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Hasbro: Star Wars Black Series Dengar

Ever since Star Wars leapt to the six inch world I’ve been existing in a perpetual state of ecstasy, but I will admit that there was a bittersweet taste to some of the offerings. While the aliens and various armored characters have been, for the most part, great, it’s the humans that have been slight downers.

The human side of the equation has been let down by horribly substandard facial paint jobs that have rendered across-the-board excellent likenesses into cartoonish atrocities. At best, you’d get a figure that looked completely surprised at its own existence. At worst, you’d get a figure whose eyes would need a trail map to find their way home. It seemed the only hope at decent paintjobs lay in import circles.

But things have changed. We’re moving into a whole new world, a world where our Star Wars toys can proudly show their faces in polite company. Because of the simple advancement of the new face printing technology being found on domestic Star Wars figures, it’s like I’m collecting an entirely new toy line. No longer do I have to fight that slight disappointment with every human figure. No longer do I have to feel like every human head needs a repaint to look better than knock-off quality.

The wait for Dengar has seemed eternal, but I am so glad it took as long as it did to get him, because the Star Wars Black Series is operating at it’s highest level yet. Dengar feel like the culmination of a few years worth of improvement.

The bounty hunters have always been one of my favorite parts of the Star Wars mythology. With just a microscopic portion of screen time, those droids, aliens and human scumbags that stood aboard Vader’s ship opened up a universe of enigmas. And with each of them receiving their own figure in the vintage line, there was no end to the amount of adventures that they could have. I’ve bought those bounty hunters in every way I could over the years, from vintage to the renewed 3 ¾ inch line to the 1/6 Sideshow figures to those Gentle Giant Jumbo recreations, and now the Black Series. I can’t get enough of them.

The bounty hunters have been a slow trickle over the years, but with Dengar’s release and the upcoming release of Zuckuss, the entire set will soon be complete.

I’m not going to be shy; I pretty much love everything about this figure. So far, the bounty hunters have been high points in the line. IG-88’s hip articulation was the only major disappointment, and I have a feeling if he were remade today his hips would turn out better. I look at 4-LOM’s enhanced elbow articulation for possible proof of this.

Dengar is a bulky figure with plenty of armor that could impede articulation—especially in the shoulders—but the figure is engineered in such a way that he retains a full compliment of articulation where it counts. The shoulders can actually do a full outstretched spread—something that has been hampered on other armored characters—and the single joint elbow gets far more than 90 degrees of bend. They have radically improved the range of motion on their single joints, using deeper cuts and less intrusive plastic, which leads to a much more rewarding playtime.

The rest of his articulation does a great job as well. His legs can go almost straight out, and his double knees get a great bend. He does look a little weird with his knees fully bent like that, but that’s due to the armor. The ab has a good swivel, but not a ton of crunch, so that’s a slight ding. Everything else works great.

I had to work a little to get his trigger finger where it was supposed to go, and it’s not a perfect fit, but otherwise the combination of up and down right wrist with side to side left wrist allows him to hold his rifle convincingly.

If you remember the stiff, mobility-killing pouches of Boba Fett, it’s not a problem here. The pouches are made of a very flexible material that even allows him to do a split. Whether or not Dengar ever has to do a split in his line of work or not is probably up for debate, but if there comes a time when he has to do one, boy, he can.

The sculpting on the BS series has never been a failure, and it’s no different here. Dengar’s familiar well-worn Stormtrooper armor looks as good as ever. There’s a few touches of worn metal here and there. He hits me with all the right nostalgia punches.

For accessories, he comes with his rifle and his pistol. The pistol slides easily into his holster and stays put.

In case I haven’t gushed enough, it really is the digital face printing that really take Dengar up a notch. Words can’t express how much better these figures look with the added attention to detail. There’s no simplistic “dot dot slash slash” for the eyes and eyebrows that had become a bothersome staple of the line, but a realistic, nearly import-level appearance that makes this feel well worth the money spent on him. Even the scars have been cleanly painted, giving him a heightened level of realism and not just a washed out blandness.

I’m only a Zuckuss away from a complete 6 inch Bounty Hunter lineup. Dengar is highly, highly recommended.

You can pick up Dengar at either BBTS or Dorkside