Last week, Hasbro celebrated Star Wars Fan Appreciation Day, because every single day is a new chance for the population at large to be marketed to by major corporations. Thankfully, we’re Star Wars fans, and the announcement of new Star Wars Black Series figures is an exciting one, especially when they include a new version of The Mandalorian in Beskar armor, the respected Admiral Ackbar, a fierce Ewok warrior, and a slick carbonized version of a beloved character from The Empire Strikes Back.The Mandalorian Black Series Action Figure
Just before The Mandalorian arrived on Disney+, the first wave of merchandising from the live-action Star Wars series arrived in stores along with the first action figures from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But it seemed Hasbro didn’t properly anticipate demand for the Black Series figures associated with the series, because nearly all of them have been extremely difficult to find, especially Mando himself. But hopefully that will change with this new version of the bounty hunter.
Unlike the first version of The Mandalorian Black Series figure, this one comes with shiny new Beskar armor. It’s a much cleaner version of the character, and he still comes with all the appropriate weaponry. Unfortunately, there’s no two-pack that comes with The Child known as Baby Yoda, but you can still buy the little guy separately.#gallery-3 #gallery-3 .gallery-item #gallery-3 img #gallery-3 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ Admiral Ackbar and Teebo Join the Black Series
Two characters from Return of the Jedi are getting their due diligence as Black Series figures. Admiral Ackbar joins the line, looking like his back has been seriously injured in the promotional photo above. Meanwhile, the Ewok known as Teebo is clearly not in the mood for dealing with any Stormtrooper crap, so don’t mess with that dude.#gallery-4 #gallery-4 .gallery-item #gallery-4 img #gallery-4 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ New Carbonized Boba Fett and Stormtrooper
Finally, after first being introduced on Triple Force Friday last fall, the carbonized variant line of Black Series figures is getting two new additions this year, and they should be infinitely easier to find than that initial wave, especially since they’re both available for pre-order over at Big Bad Toy Store right now.
Boba Fett is easily the...
We know the adage that if we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it. And as we live through this current dark timeline you’d assume it’d be too much to watch a nine-episode series about the continued oppression of women and the creation of the political divide we’re seeing play out today. In reality, what creator Dahvi Waller does with “Mrs. America” is tell a story about the numerous ways to be a woman — and that lack of unity is what ultimately keeps us divided. The A-list directors and cast do their part to create a work with so many moving parts, so many storylines and nuances worthy of their own series, that the series could easily lend itself to a book of essays.
Taking place between 1971-1980, it’s remarkable that each episode packs in so much history in a way that never feels superfluous. Each episode is titled after the woman who is the primary focus, with the first being conservative gadfly and face of the conservative women’s movement Phyllis Schlafly Cate Blanchett. With her pearl necklaces and toothy grin, Blanchett is the picture perfect embodiment of the happy housewife that Schlafly spoke for, raising six children with her husband, Frank John Slattery by her side. It’d be easy for the script to turn Schlafly into a one-dimensional, fire-breathing harridan — and with Blanchett simultaneously inhabiting the role of elegant villainess so many times before, her casting implies a lean in that direction — but, like womanhood in general, that’s too simplistic and easy.
With its marketing heavily using the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” it would imply “Mrs. America” to be more rebellious than it is. What Waller and the various directors — including Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, as well as Amma Asante — do is interweave the ERA fight with all the nuances of feminism that have kept women divided to this day. Schlafly’s crusade is the obvious adversary, but the series actually brightens to life more when it’s looking at the role of privilege and status that plays between the lines. Schlafly’s “Stop ERA” group becomes a cadre of mean girls on the small scale, led by Melanie Lynskey’s brown-nosing Rosemary. Schlafly’s desire to win at all costs eventually opens the group up to accepting racists and attracting the Klan.
Sarah Paulson’s Alice, Phyllis’ best friend who brings the ERA into Phyllis’ worldview, takes the reins for the second half of the series, turning in a bravura performance. The character appears to be fictional, which allows for her to develop from Phyllis’ lapdog to a woman who wishes to be better: more outspoken, more dignified. Presented alongside her is Pamela Kayli Carter, a scared housewife so desperate to escape her life yet...