Woooo! Another Bandai Star Wars model kit just arrived in the mail! Once again we have another release that we’ve already seen in the Hasbro Black Series line. Previous models have taken the place of their predecessors, with glee and enthusiasm. The Biker Scout with Speeder Bike, well, it’s a hard call this time around.
And I say that with a heavy heart. I love the Bandai model kits, and I can’t even say I don’t love this one. The final product is fantastic and the build is fun. But the Hasbro version is hard to beat.
The box is exactly what we’re used to with the kits: glossy black box with pretty pictures of the final product. Well, not quite, there is weathering and some paint work, but it’s a good representation.
Open the box and you’re greeted with another now-familiar sight. Lots of pieces that come off a bit daunting.
But like I said, the build is fun. I go through the highlights of the build and even a little paint work in my video review.
Fast forward to the final, complete figure.
All the details are here: the ankle holster, the the soles of the boots, the little helmet details. Even the handles on the back of the belt, which I can only assume are for extra riders on the speeder. You know, to hold on to without looking too feminine. Those bikes are fast.
All the articulation you could want is here. It even has the nifty sliding forearm we saw on the Stormtrooper that adds more range of movement in the elbows. Again, I demonstrate all that in the video review. But even the hip bags are on swivels to get them up and out of the way of the hips to allow an easier sitting position. It’s not perfect but it’s adequate.
My only huge nit with the sculpt is the ankles, or rather the feet and how they are shaped to accommodate the ankles. There is a big gap to allow more range for the ankle to swing forward. It allows the feet to sit flat on the speeder pedals but it looks odd in the neutral position.
That’s going to happen when the figure is made of a harder plastic. Well, that and you have to put it together.
Smaller nit is the shoulder bells. They just ride too high. Like he’s a constant shrug even though the arms are as low as they can go. But that’s a minor quibble that only rears up when I stare at it.
The Biker Scout comes with one set of flat hands, a set of gripping hands for the Speeder, and a gun holding hand for the included blaster. The fingers are a separate piece, so you place the gun in and snap the two pieces together. Once this is together I leave them together for fear of losing the fingers, but the gun does fit great in the holster. The barrel plugs into a hole in the bottom of the holster and is very secure, which is better than my Black Series version who is now weapon-less. Curse you carpet!
It also comes with the usual Death Star base with the molded foot. But the Scout stands fine without it.
While I’m talking accessories, I’m going to throw the Speeder Bike base in here because it will look different in the pics further down.
This is how the base looked out of the box and assembled, just a grayish brown with a clear peg. But since I had the paints out for the details on the figure and vehicle I thought I’d do a quick and dirty drybrush just to add a little color to it.
Nothing special, but it makes me feel better.
Let’s get to the Speeder Bike itself.
What surprised me most after the build is the fact that it’s doesn’t really look that different from the Black Series version. Sure, there are some differences, but overall the sizes and major details are comparable. The model kit does come out looking sleeker because it’s a bunch of different parts, and various bars and braces are thinner and more defined. Overall, more streamlined.
And believe or not, the bike even has some articulation. The foot bar swings up and down, which is not a surprise. What did catch me off guard were the moving levers on the outside of the handlebars.
Even more awesome are the flipping switches on the control panel. So tiny. The pics may make it hard to see, I’m terrible with super close-up shots.
The Speeder even has three options for display. One is a bottom peg hole for a Bandai stand, sold separately. The included Endor base has two options, although subtle. The bike has three holes hidden behind a removable panel on the right side.
See how they are offset? I didn’t notice it for a while, that’s why most of the pics have the Speeder in a nose up position. But you can flip the clear peg in the hole in the tree for either horizontal or slightly up at an angle. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s there.
And now, finally, comparisons with the Black Series version. Bandai on the right, Hasbro on the left.
See? Not a huge difference. In fact, I almost prefer the Black Series version because of the added paint and weathering. Almost. If I ever get the model painted-up, it will probably overtake the Black Series because of the little details.
There is a bigger difference between the version of the Biker Scout. Bandai on the left, Hasbro on right.
It all comes down to the little details, but more than that, at least for me, is the stance off the bike. The Bandai kit wins by a long shot. He’s able to stand in a good-looking neutral position. The Black Series trooper comes off crooked and bow-legged. The plastic may be warped from sitting on the bike for months, but even his hip pouches (which are just part of the belt) are stuck in a raised position. The Hasbro scout does have the black body suit details, a texture to the fabric, but it does help put him ahead in my eyes. The overall crisper detail and stance of the model wins in this category for me.
Putting them on the bike . . .
This has the complete opposite effect on me. The Black Series version just looks more natural for some reason. On top of that, he’s more secure because of the foot pegs and tighter grip on the flexible handlebars. The model is harder to maneuver into sitting on the bike and is not secure at all. Add the fact that the model is a stiff plastic that doesn’t bend or conform to a natural position on the bike and the winner here is the Hasbro Biker Scout on the Speeder bike.
My solution? Display both. Have the Hasbro version riding the bike. The Bandai version will be standing alongside his ride, or he will be with my other troopers flanking Darth Vader. In this instance the model isn’t a replacement for a Black Series figure. It’s more of an addition. And that’s not to say it’s any less awesome than the previous kits, it is totally on par with them. It’s more me saying that the Hasbro Biker Scout is a pretty good figure, at least displayed as it was intended. On the Speeder Bike.
You can now grab this kit on Amazon if you don’t like ordering from overseas.