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The Black Series [Phase II]

Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) - TBS [P2] - Six Inch Figures (Exclusive)

Name: Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander)
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Number: N/A (TARGET Exclusive)
Scale: 6"
Source: Expanded Universe (Star Wars: Dark Times 1: The Path to Nowhere, Part 1)
Availability: October 2014
License: Hasbro

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Shadow scouts ride speeder bikes on their covert missions. Commanders and troopers in this elite squadron wear specialized cloaking armor that makes them virtually invisible. Their speeder bikes have similar technology, making these troopers very successful at ambushing their targets.

The Black Series line as a whole is only slightly over a year in production and it has already experienced a line look change as well as the inevitable/anticipated use of repainted figures. TARGET gets the first “new enough” exclusive in the lineup with the sassy Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) multipack. Frankly, it looks fantastic in the box. Both of the figures' sculpts have been utilized from previous sculpts, but Hasbro cast them in black plastic and repainted them to sport a dark color palette which recreates two characters in the Expanded Universe that work for the Galactic Empire with stealth and relative invisibility. The Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) TARGET exclusive has a hefty amount of contents for the very fair MSRP of $49.99. If you think about it, for $10 extra above the standard Deluxe line, you get a whole other figure. It’s like getting the Speeder Bike With Biker Scout set and then getting a “shadow sandtrooper” for a few dollars more. That’s a bargain no matter how you slice it. With the directive from Lucasfilm Ltd. for licensees to stay away from the Star Wars Legends banner of the Expanded Universe, many were quick to question how Hasbro managed to secure this exclusive when this area of the Star Wars universe is off limits. It’s likely because exclusives are in development for a year to 18 months in advance and this had already been approved by Lucasfilm Ltd. before the new directive was put into place. Does it really matter though? This is a great exclusive because collectors are getting something “new” and not just a simple repack like the treacherous Cantina Showdown set is.

The Shadow Stormtrooper Commander is a repaint of 2013’s TBS6 Sandtrooper (#03) figure, minus a few parts (accessories). This time the figure has been cast in smooth and shiny black plastic, has been repainted and comes without some of the accessories like the survival backpack and removable pouch this time around. What’s so interesting about this figure in the Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) set is that the character is a first time offering in any scale. To date we have never officially received the Shadow Stormtrooper Commander in the Hasbro line and we may never see it again, especially in 3.75” scale. So this set is very unique for that reason alone. If you’re new to collecting, this fact might be a breath of fresh air for you, but if you were hardcore collecting around the Revenge Of The Sith (and after) timeframe Hasbro produces about everything in “shadow” format to one degree or another. And they weren’t the only ones. Other licensees followed suit and soon Blackhole Stormtroopers (and Shadow Stormtroopers) and everything else under the "black" banner became more common than the white Imperial Stormtroopers from the films. Admittedly, Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) set is nice to see in 2014 because we have gone many years without seeing much product released with a “shadow” theme. We’re not sure how many of you will share those sentiments however. We did get bombarded in the past, but at least the Shadow Stormtrooper Commander is a “new” figure from a certain point of view. Then again, we can’t recall seeing this character in any Expanded Universe source to date, so maybe it’s a Hasbro concept when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it.

To date, we have received three Storm Commando/Shadow Scout action figures in 3.75” scale from Hasbro.All have had unique details here and there, but now we have our first in the 6" scale. The first was 2007’s TAC Shadow Scout (With Speeder Bike) (sound familiar?) which was a 2007 San Diego Comic Con exclusive. We then received another version of this character as Storm Commando (Imperial Special Forces) in the 2009 LC Clone Commandos Evolutions set. Lastly, we received another Storm Commando in the 2010 LC Storm Commando/General Weir Comic Packs set. Clearly we have had multiple opportunities to secure the 3.75” version. The question however is how did The Black Series Shadow Scout turn out (as well as his corresponding Speeder Bike)? If you own the standard Deluxe Speeder Bike With Biker Scout set, you know it isn’t free from issues. The soft malleable plastic makes the figure feel rubbery in many ways and the annoyingly loose joints are still problematic to the point that the figures feels jittery. It’s the weirdest phenomenon. But the Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Biker as well as Shadow Scout) seem stronger this time around. And the joints aren't as loose. Both look great, especially when the figure is sitting on top of it. It still makes us wonder if the collecting community needed or wanted to see an completely black Speeder Bike in their collections though. There is no doubt that the Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander) TARGET exclusive is a bargain. And it's even truer it looks cool. The figures are nice despite some of the imperfections and the timing feels right to receive “shadow” stuff again. Released online and at retail in October 2014, it’s destined to become a sought after collectible.

Collector Notes

Imperial Shadow Squadron (Speeder Bike With Shadow Scout And Shadow Stormtrooper Commander)

Assortment Number: 80554

UPC: 630509267200

Retail: $49.99 USD

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

Speeder Bike

Status: Speeder Bike is a rework of the Speeder Bike from 2014's TBS [P2] Speeder Bike With Biker Scout Deluxe set. This time the Speeder Bike has been repainted in "Imperial Shadow Squadron" colors.

Articulation Count: 3 points (3 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel cannon (1), hinge-jointed rear left flap (1), hinge-jointed rear right flap (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: display stand

Date Stamp: 2014

Shadow Scout

Status: Shadow Scout is a rework of the Biker Scout figure from 2014's TBS [P2] Speeder Bike With Biker Scout Deluxe set. This time the figure has been repainted in "Imperial Shadow Squadron" colors.

Articulation Count: 32 points (25 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), swivel right bicep (1), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), swivel left boot (1), swivel right boot (1), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: blaster pistol

Date Stamp: 2014

Shadow Stormtrooper Commander

Status: Shadow Stormtrooper Commander is a rework of 2013's TBS [P1] Sandtrooper (#03) figure. This time the survival backpack has been omitted and the figure has been repainted in "Imperial Shadow Squadron" colors.

Articulation Count: 32 points (23 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), swivel right bicep (1), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: commander ranking pauldron (dark gray), E-11 blaster rifle, DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle, T-21 light repeating blaster

Date Stamp: 2013



 

The Black Series [Phase II]
All Products

 
Added: October 18, 2014
Category: Black Series [Phase II], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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