POE’S X-WING FIGHTER (w/ POE DAMERON)
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
For day 7 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews, I’ll be venturing back into that galaxy far, far away. However, this time I’ll actually be looking at something from the new movie.
Back when Kenner had just gotten the Star Wars license, and they were deciding on scale, George Lucas was adamant that the figures be small enough that in-scale ships were still a possibility, which led to the decision to use the 3 ¾ inch scale, and ultimately had an undying impact on the action figure industry as a whole. See, the ships were a key piece of the story, since you can’t very have those titular “Star Wars” without them. One of the more distinctive ships was the X-Wing fighter, the main ship of all our favorite Rebel pilots. The X-Wings have made a triumphant return in The Force Awakens, and a triumphant return to the toy aisles with today’s focus, Poe’s X-Wing Fighter.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Seeing as the name of this set is “Poe’s X-Wing Fighter,” it’s not really a huge shock that the included pilot is Poe Dameron. The figure is 3 ¾ inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as all the other 3 ¾ inch Force Awakens figures. Poe’s body looks to be the same one that was used on the single release Poe, though I don’t actually have one to compare. It’s a decent enough sculpt. The jumpsuit has a reasonable amount of texturing and there’s some nice layering to the sculpt. The vest seems a little soft in some areas, but not terribly so. The head sculpt is shared with the “Armor Up” version of the character. I liked it well enough when I reviewed that figure, and I like it well enough here. It’s not a perfect match for Oscar Isaac, but it isn’t terrible either. At the very least, it’s got a slightly better paint job (though the skin tone is definitely too pale). The rest of the paint is passable, but nothing tremendous. There’s a fair bit of bleed over in several areas, and the edges of the vest are fairly fuzzy. Poe includes a helmet and a small blaster. The helmet is actually really cool, if perhaps slightly oversized, and the gun looks to be the same piece included with Goss Toowers.
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
Let’s be honest here, nobody was really buying this set for the figure, were they? No, the selling point is the awesome X-Wing fighter he’s meant to fly! Out of the box, there’s a tiny bit of required assembly. The cannons and the nose of the fighter are packed separately from the main vehicle, so they have to be attached, and there are also a few small decals to be placed inside the cockpit. Once assembled, the main body of the vehicle is 15 ½ inches in length and it has a 13 inch wingspan. The X-Wing has 2 points of “articulation” for the cockpit and the landing gear. The cockpit could stand to open just a bit more, but other than that, the basic movement is pretty smooth. The X-Wing fighters in The Force Awakens got an all-new design (officially dubbed the T-70), inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept drawings from the first movie. It’s a slightly more svelte, less cobbled together look than the prior T-65. The toy gets a new sculpt designed to replicate the design from the film. Some changes have definitely been made for the sake of a slightly easier to produce toy. Chief among them is the decision to scale the whole thing down just a bit. It’s really not that evident, except for poor Poe having to do some serious slouching to fit in the cockpit with the top shut. In addition, some of the more intricate details of the craft have been made less intricate, which gives the whole thing a slightly more simplified look. Given that this ship is designed to go with the 5 POA 3 ¾ inch figures, these changes are reasonable, and make it so the ship fits in with the rest of those offerings.
The ship has a non-removable BB-8 built in, much like the R2-D2s built into the X-Wing toys of old. I was happy to see he got a fully detailed sculpt, which matches up pretty well to the single release figure. The construction of the X-Wing isn’t without its issues, though. The most glaring ones are pretty much all related to the parts that were separate in the box. The first, and by far the most minor issue for me, is the softer rubber material used for the nose. This is clearly a safety standards thing, so I can understand why it was done. It really doesn’t look that bad, and my only real concern is how it will hold up over time. The big issue is the level of warping present on the wing cannons. They come like that out of the box, and look a bit on the silly side. Fortunately, there are a few fixes that can be applied, or, if you don’t want to fix them yourself, you can just shoot Hasbro an email and they’ll send you a replacement set for free. Other than that, all the other nits are fairly minor. There are a few exposed screws, but they’re all in fairly out of the way places. The general construction of this ship really isn’t horrible. Paint is something of a key piece on this one, since it’s the color scheme that denotes the fighter as Poe’s. The grey/orange scheme is pretty striking here, and it works nicely with the mold. The actual paint is fairly basic, with just solid color work. There are some areas with some slightly uneven coverage, but the overall look is quite good. BB-8’s head gets some nice work, but his body is left completely unpainted, which is just a tad jarring. The X-Wing has two action features. The main one is the wing feature. When BB-8 is pressed, the wings pop open into the signature X formation. When the button behind him is pushed, they go back to their normal positioning. The mechanism isn’t particularly strong, so the wings won’t stay open if you set the ship down, which is a tiny bit of a letdown (and it also made taking pictures rather hard). The other feature is a more simple missile launching one. Pressing a button on the underside of the fighter launches the included missile. It’s actually surprisingly powerful, so try not to shoot your eye out.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Poe’s X-Wing Fighter was another Christmas gift from my incredibly supportive parents. It’s not a perfect item. I can make a list of the issues, I can say it’s a step back after the more advanced X-Wings we’ve gotten in the past. It’s under-sized, and the cannons are warped, and maybe the paint could be better. But when I opened this thing up and put it together? Pure joy. I think it might just be my favorite item I received for Christmas. Seriously, I was so excited that I may or may not have run through the house with it making flying sounds…