they made one fan very happy: trailer for Luke Cage is out

The moment where we see Luke Cage in his “classic” look, seemingly explained through science, made me smile. That’s how i first met the character and therefore has a special place in the comics-corner of my heart.

It seems the series will among other things look at the heroes that don’t have a secret identity and how much bravery it requires and how much danger this decision brings with it, and not only for the titular character.

Star Wars toy report: Poe Dameron (Black Series)

Flying for the Resistance under the callsign Black Leader, Poe Dameron leads a Squadron of X-Wings in the fight against the First Order.
From the comic series Shattered Empire we know that his parents were survivors of the Battle of Endor, and stayed in the service of the New Republic afterwards until they settled down on Yavin 4 to spend more time as a family instead of being scattered across the galaxy in the fight against the remnants of the Empire.
It seems like he is rescued by Finn after being captured by the First Order and interrogated by Kylo Ren.
He grew up near a force sensitive tree, given to his mother by Luke Skywalker, who she helped remove two of the trees from an Imperial research facility.
I have always had a soft spot for pilots in the Star Wars universe. Wedge Antilles is one of my favourite characters from the movies and the former expanded universe, Hera Syndulla is the glue that holds her Rebel cell together, Han and Lando back up their big mouths with their skills and it seems that Poe Dameron fits that mold.


Black Series Pilot version

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This is the first figure from the Black Series line for Episode VII that is hard to talk about. Because no matter how many positive things there are to say, the face sculpt negates them all.

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And it doesn’t get better with the helmet on.

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But if you adjust the angle and the lighting you can get a decent photo of his countenance.

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But that won’t make one forget the stroke he must have suffered and robbed him of the control of the right side of his face.
Also, the helmet is a nice addition, but doesn’t really fit the figure but is cheaper than a seperate head with a sculpted on helmet and finally, is that Oscar Isaac?

The rest of the figure is ok. The flightsuit and helmet both look great and have neat details on it.

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The figure comes with a blaster pistol that can be stored in a holster and two hands without the gloves on but in the same grip poses.
It would have been nice to get two relaxed hands in gloves instead.

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I looked forward to recieving this figure, and perhaps i got a very bad example of it because i bought my figure from a lot of used ones.


Black Series Uniform version

This version of Poe Dameron comes packaged with a Riot Trooper, but is only sold in certain stores in the US and UK.
This one comes dressed in the uniform of the Resistance, a white verison of the pilot helmet (which doesn’t look as good as the black version) and a rifle version of the blaster design that you get with the Finn figure.

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The face sculpt on this figure is a huge improvement over the pilot version. It is still not perfect, but resemlbes Oscar Isaac likeness more.

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Again, a different angle makes the difference.

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In this version, the helmet also looks out of place.

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Here is a detailed shot of his rifle and his jacket. The jacket in particular looks good. The red applications on the shoulder parts of the jacket are a bit distracting for me, but it gives him a swashbuckler aura that fits the character.

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The face sculpt isn’t perfect on this figure, but at least one gets a decent head to put on the pilot version body.


It is a shame that Hasbro released such a badly sculpted figure. I’m aware that we are talking about a mass produced toy, and the other figures do not resemble the actors liknesses as well as a Hot Toys version would, but at least you can see an aspect of them in their toy counterpart, which is hard to do in this case.

Star Wars toy report: Darth Vader & Ahsoka Tano

When Hasbro let us know that they are releasing an Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader figure based on their likeness from Star Wars Rebels, i was looking forward to them very much. Vader in particular because of the design choice to work the Ralph McQuarrie designs, making him look a it more vicious than the final desgin.

Both figures are sold as a set in the Mission line with the new packaging. Both figures come with their signature lightsaber, sabers in Ahsoka’s case as well as a disc-shooter gimmick which this reviewer could have happily lived without. Both figures have a small sculpted on hook on their hip where the disc can be stored. It does not make the sculpt any less good, but when you see it, it might bother you (until you forget about it).

Here is a photo of both figures:

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Let’s start of with Darth Vader.

As mentioned this iteration of the character incorporates a few more of the Ralph McQuarrie design. While still apparent, they have been toned down for the final production figure. Which is sad because i liked the silhouette of the figure, in the show Vader looked sleeker, and the cape wraped around his narrow shoulders made him feel faster and more predatory than he looked in the movies.

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The slighty tilted back helmet makes him look more aware of is surroundings, always scanning for a potential target, always on the hunt. The rather blocky frame of the production figure ties more into the look of the final movie design.

I actually like the the always “puffed up” version of the cape. I imagine Vader using the force to brush aside the cape instead of just raising his arms to further intimidate any opposite party.

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The tinted lenses tie in nicely with Vader’s look in Episode IV and the larger mouthpiece and nose give him a more predatory look. And there are angry eyebrows, those are always a good choice to communicate how bad a bad guy is.

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Sculpted legs under in his tunic, a detail i already enjoyed immensely with Kylo Ren.

This photo also shows how stiff the cape is, and that its weight makes him hard to pose and he is already very restricted when it comes to posing. This figure lives and dies with the modifications made to the helmet and the cape.

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Now, Ahsoka is a figure i’m sadly not so happy with. She might resemble the adult version we see in Star Wars Rebels, i like the new look she has, granting her the movement necessary to fight with two lightsabers while providing some protection.

But the face sculpt on my figure looks….disinterested.

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But she looks a lot better from the side.

A few more details on her lightsabers hilts would have been nice too.

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BUt what i really like is the blue on her “head-tails”. I might have enhanced it a bit for the photos, but it also looks good in reality.

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Finishing off this review is a shot of the final confrontation between former master and apprentice. Will Darth Vader sever the last tie to his past as a Jedi Knight or will he let his former pupil leave this confrontation alive?

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Took a second one, just in case. Don’t know which one i like better.

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Star Wars toy report: Captain Phasma

What do we know about Captain Phasma?
She seems to hold a high position in the First Order’s military structure. She seems to be a very confident/experienced warrior and she owns one of the most iconic armors that will surely rival the high profile of Darth Vader’s.

With all the other characters we’re seeing on the shelves, i wonder how big her role will be and how much screentime she will get.

Lets start with the two figures of her i own at the time of writing this:


Hasbro 3.75 inch version

The sculpt is great like on all the other figures. The armor is a bit bulkier than that of the regular Stormtrooper and she seems more menacing than them also.

I like the helmet design in particular. The jaw reminds me of a beak which makes me think of her as a mother swan surrounded by her offspring when she is around the stormtroopers.

The cape is a great touch. It only aids in discerning her from the troops and gives her a regal aura.
I wonder if those are patches or bags. A theory of mine is that they are bags for small items, because patches would change how the cape falls more noticeable.

Phasma wields a blaster that so far i’ve only seen on the black series Snowtroopers, but in another colour.

Like with the Stormtrooper, you can clip the blaster to her upper thigh, but this time i hinders the movement of the right arm.

There are small paint errors on the cape, but one can always justify them with wear and tear (or just get off his lazy bum and paint them).


Disney Store figure set version>

The posing and paintjob of this figure is great. It reminds me of greek statues and enhances her dangerous/regal aura.
The way she holds her blaster looks so great. It screams confidence.

The cape on this version has a few handling marks, but what i’m curious about is why this version only has one patch/bag on it? Coincidence? Error? Continuity?

I tried to emphasize the posing and paint in this photo. Really dig this figure, but i’m not sure if i would buy the whole set again to get her, or try and get a single figure from a third party.

Star Wars toy report: The Troopers

Recruits or clones? Who is under the helmets of the soldiers of the first order?

What we have been shown so far is a very good looking update of the
classic armor designs. Yes, they look like the future uniforms of
the employees of a certain company, but nonetheless, an evolution of
the design we’re used to.

As always, here is a photo of the figures currently in my collection:


Hasbro First Order Stormtrooper
3.75″ version

First figure i got.

Like i mentioned above, i really like the design of the Stormtroopers. Even
the white colour of the blasters looks great.

The figure comes with standard articulation, five points, but the sculpt
enables one to get a few good poses out of it.

A detail that delighted me was that you can actually peg the blaster into
the upper leg!

I’m easy to satisfy.


Hasbro First Order Stormtrooper
6″ Black Series

An even greater representation of the Stormtrooper. The articulation and detail on this figure will certainly be bested by the S.H. Figuarts release.

Again, i like the new weapons design. This release even includes a pistol.

Holster!! One that fits both weapons, one at a time.

Somehow, the details on the shoes of the Black Series figures caught my eye
in this wave. Dig the clasp that seems to close the boot or armor plate.


Hasbro Fire Trooper
3.75″ version

While the design of this armor screams dangerous, i’m not that smitten with
it. It conveys the point of this being a lethal tool in the arsenal of the
First Order, bulky armor and a sci-fi flamethrower, but also reminds me of
a design for the the Robocop remake that did not get approved .

I am not sure if the scratch on the helmet is a molding error or a detail.
Either way, i like it, gives the figure a backstory.

Here is a detail of his fuel tank and the handpiece.


Disneystore figure set

A more dynamic pose and a better paintjob sets this one apart from the
other Disneystore figures and makes it look a bit better than the 3.75
figure from Hasbro.


Hasbro First Order Tie-Pilot
3.75 Version

The new uniform reminds me of fetishwear or an officers uniform. And it would fit a pilot, they’re enjoying more priviliges than the regular troopers and flying a plane must already be a very exhilarating experience, steering a vessel through space must be an even more intense high.

The Tie Pilot comes with a liitle pistol, but no place to store it.


I am not sure if i have the time to post another report this week because of a big project at work that will take up a lot of my time for the next two weeks.
Thanks for reading!

Star Wars toy report: Finn

Yesterday i read an interesting report about Finn’s background, explaining his name and why he could be able to handle a lightsaber efficiently.
I’m very curious about his background, is he a spy for the resistance, a deserter of the first order or a clone?
Sadly i have to say, currently he’s the character who needs a better action figure.
But with this figure, i also associate a sad story about force friday. We got to the local toy story very late in the day and my Niece agreed to come along. It was sad to see that Rey and Finn were the figures that nobody seemed to like which was very awkward in the company of a black girl and reminded me of a parent asking his kid if he really wants to buy a toy figure with a skin color other than white.
She doesn’t care about Star Wars, but it made me feel uneasy about what this movie certainly will bring out in people.

But let’s start the orverview. Here is a group shot of all the figures i currently have of Finn:


Hasbro 3.75 inch version


This plastic iteration is a shrunk down, less articulated version of the 6 inch Black series version.
I like the color of the jacket, and you find almost the same details on it. He also comes with the same gun as the Black Series version, but without the paint job.

Hasbro 6 inch Black Series version

Or could the Black Series version be an enlarged version of the 3.75 version? As expected, this figure comes with more articulation and a detailed paint job than it’s smaller version.
I particularly like the details on the jacket and the trousers and shoes.

I have to heat up some water and try to get his gun straightened out, but the weathered paint job on it and on his jacket looks very good.

My biggest problem with the face sculpt are the eyes. ROTJ Luke also has this weird eyes that were painted on looking up. The face sculpts are weak across all the figures, but in Finn’s case, you can see John Boyega.

The absolute best face sculpt is found on the 12 inch version. The Niece, the Wife and me were in awe of that, but i’m not a big fan on the scale. Perhaps if i had the space to display/store them….

Disneystory figure-set version

The pose is great, the pain job is great, but the face reminds me of porcelain figurines or medieval paintings, which somehow is great and „takes you out“ of the whole feeling of the character.
The illusion of fabric on his shirt and trousers is a nice detail.
But again, for two bucks per figure, the Disneystore set is a decent deal.

Star Wars toy report: Rey & BB-8

There is a theory that Rey might be the daughter of a senator and a scoundrel, another that she is the relative of a certain Jedi.
I have no idea, but i rather see her as someone who made her mark on the planet Jakku and gets drawn into the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance by Finn’s arrival.
BB-8 is Por Dameron’s droid, and i guess he strands on Jakku and will be Rey and Finn’s reason to meet Poe Dameron.

Here are all plastic iterations of her that currently reside in my collection (that is a lie, i forgot to put the vinyl versions in this group shot):


Hasbro 3.75 inch version

Like every other figure in this line, i am amazed by the sculpt. The face sculpt might not be screen accurate and there are a few paint errors, but the hair and clothing look great.
My big gripe, like with every other figure from the 3.75 inch range, is the inclusion of the collect and connect item instead of an extra part for the figure, in Rey’s case, i’d like to have them include her desert gear. But you can get it with buying her vehicle. But we get a backpack that looks neat.

Black Series 6 inch version

The Black Series version is neat too, i’m just a bit bothered by the paintjob on the face. Perhaps Reyis a more stern/serious character, then it fits perfectly.

What i kind of dig the rosy cheeks. The first thought i had when seeing her was “She’s healthy.”
But the lips….why was lipstick painted on them? Accentuating them would have looked better.
Her hair is another detail i like.

Also, the hands are bit strange. I haven’t had the chance to get a decent pose out of her holding her staff.
But i want to finish this on a high note, which for me are her bag and her shoes.

Can’t help myself, but those two things make the figure feel whole to me.
Disney Store vinyl version

I’m a bit biased about the figure. I like the pose but like it is with Kylo Ren, we talk about a three bucks vinyl figure, for that money you get a decent figure.
The face paint is somehow awesome. She looks determined and is on her way to tick off one or more names.

Black Series BB-8

I like this droid. He feels like a natural extension of the droids we saw in THE TRILOGY. A droid with a round body gets around easier and if properly constructed, is able to maneuver harsher territory.
I’m really excited about the character of BB-8. Will he just be an updated version of R2D2 in a movie that will future the astromech droid?

The paintjob and details of the figure are great, balancing him is a though act.
Otherwise he’s a great, static, representation of BB-8.

All photos ©by heliocentricbullshit.com

Star Wars toy report: Poe Dameron

To me he feels like the Han Solo of the new trio. In the book Moving Target he gets mentioned, and it seems that he is one of the biggest assets of the Resistance.

Could his motivation be linked to the protagonists of the comic Shattered Empire, members of the Rebellion who fought at the battle of Endor who could be his parents?


Hasbro’s 3,75 inch figures

Currently i own two of the 3,75 inch figures, in his pilot get up and what seems to be a uniform.

Pilot version

Despite the banana visor and the fact that the helmet is not removable i’m happy with the figure. (Yes, the pilot version that comes with the X-Wing seems to be painted with a more movie accurate colour tone and the helmet is removable, but currently i don’t have the space to display the vehicle properly.)

“Civil” version

I really dig his expression, although there are paint errors on his face. It does not look anything like Oscar Isaac, but it brings out the Han Solo nature i see in the character.

His jacket matches the worn on the Finn figure, a garment of the Resistance i presume.

Buying both figures enables one to build a helmet-less pilot version.

Star Wars toy report: Kylo Ren

When we saw Kylo Ren’s mask for the first time in the second teaser for The Force Awakens my initial thought was “cheap Vader knock-off”. The mask reminded me of protection gear for snowboarders, not something that exactly screams villian.
But being able to handle a toy of the character changed my view of it. The mask has more of a tribal character to it, i imagine it to be a piece of ritual paraphernalia, perhaps a piece that is not unique to Kylo Ren but the uniform of the Knights Of Ren? The cloak reminds me of monks, which would fit with the rumors that he is part of an organisation that plans in cloning Vader.

So here is a shot of all the plastic iterations i currently own of Kylo Ren.

Overall i’m happy with all of them. But lets take a detailed look at all of them:

Hasbro’s 3,75 inch version

The 3,75 inch version is already a great toy. Five points of articulation might be a dealbreaker for many, but i take a well made sculpt over a crazy amount of articulation.
All the details are there, his posture is slighty hunched and makes him seem larger than any of the other characters. I dig the tip of his left shoe peeking out from under his robe in particular.
Speaking of his legs, it is nice to see that the trousers have been sculptes with a few wrinkles to look like a he is wearing a garment, even though they are part of the robe.

The price point for the 3.75″ figures bothers me. The extra weapons don’t justify the 14,99 that some vendors are charging. Would have been nice to skip the add-on parts and try to keep the price at or below 10 bucks.

Disney Store vinyl figure

This version is part of a set sold exclusievly in Disney-Stores.
At first glance, the figure looks great, put in a dynamic pose that suggest that he is either defending himself or preparing an attack, enhanced by the slight fluttering of his hood.

But there are two shortcomings:

  • Two marks on the blade of his lightsaber which are probably results of the moulding process.
  • Colour variations in the base as well as a chip in it.

Both are not that severe given the price point of the figure, about three euros per figure after shipping, and even with those shortcomings he is one of the better figures from that set.
And the cosmetic damages on the lightsaber blade and the base can be made less severe with a paintjob and some sanding paper.

Hasbro 6 inch Black Series

My favourite version so far. It seems i was lucky enough to have snatched a “good” version. The soft goods on the figure are well made and are actually enhancing his look. Vader’s cape is still a catastrophe for me (but i’m about to replace it). The robes lenght is debatable, but for me, it’s the right fit.

I’m still deceiding on wether to get Bandai’s version, which will be released under their S.H. Figuarts line of figures.
Being the maniac i am i’ll probably get it and the First Order Stormtrooper.

Next up is Poe Dameron.