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Hasbro: Star Wars Black Series Admiral Piett and General Veers

When thinking of cool and interesting Star Wars characters to include in the Black Series line, Imperial Officers are not likely to rise to the top of the list. Sure, there is always Grand Moff Tarkin, and Thrawn is pretty popular, too, but for the most part, the Imperial middle management is made up of old bootlicking white dudes in similar uniforms. However, I have always been a fan of some of these officers, I don’t know, maybe I have a weird fascination with space-age bureaucracy, and would you believe that, now that some of them a getting their due in plastic, that these yes men are some of the coolest Black Series figures to date?

Sure, Palpatine achieved his goal of (near) full eradication of the Jedi order and complete control of the Galaxy, but you know, it take a LOT of moving parts to keep the Empire up and running. Of course, with all totalitarian rulers, the Emperor had a massive military, and those things don’t run themselves, right? So, more ships, more blasters, more Stormtroopers, and more Officers to command them are always needed, and Original Trilogy did take some time to show regime in action, even though some of the blundering details. Yeah, some of those OT officers were just fodder for Vader to Force choke, but guys like Tarkin were long-tenured and totally legit, and thus, important to the Star Wars mythos.

Admiral Piett and General Veers were both two notable officers who I am glad to welcome into my collection. Piett quick rose through the ranks as his former commanders were, um, relieved of their duties by Darth Vader, but he is notable for actually being fairly competent in his duties. General Veers is a definitely a REAL officer as well, and he showed tactical expertise in planning and then actually lead the Imperial assault on Hoth to a certain level of success. Plus, Kenneth Colley and Julian Glover both were awesome in their roles, and they had multiple pivotal and memorable scenes.

However, just because you are an important part of Star Wars, that does not mean you are going to get an action figure. There are TONS of characters to do, and when you are competing again the main cast, interesting aliens, and complex droids, getting your drab fatigues out there can be a challenge. However, since Tarkin, Thrawn, and Krennic all saw releases, the basic parts were in the library to do more officers, the trick was finding the right release pattern. Since it is likely that collectors will make up the majority of the demand for these officers, online/small shop (Piett) and store exclusivity (Veers, at the ever-awesome Walgreens) was the way to go, and thus, we now have Piett and Veers in SWB, something I never thought we would see. Furthermore, while they might not be the most eye-catching in terms of design, they are certainly two of the best figure in the line thus far. Seriously.

So, while both of these blokes do borrow heavily from Tarkin, there are more new parts used than are immediately apparent, even between the two figures themselves. If my eyes do not deceive me, the arms, “skirt,” legs, boots, and feet are common between the three, and thus reused. However, Piett and Veers (and Tarkin) all have unique upper bodies to help accommodate their Imperial rankings. This is a VERY important detail, but the actual changes are so subtle that Hasbro could have glossed over them and gotten “close” just using the Tarkin torso. However, they did the required work, and it makes all the difference in the world. Sure, they share the same blaster, too, but because we are getting both of Veers’s looks in one figure, so their caps are removable (but both fit PERFECTLY), and that is fun detail as well. Veers’s hair is accurately styled for the other Julian Glover character, Walter Donovan (from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), so I can see the customs coming.

Speaking of, I am actually impressed with the fact that Veers can be displayed in his “ship” and “Hoth invasion” looks, but since he is a Walgreens exclusive, I am not at all surprised. Yes, that drug store has had its fair share of SWB exclusives, but if you have been paying attention to what they have been offering for Marvel Legends, you know it is impressive. More so than any other exclusive partner, Walgreens seems to be good with needing some new parts here and there (and in the case of the new ML Thing figure, a 100% new and unique sculpt), so putting Veers there was a great move so his chest armor and helmet can be included. Obviously, this is the much more interesting look for him, and it makes me really want a SWB scale AT-AT (lulz), but I am so happy both looks can be achieved, so kudos to Hasbro and Walgreens for getting this done.

The real highlight of these figures though, and the main reason they are some of the best in the SWB line so far is due to the photo real face painting/printing that has been utilized to achieve wonderfully accurate likenesses. Like Tarkin before them, Piett and Veers look so much like Colley and Glover respectively, it is kind of scary. Glover has been in so many things that his likeness is instantly recognizable, and Colley has interesting features (mainly his deep-set eyes) that this technology is just great for both of them. These officers just prove that any Star Wars character can make for an amazing action figure in SWB with this application, and really, the line is completely divided in half. As far as I am concerned, the SWB before this new method is a completely different line from that post printing, and it is not even close. They are totally going to get me to rebuy old figures with this update.

The Black Series is a really fun line to collect again with its advances over the past couple of waves, and now getting all kinds of characters is a real thrill. I want more Imperial types, if I am being completely honest, but having Piett and Veers to go with Tarkin now is pretty damned cool. Hasbro has done right by them, and accounted for all of the necessary details. The new parts and photo real paint application does wonders for them, and these are the types of characters that I want to see more of at an exclusive level in SWB well into the future. Now, I got these two a little early from overseas, but you can pre-order Piett and Dorkside now, and Veers should be landing at Walgreens soon, as well, so happy hunting. I for one will need several of each to make more officers. Weeeeeeeeeee!

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