If you follow Arms of Ilum over on Instagram or Facebook, you probably know that I recently acquired one of Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series Stormtrooper helmets. I’m wrapping up my review of the bucket right now, but suffice it to say that the thing is impressive, especially for the price ($80). Its voice changing capabilities aren’t great, but the helmet is well built and looks very much like the ones worn by actual TKs in Rogue One, but let’s save that chatter for the actual review.
Back on topic. While cruising The RPF this evening, as I typically do, I came across a thread started by user reelprops showing off Hasbro’s newly-announced Poe Dameron Black Series helmet. The new brings the Black Series electronic helmets back to the new trilogy of Star Wars films. This time around, the helmet features “surround” speakers that play X-Wing and TIE Fighter sounds as well as clips from BB-8. Unlike the past Black Series buckets, it won’t have a voice changer because, well, that would be silly. It’s also nice to see a helmet without the voice changer because, as mentioned above, they don’t work very well. Some fans have also suggested that the Poe helmet could contain a headphone jack to accept sounds from outside sources. That would be an incredible feature, but given the anticipated price point, I highly doubt we will see it.
To be totally honest, I am a little underwhelmed by this announcement. Those who know me are well aware that The Force Awakens was far from my favorite Star Wars film. Moreover, I simply don’t care for the aesthetics of Rebel helmets and I know many (including me) were hoping for a Black Series Darth Vader helmet or Boba Fett bucket.
I’ve been watching for new Black Series announcements for a few months now and the news that has been released over the last couple of weeks doesn’t excite me. While the full line of upcoming Force FX lightsabers has yet to be revealed, the one saber that has been shown is a re-release of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s second lightsaber. When Master Replicas originally released the Kenobi saber, they really did the thin-neck hilt a disservice by making it far too thick and Hasbro’s images show more of the same.
Regardless, the Black Series Poe Dameron helmet is expected to carry the same $80 price tag as those that have come before it. Compared to props from other manufacturers, that’s a darn good deal and if past Black Series models are any indication, it’ll be well built. There’s no solid release date for this helmet right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hasbro decided to drop it at Star Wars Celebration in April or on May 4th to coincide with “Star Wars Day” hype. UPDATE: The helmet is expected to be released for Force Friday II on September 1.