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Hasbro: Star Wars Black Series NED-B

I love a good droid and immediately fell in love with the NED-B design from the start. He’s got a great mix of K-2SO design elements with the classic man in suit vibe of original trilogy protocol droids. Target shipped out my pre-order of this deluxe figure last week, so let’s take a look at NED-B!

I think NED-B is my first plastic-free Black Series figure and I do think the box looks pretty sharp. They kept the basic shape and mural side pieces from the older packaging, but now the front has a nice render of the character and the other side has a more neutral look with measurements. The render is really good( I wasn’t quite sure if it was a render or a photo), and it looks to be printed on a shinier ink than the matte black of the box so it pops. Ultimately, I don’t really care since it gets recycled.

Inside the box, the figure is mostly covered in a Star Wars logo printed tissue paper bag and strapped into the cardboard innards of the box. The accessories are wrapped in a similar bag. NED comes with a removeable pack, a hammer, and a blaster.

I got the impression from the show that the pack is part of him, so I’m thinking it might be separate for packaging or manufacturing reasons. It plugs into a hole in the figure’s back and there are two tube that are on the figure that plug into the pack. It matches the paint work on the body and has a decent amount of weathering painted on and a clear tampo in blue with NED in Star Wars script called Aurebesh. I’m not sure about the larger symbol. It doesn’t look like an Aurebesh B.

The blaster looks like a Prequel-Era Battle Droid gun and it fits in his right hand somewhat awkwardly. It either sits a little high in the the hand if you put the index finger on the trigger or pointed down if you put the middle finger on the trigger. You can shove his top two fingers into the trigger guard on the left hand and I think that looks better.

The hammer fits in both hands and has a nice mix of techno greeblie detail and hammered metal textures. A wash and some metallic dry brush would have been nice to bring out that detail.

The sculpting looks very good and captures the detail of the character well. The silhouette is appropriately beefy and there is a good amount of wiring and panel detail all over.

The articulation is fairly good with:

  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles
  • Ball and socket head, neck, and mid-torso
  • Swivel forearms and boots

The knees and elbows get a 90 degree bend which feels pretty good for such a beefy ‘bot. The ball joint in the torso gets good tilt and decent crunch, but not much backward movement. The head and neck ball joints aren’t great, partially because the design of the character and partly because the joints feel hindered. They remind me of when the DCUC neck pegs were pinned down inside the neck to limit movement and don’t have the really nice and smooth movement we are used to from this POA in Star Wars Black figures.

Paint is a bit of a mixed bag. I really like the weathering hits they did all over the chest face and legs. It’s some of the best looking mass-market attempts I’ve seen. Oddly enough, the butt plate is one of the more convincingly weathered sections. There are some yellow parts that are plain plastic and some that are painted to match. They match fairly closely, but the painted sections do look a lot better to my eye. There could be more weathering for sure and I think he needs just an overall wash. The problem I have with the paint here is he doesn’t seem to be the right color. My impression from the show and BTS photos is that the yellow is more muted, leaning towards more of a tan than what we got here. I’m not sure if it’s an issue of working from concept art or over-saturated photos or perhaps color correction on the show, but he looks a little bright to be fully accurate.

Overall I think this is a solid representation of the character and a fun toy to mess with. Normally I would be more concerned about the color issue, but honestly my Star Wars shelves could used a bit more color. I did see Landspeeder Luke on Instagram did a dark wash that brought his color more in line with what I expected.

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