Sunday, December 9, 2018

Action Figure Review: Val (Vandor) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   Today I'm checking out the last figure in the newest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures and whether she's the best or not may just very well be a matter of personal opinion. Val is absolutely another star of the Black Series this year and is another figure likely to end up in the top 10. I really like Thandie Newton's role in Solo but, sadly, it was very short. Like with Rio Durant, Val really didn't get that much screen time to be fleshed out fully as a character. It's possible that this was done to not allow us to get attached to the characters and then have our hearts broken, like in Rogue One, but it still would have been great to have more time with Val. Hasbro certainly didn't skimp on the figure, though, so let's check her out more closely after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 5 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Blaster pistol

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
 The Positives:

* Val is stunning. She's easily one of the most realistic looking figures in the line thanks to not only the fantastic work on the portrait but also the amount of detail and intricate sculpting on her outfit. She really has a cool costume and it's a shame that we got to see her in action for such a short time in the film. There are so many interesting elements here!

* The portrait is beautiful and again shows off the faceprinting technology so well. It looks just like Thandie Newton. The hair is perfect, too, and really looks like it has a very realistic texture to it. Of course, she also has a balljointed neck and a balljointed head, so you can get some great, expressive poses here.
 * Since this is Val in the outfit she wears on Vandor, she's wearing some gear to help her deal with the cold weather on the snowy world. Her jacket's Mastmot fur lining is well textured while her goggles are a separate piece (although permanently attached to the sculpt). The Official Guide mentions that these goggles were "borrowed" from the Xan sisters, a pair that Val mentions the Beckett Gang should have hired on Vandor rather than bringing along Han and Chewie.

* Val is wearing an interesting backpack that seems to be a power source for both her electromagnetic climbing gloves and her sensor jamming equipment. I love the crisp detail and amount of paintwork here. It looks fantastic and really has that unusual, intriguing feel that some of the coolest Star Wars costume designs have.

* The cables running up and down Val's arms are supposed to power her electromag grip gloves. The gripping plates are visible on the gloves and the translucent cord looks fantastic. It's flexible enough that you can pose the figure like normal, too. This is some darn cool work here.

 * Val has great articulation. Seriously, even with all of the cables and cords across her body this is still some of the best we've seen. She looks great in any number of poses and is insanely expressive.

* Val has her climbing gear around her waist. It also is made from a softer, more pliable plastic and is neatly painted. I love how complex Val's outfit is!

 * Here's a small but cool detail: Val actually has a dusting of snow from Vandor on her boots. Cool, huh?
 The Negatives:

* Val's blaster looks awesome, doesn't it? Too bad we only got half of the weapon here! In the movie Val uses a grappling hook type weapon that is adapted from a net-throwing weapon. Here's what the weapon should look like! Looking closely at pictures I found online and in the Official Guide, I believe that this "blaster" is just the base weapon. Why not give us the whole device?
   While I do wish Hasbro had included the full grappling gun, Val is still one of the most impressive figures of the year. Hasbro really kicked the Black Series into high gear in 2018 and the cast of Solo really reaped the rewards. With figures like Val, Rio Durant, Leia in her Hoth Gear, Lando in the Skiff Guard disguise, and Dengar, this newest series is one of the best ever. Val is an Epic figure and definitely one of the best ever from the Black Series. The top 10 list for the Black Series is going to be highly competitive this year, huh?

This is the first action figure of Val I've reviewed. For more Star Wars: The Black Series figures, check out the following:

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Admiral Piett
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
C-3PO (Resistance Base) 
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma (Quicksilver Baton)
Captain Poe Dameron
Chewbacca (Target Exclusive)
Chewbacca (The Force Awakens)
Chirrut Imwe 
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Clone Commander Wolffe 
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Death Star Trooper
Dewback/ Sandtrooper
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Enfys Nest's Swoop Bike/ Enfys Nest
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Gamorrean Guard
General Leia Organa
General Veers
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo (Exogorth Escape)
Han Solo (Solo)
Han Solo (The Force Awakens)
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Patrol Trooper
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room) 
Lando Calrissian (Solo)
Lando Calrissian (The Empire Strikes Back)
Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard)
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia (Bespin Escape)
Princess Leia Organa 
Princess Leia Organa (Hoth)
Qi'ra (Corellia)
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Rebel Trooper
Red Squadron (R2-D2, R5-D8, and R2-X2)
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Rio Durant
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Stormtrooper (Mimban)
Stormtrooper (With Blast Accessories)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tobias Beckett
Tusken Raider 
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 


  1. She and Rio just shipped. Once I get L3, the Patrol Trooper and eventually Moloch, I'll have all the Solo figures until Dryden hits. :D

  2. I've been seeing some of this new Solo wave at Gamestop lately, so you might want to pop in there, too. You might score the others you're looking for.

  3. Redmist aka SmackboltJuly 18, 2023 at 2:53 PM

    What a unique, awesome figure. I somehow lost the body for this but still have the great headsculpt I'll be placing onto another body

    1. She really is a very nice figure and has held up well. I'd be curious to know what body you end up using for her.


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