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Fennec Shand

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett
by yo go re

Two down, one to go.

An assassin and elite mercenary who has worked for all the top syndicates. Clever, capable, and cunning, she is a formidable opponent.

When she first appeared in The Mandalorian, Fennec Shand seemed like a one-off character: there was a 10,000-credit bounty on her, Mando went after it, things didn't end too well for her. For most people, that would be the end of the story. But if there's one thing Dave Filoni knows, it's that cool female characters are what makes Star Wars great, so one deus ex machina rescue later, she's back and kicking ass as the dueteragonist of The Book of Boba Fett. The only thing keeping Boba in the title slot is that he's the one who gets flashbacks to things that happened befpre the series.

Fennec was played by Ming-Na Wen, who gave the character a sort of dry, impatient, competence: very good at what she does, but not afraid to let someone know when they weren't at her level. This toy has a great sculpt, only aided by the Photo Real paint in bringing the woman to life. Unlike some SW actors we could name, the paint didn't miss any of the small details: the itsy bitsy scar by her left eye is painted right on there.

Most of Star Wars' bounty hunters dress like they were dropped naked into a clothing donation bin and just kept whatever clung to them when they climbed out, but Shand is a high-class assassin, so she dresses rather fashionably. Character designer Brian Matayas used Empire Strikes Back-era Lando Calrissian as an inspiration for being opulent without being as over-encumbered as, say, the duly elected queen of Naboo would be: you know, wearing fancy clothes but still being able to move easily in them. She wears a black jacket with orange geometric panels on the front edges, and there's orange piping forming very thin stripes around her boots and gloves. It really is a cool look, and gives her a perssonality just by looking at her.

For times when she needs more protection or anonymity, Shand completes her ensemble with a helmet. Love removable helmets on toys! This one seems like it would be tough to fit on her, since it needs to reckon with the long braid that falls over her shoulder, but it sits on the head nicely. The design is clearly based on a medieval/Renaissance "frog-mouth" jousting helmet, with the scooped face covering and the tiny slit to see out of, but it's done in her trademark black and orange colorscheme.

Fennec Shand is a crack shot, and her weapon of choice is an MK sniper rifle, which is incredibly accurate over long distances, and at close range could even penetrate beskar armor. This gun is entirely unpainted, which isn't as wrong here as on other characters, since the real prop is basically all one color itself. We do get two patches of orange on the carrying strap, which is shaped to hang over her shoulder perfectly.

The figure moves like a Black Series figure would: swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed chest, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/hinge elbows swivel/hinge shoulders, a balljointed neck, and a blljointed head. The coat gets in the way of the legs slightly, but it's not the worst we've seen. Since one of her skills is parkouring her way into vantage points for better sniping, she needs to be able to move and jump.

Ming-Na Wen is the first person to land the Disney Hat-Trick; now we've got Fa Mulan and Fennec Shand, so when do we get our Marvel Legends Melinda May, Hasbro?

-- 07/02/22

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