Name: Starkiller (Galen Marek)
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Source: The Force Unleashed
Availability: October 2014
"Starkiller" is the code name of the Force-sensitive Galen Marek, who becomes an apprentice to Darth Vader during the dark era of the Galactic Empire.
Friends, we feel the days of glorious paint operations have come to an end, especially/at least when it comes to properly decorating head sculpts in the collector line anymore. Once again, Hasbro can’t seem to catch a break, or maybe is it their own fault that the line is in the current state that it’s in at the moment? The addition of one of the most sought after basic figures in recent history should have been something to make us all happy, but we’re not so sure anymore. Those who missed out on the stunning Starkiller (Vader’s Apprentice) (VC100) action figure in the collector focused The Vintage Collection line may feel salt in the would once again, because we just don’t think that this figure’s release in The Black Series [Phase II] line is going to console them. Or maybe it will. Who knows at this point. Updated not only with a new name, the former Starkiller (Vader’s Apprentice) (VC100) now hailed as Starkiller (Galen Marek) (#05), the action figure receives new paint operations most notably on the portrait which makes him look like a completely different character. It is our opinion that 2012’s TVC Starkiller (Vader’s Apprentice) (VC100) is one of the finest accomplishments of Hasbro’s career, so perhaps reissuing it two years after the fact in an environment where quality is taking a back seat has everything working against it. It couldn’t possibly not pale in comparison. You’ll be able to tell the two releases apart from one another, even outside of the packaging, easily. But let’s look at the specifics and hopefully you can make your own judgment call here.
Firstly, let’s acknowledge what Hasbro did successfully accomplish here. In a world where every “extra” costs Hasbro too much money, we have to congratulate them on capturing all ten (10) separate accessories without a blemish. (Frankly, it’s quite a miracle that an action figure with that many accessories wasn’t automatically disqualified for The Black Series line just for cost analysis alone.) And from the neck down, Starkiller (Galen Marek) looks almost/nearly identical to the figure in The Vintage Collection line, save for a few shades of color differences here and there, but nothing big at all. Where the figure will stop you dead in your tracks however is the “new” portrait. It looks so strikingly different from the TVC figure that we’re almost inclined to believe that it’s an all-new head sculpt. (And we’re still not 100% sure it isn’t new in one aspect or another – 99.99% sure it isn’t, but still not 100%.) Obviously there are similarities between to the two head sculpts, but if you look at our side by side comparison in the photo gallery, you’ll see that the news figure’s ears don’t protrude out from the head at much. (And we’re not even talking about the paint variances yet.) It’s no secret that Starkiller (Galen Marek) has received quicker and less involved paint operations. The eyebrows are ridiculous, the eyes just have dots for pupils and irises and his new harsh hairline looks a lot more like he is a member of a gang than a videogame figure. He even has less texture in his hair and there is a faint black “mohawk” line running down the top center of his head. We also don’t think they matched the flesh color of the neck joint well with the color of the plastic used for his head.
Status: Starkiller (Galen Marek) is a repaint of 2012's TVC Starkiller (Vader's Apprentice) (VC100) figure. The figure has sadly received an inferior paint job on the portrait this time around. It's also worth noting that the figure's portrait looks so different from the original that it almost looks like an all-new head sculpt.
Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 10
Accessory Details: removable chest armor, removable belt/loincloth combination, removable belt, removable back armor, 2 removable gauntlets, 2 lightsabers, 2 lightsaber hilts
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: A9108/A5077
Retail: $10.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
The Black Series [Phase II] 3¾" Wave 1 (Wave 6)
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