Thursday, 5 March 2020

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Second Sister Inquisitor

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Release Date: October 2019
RRP: $20/£20

After a stagnant period of underwhelming entries, the Star Wars video game library finally managed to claw back some of its former glory with the release of Jedi: Fallen Order. Taking place during the great Jedi purge that took place in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the game was praised for its single-player storyline focus in a period in the Star Wars timeline still rife with storytelling potential. It's launch was one of the main focuses of 2019's Triple Force Friday, with Hasbro releasing several figures from the game in conjunction with its release - and among these was the Black Series Second Sister Inquisitor. The Second Sister is one of the main villains of the game, stalking Jedi fugitive Cal Kestis across the galaxy. Though the Second Sister is original to the game, the Inquisitorius have been a popular part of the new Star Wars canon for some time now - previously appearing in a number of comics and novels, and more significantly the Star Wars Rebels animated series.

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Like many of the other Black Series figures released on Triple Force Friday there are three different versions of the Second Sister Inquisitor available - the standard one, the First Edition version and the Carbonized Collection variant. With the standard and First Edition versions the figures themselves are identical and it’s only the box that’s different (the First Edition one coming in white packaging as opposed to the usual black), which the Carbonized Collection version features both metallic paint on the figure and special foil packaging. This here is the boring oil’ standard edition though, so there isn’t much to say about the box outside of the norm. The rectangular black and red box features all the hallmarks of Black Series packaging, with the only real item of note being that the front of the box also features the Jedi: Fallen Order game logo in addition to the standard Star Wars one. The back of the box features a suitably vague character bio, which is helpful for anyone who hasn’t played the game and might have picked the figure up based solely on looks or the fact she’s one of the Inquisitorius. Inside the figure is stored on a moulded plastic tray, with the cape tucked threaded through a hole in the back of the tray. Due to the heft of the cape and the size of the hole it isn’t actually the easiest thing to get out, and the thin plastic the tray is made of can very easily break when trying to pull it out.

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The Second Sister's uniform is a fairly simple one but the careful colour placement and plastic finishes used makes it incredibly striking. The base body is a military grey befitting an agent of the Galactic Empire, with the silver fastenings cleverly emulating the generic Imperial uniform. The helmet, gloves and boots are all a glossy black that stands out against that body, perfectly highlighted with those red accents that you only ever see with a dark side wielder. Although the red visor running across the helmet may be thin, when caught in the right light its both extremely visible and positively piercing. As with most great Star Wars designs the beauty truly lies in the helmet, which despite being completely black has some really nice moulded detail on the mouthpiece and sides. Even if you didn't know what an Inquisitor was, you'd look at this design and immediately know that they're the kind of character that would carry a red lightsaber.

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The cape is made of soft plastic but is fairly thick, so despite being a little malleable can’t really be bent into specific shape. The moulding does feature numerous billows to give it an asymmetrical shape though to stop it looking out of place when the figure is in less static positions. It isn’t as manoeuvrable as a soft goods alternative would be, but the texturing and Imperial sigils printed on the shoulders help it feel like a reasonably good alternative. As well as clipping around the neck, the cape also pegs down onto two spots on the shoulders for extra security. This of course means that when it’s removed the figure has two fairly large holes in its shoulders, but Hasbro have accounted for that! Also included in the package are plastic shoulder pads to fit in their place, giving the figure an complete capeless look that’s also much less restrictive to the arm articulation. Soft goods tend to be better on Black Series figures, but when they have alternatives like these their absence is far less of an issue.

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For her articulation the Second Sister sports a ball socket head, mid-torso and hips with swivel hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists and well as double hinge knees and thigh swivels. In typical Hasbro fashion the more petit female bodies usually end up with slightly fewer joints than the male bucks (bicep swivels could have easily been included here but whatever), but even so the Second Sister still does a fairly good job at keeping up with the boys and pulling off some fantastic looking poses. Some areas are a bit more restricted than others though, and that's not just when the cape is attached and nullifying the overall poseability either. Though the shoulder pads are attached to the torso itself and so don't technically get in the way of the shoulder articulation, rotating the arms up too far usually results in them popping off (so for a great lightsaber-flight pose I recommend taking one off and positioning the figure so it's mostly hidden). Lower down the skirt section has the same issue as the cape in that it's a soft plastic but not especially malleable, so the hips don't have the full range of motion that a standard ball joint would usually allow for. Moving the legs forward isn't a problem at all, but backward you will inevitably run into some issues.

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The shoulder pads aren’t the only accessories included with the figure either, as no Inquisitor would be complete with their signature double-bladed circular lightsaber. Theirs are some of the coolest hilts in the whole franchise - featuring folding bladed edges and even a spinning blade function that helps the wielder fly through the air. Of course sadly a plastic toy accessory doesn’t have any of these abilities, but it’s still great to see this great weapon finally join the Black Series arsenal. The hilt is nicely detailed and painted for its side, capturing the distinct look of the weapon as well as the more important moulded detailing. Both blades are also removable, which means the Second Sister can wield her saber with one or two blades ignited or can simply carry it inert. The Second Sister sadly cannot carry the hilt on her back like the Inquistors featured in Rebels, but that’s down to her uniform lacking the body armour that the others have. It’s a great looking lightsaber, and together with the cape and shoulder pads helps the figure feel like a pretty complete package overall.

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Though it might have some fantastic ones to choose from female characters are in the minority in the Black Series, and when it comes to female villains the Star Wars universe is even less populated. The Black Series Second Sister Inquisitor will catch many collectors' eye for that fact alone, but on top of that it's also a pretty great figure that expands the ranks of the Galactic Empire in a new and exciting way. Fans of Jedi: Fallen Order certainly won't want to miss out on this, nor will anyone who's enjoyed the Inquisitors in any of the expanded media as well. With the Black Series seemingly willing to scour all corners of the Star Wars universe for figure ideas, hopefully it won't be long before she's joined by at least some of her brothers and sisters.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your blog is wonderful! I can't wait to read your revies of Ultraman Taiga (Genm Corp fully subbed it) and Ryusoulger!