SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
So, uhh, hey, did you hear there’s a new Star Wars coming out? It’s probably not a big deal or anything, just the end of the latest trilogy, and allegedly the main saga. Also, there’s some toys, so I guess I might review a few of those. Central to this new trilogy is Kylo Ren, tortured villain and wannabe Vader. Though he flirted with a redemption in the last film, he ultimately rejected it, netting himself a promotion to Supreme Leader of the First Order in the process. And, as a central character, that’s also netted him a brand new Black Series, complete with fancy “Supreme Leader” moniker.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Supreme Leader Kylo Ren is figure 90 (exactly twice the number that the TLJ version was) in the Black Series line up. Numerically, he’s the first of the eight figures that were released for Triple Force Friday, and he’s one of the four Rise of Skywalker branded figures at launch. Kylo is no stranger to the Black Series, with this being his seventh figure in the line. He’s also doesn’t possess the most varied appearance. All seven of those figures have more or less followed the same basic look. The primary change-up tends to be whether he has his helmet or not. Though he destroyed it at the beginning of Last Jedi, it appears the Kylo has restored it for Rise, and so he’s sporting it once more on this figure. Said figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. I’ve reviewed the majority of this figure before, since he is from the neck down the same figure as the Kylo from Last Jedi. I liked the sculpt the first time around, but this time…I don’t know, it just doesn’t resonate quite as well with me this time. It’s got to be due to the new parts, I suppose. Kylo gets a new head and cape, and I can’t say I’m much of a fan of either. The new head gives us Kylo’s repaired helmet, which is an interesting visual, and one that I liked a fair bit on the Galaxy of Adventures Kylo figure. Here, it’s certainly more detailed, but it also seems far too large for the body, or at the very least the neck. It also just doesn’t look natural in any position, and sits low enough to make actually posing quite a tricky task. The new cape piece is decent in concept, but lousy in application. The actual cape bit’s alright for the most part, but does seem to have more trouble staying in place than the one from the TLJ release. The real trouble comes from the hood, or rather hoods. Since the cape is plastic, the figure has two hood pieces, up and down. Down is certainly the better implemented of the two, since there’s less room for error, but it has some difficulty staying clipped in place on my figure. The up hood is just a mess. It doesn’t attach securely at all, and worst of all he’s got hover-hood, with a noticeable clearance between his head and the hood no matter how you situate him. I ends up making the pulled up hood effectively useless, since there’s no way I’m going to display it with that. It’s a shame, because that’s pretty much the only element that really distinguishes him from prior figures. Kylo’s paintwork is okay, nothing spectacular. It hits all the right notes and gets the job done. In terms of extras, Kylo has his lightsaber in both ignited and unignited forms, just like virtually every other Black Series Kylo. What he *doesn’t* include is an unmasked head, which at this point feels downright criminal, especially given how much of this figure is re-use. They could have just thrown in a well-painted TLJ head at the very least, since that one hasn’t yet received the face-print tech.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I opted to just pick up a full case of the Force Friday Black Series figures for the sake of having them all. The Mandalorian and the Jawa made me feel pretty good about things, but Kylo really tested my resolve. I feel I may have done myself a disservice by picking up the Galaxy of Adventures version first, because that one was a pleasant surprise, while this one was a letdown the whole way through. How much of a let down? Well, I opened the figure, immediately placed him back in his box, opened him again for the photos, and they put him back away again. I pretty much never do that, but with him I just felt no need to mess with him outside of the needs of this review. I am not a fan of this figure. If you want a good Kylo, buy the GoA version. It’s half the price, better looking, and a far more playable figure.