Star Wars Black Series 40th Anniversary Wave 1 Figures
I previously looked at the Gamestop/EB Games R5-D4 and Star Wars Celebration Exclusive X-Wing Pilot Luke and was awaiting the first wave of these figures to come in from Wes over at Silver Screen Toys & Collectibles and they did about a week and a half ago!
For those of you who are out of the loop and don’t know anything about these figures (which would be weird if you are coming here to check them out), Hasbro decided to release figures on these large cards as a throwback to the old Kenner cards the vintage figures came on, to celebrate Star Wars’ 40th anniversary this year.
The six figures in this series or wave are all previously released figures from the Black Series. There are a couple of updates/differences for a few of the figures where others seem to be almost the same figure. I’ll be taking a look at each figure and toss in a comparison picture to their regular Black Series figure release.
I also mention in the video at the end of this feature that is embedded from my YouTube channel, while I’m not completely colour-blind, I do have difficulty with shading and I get colours confused some times (like blue/purple, red/green). If I don’t mention that there’s a slight shade difference or I’ve missed a colour, it’s because I have a hard time making it out and it didn’t scream out at me to mention.
This figure’s first Black Series release came out in the first quarter of 2016. I didn’t have any issue scoring one of these, but I heard many did.
While the similarities are numerous on this 40th anniversary figure when compared to the original release, I find the more recent figure has slightly more cartoon-like face (which does look good) and that his skin tone is even lighter. I think the cartoon look comes from the larger eyes.
This figure’s first Black Series release came out in December, 2016/January, 2017. The paint app on the face and the overall sculpt was completely destroyed by fans online when it was revealed it was so different than the prototype. Once the figure hit the shelves, it wasn’t as bad as the first photos that were shared/leaked, but it still wasn’t the best and many were still disappointed.
This take on the figure’s paint on the face makes up for the last go-around. Unfortunately, there have been reports of people getting their Leia figures on these 40th anniversary cards with the same paint application as the boxed figure. Thankfully mine was great.
This figure’s first Black Series release came out as a SDCC exclusive in 2016 and I’ve taken a look at him HERE. He was then released in the Black Series standard packaging with only a lightsaber and this is basically the same figure on a different card. I like how the robe is displayed on this figure compared to the other release.
This figure’s first Black Series release came out in the fall of 2013. Han is in high demand as he’s packed one per case so completists, and those looking for him who missed out the first time around, are hunting him down.
I like how Han is packed with his gun holster on while the face on this one is better, too. He looks more youthful to me and how the eyes stand out. I mention a few more slight differences in the video below.
This figure’s first Black Series release came out in the second quarter/early third quarter of 2013. For some reason, this little droid commanded a huge price online. Seeing how I scored him when he first came out, I paid no attention to what he was going for until people started clamoring for this edition.
Funny thing is, this R2-D2 is also in high demand because he’s only packed one per case (like Han) where the other three figures are two to a case, making them easier to find.
Darth Vader with the Legacy Kit
This figure’s first Black Series release came out in the fall/third quarter of 2014. Fans were immediately online to nit-pick every single detail and point out what they thought was wrong with the figure and blast the soft-goods. I thought he was a decent figure for the price and scale. Hell, it was the first Black Series figure I bought a second of just so I could have him loose.
Note: For those who don’t know me or have read some previous features of mine, many of the figures I collect – especially Star Wars – stay in their packages as I like to collect them that way and they’re easier for me to display so I won’t have this out of the package to take look at the actual display shelf. Even if I did open these figures, I have absolutely no room anywhere in my house/man-cave to be able to put this.
The people behind the line listened to the fans in some capacity and tried to make this Darth Vader figure better, differentiating him enough from the original release which makes the larger price-tag affiliated with this figure and set and bit better to swallow.
In addition to the Darth Vader action figure, inside this large box is a display for all those who open their figures. This large stand pays homage to the early-bird display that Kenner sent out way back in 1977/8 as the figures weren’t ready for retail when the movie hit.
After getting these in hand, I’m happy with the better paint job on Leia and how Darth Vader turned out. I think this is a good idea to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the franchise but I’ll be even more stoked when I get the second wave that’s just starting to creep out into stores and should be everywhere by June. The reason being there are some figures being released that haven’t showed up in the Black Series line yet. While things are sometimes slow to hit Canada, stay tuned for my look at them as soon as I get them.
As always, here’s my video about the figures.