Hasbro and Target are killing it with their 2014 Holiday exclusives. Not only did we see a great Marvel Legends three-pack, but we get a very cool Star Wars Black Series set… one that actually takes its name kind of literally!
The Shadow Squad features newly deco’ed Imperial soldiers, now cast in all black “Shadow” armor. The team consists of a Shadow Stormtrooper and a Shadow Biker Scout, complete with a uniformly black Speeder Bike. The single color obviously makes both figures quite visually distinct, and there’s more going on than casting them both in all black plastic. The armor plates on both figures feature a nice gloss finish, while their uniforms underneath are actually a very dark shade of grey, adding depth and realism to each figure.
Each sculpt remains fantastic– these guys are loaded with useful articulation which makes posing very easy and effective. The black coloring actually brings out some subtle details in a way the typical white armored versions never did, thanks to some subtle yet striking silver, grey and red highlights scattered throughout the figures and the bike.
The troops are well armed, with a blaster, two rifles and the Scout’s ankle pistol, and all of the weapons are interchangeable, which adds to the unique feel of these Shadow troops. Since they’re about to become non-Canon within the Star Wars universe, I guess these guys can use whatever weapons they please!
The Biker Scout and Speeder are straight up repaints, but the new colorway is very effective, especially thanks to cool details like the Imperial logos on the chest armor and sides and front of the bike. The Shadow Trooper– true to his comic book appearance– is actually technically a Sandtrooper repaint, complete with his shoulder pauldron. While I’m happy to see this piece included, I do wish Hasbro had included the vastly superior Stormtrooper belt so this guy could holster his blaster.
That minor quibble non withstanding, I have no bigger issues with this cool looking and well thought out set. Much like the Marvel Legends box set, the Shadow Squad retails for $50, which is a very good deal, considering the Scout and Bike box set alone retails for $40. Considering this is a limited run store exclusive, and includes an entire extra figure for only ten bucks more, I’d call this a solid value. And with everything in the set primed and ready for army building, I think Hasbro and Target have a real winner on their hands.
I guess what I’m saying is… when this sucker goes down on clearance prices after Christmas… I’ll totally fight you for them!