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Star Wars Black Series: Top Ten Needed Do-Overs

With onset of the utilization of the “photo real” printing technique for character likenesses, it is no secret that the Black Series is just plain better than it used to be. That leaves us with a quandary, though: what about those figures/characters that were released before this new tech? Well, some of them DEFINITELY need to be redone. Here is a list of ten that should qualify.

Right away, I know that some people will automatically be against having to re-buy figures they already own, just because Hasbro started to get better at what they do. Frankly, I own several S.H. Figuarts releases that tamped down my overall frustration with many of the previous SWB shortcomings because those have been (mostly) so strong. However, with these first Solo releases, the new Black Series Grand Moff Tarkin, Han, and Lando as so damned good, the playing field has been GREATLY leveled, and the SWB price tag is much easier to contend with. Also, I am generally okay with upgrading figures in my collection, so getting many of these iconic figures over again would be all right so long as they are as nice as these new figures.

Yeah, from a collector’s mentality, this issue COULD be solved by the release of “heads” pack or something, but to be honest, I don’t see Hasbro doing that. So, this is more for fun than anything else, and I have entries on here (in no particular order) that represent high-profile characters, hard to get figures, just plain dogs in terms of likeness, or a combination of all of those things. Sure, I would say that all of the characters released previously should be on this list, but these are the ones I am really after.

HAN SOLO (A New Hope)

Look, we are not ever going to be lacking for Han Solo figures, he is just too popular. Plus with the release of his own “origin” movie next month, his popularity isn’t going down anytime soon. We just got a young Han in the line, and a “Bespin” version is rumored for the next series that will be revealed, so even without a rerelease of his EPIV figure for improvement, we will still be sitting pretty. However, ANH Han is my favorite version, so I would like like to see another crack at this look. Sure, I have an awesome SHF figure with an even more awesome Casting Cave custom head, but I would still love to try for that perfect Han/Harrison Ford likeness, because that has NEVER happened in the entire history of SW toys. Well, maybe with Hot Toys, I don’t know. I am a 1:12 guy.

POE DAMERON

I was hesitant to place any characters from the Sequel Trilogy on this list simply for the fact that the key characters are most likely to get new figures for upcoming movies, and thus, subject to the new printing technology. However, I am going to make an exception for Poe simply because this poor guy has been ABUSED by SWBS in the past. If I had to pick one character who has had the worst likeness results across multiple figures, it would be Poe. Looking over his figures to date, the poor results speak for themselves, and the ruggedly handsome Oscar Isaac deserves much better.

PRINCESS LEIA 

ANH Leia is one of those figures that got a pretty poor first release, then a slightly better second release, but still does not really hit the mark in terms of likeness, and since her character and that look are so important to the overall mythos, I would support a third swing. Yeah, I am not a fan of the soft goods, but, if the likeness was corrected, I think the figure would be much improved. Like her onscreen love interest, Leia has been one of those characters who is historically difficult to capture, and with her status in Star Wars overall, getting her right is important.

LUKE SKYWALKER (BESPIN)

Poor Luke. Like Han and Leia, the (arguably) most important character in Star Wars has had a tough go of it in the Black Series. He did have one GREAT figure in the very first wave featuring his X-Wing pilot look, but as we all know, after that initial offering, the paint jobs took a nose dive and the rest is, well, some kind of history. I am not saying his Tatooine or Jedi looks are great, but this Bespin version is really hurting, especially in the eye department. I mean, I really cannot even stand to look at the figure anymore due to lousy paint applications. So yeah, this figure needs to be expressive and looking very much like Mark Hamill because his saber duel for this look is pretty damned important.

LANDO CALRISSIAN (BESPIN)

I almost left Lando off of this list because this figure is still pretty fresh and really, it is not nearly as bad as some of the other entries. However, young Lando just got one of the very best figures in the entire line, and Skiff Guard Lando is upcoming, so it seems to me that his more iconic look should be treated the same. Sure, we might be able to do a head swap with that Skiff figure, but I would still hate for this “old smoothie” look to be the weakest Black Series entry in this awesome character’s repertoire. I know a lot of people wanted a soft goods cape for this guy as well (not me), so that would be another way to keep a new release fresh.

OBI-WAN KENOBI

I would love to see the EPIII version get re-released as well, but that would require a newly tooled head as well due to the small size of the original release. For this I am talking about old Ben, and while that figure has gotten some mileage in this line, frankly, I want to see it released again. This is an example of an AMAZING sculpt hiding under that mess/lack of paint, and I think if the printing technology was used, it would be one of the best figures in the entire line. I have an AWESOME repaint. I have seen other AWESOME repaints. However, not everyone has access to those kinds of things, so Hasbro, don’t let yourself be outdone when you have the technology. You can rebuild, er, repaint him. 

EMPEROR PALPATINE

This one REALLY needs a new treatment. Frankly, before I had a custom repaint done by Benty, I pretty much kept this entire figure’s head hidden beneath the hood because this one is almost comical in how badly it misses the mark. Sure, the argument could be made that the hood SHOULD be hiding the face, but damn it, Palpatine should be scary and creepy at this point, and the SWB figure just does not accomplish that. Plus, that figure is getting pretty rare and up there in price on the secondary market, so I think the line can definitely support the reintroduction of the ultimate evil in the galaxy.

YODA

For the most part, SWB is generally pretty good with the non-humans/aliens/troops. Like Greedo is great, and Bossk is pretty, well, boss as well, but Master Yoda? Nah, man, nah. Much like Palpatine, the bad paint on the eyes just makes the Black Series figure just look like it is stoned or he walked in on a Wookiee mating ritual. It is not good. Frankly, I think this would be an easy win because also like Palpatine, this figure is getting hard to come by. The venerable Master needs some help here, so I would definitely welcome an improved redux with the face printing.

ANAKIN SKYWALKER

This is one of those rare figures in the line that featured swappable heads, and frankly, that just gave us twice the opportunity for the likeness to not really be there. Of the “Jedi” and “Sith” heads, I think the Sith version is a bit more effective, but that one can also benefit the most from the new printing. The Prequels unfairly get mostly skipped in this line (save for the Troopers) so fans of those films are pretty thirsty at this point any how. Yeah, we are just a few days away from the solicitation of a new SHF version of this character, but this could have its advantages as well, especially considering the limited nature of the other.

CASSIAN ANDOR

I know what you are thinking here, and yeah, anecdotal evidence shows that Cassian is not exactly the fastest mover when comes to SWB sales. Both his single card and box set from Rogue One hung around (still hang around?) longer than most. However, I believe some of that is attributed to poor decisions in terms of version choices, and also because Cassian is second only to Poe in terms of bad SWBS likenesses. For the most part, I find that R1 was well received (I certainly dig it) and most collectors want to put together a GOOD collection of the core group, and a better Cassian is most certainly needed for that.

And as a bonus honorable mention, I also want to include… CONSTABLE ZUVIO!

Just kidding. I know. But I would still like to see how many people would buy him if he got the face printing. For scientific purposes, of course. 

So, this is my list. I DO think we stand a really good chance of getting some of these figure because, I hope Hasbro follows suit with the 40th Anniversary line the produced for ANH when the Empire anniversary comes around in a couple of years. Yes, they will get me to buy even more via that avenue because I will want a better replacement for my shelf, and I actually have a carded set of last year’s figures, so… yeah… I will stop giving them ideas. At any rate, the Black Series is so much better now, and it is finally the line collectors want and deserve, so I want all of these classic and important characters to get the upgraded treatment.

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