Wednesday 5 January 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Wrecker

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Release Date: June 2021
RRP: $31.99/£33.99

The introduction of deluxe figures to the Black Series was a fantastic idea on Hasbro's part, since it finally allowed some of the larger and/or more intricate characters of the Star Wars universe that didn't fit into the $20 price point to be released. And if there's one character that needed it, it’s Wrecker – the muscular clone commando of Clone Force 99, aka "The Bad Batch". After making their debut in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Bad Batch have now gone on to star in their own self-titled animated series – chronicling their adventures during the rise of the Galactic Empire.

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"The boisterous bruiser of the Bad Batch, Wrecker has brute strength that makes him capable of lifting a clone gunship without any help. His muscle and size are matched only by his temper...and an equally pronounced sense of humour."

As a deluxe sized figure Wrecker comes packaged in the larger variety of Black Series boxes – wider than normal but still the same height so that the mural spine still connects to the others. Wrecker is the fifth release in the Bad Batch assortment, coming after Tech in the mural image and featuring the same dark red packaging accents as the rest of the series. The front of the box gives you a good look at the figure through that big window display, while the back features the same character artwork as the spine alongside a short character bio in multiple languages. Open the box up and you'll find box figure and accessories comfortably laid out on their moulded plastic tray.

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As the strongman of the team it's easy to assume that Wrecker is considerably taller than his fellow teammates, however that extra deluxe-sized mass largely comes from body mass rather than stature. Instead Wrecker is well-scaled with the rest of the Bad Batch – slightly taller but considerably bigger when in terms of muscle. He's a chunky figure, but not especially heavier than an average release. Wrecker comes donned in his distinct grey Bad Batch clone trooper armour, which has been given the more "realistic" Black Series treatment with various dings and scratches etched into the plastic to give it more depth. This same realism treatment has also been given to the head sculpt, which is hands down the best that's come out of the Bad Batch releases so far despite the somewhat glossy/waxy finish of the plastic. Not only does it immediately look like a real-life version of Wrecker (complete with clouded eye, scarred face and trademark grin), but it captures the fact they're all augmented Jango Fett clones as well with the Temuera Morrison likeness. It's a beefier version of him for sure, but the features are unmistakeable. The look of the figure is completed by his backpack and helmet – both of which are stored separately in the packaging. The backpack simply pegs onto a T-shaped hole in his back, while the helmet slots over the head. Despite being made of a softer and somewhat bendy plastic, getting the helmet to fit properly over the head does take a bit of force. It's a great helmet though – far more distinct than your typical clone trooper helmet and beautifully painted with the skull face paint and "Clone Force 99" symbols. The same goes for the rest of the paint apps spread across the armour, from the same symbols on the shoulder pads to all the detailing on the backpack. With a lot of deluxe Black Series release it can be difficult to see where the additional money is going, but between the size and paint apps on Wrecker it feels like he justifies those additional pennies.

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He may be a little larger than his teammates but in terms of poseability there's little to no difference between the deluxe-sized Wrecker and your average (new body) Black Series figure. Altogether the figure includes;
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso and hips
- Swivel hinge elbows, wrists, knees and ankles
- Butterfly joint shoulders
- Thigh swivels
As is the case with a lot of these newer Black Series moulds, there have been some fantastic changes made to the body template while others are a little more questionable. It's been long enough now that I've gotten used to the swivel hinge elbows (the bend might not be as good as the previous double hinges but that additional swivel is really helpful for two-handed blaster poses), but the awkward angles of the swivel hinge knees doesn't look or work nearly as well. The other baffling omission on Wrecker is the complete lack of a waist swivel, which stands out even more due to the odd movement of the torso joint. Though standard ball joint movement, it has an awful lot of resistance and "clicks" into place rather than being freely moveable. Said click isn't a particularly pleasant sound either - it sounds almost as if something is snapping inside there even though its working as intended. But other than that, Hasbro have done a great job at getting past all the restrictions Wrecker's clone trooper armour might have. The shoulder pads are a loosely connected soft plastic that's able to raise and bend along with the shoulder movement, and the ankle joints have an incredible range of movement both forwards/backwards and side to side. And of course, the new ball jointed head/neck construction continues to be the way forward for these figures. With that added size also comes additional weight too, so the figure balances pretty well even in some of the more extravagant poses its capable of.

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In addition to his helmet and backpack, Wrecker also comes packaged with two weapons – a DC-17m ICWS (Interchangeable Weapons System) assault rifle and a combat knife. The assault rifle is identical to the one that was included with Hunter, though this time it's been moulded in a dark grey plastic as opposed to black. All the detailing is exactly the same though, and despite a larger weapon perhaps fitting Wrecker a little better the rifle still looks great in his hands. Meanwhile the combat knife is a brand new piece, considerably larger than Hunter's own vibro-knife and can be stored in the holster fitted to Wrecker's right leg. It's a pretty simple piece with its jagged blade and non-descript handle (which sadly seems to have a lot of mould flash coming off it, at least with my copy anyway), but fits the whole commando vibe the Bad Batch have going on perfectly and the size is well-suited to big bruiser like Wrecker. Altogether it might seem like a pretty basic pair of accessories, but together with the helmet and backpack (and the paintwork both those pieces have) it's a better array of pieces than most figures tend to get.

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With prices going up across the board and "deluxe" releases getting more and more questionable (see: the forthcoming Cobb Vanth and Book of Boba Fett Boba Fett releases), it's nice that Black Series Wrecker actually justifies his price point. Effectively a larger version of the previous Bad Batch releases, Wrecker shares all the same strengths and flaws as his teammates but also stands out thanks to that brilliant head sculpt. Due to his boisterous personality Wrecker quickly became the fan favourite among the Bad Batch clones, and Hasbro certainly haven't let those fans down with this release.

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