After months of searching for her in local toy stores and keeping an eye out for good deals on Amazon, I’m finally the proud owner of a Hasbro Black Series Ahsoka Tano action figure thanks to a good friend and follower of Team Ahsoka. It seems that no matter how beloved a character is, fans will inevitably struggle to get their hands on it… especially if they live on this side of the Atlantic.
Supply issues aside, the action figure was warmly received by the Star Wars fan community when it was released in spring 2016 and although I’ve read and watched numerous reviews over the past year, nothing beats first-hand experience.
So, how does Ahsoka’s Black Series figure hold up? Does it get the coveted “Team Ahsoka Stamp of Approval”? Read on to find out!
I’d like to thank Christopher for sending me one of his spare Ahsoka figures because without it, this review wouldn’t have been possible. And I’d like to ask my readers to subscribe to the Brick City Blockade podcast and/or give them a follow on Twitter and Facebook. They’re a friendly, easy-going bunch and their love for that galaxy far, far away shines through in everything they do.
Now, without further ado, let’s get on with the review!
First of all, there’s the striking black-and-red packaging and box art. When the action figure was first announced, the preliminary packaging was less than impressive (unless angry Ahsokas are your thing), but Hasbro did a commendable job with the final product. Perhaps it’s just me but the Ahsoka shown on the box art has a tiny hint of Ashley Eckstein in her design.
The character bio on the back is thorough, yet concise: “Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order before it was destroyed during Order 66. She would reemerge years later as Fulcrum, a leader in the fledgling rebellion against the Empire”.
So far so good. Onto the figure itself…
This 6-inch action figure comes with two accessories – Ahsoka’s twin white-bladed lightsabers – and boasts a total of 19 points of articulation (full details can be found here). Unlike its 3.75-inch counterpart, the Black Series figure allows for a wider range of poses and portrays Ahsoka in a less stylized, more realistic manner. And after several hours of extensive “research”, I’ve finally pinned down what I like and dislike about Ahsoka’s Black Series treatment.
- Articulation – The figure’s 19 points of articulation allow for some creative poses, which is perfect for the action figure photographers among us. Her head movement is a little restricted but this is due to the rigid plastic lekku.
- Excellent use of soft-good materials – People have frequently complained about Hasbro’s use of soft-good materials but they’re used to great effect on this figure. The soft-goods skirt works perfectly with the plastic elements of Ahsoka’s belt and armour and allows for a greater degree of flexibility along the hip joints. My only quibble with the cloth used is that it’s the wrong colour.
- Accessorize! – This figure doesn’t come with a tonne of accessories but who needs accessories when you have Ahsoka’s twin lightsabers? And what’s more, you can detach the blades and hang the hilts from the hooks on Ahsoka’s hip armour!
- A paint job well done – The paintwork isn’t perfect, especially on closer inspection, but it’s above Hasbro’s usual standard. The artists have done a commendable job of painting her Togruta markings (which is no mean feat) and adding detail and some minor texturing to her chest armour and vambraces. It’s worth noting that no two figures are alike so I can’t really speak for the quality of the paintwork on other figures. The most noticeable flaws on mine were the lips (the upper lip is lopsided) and a few smudges along her diadem and the armour panels around her hips. Try to take a good look at the paintwork before purchasing your own figure (if possible) and keep in mind that some flaws are either unnoticeable from a distance or can be fixed with a lick of paint.
- The dour expression – Fighting in various battles as a teenager and devoting your adult life to overthrowing a tyrannical Galactic Empire is bound to take its toll, but even in her darkest times, Ahsoka managed to maintain a certain level of sass and joie de vivre. The figure’s sour face and distant gaze (more on this later) fail to capture the true essence of the character. Granted, this is meant to be a realistic interpretation of an animated character, but her facial expression just seems a little off to me. Gone is the mature, yet playful Ahsoka. This is an Ahsoka who is 100% done with the galaxy and its Skywalkers…
- Steady, steady – Forget about bringing balance to the Force. Bringing balance to this Ahsoka figure is the real challenge. I tried to take some photos for this review but no matter how I positioned her, she kept falling flat on her Togruta face. The easiest way to solve this would be to buy an action figure display stand (like the ones sold by NECA) or simply have her lean against something. Good luck trying to get her to stay in a certain pose for more than a few seconds!
- The eyes – They say that the eyes are windows to the soul and if that’s the case, we can declare Ahsoka dead on arrival. I don’t know whether it’s the glazed eyes or the lack of visible eyelashes (or both), but the figure’s vacant stare is light-years from the lively, twinkling eyes of her animated counterpart. In the end, I remedied this by drawing on some eyeliner using a fine-tip black ink pen. An amateurish solution, perhaps, but it’s brought some life to those soulless eyes.
Despite its shortcomings, the Ahsoka Tano figure is still one of the better entries in Hasbro’s Black Series line and it’s hard to imagine that any Ahsoka fan would pass up the opportunity to add the 6-inch figure to their collection… assuming they can find it in the first place. The sculpt is sound, the paintwork is above average (for Hasbro), and the articulation allows for some fun poses. Plus, Ahsoka Tano merchandise is always welcome in this household.
As far as Hasbro action figures go, the Ahsoka Tano Black Series figure stands head and montrals above the rest and has earned itself the Team Ahsoka Stamp of Approval. In short, a worthy addition to any fan’s collection.