.

Chirrut comes with an small assortment of weapons. First is his staff weapon. It’s pretty straight forward. He also includes his crossbow, blaster, weapon thing. It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s basically a space rifle, but it has an extra handle piece that can slip over the barrel with little fold out bits that make it look sort of like a bow or a crossbow. It’s a laser gun though, so it doesn’t exactly shoot bolts. Then again, we are talking about a series that includes a Wookie that wields a bowcaster crossbow.

Chirrut Imwe is probably the most exciting figure to come out of the Rogue One series of figures. It’s a shame that he was hard to come by for a long time and it seems like a lot fo people kind of forgot Rogue One even was a thing.

Star Wars Black Series – Baze Malbus

Star Wars: Rogue One gave us a nice interesting ensemble cast of heroes. What it didn’t really produce was a particularly great line up of figures. A couple of the more interesting characters in the movie and figures are Baze Malbus and his partner Chirrut Imwe. Both of these figures were actually kind of hard to come by for a while, partially because wave 1 of the Rogue One waves sold incredibly poorly. For a good while, you basically were looking at paying a ridiculous mark up on either figure on the secondary market.

I’ve seen both show up at Five Below, at least in the states, so, they are considerably more affordable these days. This is extra nice since these guys certainly work better as a pair. Unfortunately for Baze Malbus, he is the weaker of the two.

The basic sculpt is pretty nice, his outfit is interesting and he has a nice stocky build that’s not too common in Star Wars figures. He also sports a pretty hefty backpack to support his heavy gun. While the backpack is a cool design, it really hinders this figure all around. It’s very heavy and Baze can hardly stand up on his own without falling over. His bulky design already hinders his pose-ability to begin with.

To top it off, his head suffers like most of the Rogue One figures with a very soft sculpt and paint job. There was definitely something weird going on with the production of thee figures that didn’t help them look exciting when on the shelves.

If you’re not a big Rogue One fan, you’re not really missing out on anything skipping Baze Malbus, but he does compliment Chirrut Imwe nicely in a display, and chances are both will be available together.

Star Wars Black Series – Darth Maul

In the same wave as Anakin, we’ve gotten a second much needed re-release of a very popular prequel trilogy character with Darth Maul. Darth Maul was number 2 in the main line of figures, part of the first wave of Black Series every released. He is also pretty popular, that kind of makes him a little hard to find.

For the most part, this is one of the more impressive Black Series figures I’ve picked up, mostly in part due to his array of accessories. To start off, there is his double bladed light saber. The blades are removable and it splits into two sabers. Nothing amazing, but having all those choices is really nice and it’s accurate to the films.

Second, he has a pair of macro binoculars. They look nice, but he can’t hold them and look through them while wearing his cloak. It’s been a bit since I have seen The Phantom Menance, but I am pretty sure he was wearing his cloak when he is seen using the binoculars.

Speaking of which, lastly, we have the cloak. A nice cloth goods cloak would have been perfect, but the design trick here is pretty clever so it’s kind of forgivable. Darth Maul comes with two heads, both are pretty much the same head, except that one has the cloak attached to it. The whole piece, head and cloak, is removable, and has proper arm holes for his arms and all that when attached. This is clever because it means the cloak can properly sandwich down onto Maul’s head and look right, without the head horns getting in the way.

Aside from the accessories, the body is a pretty standard Jedi style body. I don’t believe it’s just a straight repaint or anything, but they all wear the same sort of tunic outfit, even though Maul’s is black. He has a nice range of motion as well, which is good given how acrobatic Darth Maul’s fighting style is.

Star Wars Black Series – Anakin Skywalker

Star Wars has been on a bit of a low point lately for toys. Not really a low point of quality or anything, if feels more like a low point of interest. The last few movies did alright, but not really amazing, and a lot fo the character designs were kind of bland. Lately they have been tapping into some of the older movies, and part of that, thankfully, involves re-releasing some of the previously release Black Series figures in the Archives line.

This isn’t a new line or anything, it’s been going on for a while, but it’s been getting better. They aren’t straight re-releasing figures for starters, they tend to have better paint apps and modern face print technology. Basically, they tend to be better. Anakin Skywalker was originally figure number 16 in the Black Series, released way back in 2014 or so.

This particular iterations is based on his appearance in The Revenge of the Sith. The pinnacle moment for Anakin, when he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. Though he doesn’t have a red light saber, Anakin didn’t have a red saber anyway, he does have an alternate “Evil head”. The second head is similar to the main head, though the pain apps make him look a bit more pale and he is scowling a bit more. Both looks good though, using the more modern print tech.

The only other accessory is his light saber. Like a lot of Star Wars figures, the blade is removable and the hilt can be hung on his belt. One thing of note, the blade and hilt feel a lot more rubbery than previous light sabers. The older ones are a little bendy, likely mostly to keep them from breaking easily, but this saber in particular seems really rubbery more than soft plasticey. It holds it’s shape and works already, but I kind of worry about sagging over time, which happens a lot with swords that aren’t real stiff.

The base figure is very similar to other Jedi releases, probably the same mold even, but comparing him to Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan, he somehow is slightly better articulated. I couldn’t really get Obi-Wan to hold his sword with two hands properly, but Anakin could pull off a few two handed poses. He still can’t do anything real dynamic with any two handed poses, which is a bit of a bummer. The upper arms get caught up on the chest tunic too much.

I had been a little worried that Black Series was going to completely abandon the older movies for a while but they have really been pushing back into them. I’m glad they have re-released Anakin here, he’s one I’ve been wishing I had in my collection.

S.H. Figuarts – Sakura Kasugano

When playing Street Fighter, I have always been a fan of the “Ryu Family” of heroes. Ryu, Ken, Sakura, Akuma, that sort. They tend to have a nice balance with speed and power. That said, I also kind of prefer Sakura, for being a bit faster.

All of the other Street Fighter figures I have are from SOTA Toys’ old line. For the most part they are pretty good figures, even their Sakura, but the Figuarts Sakura just generally looked a lot nicer, so I’ve been wanting to pick her up for a while. She is definitely an upgrade. I may have to look into a Figuarts Ryu to go with her, because my SOTA Ryu has a broken part and well, I like Ryu.

I’m not really here to talk about Ryu though. In the usual Figuarts style, Sakura is pretty crazy poseable. nothing really gets in the way, though the skirt does limit her leg movement a bit at the waist. She has two pairs of hands, one set of fists and one open pair. The open hands are nice as they work for a relaxed open hand look and for throwing Hadoken fireballs. Speaking of which, she includes a Hadoken fireball accessory and a stand for it. She also has a few extra face options, which ass fit nice and tightly. Lastly she has a pair of cardboard pieces that make make up the scene of her fighting stage.

What’s more glaring about the accessories is the lack of some things. I don’t usually mention stands in reviews, but it’s worth noting that Sakura does not include a Tamashii Stage stand aside from the one for her Hadoken. A few more hands would have been nice as well, though I’m not real sure what else she needs. Maybe a pointing hand of some kind? The SOTA figure had a backpack and book accessory, something that I believe shows up during the fight intro moments. She kind of just feels really light on accessories compared to other Figuarts. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s notable.

Overall, I really like her. I’m glad I finally picked her up, she one of my favorite Street Fighter characters and she’s a really nice figure.