Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series 6" Boba Fett (Prototype Armor)


Release Date: 2014
RRP: $20

Boba Fett is living proof that all some characters need is a fantastic design. Despite not really doing all that much in the films themselves the notorious bounty hunter became one of most iconic designs in all of Star Wars, and his popularity has continued to grow through various spin-off media and, of course, numerous bits of merchandise. But did you know that originally Boba Fett wasn't envisioned as a bounty hunter, and instead proposed as a sort of Empire "Super Trooper". The story of Boba Fett from concept to screen is a pretty interesting one, and his initial all-white design has been immortalised in toy form several times over the years. With Fett being one of the earliest releases in the 6" Black Series back in 2013, it didn't take Hasbro long to take advantage of such an obvious repaint. One year later, the Star Wars Black Series 6" Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) arrived in the US exclusively at Walgreens stores.



As an older figure in the Black Series line, Prototype Armor Boba Fett comes boxed in the second "blue label" style of packaging that was around from 2014-2015. This older packaging featured a much larger display window compared to the new "red label" series, with the character image relegated to the top corner while the very bottom featured the Star Wars Black Series logo and name card. The back however features a much better look at the character art created for the box, as well as a short bio that outlines the history of Boba Fett's creation and the origins of the white armour. The box itself doesn't have any printing on it to signify it as a Walgreen's exclusive. Inside Boba, along with his three accessories, are housed comfortably on a moulded plastic tray.





Prototype armour Boba Fett is a straight repaint of the original Black Series figure, so unfortunately there are a fair few inaccuracies here when compared with the white armour shown off in public prior to the release of The Empire Strikes Back. The original design did not feature the wookie braids on the right shoulder, and the rocket on the jetpack had four spikes jutting out of it as opposed to the smooth look on the finished product. The figure also takes some liberty with the white and grey pattern on the cape, but given that the suit used a Star Wars beach towel as a makeshift cape I'm personally far more forgiving of that omission. Basically if you're a stickler for accuracy then this probably isn't the figure for you. Hasbro probably didn't need to cut corners the way they did (especially since they'll release much more extensive remoulds as Walgreens exclusives these days) but back then maybe that wasn't on the cards. It still was fairly early days for the Black Series after all.

However if you're simply looking for a cool-looking figure that evokes the spirit of the prototype armour, then you've come to the right place. I can't quite place my finger on why the iconic Mandolorian armour looks so good in white (especially when the final design has some gorgeous colour detail), but it just does. Even in one base colour every little bit of moulded detail pops, and it really gives off the feel of some sort of special elite Stormtrooper. Of course with the whole body being white that solid black T-shaped visor just stands out all the more as well. But the moulding isn't just top notch in terms of visuals either – the helmet and armour pieces also have a noticeable texture to them which contrast nicely with the smoother finish of the rest of the figure. The soft good cape is also an excellent touch – far more preferable to a plastic cape but starched into shape to give it a suitable look and heft. Unfortunately the helmet rangefinder and jetpack rocket aren't removeable, but these feel like minor complaints when the rest of the repaint works as well as it does.





The Boba Fett mould is very well articulated, and even as one of the earliest entries in the Black Series range Hasbro clearly showed that they were committed to doing big things with this line. Altogether the figure features a ball hinge underneath the helmet, and in the shoulders, swivel hinge elbows and wrists, a ball jointed waist, ball jointed hips, thigh swivels, double hinged knees and even swivel hinge ankles. Each of the joints are firm with the many hinges "clicking" into their various positions, but nothing feels overly tight and the figure is able to hold a pose extremely well. The pouches hanging down from the waist unfortunately hinder forward articulation in the legs pretty significantly, so it's just as well that even with limited leg options Boba looks fantastic in whatever pose you put him in. A lot of this is down to just to the sculpting and the overall quality of the design itself, but even the slightest movement adds plenty of character. Pair him up with some sort of display stand for jetpack action and you have a really cool looking figure on your hands.






Boba's accessories include his jetpack and both his Sacross-K-11 blaster pistol and EE-3 carbine rifle, all of which were present in the original release. Again these pieces aren't wholly accurate to the actual suit, but as a straight repaint it is what it is. However unlike the original toy the two guns are unpainted and moulded in solid black plastic, whereas the original's weapons were coloured to match their onscreen appearance. The pistol comfortably fits in both the figure's hands and its designated holster, but the rifle is a little more problematic. There's nowhere to properly store it when not in use, and it due to its shape it doesn't fit quite as snuggly into the hands. In fact the trigger finger will probably require some bending to get it to fit the shape perfectly. Once it's in though the figure can hold it with both hands, and it looks pretty magnificent even if it takes some fiddling around to do without having the gun bend at an awkward angle. It's made of soft plastic though, so even if it does end up bending a little it can take the strain.




While I was excited to finally own the Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) figure, part of me wondered just how good an almost entirely white repaint could be. Yes the figure isn't entirely accurate to the pre-Empire Boba Fett suit and this will likely push the more accuracy-obsessed Star Wars fans away, but the base mould is still utterly fantastic five years after its initial release and there's just something undeniably cool about an all-white Fett. Such a simple colour change really captures the whole "Super Trooper" angle they were originally going for with the character. Thankfully despite it being some time since its original release this Boba Fett doesn't fetch too huge of a price on the aftermarket, so if like me you're a sucker for concept stage figures like these be sure to track one down while it's still easily available.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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