It's easy to balk at the price of something like The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet. How on earth can it live up to that $125 / £130 cost? Collectibles have a bad habit of not always looking like their promo images either, so is a replica like this destined to let you down?
As luck would have it, no. Although it looks fantastic in promotional photos, it's even better up close. In fact, The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet sports the sort of care you'd expect from a cosplay costume someone's worked on for months… not a mass-produced collectible.
Black Series Bo-Katan helmet - features
First and foremost, The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet is a replica. It's designed to be worn, yes, but for the most part? It'll spend most of its time looking pretty on a shelf… and that means a good paintjob is top of the wishlist. Fortunately, Hasbro has obliged with extensive weathering to match the prop's look throughout The Mandalorian. In fact, the only difference is that it's made with plastic rather than the metal (or fiberglass, anyway) it's masquerading as.
Beyond aesthetics, the 'Premium Electronic' part of its title gives an idea of what else can be found here. Although there's no voice-changer to speak of, The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet does pack a rangefinder that flips down to eye-level at the press of a button, cleverly hidden on the side. This features two red LEDs which flash in a 'hunting' pattern, accompanied by an illuminated heads-up display. This is visible from inside the helmet.
Speaking of which, it's cozier than you might think. Adjustable straps combine with plastic, leather-effect padding to keep this thing comfy.
Just remember, it won't accommodate glasses. Sorry, fellow specs wearers - you'll have to take them off if you want to put on Bo-Katan's iconic helm.
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Incredible weathering effects
So much wonderful - if unnecessary - detail
Electronic effects are cool, but simple
The effects are all good and well, but they're not what makes the Bo-Katan helmet sing. Instead, it comes into its own thanks to phenomenal paintwork that's difficult to do justice in words. Besides a screen-accurate look, the weathering elevates it above and beyond what I'd anticipated from promo shots. The scratches, grazes, blaster marks, and dings may be painted on, but they all look like they have real depth. This truly sells the illusion that it's a battle-worn metal helm used in combat, and for what is primarily a display item, you couldn't ask for more. Sure, the blackened soot looks a bit too printed and isn't up to the same standard. But really, I'm nitpicking at this point - it's otherwise superb.
The downside to helmets like this is that they can quickly fog up when you're wearing them. To see if that was the case here, I wore The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet for a good amount of time while working in the office (yes, I got many strange looks)… and you know what? It didn't seem to have the same issue. The bottom of the visor became foggy in short order, but the rest of it remained clear enough for me to see perfectly well.
That's true about the replica as a whole, too. Put this thing on and you'll quickly realize something about the Bo-Katan helmet; the attention to detail inside is wonderfully unnecessary. It's festooned with cool but pointless greebles like panel cutouts and fake wiring which serve no purpose other than looking good, and I love that. There wasn't a need to go this hard with the design, particularly because you'll hardly ever see it, but (as per the Darth Vader Force FX Elite Lightsaber) the effort makes a huge difference on how 'premium' it feels nonetheless.
It's a similar story with the light-up effects of the rangefinder. Those blinking red dots at the front are a simple yet endearing addition that makes it feel as if the helmet's locking on with a rocket, while the bright white HUD is seriously eye-catching. You wouldn't be wrong calling it impractical (you can't see it as well as you'd expect when wearing the helmet, because it sits near the edge of your peripheral vision), but that's exactly how it looks on the show and will seem awesome to everyone else from the outside. As such, I can't complain.
Straps can be removed and adjusted for a better fit
Will be wobbly out of the box
Plastic padding is surprisingly effective
Naturally, the first thing you're going to do with The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet is stuff it onto your head. And after the initial rush of "OMG, awesome" has passed, you may be a little disappointed - it's a wobbly fit. However, Hasbro's been canny with this one. Rather than having you guddle about inside the helmet itself, you can remove the head straps, adjust them to fit you better, and then reattach it all without much effort. Combine that with soft plastic cushioning and you're left with a pretty comfortable fit overall.
Sure, the result isn't perfect. But it's better than I expected - once I'd taken the time to correctly position everything, it was fairly cosy.
Should you buy The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet?
If you're a fan of Bo-Katan (be it from The Mandalorian, Clone Wars, or Rebels), you really need this in your collection. It's an exceptional build that impressed me much more than I'd been expecting, so I'd say without hesitation that it's worth a purchase.
OK, it's true that you can find more detailed alternatives out there. Denuo Novo has its own version, for example, and it's jaw-dropping. But for this price, you'd struggle to get anything better; The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet strikes an enviable balance between premium quality with a (relatively) affordable cost.
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
How we tested The Black Series Bo-Katan helmet
I was able to go hands-on with Star Wars The Black Series Bo-Katan Kryze Premium Electronic Helmet at a merchandise preview event before getting one myself, so was already pretty familiar with it on a surface level. However, having one on my desk allowed me to stress-test it a little more - such as messing about with the rangefinder or checking to see if the visor fogged up in use.
For more on our hardware policy, check in with this guide on how we test products.
This review sample was provided by Hasbro.