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The Black Series [Phase II]

Imperial Navy Commander - TBS [P2] - Basic (#14)

Name: Imperial Navy Commander
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Number: #14
Scale: 3¾"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: May 2015
License: Hasbro

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Commanders in the Galactic Empire's Imperial navy oversee powerful battle cruisers that take them on missions to crush the Rebel Alliance.

The vintage Kenner Death Squad Commander/Star Destroyer Commander has been the center of many debates in the collecting community (for years). Has this figure been updated in the modern lineup yet? This is the one question that is most asked believe it or not! That answer is both yes and no depending upon who is answering the question. On the "yes" side of the debate stands Hasbro. With The Vintage Collection release of Imperial Navy Commander, they have stated unequivocally that it is their opinion that the 1979 vintage Kenner figure gets checked off for a modern/neo-classic update in the basic figure line with that release. And judging from that modern figure’s card back artwork, it’s evident that they truly stand by what they say. On the other side of the debate stands most of the collecting community. (Why are so many hot topics Hasbro versus the collecting community?) Where is the gray officer with the communications cords hanging down from the helmet? Where is his ranking badge? Well, it certainly didn't arrive for this figure, yet interestingly Hasbro still admits (when questioned) that an release of the gray outfitted Imperial officer would be great for the line. It’s a never-ending circle from which both collectors and Hasbro just can’t free themselves. We just want to know when that true modern update is coming. Hasbro still remains adamant about always returning to the Death Star Trooper figures that wear the "all black" costumes. But to be clear, Hasbro has stated through a Q&A session that 2012’s TVC Imperial Navy Commander (VC94) is intended to be the modern replacement for the vintage Kenner Death Squad Commander. So here we are once again. When another opportunity arose to finally paint this sculpt in the colors that collectors have been begging for years, Hasbro simply repacks the original 2012 TVC Imperial Navy Commander (VC94) and puts it in blander packaging. Do you feel the salt in the wound yet?

To be fair, we have asked Hasbro to re-release as many figures from The Vintage Collection line as possible. They had plans for others. Both 2011’s TVC AT-RT Driver (VC46) and 2012’s TVC Republic Trooper (The Old Republic ) (VC113) both were just moments from being released but suddenly canceled without reason. (Even solicitation images for them in The Black Series lineup were even produced and released, but the final figures never came.) Yet Hasbro decides to re-release a figure that could be found for months on end at Five Below (and other discount chains) for a mere $5 (thanks to the TPM 3D debacle of 2012) when there are so many other TVC figures that needed a desperate re-release before the Imperial Navy Commander. Whatever. It’s here and there are destined to be some collectors that are happy to see him once again. But not only did Hasbro NOT repaint it in gray duds, they didn’t even give the figure a new head sculpt or even change the hair color to brown. Do you feel the salt in the wound NOW? The figure is an identical straight repack of the 2012 TVC figure. This is good news because it means that things are looking up at the factories in China. The paint operations are obviously improving to the point that we wouldn’t be able to tell the 2012 figure apart from the 2015 figure. We find that rather impressive, sad to say. You know all about this figure already. Imperial Navy Commander comes with the standard super-articulation. Nothing new or remarkable has been brought forward in terms of pose-ability, but one area in particular has been remedied when compared to the very good 2007 TAC Death Star Trooper (30 13) figure. We still feel that the head sculpt design is superb. He has a lot of character in his face and the expression captured in his eyes makes him seem as if he is concerned with something somewhere else, more elusive. Again, it’s an excellent head sculpt and we’re thoroughly impressed. The helmet fits like a glove over his head and stays perfectly in place.

There isn’t much Hasbro could have screwed up with the figure’s paint job, but they did (again). Here was a perfect opportunity to fix the insignia on his left shoulder. But once again, instead of the Galactic Empire insignia, Hasbro just used 2012’s paint operation scheme and added the Republic insignia instead. We have to wonder if they really do listen to the hardcore collectors at all when these mistakes are constantly and consistently made. This figure still has other things about it that concern us. For instance, his skin color is a smidgen pale for our tastes. The figure is lighter on accessories. Aside from the removable helmet, Imperial Navy Commander also comes with a blaster rifle that can be placed into a functioning holster when not in use. Sadly, we can no longer be excited for this figure’s packaging. Hasbro once again however ironically uses the “Death Squad Commander” image (the gray outfitted Imperial) for the card back art. It’s a conspiracy we think at this point. It remains to be seen if Hasbro will indeed ever give us that yet-to-be-made version of the Death Squad Commander. We will continue to have our fingers crossed so that he will indeed see the light of day one day. After all, they have a great base sculpt to work from to give us a modern update to that classic figure. Now would also be a perfect time to start developing extra portraits that will also be compatible with the Imperial Navy Commander. This is a figure that collectors are going to want to army build and develop troops of since they are so prevalent in the Original Trilogy. Now they have another chance to do this. It is our hope Hasbro just keeps knocking out awesome updates to the original Kenner figures, even if we don’t get them in The Vintage Collection packaging. We hope this figure doesn’t peg-warm, but our hopes aren’t too high. It’s a great figure despite how we feel about its worth as a repack. We just can't get past the fact that both Emperor's Royal Guard (VC105) and Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) (VC70) are not even on the radadr for re-release yet.

Collector Notes

Imperial Navy Commander

Status: Imperial Navy Commander is a straight repack of 2012's TVC Imperial Navy Commander (VC94) figure.

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 forearm (1), swivel right forearm (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: 2

Accessory Details: blaster rifle, removable helmet

Date Stamp: 2011

Assortment Number: A9112/A5077

UPC: 630509251865

Retail: $12.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

 

The Black Series [Phase II] Wave 2 (Wave 7)
Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) (#07)
Stormtrooper (#08)

Captain Rex (#09)
Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) (#10)
Chewbacca (#11)
Clone Commander Wolffe (#12)
Clone Commander Doom (#13)
Imperial Navy Commander (#14)

 
Added: April 30, 2015
Category: Black Series [Phase II], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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