Star Wars: The Black Series – SDCC 2017 Exclusives

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Here we are at the end of September and I finally get to showcase the Star Wars Black Series Hasbro had for sale at San Diego Comic Con back in July.  Hasbro had the three Star Wars exclusives on sale during the first week of September and I got them about a week and a half after ordering.

All three of these are available currently at retail (or should be, depending on how well stocked your local stores are).  I’ve already looked at some of these figures in their regular Black Series packaging and I’ll provide the links below so you can compare them, if you’d like.   The video embedded at the end also features some comparisons.

 

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) and Rey (Jedi Training) 2 Pack

This two pack allowed fans to be the first to purchase the newest versions of Luke Skywalker and Rey way before Force Friday.  The figures have a plastic slipcase over the packaging they’re snugly in.  The packaging is like a booklet as it opens in the middle to reveal both figures.  I think the presentation here is a cool idea but people who couldn’t get this aren’t missing that much because both figures, and their accessories, are the exact same as the retail figures. You can check out my look at those retail figures here.

Rey has better paint on her face than the retail exclusive – well, mine at least.  The figure comes with Luke’s lightsaber, her gun, and her staff.  I think the figure is well done and the sculpt is pretty good.

This Luke also has a better paint job on the face than my retail one, although the right pupil is a bit wonky.  You can only really notice it if you’re looking up close.  I’ve seen some customizers repaint this figure and it’s amazing what people can do to make them look really life-like.

 

Grand Admiral Thrawn

This exclusive wowed many as soon as it was announced.  The oversized packaging has a translucent mini slip cover that ties everything together.  The two snakes (his Chimera symbol) on it are perfectly placed and the symmetrical look is gorgeous.  On the back of the slip cover, there is a description of Thrawn’s role in the Star Wars universe.

For me, I’m happy that Thrawn ended back up in Star Wars cannon.  He was introduced in media when I was a teen, particularly the Heir to the Empire book (and others) by Timothy Zahn. I still have my original EU 3 3/4″ Thrawn figure and it was the first figure I tracked down in that series way back when.

When you open the packaging up, you get this huge diorama of Thrawn’s office from Star Wars: Rebels.  This is an awesome way to make a fan base salivate, especially people that collect the Black Series figures MIB, like me.  Sorry, easy for me to display this way.

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There are a plethora of accessories here.  The first is a chipped stone statue.  I think I read somewhere on one of the pages I go to (I’m sure it was the Fwoosh) that said the stone may be an homage to the stone in the movie The Dark Crystal that the Skeksis used during their Trial By Stone competition to crown a new emperor.

I’m not really sure what the other thing is but I read it’s called a Kalikori and it’s an heirloom from Hera’s family.  I really have to really binge watch Rebels.

You also get a cup (I’m not sure the significance of that), a lightsaber, a Clone Trooper helmet, and a Temple Guard mask.  The salamander/lizard statues are a throwback to the books where Thrawn captured creatures called Ysalamiri.  They had the power to interfere with The Force.

The figure itself is identical to the one at retail.  You can see for yourself with my look at it here.  Thrawn comes with his blaster pistol but for the exclusive, it is inserted into the holster.  I really like the colours of the figure and the white outfit really helps all the other colours pop on the figure, especially his skin.  The face sculpt is well done, too. The raised eyebrow makes me think he knows what The Rock is cookin’.

If you told me five years ago we’d have this character in the Black Series, I would have scoffed.  Hasbro really gave the red carpet treatment to Thrawn and I think many Star Wars fans and collectors appreciated the effort that went into this.

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The X-34 Landspeed with Tatooine Luke

We got this version of Luke in the first in the Black Series in 2016 and then a re-release a few months later in the 40th Anniversary wave.  With this exclusive (and retail set), we get another Tatooine Luke but he comes with the huge 6″ scale Landspeeder and more accessories.

As mentioned, I’m a MIB collector with this line and this was the version I wanted hell or high water because I love the window box packaging. It shows the vehicle and the figure clearly and I like how they have Luke driving it.  The box is hefty, solid, and I’m sure it will hold up over time.  That’s the kind of MIB packaging I can get behind!

The side of the box features a little write-up on Luke and the Landspeeder while the back showcases some schematics in some kind of language.  It’s quite a beautiful presentation.

I apologize for some of the pictures that seem a little blurry or have a bit of reflection.  The window plastic makes it a tad difficult to get really clear pictures.

As you can tell, this figure has a new head sculpt and I think it’s an improvement over the other version of the figure we have gotten.  It’s too bad his hands aren’t on the steering device.

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I really like the look of the vehicle.  The wave of nostalgia that hits me when I look at it is almost euphoric.  I never owned a 3 3/4″ version of this when I was a kid so owning this vehicle now makes that young kid still in me very happy.

I love the various paint on the turbine areas, the hood, and around the outside of the body.  If you open yours up, the panels on the turbines open so you can see all the inner workings of the vehicle.  The hood also opens up as well.  That’s the crappy thing about being a MIB collector – I can’t appreciate the work people did in the hidden areas with my own eyes.  Thank goodness for the other excellent sites I go to (that I mention in my “About Me” section of the site).

The accessories Luke comes with are the same lightsaber and binoculars as the first two releases but it also comes with Luke’s big rifle, a hat, and poncho.  At first, when I was starting to film my video for this when I got this set in (with the limited time I have to do my vids), I barely noticed these accessories in the background.  At first I thought there was something like a garage door opener because the side of the box looks like an automatic door that opens and closes.  Silly me!

There are even spots for the rifle and the binoculars on the ship. The rifle hooks on to the right side and the binoculars fit in a compartment on the back.  All these accessories come with the retail release except I read the poncho that comes with this figure is made of a more “high end” material.

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The SDCC version also features a spinning turbine for the engine that is activated by a button where the retail version doesn’t have that feature.  I’ve read that the retail version doesn’t feature the same amount of paint applications as the exclusive but when I’ve read other reviews and viewed pictures, I’m not really sure that rings true.  If anyone can shed some light on what the difference in paint application is, that would be great.

It would be great to get the retail version of this to display and match up with the huge Tie Fighter and its packaging (and when I get Rey and her Speeder), but my money needs to go to other collectibles.  Exclusive or retail, this is definitely a must-have in your collection.

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I think Hasbro delivered again this year with their exclusives and it’s great that fans of these figures have the opportunity to pick them up at retail in different packaging and minus a few bells and whistles.  I’m happy to have all three, although my wallet isn’t happy.

Enjoy the video!

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