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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Hovertank Pilot - Star Wars: Rogue One
Star Wars Black Action Figure

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-11-23
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Introduction

I haven't covered a lot of the Star Wars Black series 1/12th scale action figures this year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been buying them.  These are the only non-sixth scale Star Wars products I'm purchasing right now, and I'm staying *close* to completist with them. That includes the exclusives, although some of those are a bit of a stretch.

Toys R Us has themselves a good exclusive right now, picking up a new character from the new film, Rogue One. I have no idea if the Hovertank Pilot will get more than a flash on the screen, but new troopers are always a welcome addition. At least the first time they're produced - when we start putting china patterns on the armor, it might be time to stop.

No weird variants here - this is the Hovertank Pilot in all his nitty, gritty splendor. As I said, these are available at most Toys R Us stores now, and you can expect to pay around $20.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Packaging - ***1/2
While I remain a fan of the collector friendly nature of the Hasbro packages, I have to admit to being a bit...bored. The plain red interior tray and the basic black of the box is starting to wear on me. I still love the cool character artwork on the bottom front corner, but it's not enough for me these days to give that extra half star.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***
For those unfamiliar with the larger Black series, these figures are in a 1/12th scale, and the Pilot comes in at 6 inches tall.

The armor design is great, at least from the neck down. While we still have no idea if this particular trooper will play an interesting role in the new film, the overall design does seem to fit in with the other old school troopers. My only real disappointment with this figure is in the head sculpt.

The helmet has a sort of Herman Munster forehead, with a very large brow ridge. It seems cumbersome and awkward to my eye, and while there's some nice detailing, the basic helmet design isn't appealing. The tall, narrow look combined with the big brow and wide flair at the neck line just isn't working for me.

This is an aesthetic issue of course, so your mileage may very well vary, and quite a bit.  The work from the neck down, including the small minutiae on the waist armor, are great for the scale and price point, and show the sort of attention to detail that we expect. They even textured the pants to look like cloth, an extra I hadn't expected.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Paint - ***1/2
This Pilot has seen action, and his armor shows it. They've added small details, some of them quite minor, to add a nice level of realism, and the dirt and grime effects work well. They aren't over done, but give a sense of being battle tested.

I also like how the darker, off white color of the armor is reminiscent of the older films.  I've included a photo of this figure with one of the new iTroopers, and you can see the throwback to a more industrialized theme in the color.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Articulation - ***1/2
The overall articulation on this guy is terrific, and he was far more posable than most of the Black series trooper figures, especially those based on designs from Force Awakens.

The ball neck works pretty well, with less restriction thanks to the wide flair on the helmet.  The rotating hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists allow for great arm poses, even with the armor, and he can easily hold his weapon in a two handed pose.

The rolling chest joint doesn't have a ton of tilt and lean action, but it's just enough to add some personality to any action pose.  The ball hips, cut thighs, and double pin knees work well enough to get deep stances, and the pin/rocker ankles allow the feet to stay flat on the ground. The pose you see in the photo below is being held by the figure itself, with no help of any sort. That's how well the articulation and center of gravity work together, and the tightness of the joints helps maintain even difficult stances.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Accessories - **1/2
Here's the one area where he falls a tad flat. He comes with one and only one accessory, his blaster. Unlike some of the other trooper designs, there's no way for him to carry the weapon except in his hand - there's no holster, and there's no 'slot' in the armor to attach it.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ****
While he might have a few issues, he's still a really fun figure, and I found the articulation and poseability to be a breath of fresh air in this scale. Sure, a Marvel Legends figure can take all kinds of wild poses, but the Black series tends to be a bit more restricted. Still, thanks to the design of the articulation around the armor, this guy is a ton of fun.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Value - **1/2
At $20, these are maintaining the standard mass market toy pricing for the scale.  I'm good with that, and regular readers know that a **1/2 here means the Overall isn't adjusted either up or down - you're getting what you're paying for, nothing more, nothing less.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Sturdy all around, he makes for a great action figure.

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Overall - ***1/2
I'm digging the overall throwback look of these new trooper designs, and the articulation and play-ability on this guy make him a stand out. Okay, so I'm not super keen on the helmet design, but in the big pond that's a small fish. The human sculpts in the Black series may not always shine, but their work on the aliens, robots, and troopers remains top notch for the $20 price point.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
This particular figure is a Toys R Us exclusive, but you shouldn't have too much trouble finding him.  At my local store there were dozens, and the Black series exclusives tend to be available in plentiful numbers. Expect to pay around $20.  You can search ebay for a deal as well.

Related Links -
It's been awhile since I covered a Black series figure, with the most recent being Jango Fett and the Flametrooper. Prior to that, I covered Old Man Han and Trooper Finn  the Resistance Fighter, Captain Phasma, the Target two pack of Poe and the Riot Control Trooper, the first Poe, the basic FO Trooper (along with the Disney die cast version), a Snowtrooper, and Captain Zuvio.

I've covered a ton of the earlier Star Wars Black 6" figures as well, so you should also hit the Search Reviews page to find them and in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Hovertank Pilot Star Wars Black action figure by Hasbro

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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