One of the secret weapons of the last two years’ worth of Star Wars 3.75″ figures from Hasbro has been the two-packs, which have been used to great effect to release more side characters and welcome troop builders to the toy line. The Rogue One-themed 2016 line continues with a second wave featuring two all-new two-packs, delivering Baze Malbus and a Stormtrooper officer to the Rogue One collection, as well as a Rebels-era Darth Maul and the long-awaited Seventh Sister Inquisitor to the animated style series.
I really like all four of these additions. We’ve known about Seventh Sister and Maul for a long time now, and it’s great to finally see them find a release. Yes, it might be a little late to debut the Inquisitor so many months after her last appearance in the Rebels Season Two finale, but she certainly made her mark on the TV show, while also serving as another strong female character to break up the perpetual maleness of the Star Wars canon (and toy line) pre-Disney. It’s smart that Hasbro released her and Maul in a versus two-pack, inspired by the last finale of the show, as it makes both figures feel more relevant as a tribute to that moment in time.
The Seventh Sister is an all new sculpt, and she hits the mark to her animated appearance perfectly. Despite her slim, small proportions, she is packed with details, both sculpted and accessorized. While her conical helmet is permanently attached to her head, the Inquisitor features a removable face plate that provides two distinct looks for the figure. She also includes one of her drones, an excellent in-scale replica which features a swivel between the head and legs… which also serves as a peg to detach the head and plug it into the Sister’s back for storage as seen in the show. The only thing that holds this figure back from being perfect is her lightsaber. Instead of sculpting a new gyroscopic saber scaled to her petite hands, the Sister’s weapon is identical to the Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother’s. This means it’s too big to fit naturally (or at all, really) in her hands. I get the need to save on tooling dollars somewhere, but this figure is so well crafted otherwise, this obviously cost-saving choice stands out all the more.
Our new Rebels-style Darth Maul is another solid animated-style addition to the line. He looks appropriately aged compared to the Clone Wars Maul figure, and his new robotic legs and spiked twin-sided lightsaber match the animated design perfectly. There’s a creepiness to Maul’s piercing eyes, with or without the removable hood, which makes the figure quite striking, which is only enhanced by the now-familiar black and red tattoo pattern that adorns the dark master’s body. I appreciate the removable hood, even though wearing it while shirtless is off model from the TV show (and also kind of silly in general)… but I’m okay with it because it feels like Hasbro is splitting whether to release a less visually interesting Rebels Maul wearing his plain black shirt, or the more dynamic shirtless, tattoo-covered look. Opting for the more fun, toyetic appearance is fine by me, and I will happily leave the rubber hood in the accessory drawer, while also appreciating its snug and natural fit atop Maul’s horns.
The new Rogue One two-pack is also a solid release. While I don’t know much about Rebel ally Baze Malbus, he does sport a very cool (and VERY classic Star Wars) aesthetic, and his all new sculpt captures the look quite well. I like the figure’s heavy gunner rig– which includes a removable backpack and a segmented connector cable attaching it to the hand-held cannon– and the Wen Jiang portrait is really strong, especially for this small scale.
I will never complain about an extra Stormtrooper, so the inclusion of an orange pauldron-ed officer alongside Baze is a great choice. It not only adds another very nice classic Stormtrooper to the collection, but distinguishes itself with the full pauldron (unlike the truncated version included as an action feature with the single carded figure). Honestly, I’d be perfectly fine if Hasbro kept packing random troopers with each and every new two-pack release– it’s a great strategy by which they ensure additional sales while collectors can casually amass troop builders while introducing more new characters to their collections. If that’s not a win-win, I don’t know what is.
Target is the first retailer to start receiving the new wave of two-packs, though I’ve heard Toys R Us stores are now stocking these releases as well. These latest two-packs include undeniably nice new figures, whether you’re into the animated style Rebels, building Rogue One’s team of Rebels, expanding your Imperial army, or simply appreciating really great Star Wars toys in the most classic scale and style.