Woody Harrelson is putting together a crew as Beckett in the new Solo: A Star Wars Story movie, and it is likely to give us some background on the wayward history of our favorite nerf herding scoundrel, Han Solo. However, we have been putting together another crew in the Black Series, slowly but surely, for a long time now: the Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. This beloved, yet enigmatic group looks to finally fully form this year, and 4-LOM is set to be released on April 13th.
Honestly, is there a Star Wars team (that is not really a team) more popular than the ESB Bounty Hunters? Sure, in movie canon, we only see them (save for Boba Fett) for a very fleeting moment, but man, their jobs, purpose, and looks have inspired countless hours of wonderment from Star Wars fans across the galaxy. SWB has certainly drawn out their release over time and it has been a couple of years since the last entrant, IG-88 was released, but now, Dengar and HOPEFULLY Zuckuss (RIP, Toys R Us) look to follow up 4-LOM pretty quickly. That will instantly make the Bounty Hunter corner of the SW shelf one of the best spots in your entire toy collection. Almost there. Almost there.
It makes perfect sense to release 4-LOM in a Solo movie wave because, even though we don’t know if he will be showing up in that movie, the hunters have a strong background with Han. The SWB Bounty Hunters have run the gamut in terms of successful execution thus far, with Bossk being fantastic, Fett being mostly great, and IG-88 not being as strong. However, SWB has come a long way since that last release, so I have been excited to get 4-LOM, even though some of his base parts have the potential to bring him down from a figure perspective. Luckily, most of 3-PO’s limitations are not transferred over here, and with him being one to case in the second series of Solo figures (of which the case pack out is not good), he is going to be a very hot commodity, so I wasted no time picking this figure up.
And of course, I am glad I did, because this figure is a lot of fun. Yeah, even (former) protocol droids can be fun with the right weapons and program tinkering, and LOMMY here sure does look slick with the rest of gang. I do have a few quibbles with the figure, but he is great for the most part. Yes, he does borrow parts from Threepio, but not as many as you think, and I will say first and foremost that this figure is a lot more functional than old golden rod. Of course, this starts with the fact that he can actually move his elbows, but we will get to that in just a moment. The whole idea of this character is that he is a droid with cobbled together old parts, and this figure certainly looks that way, while still maintaining that required level of badassedness.
In terms of form and paint work 4-LOM looks great. He is banged up, rusty, and dingy in the best way possible, and you know his frame has a long and storied past, and this figure portrays that well. Now, he DOES include some reused Threepio parts like the legs, crotch, shoulder cuffs, and back of the torso, but that is really it as far as I can tell. However, since I find the SWB 3PO to be a bit on the short side, that is carried over here. I think it is mostly in the legs, so for me, 4-LOM doesn’t stand as tall as he should, even though he is not the tallest of the Bounty Hunters, but your thoughts on that will likely vary. Now, he does have a new front torso since that is unique to him from C-3PO, but his wiry trunk is all-new, and both of those pieces look really nice.
The BIG improvement though, is the all-new arms, and they can actually move at the elbows! I will say this, I keep the S.H. Figuarts C-3PO as my primary display figure, and this limitation of the SWB is a huge reason why. I get it, due to the movie design, the elbows should not move much, and 4-LOM’s are limited, but they CAN move, and that is a huge improvement. He can pose with his long rifle nicely, and the stance can match up to the actual movie reference. Of course, he is not going to do an Spider-Man poses, but his little bit of added articulation goes a LONG way. I suppose they now have us right where they want us to buy another Threepio right? With this improvement? Right? RIGHT?
While I am very pleased with the newly-functioning arms, the best part about this figure is head. I know that is nothing really original with the character’s likeness being the make or break in terms of action figure success, but 4-LOM has such a cool look. So, he is obviously a droid, but his insectoid features give his head an almost organic quality to him, and I have to admit that, as a kid, I thought he was a half-robot/half-space bug. Obviously now, I know he is a droid, but the rounded lines and details over so much of the head make him seem like so much more lifelike. Hasbro did a very nice job rendering the likeness here, and 4-LOM is every bit as creepy in plastic as he is on celluloid. The paint lines over the eyes are especially nice, but I feel this is where Hasbro sold themselves very short. See, the head is cast in translucent green plastic, so, if light shines through it where there is not paint, it actually looks like the eyes can light up green. The problem is, there is no good place for light to do that, and an unpainted patch on the back of head would have done WONDERS for this. I cannot detract from the figure because of this, but it is such a missed opportunity for awesomeness, I have to mention it.
Four down, two to go for the complete group of ESB Bounty Hunters. I am so stoked to bring that corner together in its entirety, but 4-LOM is an excellent addition. The protocol droid improvements over Threepio and the awesome head sculpt really lead the way for this figure, so I can mostly overlook his vertical challenges. Trust me, you are not going want to miss this figure, especially if you like the scummy side of Star Wars, and I know you do, because it the BEST side. Like I said, 4-LOM is in SWB series 17 (that is Solo wave 2), and he should be hitting on the 4/13 Force Friday or whatever they are calling it now. If you see him, snap him up, trust me, he is going to be popular and difficult to find for sure.
Stay tuned, we have more Star Wars dealings coming throughout the week!