As hard as Disney tried to keep the fall lineup of Star Wars toys under the wraps, virtually every new item coming this fall leaked out ahead of Force Friday anyway. But what was successfully kept secret in many cases was the retailer exclusives–including what may just be my favorite 6″ Black Series item has far! Featuring the first-ever Crimson Stormtrooper figure and R2-Q5, the exclusive Star Wars Black Series Imperial Forces box set is now up for order!
Of all the various store exclusives that have been announced for this fall’s Star Wars figure lineup, there was one exclusive that made my jaw drop in surprise more than any other: the Entertainment Earth exclusive Star Wars 6″ Black Series Imperial Forces set!
While all four figures in this four-figure box set are 100% repaints of previously-released Black Series action figures, Hasbro has done a phenomenal job of recycling old tooling into figures collectors will actually want! Two of the figures are unique characters, one is a never-before-done figure, and one is a type of trooper new to this scale.
The high point of this set for me is R2-Q5, the highly-merchandised black-and-bronze Astromech Droid which is (more-or-less) Emperor Palpatine’s Astromech droid of choice. I own an R2-Q5 pepper grinder, so it’s pretty obvious that this Artoo alone makes this set a must-buy for me.
The other unique character in this series is everyone’s favorite TIE Fighter Pilot, Lieutenant Oxixo! Believe it or not, this is not the first Lieutenant Oxixo figure, as he previously was part of a Toys R Us exclusive 3 3/4″ box set.
I’m not exactly over-the-moon with excitement about this Black Series Oxixo, but he has a distinct helmet and I suppose I can always use another 6″ TIE Fighter Pilot figure.
Next up we’ve got the action figure debut of the Magma Trooper AKA Crimson Stormtrooper! I’m reasonably sure that this type of Stormtrooper has been wiped out of continuity these days, but let’s face it: fans love this character for the visual of a bright red Stormtrooper, not for any canonical reasons.
Finally, we’ve got yet another Black Series 6″ Sandtrooper! We got a Sandtrooper Squad Leader (Orange Pauldron) in Black Series Wave 1 and a regular Sandtrooper (Black Pauldron) in Wave 5, so Hasbro would be remiss in their milking duties if they didn’t give us a Sandtrooper Sergeant (White Pauldron) to complete the ranks, right?
One of the group photos of this exclusive set shows the wrong Sandtrooper Pauldron, but both the item description and packaged photos of the set clarify that this is a White Pauldron Sandtrooper, so I think we can be reasonably confident that that’s what we’re getting in this set. He’ll include the same accessories as the other Sandtrooper 6″ figures: a backpack, grenade launcher, rifle and blaster.
The EE Exclusive Imperial Forces Star Wars Black Series 6″ set is now available for order, and is scheduled to ship out in October 2015. Given how hot Star Wars is as a franchise right now and the popularity of three of the four characters in this set (sorry, Lieutenant Oxixo), I think we can be reasonably sure that this set is going to be a best-seller and end up being much more expensive on the aftermarket after selling through.
What do you think of the very first Entertainment Earth Black Series exclusive box set, Star Wars fans? Will you be adding this exclusive to your collection, or are you not interested in generic troops and obscure characters like these?