Exclu Reacts

2017 BLACK SERIES SDCC EXCLUSIVES FAVORITES

Tham brings us a quick look across the community to see how the SDCC Exclusive Black Series figures have been received now that they are in the hands of the collectors.

With the recent conclusion of SDCC, many of you have managed to get your hands on those Black Series SDCC exclusives namely – the Luke & Rey set, Luke’s Land Speeder & the Thrawn box set. I on the other hand wasn’t that lucky enough to score either one of these set. I had my eyes on the Thrawn set and was hoping that my local supplier would score me one but poor me, I wasn’t on the list and it was a very short list!

 

So, I invited a few of my friends from the toy photography community to share with me their views and also their favorite 2017 Black Series SDCC exclusives. They are Remy Fabian (IG name : @remyfabian), George Wong (IG name : @oldboygg), Dan Sparkes (IG name : @rebel_jawa) and Colin Kavanaugh (IG name : @chevy2who).

We start off with Remy Fabian a talented toy photographer from Indonesia & Star Wars fan on his favorite – the Luke & Rey set.

Nostalgia is such a big word these days. In the past decade film industry has been digging around old materials and bring them back to life through reboot, remake or a continuation of something that have been “buried” for a long time. One of them is Star Wars. With the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is just around the corner, nostalgia (and hype) played a big part in choosing my favourite Star Wars Black Series SDCC 2017 exclusives.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on two out of three SDCC 2017 exclusives: Rey & Luke Skywalker pack and Grand Admiral Thrawn. While the latter graced by abundance of accessories, The Last Jedi two-pack is the better. And between the two, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is my top choice.

I’m brave enough to say it’s the best Luke Black Series to date. The sculpt and paint application is simply amazing. I had great experience while taking photos of it. Hasbro did a great job to capture Mark Hamill’s likeness, even from multiple angles. Plus, the detail of the cybernetic arm is somewhat satisfying for a six-inch figure.

This figure does have pose limitation though. But I won’t call it as a downside. I don’t think we’ll see Luke doing crazy movements in the movie. He already looks great and wise just standing up, especially with his cloak on. While it’s the only accessory he has and will take some time to put it on, the hood sits well on his head. There are two strings inside shoulder part to attached the figure and cloak.

But above all, just like I said before, nostalgia play a big part in my decision. No doubt that Rey and Thrawn are good figures. But taking photos of this already fantastic figure while imagining The Force Awakens final scene and humming Binar Sunset theme is a much-added emotional value. Nothing can top that.

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Picture courtesy of @remyfabian

 

Next up, we have George Wong (@oldboygg), the spokesperson for the @oldboy_ctts talented team of artist and sculptors sharing with us his views on his favorite SDCC exclusive – the Thrawn box set.

Being an avid six inch scale collector of Star Wars figures, I knew I had to get all three SDCC exclusive releases from Hasbro this year just after seeing the promo pics of them prior to the event. The Land Speeder is another of Hasbro’s great releases as per many collector’s (me included) demand for six inch scale vehicles. Meanwhile, the Luke & Rey exclusive box set, was another exciting release as well because we all needed that Luke figure to bring us one step closer to completing ‘The Force Awakens’ collection. But these two releases have not come close to what has been my favorite exclusive release this year – The Thrawn box set. 

Having to get this much accessories with an interior diorama-like packaging on top has been a really enjoyable unboxing experience. Hasbro definitely listened to us collectors and really showed that they can also provide not only action figures, but the whole package to be enjoyed by both collectors and toy photographers. 

What I really like about the diorama is with simple lighting of natural evening sunlight or soft led lights, it is easy enough to get great shots that feels and looks like the interior of his artifact gallery, thanks to the light tone shading on the box print. Also the sculpt, details and paint on the accessories help bring out points of interests within the diorama itself, making for an easy setup.

Lastly the figure itself is an original sculpt of Thrawn! His face and neutral standing stance is a great representation of the animated character in a realistic fashion. I feel that this neutral albeit slightly sinister facial expression adds a lot to this interesting character – calculated, cold and stoic.

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Picture courtesy of @oldboygg

I now call upon Colin Kavanaugh (@chevy2who) a great Star Wars action figure customizer and toy photographer to share his favorite Black Series SDCC – the Luke Land Speeder.

 I’ve been collecting the SWBS 6″ line from the beginning. Back then I never dreamed we would be getting a Land Speeder. When Hasbro announced the SDCC exclusives, I was stoked. As a kid the Kenner Speeder was the first SW vehicle I had ever got and I loved that thing. So this brought back some nostalgia for me. Hasbro added in some nice features to this exclusive. The packaging is set up really well. A large window and cool graphics designs on the box. The speeder has an opening hood, rear compartments and even a button in the engine compartment to make the turbine spin. There is a clear stand under it to give the hovering FX. Which is small enough to not really get in the way while taking photos. Paint apps on the speeder are very impressive. Even the dents and dings on the front of it are there. The extras added in for Luke are poncho, hat, rifle, lightsaber,  and macrobinoculars. Which are all nice as well. It has a removable windshield the help get figures in and out. With Luke, Ben, 3PO and R2 on board it is a bit crowded.  Luke has a new head sculpt which is actually really good, but the paint apps aren’t very good on it. Luke’s tunic is also made from a different material than the Farm boy releases. Its a little more sturdy and fits the body better. All three SDCC exclusives were pretty incredible this year but the Speeder totally won me over. The Thrawn set surely is a close second.

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Picture courtesy of @chevy2who

Last but not least, we have another talented toy photographer Dan Sparkes who is also my ‘go to guy’ for everything Star Wars to share his SDCC favorite – The Thrawn Box Set. Dan has such intricate knowledge of the Star Wars universe and its characters that makes his sharing such a delight to read.

By the light of Lothal’s moon, the Thrawn Black Series Exclusive has landed and I couldn’t be happier! After Return of the Jedi (1983) fans were forgiven for believing we wouldn’t have any more Star Wars films, then Timothy Zahn came along and gave us the brilliant Thrawn trilogy and a much-beloved character was born. When Dave Filoni and Star Wars Rebels made the decision to bring Thrawn into the animated series older fan boys like me rejoiced and he was officially canon again.

We have already had reviews about the figure, its sculpt, articulation etc and while Thrawn is looking magnificent with a facial expression of menacing confidence befitting of the character, this article is about why I love this exclusive so much.

Of all the exclusives released at SDCC, this was the one I simply had to have and wasn’t willing to wait. Not just because I am such a huge Thrawn fan and my fondness for the Thrawn books, but because this was an exclusive like no other. The one thing that stands out the most is the thought of detail that has been poured into this exclusive; it comes in a beautifully designed box (if you like that kind of thing), but when you open it you have a Thrawn office diorama which with the right lighting can look spectacular and look just as impressive than the GTP Space Walls. But what I really like the most is the accessories and while The Holy Grail from Indiana Jones isn’t exactly Star Wars related (yet), the Syndulla kalikori, Jedi Temple Guard helmet which conveniently fits the Black Series Kanan Jarrus figure perfectly, and it also includes a lightsaber hilt too. This lightsaber belonged to Depa Billaba, Kanan Jarrus’ Jedi Master. As toy photographers, we are our own story tellers and as a lover of Star Wars lore, the smaller details within the universe delights me. These accessories have a deeper meaning to Black Series figures we already have and the future release of Hera Syndulla, that allows us to have unlimited story telling opportunities which make this special to me. Like my man Admiral Thrawn who appreciates art, I appreciate accessories but what I really appreciate is Hasbro’s thought of detail into this exclusive. The presentation is spot on which allows collectors or as I sometimes refer to them as ‘boxers’ who don’t want to remove everything from their ties you can still display it beautifully, whereas you can still remove everything and replace it comfortably.

What I look for in exclusives is its uniqueness, but I tend to judge it mostly on the accessories included. Good examples of this would be the Kylo Ren SWCE exclusive coming with Darth Vader’s burnt helmet and a First Order flag, and the Obi-Wan SDCC exclusive with the great table and Princess Leia hologram message made them unique. But this exclusive not only do you get a great looking figure, not just one or two accessories like the two previously mentioned but several, but it comes in a functional diorama. Would I have liked even more accessories? Absolutely I am a accessories lover as you might have gathered by now! But that’s me being selfish when really they found the right balance as well as the right content, even the Holy Grail.         

I always try to be balanced in my opinions but I can honestly say I cannot find any faults with the Thrawn exclusive. Ever since seeing the Rebels season 3 trailer at SWCE with Thrawn’s arrival into the universe I have eagerly anticipated a 6” Thrawn figure and this exclusive has not disappointed!!

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Picture courtesy of @rebel_jawa

On behalf of the team from Exclu, I would like to thank Remy, George, Colin and Dan for spending their time to share their thoughts on their favorite 2017 Black Series SDCC exclusives with us. Now for those of you who have missed out on these, the Luke, Rey and Thrawn figures are now available in retails as single packs as well as the Luke Land Speeder minus some accessories.

 

 

Categories: Exclu Reacts, Reviews, SDCC'17

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