The Good: Fairly decent sculpts, Generally good balance, Decent base
The Bad: Cheap cardboard backdrop, Low articulation, Abysmal collectible value.
The Basics: A decent way to staff even many of the newer Star Wars ship toys, the Rebel Pilot 3-pack from the Power Of The Jedi line is still a tough sell.
Sometimes, it actually takes a long time for me to come to appreciate something. With the Star Wars figure three-packs, I spent years utterly disappointed with the Rebel Pilots 3-pack. I’m not sure why I did not like this particular pack, other than my usual issue with the cardboard backed Cinema Scene sets. I have these on my desk now and they are well-balanced, they look detailed enough, and any articulation issues with them do not matter much; these figures are supposed to be pilots who occupy the various starfighters of the Rebel Alliance. Maybe it was just that I was sore that the collectible value on these is so terrible. I remember buying this set on clearance . . . then the price went down quite a bit more!
Regardless, as I consider these figures now, they are a far cry from the horrible feelings I have had for them for years. In fact, they are generally all right, especially for figures of pilots!
The Rebel Pilots is a collection from Return Of The Jedi (click here for the review of the film!) that features three different pilots from the various Rebel fighters that participated in the battle over Endor. In addition to Wedge Antilles, the recurring X-Wing pilot, there are figures of Ten Numb and Arvel Crynyd, neither of whom even appear in the photograph on the box!
The 4" figures are decent, at least as support characters for the ships with which they are associated.
This is a set of three action figures and a "playset" (or more accurately a play environment). The Rebel Pilots fits the 4" figure line and the three figures each come with a single, removable, helmet. The Wedge Antilles figure is the heroic X-Wing pilot in his boring orange flight suit. The figure stands 3 13/16" tall to the top of his helmet. This version of Wedge is an utterly generic one. Far too round in the cheeks and without Wedge’s dark hair, this is pretty much just a generic X-Wing pilot figure. Even so, Hasbro did a decent job of detailing the figure. The right boot contains the various tools on a ring that, apparently, some of the Rebel pilots had. The figure’s chest had the tube on the life support module molded on and it looks pretty good. The helmet has a decent level of fine detailing for the insignias and has a translucent eye guard, so most of Wedge’s face is not obscured when the helmet is on!
The helmet is similar for the Arvel Crynyd figure, though as a B-wing pilot, it is more of a full, all-encompassing helmet (like a motorcycle helmet). As a B-wing pilot, Arvel Crynyd is outfitted in a red and white jumpsuit and after over a decade, the white on this figure has not discolored. The helmet features an exceptional amount of detailing, which puts the rest of the figure – which is very simple – to shame. Arvel Crynyd stands 4” tall and has dark black hair underneath his helmet.
Ten Numb is 3 1/2” tall and wears a white Y-wing fighter pilot outfit. This is the coolest figure of the trio, arguably because the pilot is not a human. The same race as Nien Nunb (reviewed here!), Ten Numb has great dealing of his face underneath the classic bomber-style helmet. The helmet features a respirator and tubes that would, presumably, allow him to connect to his Y-Wing bomber. Despite the clean white flightsuit, Ten Numb is actually incredibly well-detailed and well-colored for realism.
As for the background play environment, the base is a 9 3/4" inch long by two inch wide section of imitation rock that represents the floor of the Rebel flight deck and it has a slot in the back. The slot is just wide enough for the cardboard back that has the mural of the interior of Rebel flight deck. The cardboard backer is problematic because it is easily bent, but by this time Hasbro designed it so that it came completely ready for play. It does not need to be cut out at the bottom to fit into the slot. The base has three plastic pegs which fit the holes in the figures' feet and allow them to easily stand on the base.
The Rebel Pilots figures come only with their helmets that are custom fitted to each of their heads and come on the figures. They do not have any other accessories.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and the pilots fit that fairly well and the play environment is a good idea. Still, the figures are poorly articulated and later sculpts - there are later sculpts of rebel pilots - improved upon them a little bit. All three figures have limited articulation and minor balance issues when they are off their action base. Fortunately, all three figures have foot pegs so they can stand on the play base easily enough. Still, the figures come with only five points of articulation each all of which are simple swivel joints. They have joints at the groin socket, shoulders, and neck. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed.
Generally, these figures do stay balanced, but they tend to only remain balanced in their flatfooted position in one or two limited poses.
The Rebel Pilots play environment is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. This three pack was tragically overproduced and is exceptionally easy to find in the secondary market, even now. Given that subsequent three-packs of Rebel Pilots include figures with better articulation and more accessories, it is hard to imagine the value on this three-pack ever bouncing back.
The Rebel Pilots three-pack gets a bum rap and if you have an X-Wing, Y-Wing and B-Wing toy that you want to staff, this could be an exceptional way to do that inexpensively!
For other Star Wars 3-packs of action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Death Star Escape
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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