The inclusion of the Mandalorians back in the second season of the Clone Wars CGI show caused some stir because it practically tore down most of what author Karen Traviss had been writing about them ever since the publication of her Republic Commando novel.
However, one of the positive aspects of the whole re-imagination of this culture is that Hasbro made a lot of new toys to go with the broadcasted episodes, one of which is the subject of today’s review.
The Mandalorian Speeder is a one-man vehicle of a design loosely based on conceptual sketches left over from Episode II, specifically the getaway rig used by Count Dooku on Geonosis.
The vehicle is not very aerodynamic, being fundamentally a tear-shaped polygon with a couple of fins and a few extra features, but the sculpted detail is consistent with the appearance it had on the show.
The Speeder features has a collapsible kickstand, a heavy cannon that slings down from the belly and the section behind the rider’s seat opens to deploy a set of rubber manacles anchored to the cannon assembly with a length of cord. All of these features add a good deal of play value to an otherwise simple design.
The box also includes a Mandalorian Warrior based on the CGI models used for the show, which means it is heavily based on the Fett designs. This Mandalorian has a helmeted head (no range finder, though) and a couple of functional pistol holsters sculpted directly onto his thighs. On his back there is a peg-hole to attach the mandatory jet pack these guys seem to favor.
Being a couple years old release, the Mandalorian Warrior is gloriously ultra articulated with:
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Pegged hinge wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Pegged hinge hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
As usual, the wrist joints are configured so the right wrist bends up and down, while the left wrists bends in and out, which works great for rifle holding poses. The hips are angled in such a way that even though it is perfectly possible for the figure to sit, the Mandalorian ends up sitting over his holsters, which takes some getting used to, but as a whole this is much better than what Hasbro started doing in 2012 regarding the articulation design of these figures.
The paint application on both the vehicle and the figure are very good and very simple. The Speeder pieces are molded in light gray plastic, with a few panels and lines painted in a gunpowder blue color and only a touch of dark brown and yellow for the control panel.
The Mandalorian Warrior is molded mostly in a mid blue plastic, with the armor painted in a very dark brown hue, a few elements colored in gunmetal silver and smaller accents and insignia painted in red and light gray.
The plastic used for the limbs of the Mandalorian Warrior is a bit more flexible than I expected, but this flexibility works just fine interacting with the Speeder, allowing the pegs on the Speeder footrests to fit the holes on the figure’s feet.
Other than his jetpack, the Mandalorian comes armed with a pair of small silver pistols that fit rather tightly on his sculpted holsters. Now, for some reason, the back of the figure was designed to be slightly concave, while the inner surface of the backpack is completely flat, which causes the piece to fall off rather easily.
Additionally, the set includes a plastic display base for the figure, a Galactic Battle game die molded in blue with white symbols painted on and the corresponding game stats card for the Mandalorian, but not for the vehicle or the combined entity, which would probably have made for an interesting tactical twist to the game mechanics.
Although I did not get this set at launch date for several reasons (one not being entirely happy with the changes done to the Mandalorian culture), truth is this is a really nice collectible and an even better toy.