Despite the fact that Star Wars is a merchandising powerhouse, even chief toymaker Hasbro struggles with release patterns to accompany the latest big screen release. We saw a few hiccups toward the end of the cycle for 2015’s The Force Awakens, as latter waves of action figures saw only limited release… and as of the end of 2016, Rogue One— the first, ever “Star Wars Story”– experienced a similar distribution problem.
It’s clear Hasbro intended to get ahead of this both years, offering a 3.75″ action figure four-pack slated to drop in the spring following its source material’s respective theatrical release. This box set would, essentially, cap off the previous film’s toy line, and give some breathing room before the cycle began anew with the subsequent theatrical release. It worked pretty well with The Force Awakens, as the Encounter at Takodana four-pack provided a breath of fresh air during a six-month dry spell between Force Awakens’ reign and Rogue One’s debut at retail last Fall. It worked less well this past year, as the Rogue One-themed Jedha Revolt box set hit shelves long before the final wave of single carded figures.
And even now, more than a month after the home release of Rogue One, the final wave of action figures remains, by and large, in limbo. Thankfully, some retailers did receive them, and in turn so did I. So I present a look at Galen Erso, Lt. Selfa, Admiral Raddus, and Rebels‘ Fenn Rau… the final releases from Hasbro’s Rogue One collection.
It’s a shame this wave will likely wind up so hard to find, because each figure in the lineup is fantastic. As a die hard
obsessive fan of Mads Mikkelsen, it’s probably no big surprise Galen is my favorite of the bunch. He features an all new sculpt– the first sporting the newly revealed Imperial Science Officer uniform, along with a solid portrait of Mikkelsen– and he effectively rounds out the core cast of characters from the film in toy form. Jyn’s dad may not have been part of the Rogue One team per se, but he was integral to both the film’s plot and the Rebel’s plans, so I’m very happy to see him join the toy line. I’m especially glad Galen is featured in his Imperial/ Eadu uniform, instead of his peasant robes from the flashback at the start of the film, as this look allows him to fit in with the majority of the Rogue One collection in a way his other outfit would not. Galen includes an Imperial Mouse Droid, a blaster, and a zipline accessory, which– while not fitting the character in the slightest– delights me all the same by allowing me to imagine Hannibal Lecter himself making his way boldly down a zipline, perhaps in some sort of team building exercise. It’s a thought that leaves me feeling all warm and gooey.
If you know me at all, you likely know if there’s one thing I love almost as much as Mads Mikkelsen, it’s weird-ass Star Wars aliens like the Mon Calamari. So both Rogue One the movie and now Hasbro’s toy line have delivered for me yet again with the release of Admiral Raddus. The cold-weather Mon Calamari Rebel is perfectly captured in Hasbro’s sculpt, which employs the same cool mouth articulation as The Force Awakens’ Admiral Ackbar figure, along with a film accurate teal uniform and icy blue skin, which offsets him nicely in comparison to other Mon Calamari action figures. Raddus played a small yet significant role in Rogue One, so, once again, I’m happy to see him honored with the toy treatment.
Another Rebel featured briefly in Rogue One was Lt. Taidu Sefla, the ill fated trooper who loses his life in an attempt to arm the master switch on Scarif. The film featured a number of subtle, cool Rebel soldier designs, which incorporated elements of both the troopers seen in Episode IV and real-life soldiers from the Vietnam War, and Sefla was one of the best representatives. His action figure, unfortunately, is kind of a mixed bag. I love elements of this guy, like his removable helmet and all new rifle… but Hasbro’s sculpt limits any opportunity to troop build a Rebel army due to the figure’s same-sculpt accents such as Sefla’s vest and even his portly body type. This figure could have been a golden opportunity for Hasbro to release a generic-ish Rebel trooper which would entice us all to army build, but instead Sefla winds up way too specific to garner any repeat purchases.
Rounding out the set is a new Rebels-style figure, Fenn Rau. The Mandalorian leader has made a name for himself as one of the most intriguing characters in the Rebels mythos, so being tapped for Hasbro’s toy line makes a lot of sense. Rau’s all new sculpt fits his on screen appearance quite well, and I appreciate that he sports a removable jetpack AND helmet, two details which Hasbro could have easily ignored. Rau’s Mandalorian aesthetic allows him to fit in perfectly with both Sabine from Rebels and Pre Vizsla from the Clone Wars collection.
Rogue One Wave 4 provides an overall great assortment of characters to Hasbro’s lineup, and in their own right, I feel each one is well worth the effort to add to your collection. I’m hoping that as we approach The Last Jedi, Hasbro learns from their scheduling issues over the past few years, and maps out distribution for their future figures more effectively. If they keep producing toys of the caliber seen in this hard to find assortment, it would be a shame if any kid or collector missed out on awesome toys such as these, simply based on bad timing.
Hasbro confirmed Rogue One Wave 4 will only see a limited release. That means if you find any available through specialty retailers, I’d recommend you get them while you can. They’re totally worth it.