Friday 13 October 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Dok-Ondar

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Release Date: July 2023
RRP: $44.99/£44.99

Galaxy's Edge is more than just a part of the Disney Parks, it's become a legitimate part of the Star Wars universe. In addition to the immersive experience of visiting Black Spire Outpost itself there has now been novels, comics and a whole lot of other back story as well. But part of what makes Galaxy's Edge so special are the characters that inhabit it, which is something Hasbro clearly recognised with their range of Black Series figures based on the park. Following favourites like Hondo Onaka and DJ R-3X, a perhaps lesser known but equally important character has now joined the line as a Disney Parks/Shop Disney exclusive. Dok-Ondar is the proprietor of Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities - a unique store that deals in various trinkets from across the galaxy. As a newly created character (as opposed to repurposed) for Galaxy's Edge, Black Series Dok-Ondar is perhaps the most interesting release from the range yet.

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"Dok-Ondar is an infamous collector who buys, sells, and trades rare and valuable relics in his Den of Antiquities in Black Spire Outpost. A mysterious Ithorian, Dok-Ondar is sought after for his knowledge and connections."

The Black Series Dok-Ondar packaging is a bit of a weird one, because while it makes the effort to be a little more special than your typical Black Series figure it's also let down by the fact it was released during Hasbro's windowless "plastic free packaging" phase. What we have here is a book-style box, with some gorgeous artwork of Dok-Ondar at his store on the cover. Those that have been to Galaxy's Edge will really appreciate the accuracy and detail this artwork has. Usually this front would open up to reveal a window showing off the figure inside, but instead it opens to image of the figure itself - and one that's also on the back of the box (albeit with less fancy lighting) no less. To the side of it though is a short bio about the character, which says far more about Dok-Ondar than most Black Series bios tend to these days. The "spine" side of the box also features a more basic image of the figure alongside all its accessories. Open the box up, and all these parts are wrapped in paper and taped down to a cardboard tray.

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Dok-Ondar is the first Ithorian (also commonly known as 'Hammerheads') to appear in the Black Series line, and as such this is a brand new mould. The figure stands at a slightly 6.7" tall, with large three-toed feet and hands with long fingers. Dok-Ondar's long, hammerhead-like head features lighter paintwork on the underside and 'face' as well as moulded detailing on its top half. One thing worth noting is that the figure itself sports much more basic paintwork than the version that appears on the box images, which shouldn't be all that surprising to anyone familiar with Hasbro figures but a little disappointing nonetheless. But as impressive as that base body may be, it's the layers on top that really impress here. Dok-Ondar wears a full body soft goods robe with hood, and then on top of that is a soft plastic coat with leathery texturing, a blue sash a free-hanging necklace sporting various tools used to examine his antiques.  The level of detail that's gone into the clothing is really impressive, with even the tiny brooch on the sash sporting moulded detailing. While Dok-Ondar is quite an expensive figure, you can certainly see where that extra cost has gone just by looking at him.

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Dok-Ondar shares very similar articulation to the rest of the current-era Black Series figures, the trouble is that due to that soft goods robe you don't really get a good look at it from the exterior. Altogether the figure features;
- Ball jointed neck, waist and hips
- Swivel hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles
What's particularly interesting about the figure is that despite nearly all of the joints being covered by clothing, Hasbro have surprisingly used pin-less joints throughout. Whether this is a sign for future uses of the mould that are much less covered is anyone's guess, but it's nice to see current tooling uses on what a lot of people will probably consider and inconsequential figure. But as nice as it is to have all that articulation there, ultimately it doesn't mean much because this is a pretty static figure overall. While it would still have plenty of mobility if it were just the soft goods robe covering the base body, the soft plastic overcoat and sash piece limit the legs quite a lot. It works for Dok-Ondar since he's not exactly the kind of character you're going to want action poses out of (and it's still a lot more animated than the actual animatronic), but it is strange that Hasbro put as much effort as they did into such a limited figure. The arms have plenty of movement though, which is perfect for wisened looks or Dok-Ondar inspecting his various antiquities.

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One of the most appealing elements to this figure though are the accessories. Don-Ondar comes with a range of pieces that can be found in his store at Galaxy's Edge - both decorative and actually purchasable by visitors. This starts with the Sword of Khashyun, a Sith artefact created by a faction of Sith warriors who believed lightsabers were for the weak. The sword was created specifically as a piece of in-park fiction for Galaxy's Edge, appearing both in the park and its tie-in media. Though a relatively basic sword piece, it is nicely detailed/painted and not the usual kind of weapon you find among Star Wars figures. Next we have a Phase 1 Clone Trooper helmet, which has been dirtied up to give it an antique finish. The weathering on it looks great, and the helmet itself is hollow and thus compatible with Clone Trooper figures. Finally we have what are perhaps the most two exciting accessories in this package - Jedi and Sith Holocrons. Full-sized Holocrons can be purchased at Dok-Ondar's store, and are compatible with the park's Kyber Crystals to unlock a variety of character-specific sounds. These two miniature versions are made of translucent coloured plastic, with gold paint around the trim as well as etched markings across their sides. The Jedi Holocron was previously released with the deluxe Jedi: Fallen Order Cal Kestis figure (albeit with a different paint scheme), while the Sith one is a brand new piece. These are great little accessories that will have a range of good uses across various figures.

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While the Galaxy's Edge range will certainly have a lot more limited appeal than most other figures in the line, anyone with a deep love for the park and its fiction should be very pleased with Black Series Dok-Ondar. Even though he effectively just manages the gift shop he still has a great presence in the park, and Hasbro have spared no expense in making a figure that looks just like a miniature version of the full-size animatronic. Some of that expense has certainly passed onto the consumer in terms of his price tag, but the exclusivity, size, detail, soft-good and accessories do a reasonably good job of justifying that price tag. Plus if you aren a big Galaxy's Edge fan, his production hopefully bodes well for other Ithorians showing up in the Black Series one day.

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