With Star Wars: The Force Awakens destroying box office records as if they were Star Destroyers and retailers still selling through many Star Wars products as fast as they can stock them, it should come as no surprise that Hasbro’s Black Series is chugging right along. The next wave features three more new Force Awakens figures, Resistance pilot (and Beastie Boys namesake) Ello Asty, the First Order’s sinister General Hux, and a Snowtrooper. This trio all feature some very nice, fully unique sculpts, and while there may be the odd stylistic choice by Hasbro’s team here and there, overall they are all welcome new additions to this toy line.
Ello Asty is really great. Our first alien pilot, he features a sculpt entirely separate from fellow pilot Poe Dameron, and in many ways Asty is an improvement. His flight suit is a more accurate shade of orange-red, and his chest gear is a little more well defined, which helps make the figure pop visually. Asty’s bull-like head is packed with personality, and his uniquely shaped helmet fits perfectly. The clear orange visor matches up just right with Asty’s small, wide set eyes, and the helmet even includes the “Born To Ill” tag on the side, completing his status as personified a Beastie Boys’ reference. Asty didn’t end up with much screen time in The Force Awakens, but he makes for one damn fine action figure, all the same.
The first time I saw the latest Star Wars movie, I found myself let down by General Hux, but the character grew on me as I became more familiar with the film. I’m still hoping he gets a little more presence in the next Episodes, but Domnhall Gleeson’s icy demeanor makes Hux the perfect counter balance to Kylo Ren and his temper tantrums. Hux’s Black Series figure conveys his buttoned-up, stiff nature thanks to the wise choice to give him a vinyl coat instead of a soft goods one. It lends a great silhouette to the figure, and the uniform’s silver highlights and high gloss gloves and boots break up the monotony of Hux’s black-on-black style.
Hasbro did a solid job with the Gleeson portrait, although I was very disappointed that Hux’s hat is not removable. This feels like another cheap-out, not unlike the molded-on helmet of the Resistance Trooper, and while I’m honestly okay with it in the 3.75″ line, these sorts of short cuts don’t feel as palatable in a higher-priced collector line such as the Black Series. I have a hunch we’ll see a hat-less Hux, probably without his overcoat, at some point down the line. Until then, aside from the bad decision about his headgear, Hasbro’s Hux is totally solid.
The First Order Snowtrooper might be the best figure in this wave. He sports a great sculpt with lots of useful articulation, and a very smart choice of materials. Like Hux, the Snowtrooper’s skirt is made of soft vinyl instead of fabric, which establishes a striking silhouette while remaining pliable enough to not restrict the moving pieces. The figure’s black accents are cleanly applied, but it’s the varying finishes, from high gloss armor to matte jumpsuit underneath, that truly makes this figure both realistic and surprisingly eye catching, for essentially a figure decked out head-to-toe in white.
I think the new Snowtrooper design is one of the strongest among the already-pretty-cool-looking First Order, and the Black Series figure certainly does this look justice. There’s really only one reason not to buy the Snowtrooper… the Toys R Us exclusive Snowtrooper Officer. This figure is identical to the Wave 4 version, except for the added red shoulder pauldron. Thanks to the ball neck on all Black Series figures, though, the Trooper’s head can pop off with ease, and the pauldron removed. This means the TRU edition of the figure includes, essentially, an extra accessory, which you can easily swap onto any of your other First Order figures if you want to mix up the ranks of your army builders.
Hasbro continues to knock it out of the park with their Force Awakens Black Series. This latest trio are among the best in the line so far, and– even if these characters didn’t get the most screen time– they help to round out and diversify this collection.