Saturday 20 July 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Chopper (C1-10P)

Release Date: May 2019
RRP: £20/$20

It's taken a few years to get there but Star Wars fans are coming ever closer to having the complete main cast of Star Wars Rebels in six inch figure form, as the collector-orientated Black Series adds a further two characters to the range in its latest wave. Finally joining Kanan, Sabine and Hera are Ezra Bridger and the ill-tempered astromech droid Chopper, leaving only Zeb to round off the Ghost crew. A valuable member of the Spectre rebel cell, C1-10P participated in numerous raids and attacks on Imperial targets. Though a loyal and competent droid, his bad temper and argumentative attitude frequently meant he came to blows with his fellow crew members.

Chopper comes packaged in standard "red label" Star Wars Black Series packaging, though due to his small size the figure doesn't take up as much room on the tray as a standard figure would. Just as well Hasbro have packed in plenty of sizeable accessories to make up for it! The front of the box features some nice "realistic" artwork of Chopper alongside his name, which also has his official designation of C1-10P alongside it. The back of the box has a bigger look at that artwork, along with a small character bio printed in a few different languages. It seems these red label releases are also quickly approaching their 100th release, with Chopper himself numbering 84 in the range. Open the box up and you'll be able to see just how big those accessories are, with everything laid out neatly on the usual moulded plastic tray.

As a C1-series astromech that's been in active service since before the Clone Wars, Chopper is a droid that's a little worse for wear. His parts have been slowly replaced over the years, and his body sports numerous scuffs and damage from his various exploits. Even at the relatively low Black Series price point Hasbro have done a great job of replicating all this wear and tear with all the splashes of dirt littered across the body. It isn't quite up to the quality of the CGI model from the show, but that's pretty much to be expected from a $20 figure. The base colours however they've pulled off perfectly. On top of that predominantly off-white body you've got all the olive green highlights as well as that bright orange head and yellow stripes to some effectively-clashing brightness. The sculpting on the mould is also excellent, getting in all of those important panel lines as well as covering all of Chopper's exposed sections and misassembled pieces.

Being an astromech droid Chopper doesn't have much to offer in the way of limbs for articulation, but if you think that stops him from having plenty to offer then you're completely wrong. As you'd expect from just looking at him Chopper's head can rotate a full 360 degrees, while his ambulatory struts (or legs if you want to keep it simple) can also rotate a full circular motion. In addition to having rolling wheels on their undersides the feet pieces also have some forward and backwards tilt to them, adding a little more personality and emotion to what would otherwise be static poses. That might seem like everything, but Chopper also has three articulated grasping arms hidden in his body - two behind the grey panels on either side of his head and one exposed at the front of the body. Each arm is hinged at the "shoulder" and "elbow" sections, and the two in the head can also rotate at their shoulder connection. The open claws on the head's arms can effectively grasp any reasonably sized accessory you can think of, as well as give Chopper that extra bit of sass to properly emulate his rather unique personality. Chopper is sadly missing the periscope section from the top of his head, but this doesn't feel like a huge loss given everything else the figure has to offer. 

If that wasn't enough to sell you on Chopper, then just take a look at the fantastic selection of accessories he also comes with. Among these pieces are his retractable central wheel and rocket booster pieces, both of which directly plug into the centre of the body and can be extended or retracted as desired. The wheel piece can even slot all the way up into the body and hide completely out of sight, which the rocket booster would also be able to do if not for the flame effect sticking out of the bottom. However this piece can instead plug into the rather impressive ignition baseplate included, creating a much larger flame with painted translucent orange plastic as well as providing Chopper with a much more elaborate display option. However if you really want to see just how deep Hasbro have dived for parts here there's also an alternate left ambulatory strut with matching colours to his right one, something Chopper sought out (and eventually gave up) in the Rebels season two episode "The Forgotten Droid". Episode-specific pieces like this weren't the kind of thing I was expecting from a Black Series release so it's a really nice inclusion even if it will spend most of its time in the box. It's the kind of details that show the designers care and are paying attention to the source material beyond the obvious.

Though he may only be small Star Wars Black Series Chopper (C1-10P) absolutely lives up to the big personality of his onscreen counterpart, proving to be one of the most fun figures in the line I've had the pleasure of handling thus far. Hasbro make up for his small size by going the extra mile with accessories to fully show off Chopper's range of talents, but even without them the core figure has enough surprise features to make it well worth the purchase. It's hard to imagine a Chopper figure at this scale any better than this. Without a doubt the star of the Rebels cast released thus far, and even when Zeb finally joins them Chopper probably still will be.

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