Monday, 9 May 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Tech

Star Wars Black Series Tech 01

Release Date: October 2021
RRP: $22.99/£21.99

Even though we're still waiting for a release date for season two The Bad Batch still seem to be the main focus when it comes to Star Wars animation, so it's good to know that Hasbro aren't dragging their heels when it comes to completing the team in figure form. Following on from the initial release of Hunter and Crosshair as well as the deluxe release of Wrecker comes Black Series Tech, completing the initial line-up as they first appeared in their Star Wars: The Clone Wars debut. As the thinker of the team, Tech is rarely seen without his data pad but proves just as efficient in combat as his Clone Force 99 brethren.

Star Wars Black Series Tech Box 01

Star Wars Black Series Tech Box 02Star Wars Black Series Tech Box 03Star Wars Black Series Tech Box 04Star Wars Black Series Tech Box 05

"Tech is the computer and weapons specialist, the most talkative of the group. His genetically advanced brain can puzzle through technical issues at speeds even faster than some droids."

As part of the Bad Batch range of figures Tech comes in packaging featuring dark red/burgundy accents, as well as side artwork that forms a connecting mural with the other Bad Batch releases. Tech is numbered as the fourth figure in the wave, however with how unpredictable Hasbro's release schedule tends to be these days he's far from the fourth figure to have been released. The front of the box is mainly taken up with the window showing off what's inside, whilst the back features that same side artwork along with the character bio written above. Inside you'll find the figure, along with its accessories, neatly stored on their moulded plastic tray. Interesting Tech is the first of the Bad Batch team to be packaged with his backpack attached to him, as the others have all had it stored as a loose accessory.

Star Wars Black Series Tech 02

Star Wars Black Series Tech 03Star Wars Black Series Tech 04Star Wars Black Series Tech 05Star Wars Black Series Tech 06

Star Wars Black Series Tech 07Star Wars Black Series Tech 08Star Wars Black Series Tech 09Star Wars Black Series Tech 10

Straight away Tech stands out from the other members of the Bad Batch by sporting armour that's a completely different colour to his brothers. Whereas the rest have very distinct dark grey armour, Tech's is a much lighter shade. It's also quite different in design compared to the modified clone commando armour the others have. Hasbro have done a great job on the armour though, with it featuring plenty of moulded panels and dark grey, red and brown paint apps. Tech's backpack is also a new piece, again featuring plenty of moulded detail/paint apps as well as two aerial pieces jutting out from the top. However the big point of contention on this figure is the head sculpt, which is pretty great when it comes to likeness but is missing one crucial detail that brings it all crashing down. Onscreen Tech is always seen wearing a pair of goggles, which then poke out through his helmet. The figure however has omitted the goggles from the head sculpt, not only moulding them directly onto the helmet but also painting them opaque yellow rather than making them translucent like they are onscreen. Without the goggles the head sculpt loses a lot of the charm and likeness, and even though they'd admittedly be a small accessory Hasbro have definitely done such things before. The helmet doesn't look especially bad with the opaque lenses, but just doesn't look quite right. On the plus side, it does feature the swing down visor piece which is again painted in metallic yellow. Despite the flaws it's still a good looking figure, it's just a shame Hasbro decided to settle with these inaccuracies.

Star Wars Black Series Tech 11

Star Wars Black Series Tech 12Star Wars Black Series Tech 13Star Wars Black Series Tech 14Star Wars Black Series Tech 15

Star Wars Black Series Tech 16Star Wars Black Series Tech 17Star Wars Black Series Tech 18Star Wars Black Series Tech 19

Star Wars Black Series Tech 20Star Wars Black Series Tech 21Star Wars Black Series Tech 22

Tech is articulated exactly the same way as the rest of his brothers – whether they be the Bad Batch clones or the (new body) regular clones. Altogether the figure features;
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso and hips
- Swivel hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles
- Butterfly joint shoulders
- Thigh swivels
The hinge knees have proven to be somewhat unsightly on previous figures but to its credit Tech's armour does a slightly better job of hiding it, so you can get some great poses out of the figure without it looking like the knee is been twisted in some unnatural way. It's worth noting that while there is a butterfly joint constructed into the shoulders the movement is so minimal it may as well not even be there, which is disappointing given how much of an asset they are on other Hasbro figures. This goes doubly so for the use of swivel hinge elbows on the new clone body in the place of a double hinge elbow and bicep swivel combo, as a bit of additional shoulder movement would have offset the loss of movement there a bit. Overall it's still a good body that's engineered well so that it looks natural, but the jury's still out on how much 'better' it is than the old one.

Star Wars Black Series Tech 23

Star Wars Black Series Tech 24Star Wars Black Series Tech 25Star Wars Black Series Tech 26Star Wars Black Series Tech 27

Star Wars Black Series Tech 28Star Wars Black Series Tech 29Star Wars Black Series Tech 30Star Wars Black Series Tech 31

Star Wars Black Series Tech 32Star Wars Black Series Tech 33Star Wars Black Series Tech 34Star Wars Black Series Tech 35

Star Wars Black Series Tech 36Star Wars Black Series Tech 37Star Wars Black Series Tech 38

In addition to his helmet and backpack Tech also comes with a DC-17 blaster pistol and three tools that are pre-attached to his belt in-package. The blaster pistol is the same that we have previously seen with a number of clone troopers – moulded in black plastic without any additional paint apps. The blaster fits comfortably into Tech's right hand, but unfortunately there isn't anywhere on the figure to store the weapon when not in use. It's a shame because this is a function the backpack could have easily served instead of just being a solid piece of plastic. The tools are arguably far more interesting accessories, as despite being small and relatively detail-less they are at least unique to the figure. They can be held in either hand, but it's much easier to get the grip between the thumb and finger on the left (and it's pretty fiddly there too to be honest). It's hard not to overlook the criminal omission of Tech's data pad though, given that he's rarely seen without it on screen. The sad thing is it wouldn't have even had to be a particularly complicated accessory either – just a slab of plastic that could potentially fit into the pouch on his left side. Another missed opportunity that Hasbro could have easily avoided.

Star Wars Black Series Tech 39

Star Wars Black Series Tech 40Star Wars Black Series Tech 41Star Wars Black Series Tech 42

Star Wars Black Series Tech 43Star Wars Black Series Tech 44Star Wars Black Series Tech 45Star Wars Black Series Tech 46

Black Series Tech is another great addition to Hasbro's take on the Bad Batch, rounding off the original line-up of the team nicely. In fact this could have been a near perfect release had they not botched the head and helmet so significantly, as in skipping over the goggles not only did they miss out a core component of the head sculpt but also one of the more notable features of the helmet. Admittedly it doesn't look so bad if you choose to display the team with the helmets on, but if you were planning to show off their unique heads then something might feel a little off.

No comments: