Star Wars Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series – The Mandalorian Action Figure (Kenner Cardback)

Promotional photo of The Mandatorian. Image Credit: (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This distinctive collection features premium deco applications inspired by the end credit images from The Mandalorian, plus a collectible Imperial Credit accessory. After the fall of the Galactic Empire, usage of their money, Imperial Credits, became less common, with many planets refusing payments in the currency on principle.

On December 1, 2020, Rhode Island-based Hasbro, Inc. released The Mandalorian, a six-inch scale Star Wars The Black Series action figure based on the titular character from the Lucasfilm live-action series Star Wars: The Mandalorian.  Featuring the mysterious bounty hunter clad in Mandalorian armor, an Amban phase-pulse blaster rifle, a DL-21 blaster pistol, and a collectible replica of an Imperial Credit bar, The Mandalorian action figure – an Amazon exclusive – also features “retro” packaging in the style of Kenner Toys’ bubble pack with illustrated cardback.

Image Credit: (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)

THE MANDALORIAN

The Mandalorian is battle-worn and tight-lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy. – Manufacturer’s promotional blurb

The Mandalorian is, like its Star Wars The Black Series stablemates, a beautifully-rendered action figure in the 6-inch scale. It represents the bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), a lone warrior for hire who takes on dangerous assignments in exchange for bounties in a galaxy that is still recovering from the Galactic Civil War.

Like most Mandalorian characters seen in Star Wars canon, including the feature films Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Djarin’s armor is based on the look of infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, who was introduced in 1978’s non-canonical The Star Wars Holiday Special. Clad from head to toe in his original durasteel (but enhanced with beskar pieces), and a Fett-like sarape, The Mandalorian is an intimidating yet intriguing individual who gets the job done.

Image Credit: (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)


Star Wars The Black Series Credit Collection The Mandalorian

The 6-inch-scale The Mandalorian figure is detailed to look like the character from The Mandalorian, featuring premium detail and multiple points of articulation. Features vintage-designed The Black Series packaging that has been treated with a weathered look, inspired by the stylized images seen during the end credits of the live-action Disney Plus series. – Manufacturer’s promotional blurb

The Mandalorian action figure comes with:

  • A DL-21 blaster pistol
  • An Amban phase-pulse blaster rifle
  • A collectible replica (not to scale with the figure) of an Imperial Credit ingot, featuring Aurobesh (the Star Wars alphabet) script on the left margin and the spoked Seal of the Galactic Empire in the center
  • Cardback packaging done in the style of the 1978-85 Star Wars action figure line, including the Kenner logo[1]

My Take

PREMIUM ARTICULATION AND DETAILING

Star Wars fans and collectors can display this highly poseable, fully articulated, figure, featuring premium deco, in their action figure and vehicle collection. – Manufacturer’s promotional blurb

I started collecting Star Wars action figures a little over 43 years ago.[2] Since March of 1978, I’ve acquired – either as gifts or through my own efforts – quite a few Star Wars toys and collectibles, including 30 or so figures from Hasbro’s ongoing Star Wars The Black Series collection.

Over this span of time, toy manufacturing has evolved as Hasbro and other companies have adopted new tools and toymaking techniques. Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) equipment have radically – and literally – changed the way Star Wars action figures are made, as well as how they look.

The Mandalorian action figure from 2020 is a fine example of this trend of authenticity and collectability. Hasbro gave it a “used world” look that matches not only the Ralph McQuarrie-inspired end credits art from the Disney Plus live action series, but also the gritty, realistic design ethos of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy.

Sure, if Lucas himself had produced The Mandalorian immediately after 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Kenner would have made a decent 3.75-inch action figure of The Mandalorian. Din Djarin, after all, is a masked/armored character, and Kenner’s more “authentic-looking” figures tended to be those of Darth Vader, stormtroopers and their various Imperial armored colleagues, droids, and, of course, Boba Fett.

The big difference between then and now, though, is that Kenner action figures from the original 1978-1985 run didn’t have the weathered, used, even “beat-up” look from the films. Every action figure, even Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine moisture farmer’s outfitted one, looked as though the character had gotten his or her outfit at that galaxy far, far away’s equivalents of Sears, Macy’s or – in the case of Leia Organa’s Bespin gown – Sak’s Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus.  

The Mandalorian, like all of his Star Wars The Black Series stablemates, doesn’t look like he just got his armor from his clan on Mandalore. His badass outfit, complete with the T-visored helmet, scuffed heartplate, and pitted shin guards, looks like Din Djarin has been from one side of the galaxy to the other, encountering trouble – and dispatching it with his menacing Amban phase-pulse rifle.

Another difference – other than the 6-inch scale’s larger size – from Kenner’s 3.75-inch figures is the number of points of articulation (which are analogous to the human body’s joints, especially those in the upper body and limbs).

See, most of the 1978-1985 action figures – especially those that were either human, humanoid, or based on costumed characters that were supposed to be mechanical but were played by actors – only have five points of articulation.[3]

Image Credit: (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)

The Mandalorian has multiple points of articulation, including at the wrists, elbows, neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. This has the benefit of allowing kids or adult collectors to pose the imposing Din Djarin in many dynamic action poses that are more life-like than possible with, say, the original 1979 Boba Fett action figure from Kenner.

Well, that about wraps it up for this review of a new Star Wars The Black Series collectible. I had fun writing it, and I hope you will find it both enjoyable and informative.

Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and find joy in even the small things in life. And remember, the Force will be with you…always. 


[1] Kenner Products was a subsidiary of General Mills (yes, the cereal company) at the time that it got the license to make Star Wars toys, games, and other products in 1977. By the time production of the original Star Wars toy line ended in 1985, General Mills spun it off into  Kenner Parker Toys, Inc.  In 1987, Tonka bought Kenner Parker Toys, which then became a division rather than a semi-independent subsidiary of its corporate parent. Four years later, Hasbro bought Tonka and all of its assets. For most of the 1990s, the Pawtucket, RI-based Hasbro kept the Kenner brand alive, but by 2000 it closed Kenner’s offices in Cincinatti and absorbed all of its toy lines, including – of course – the Star Wars brand.

[2] My first collectibles from the Kenner era were the Landspeeder vehicle (which was compatible with the 3.75-inch figures) and the 3.75-inch Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) and See-Threepio (C-3PO) figures.  I got them as presents from my former neighbors, the Blanchards, for my 15th birthday, which was the first birthday I celebrated in our brand-new townhouse in East Wind Lake Village. I no longer have the Landspeeder; it broke when the shelf it was displayed on collapsed and fell on top of it. I still have my first two Star Wars figures, though.

[3] Some had less! Chewbacca the Wookiee, for instance, was one of the more detailed action figures in Kenner’s original 12-character Wave 1 from 1978. He even had blue eyes, in sharp contrast to every other human character’s generic black-on-flesh tone “eye outline” look. But he only had four points of articulation – two at the shoulders and two at the hips. He – and the Stormtrooper – were not given a swivel point at the neck.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: