STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)
Since there’s no basic 3 3/4 inch line-up for the movie launch this time around, the small scale component of the Rise of Skywalker toys will be carried by the recently relaunched The Vintage Collection, an interesting prospect given that TVC has only recently started carrying more than one or two new figures per assortment. It’s also prone to much more compact line-ups, meaning that our first offering of figures is nowhere near as comprehensive as what we’re used to. In terms of the core cast for the Sequel Trilogy, the first line-up gives us a re-released Poe (reviewed yesterday) and main character Rey in her latest attire, which is the figure I’ll be taking a look at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Rey is figure VC156 in the Vintage Collection line-up. She’s part of the six figure line-up launched at Triple Force Friday, and is one of five new figures in the line-up. For Rise of Skywalker, there’s been some passage of time since The Last Jedi, so everyone looks to have picked up some fancy new togs. Rey appears to still be aiming for an “on-brand” appearance, so the base elements from her three prior outfits are all still in the mix, but she’s definitely back to a brighter look following her slightly murkier look during TLJ. I dig it, and I look forward to seeing it in action on the screen. The figure stands a little under 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation. So, about all this extra articulation that’s supposed to be the main selling point of this style of line vs the 5-poa stuff? Hasbro was getting the hang of things before halting TVC the first time, and they were also getting the hang of things when the did the Rogue One figures for Black Series, but beyond that, I frequently feel like this style of figure runs into “articulation for the sake of articulation” rather than “articulation for the figure’s benefit”. The prime offender is pretty much always the hip joints. While the design here is certainly better than the out of date set-up we saw on yesterday’s Poe, it’s still a very limited, very restricted joint, largely due to how small it has to be to not look super messy at this scale. The trouble is, it’s enough movement to give the legs some budge, but enough to do a whole lot with that budge, so she’s a figure with hip joints that really just make her hard to keep standing. Don’t get me wrong, she’s better than other offerings in this style, and probably in the top two for this particular assortment in terms of practical articulation, but she’s still not as posable as a 6-inch figure, nor as sturdy as a 5-POA figure. Even the sculpt suffers a bit, because they have to contend with adding in all of those joints, which always means breaking things up, and leaving more room for error on misassembly. Ultimately, it’s not a bad sculpt, and in fact there’s a lot I like about it, though it is a little hard to properly judge some aspects thanks to the paint. I feel I should start the discussion of the paint by stressing that my figure doesn’t look as bad in person as in the photos. That said, yes, her face is off center, and it looks really odd. It would probably look far nicer if it were better applied, and then I might like this whole thing a lot more, but as it is, she’s passable but not really great. She’s a decently accessorized figure, certainly the best of this new bunch, with her staff, lightsaber both ignited and off, her blaster she got from Han, and a removable back pack piece. My one main complaint is that she’s got nowhere to hang the lightsaber hilt that I could find, but that’s fairly minor.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As this review will have no doubt clued you in, I remain rather apprehensive of TVC. I liked some of the figures back in the day, but there’s something about it that just seems…out of place? Black Series came a long and showed me that full articulation works better at the larger scale, and the basic 5-POA stuff reminded me that I really have a lot more fun personally with that style of figure. If I want a large spread of characters, I’m going for basic and cheap, and if I want something higher end, I’ll drop it for the more important characters. For me, TVC seems like a shaky middle ground. The small upcharge per figure really adds up, and I frequently find myself less than thrilled with the articulation. It’s honestly something I’d kind of confronted with the Walmart-exclusive Black Series, but at least with those, I could focus on the things I wanted to collect instead. Without the things I want to collect, I guess these become even more frustrating. Rey’s not a bad figure, but I guess she’s not what I wanted, and it makes being objective tricky.