WordPress has informed me that today is the fifth anniversary of this site. It’s crazy how quickly time has gone by, and I feel a tinge of regret that I’ve neglected this blog as much as I have. But realistically I just don’t have the time to dedicate to this site like I would like. Anyway, happy anniversary to The Forgotten Starship!
So, I rarely buy Star Wars things anymore. I sold off all of my modern Star Wars toys for the second time in my life a couple of years back, mainly because they weren’t bringing me joy like they once were. I’m not into six inch scale figures, and Hasbro were seemingly focusing on releasing larger figures over the more traditional 3.75″ figure, and coupled with my general disappointment over the new sequel trilogy movies, I just saw little point in collecting newer toys. So I sold off my collection of modern stuff, never again to buy another modern Star Wars toy. That was until the announcement of the Hasbro ‘Retro Collection’, which were reissues of Vintage figures. The first and second waves were from the original Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back, and weren’t the best, with characters unable to properly hold their weapons in their hand. Hasbro also decided to release two new figures in the retro Kenner style- Grand Moff Tarkin and Luke Skywalker (in Snowspeeder outfit), but these were only available by purchasing reissues of vintage Star Wars boardgames, which I thought was incredibly shitty on Hasbro’s part. Anyway, despite picking up the previous two series of Retro figures, it was the third series of figures I was really looking forward to, as they were all new figures from the first season of the Disney+ show- The Mandalorian. And here they are.
As you can see, there are seven figures in this set, and I’m gonna take a look at them all individually.
First up is the titular bounty hunter himself, Mando!
As you can see, Mando is wearing the mixed armour that he wore before he acquired his sleek and shiny beskar suit. I’m guessing it’s so that Hasbro can sell another version of Mando with his more iconic Beskar suit at a later date. Which is unfortunate as I’m sure most would have preferred the more typical look of Mando over the version we only saw on-screen for one episode. But it is what it is. Detailing on the figure is nice and does the job pretty well, making the figure feel accurately ‘retro’. The one thing I am unsure about is the vinyl cape on Mando’s back. It’s true that figures released for the first couple of movies had similar looking vinyl capes, with Obi-Wan, Darth Vader and Leia all being released with capes like this one. But on this figure, it just doesn’t look right, because it takes up his whole back, and is just too long. Whereas on the character in the show, it looks much shorter and is draped more to one side. Not a major issue for me, just a little niggle.
Mando comes equipped with two weapons, his disintegrator rifle and a pistol. Many vintage figures would come equipped with the same weapon, presumably to save costs, but in this retro line, most figures have unique looking weapons. Which isn’t really a bad thing, as there were occasions in the vintage line where figures were packed with blasters that they never used or were seen with in the movie. The single colour moulded plastic does feel sufficiently vintage though, and I could easily see most weapons in this line not looking out of place accompanying figures in the vintage line.
As something of a comparison, here is the new Mandalorian bounty hunter stood next to the original!
Although Mando does look a little more modern compared to Boba Fett, it isn’t completely jarring. Even figures made for the original 1977 movie lacked the details compared to those released for 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and as Boba was released in the run up to The Empire Strikes Back, (around ’79) I think these figures sit comfortably on the shelf together without looking worlds apart.
Before I even opened the packaging of this figure, I had a gripe. Baby Yoda (or ‘The Child’ as he is known at this point in the show) feels very modern. I’m not sure if it’s the shiny plastic or what it is, but it doesn’t feel like it could be a vintage figure in the same way that Mando almost could. This feels like it could easily be part of a modern series, like one of the figures released for The Force Awakens or Rogue One, (those which came with a ridiculous assortment of body armour or oversized weaponry that never featured in the movies).
Baby Yoda comes equipped with his hover pram and a teeny blue frog to snack upon.
The lid of the pram can clip onto the main part although it falls off very easily.
And here is The Child next to a Vintage Yoda figure.
I can’t help but feel that Baby Yoda would have benefited from having a cloth outfit, perhaps to just make him look a little less plasticky, and more like the original Yoda. Sadly, despite being a central character of the show, it’s probably my least favourite figure of this set.
There was some uncertainty online as to whether this figure was going to be released, due to actress Gina Carano getting fired by Disney for controversial comments online. I believe that a larger Black Series figure was cancelled, but that may be to do with likeness rights, whereas I’m not sure if likeness rights apply to the smaller less detailed figures like this. Regardless, the figure saw a release, and it’s one of my favourite figures of the set. The bright blue colour doesn’t look exactly like the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, but it does look similar to something that would appear in the toyline accompanying the Droids TV series, so still very much of the vintage kinda feel.
Cara Dune comes with two blasters, a rifle and a pistol. The rifle has warped a little in the packaging, but could probably be sorted by dunking in some hot water and straightening out.
Anyway, here is Cara next to a couple of vintage Rebel soldiers.
Anyway, next is Kuiil
It amazes me how just in a couple of episodes of the Mandalorian, writers were able to give us far more lovable and memorable characters than three of the sequel movies had managed to do. We had encountered Ugnaughts before in ESB, when they were being little wankers to Chewie on Cloud City, throwing C3PO’s head around as Chewie desperately tried to save him from being melted down. So it was nice to encounter a much more likable member of the Ugnaught race in the form of Kuiil.
Kuiil comes with a blaster that reminds me of the gun that comes with the original Jawa, which I think was an Ion gun in the original movie used to stun droids. This gun looks more like it could be used to fit restraining bolts instead of combat, and as I don’t recall Kuiil ever using a blaster for combat, I like this idea.
Here is Kuill next to a vintage Ugnaught.
So there we go, a very nice representation of a very nice Ugnaught. I have spoken.
Next is someone a little more dangerous. It’s IG-11
When Mando first encountered IG-11 when going to retrieve Baby Yoda, I squealed childishly seeing IG-11 being a total badass killing machine. IG-88 was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, when Vader calls bounty hunters to his Star Destroyer in order to capture Han and Leia, and IG-88 ended up becoming some legendary figure in the Expanded Universe. But the original prop of IG-88 just stood there. So to actually see what an IG assassin droid was capable of was exciting as hell, and making him completely lovable after Kuiil reprogrammed him was perfect. This figure is one of my favourites of the line, and doesn’t feel worlds apart from the vintage IG-88, although it does have slightly larger hands to hold weapons with.
The weapons IG-11 comes with are very similar to the ones that IG-88 came with as seen below.
I love this pair together and want to create an army of IG droids now.
Next is Greef Karga.
I didn’t know I’d ever get a Star Wars figure modeled after Carl Weathers, but I’m glad I now do. This figure is a simple yet decent enough representation of the actor. Like Mando, Greef comes with a vinyl cape which works much better on this character than on Mando. He also somes with a blaster which ACTUALLY FITS INTO HIS HOLSTER!
Years ago, kids managed to cram the blaster of Han (in his Hoth outfit) into the holster on his hip, but it didn’t fit properly. But now here is an actual vintage style figure where the blaster can fit nicely away when not in use! Here is Greef next to two other Star Wars scoundrels-
I think he looks pretty good, and looks like he fits comfortably in with the vintage line.
And now for the final figure in the set, Moff Gideon!
I didn’t love Moff Gideon instantly in the Mandalorian, mainly as he kind of just showed up in the last couple of episodes unannounced, but Giancarlo Esposito ended up playing him with such calm menace that he did end up becoming a dislikeable villain. Moff Gideon comes with two weapons as seen below-
A small blaster pistol and the Darksaber, a legendary weapon first introduced in the Clone Wars series. The saber appears to be the same as the one that came with the vintage Luke Bespin and Jedi figures, only this time it is moulded in black plastic.
And finally, here is Gideon next to some other evil Imperial bastards-
Like most of the figures, he doesn’t look wildly out of place either, and can sit on the shelf blending nicely in with the vintage line.
So overall, do I like this new series in the Retro collection? Yes, although I am not a fan of Hasbro and their money grabbing tendencies, making you pay a fortune buying boardgames to get hold of certain figures like Luke Snowspeeder, Grand Moff Tarkin and now the Imperial Remnant Stormtrooper. But whilst I don’t love big companies, I do love retro style figures, and these Mandalorian figures for the most part are pretty nifty, and feel of higher quality than the Funko/Super7 ReAction figures I have covered on here before. I’m hoping if a second series of these Mandalorian figures are released, we’ll get some background characters or aliens that have about 1.5 seconds screentime, as for me, that is what vintage Star Wars toys are about. The Hammerhead, Snaggletooth, Prune Face, or Yakface, who appeared vaguely in backgrounds and yet were immortalized in toy form, allowing kids to decide for themselves whether they were villainous or heroic in nature. Realistically, I doubt that this is going to happen, but it would be neat anyway!
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I’ll try and post again soon!