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The Black Series [Phase II]

Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) - TBS [P2] - Basic (#10)

Name: Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot)
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Number: #10
Scale: 3¾"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: May 2015
License: Hasbro

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Jon "Dutch" Vander is a Rebel Y-wing pilot in Gold Squadron, which makes the perilous run along the Death Star's trench to reach the battle station's vulnerable exhaust port.

For years we thought this character's name was "Hutch" but apparently many of fans did, too. Next time you watch Episode IV, see if you hear it too. Although originally due to be released during an unplanned and coincidental tenth anniversary, it actually took Hasbro another extra year before they could get out The Black Series [Phase II] Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) figure. While there was a collective sigh from the collecting community over getting another Rebel pilot in the basic figure line, the truth of the matter is that this character was a much needed update. The 2004 SW [S - P3] Dutch Vander Gold Leader (Battle Of Yavin) (’04 #13) figure was an impressive release for its time. Hasbro successfully created an action figure that was tall like the actor, as well as tool a near perfect portrait, which captured everything from the receding hairline to the subtle lazy eye that characterized Jon Vander in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. We didn’t see him until the film’s conclusion during the Battle of Yavin, but he played an important role in the Rebel Alliance and headed the Y-wing Gold Squadron during this history changing battle. While we are honestly ecstatic to finally receive a super-articulated version of Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot), something is severely lacking in the modern version that just wasn’t an issue in 2004. It’s a bittersweet release, and we will do our best to explain why this is so. For years the collecting community wanted Hasbro to produce all the Rebel pilots from Episode IV. Now that they’ve listened, collectors get bored with the orange-outfitted characters. (We are never happy.)

It’s an understatement to say Hasbro has enough Rebel pilot parts in their catalogue to make every last action figure they need to make for the very first time, or update an older release. The Black Series line in fact updated a more popular Rebel Pilot, Biggs Darklighter, which is a perfect example of a previously released action figure that needed an update, yet was panned by the collecting community as another unnecessary release. So if Biggs Darklighter (#04) didn’t receive a warm reception (and was basically solely responsible for bottlenecking the line in 2013), we don’t think we can expect Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) to receive a warmer one. We should probably be forthright here. We just aren’t impressed with this figure’s head sculpt. It is actually a great head sculpt, nicely done and well painted for the most part, but it’s our assessment that it looks nothing like the onscreen character. We’re so confident about this in fact that we would be surprised if anyone in the collecting community will disagree with us and think this is an accurate likeness to Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot). Again, it’s a great looking figure and will be the perfect generic Rebel Pilot (without the helmet of course) for your various Rebel Alliance displays, but without the helmet, we just can’t see how this is Mr. Vander. That being said, without weighing the head sculpt as part of the overall score here, we have to say that we’re pleasantly surprised with the remaining figure, especially the paint operations on the helmet.

Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) may be one of the greatest examples of a kit-bashed figure. His recycled parts originate from a staggering quartet of previously released action figures. And the portrait is the only new tooling/part here. The lower body, legs and forearms (right below the elbows but above the hands) are from the Nrin Vakil figure from 2008’s TLC Ibtisam/Nrin Vakil Comic Packs set, the upper torso is from the John Branon figure from 2009’s LC Rebel Pilot Legacy (Series III) Evolutions set, the upper arms are from the Wes Janson (Snowspeeder Pilot) figure released in 2008’s TLC Rebel Pilot Legacy Evolutions figure and the upper arms have been utilized from 2006’s VTSC Luke Skywalker: X-wing Pilot figure. As you can see it’s quite amazing how they managed to cobble everything together so seamlessly. Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) is truly the Frankenstein’s monster of the basic figure line. He comes with a blaster pistol and a removable helmet, which shockingly is painted very nicely. We think the 2004 helmet looks a tad better, but we don’t think too many collectors will be complaining about the 2015 version. We are happy to see an “definitive” version of Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) released in the 3.75” basic figure line. Perhaps it’s egregious for us to say something along the lines that this figure is good enough. But that is honestly how we feel. We would have loved to see a better likeness, but we appreciate the upgrades too much to throw this baby out with the bath water.

Collector Notes

Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot)

Status: Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) is a kit-bashed figure that utilizes the lower body, legs and forearms of the Nrin Vakil figure from 2008's TLC Ibtisam/Nrin Vakil Comic Packs set, the torso of the John Branon figure from 2009's LC Rebel Pilot Legacy (Series III) Evolutions set, the upper arms from 2006's VTSC Luke Skywalker: X-wing Pilot figure, the gloves of the Wes Janson (Snowspeeder Pilot) figure from 2008's TLC Rebel Pilot Legacy Evolutions set with an all-new head sculpt. The figure has also been repainted.

Articulation Count: 23 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 glove (1), swivel right glove (1), ball-jointed torso (2), 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: removable helmet, blaster pistol

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: A9110/A5077

UPC: 630509251803

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: May 6, 2015
Category: Black Series [Phase II], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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