The Blaster In Question #0068: First Order Stormtrooper Blaster (Rival)

BlasterInQuestion1

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER BLASTER

STAR WARS (RIVAL)

RivalStorm1Hold on. We’ve been here several times before, haven’t we?  No, once again, we’re looking at yet another First Order Stormtrooper blaster. What is this, the fourth blaster with this name?  Yes, but with a big difference. Hitherto, all the various Stormtrooper blasters have been standard dart blasters, but this particular iteration is in fact, a Rival blaster. How’s that work then? Let me tell you. Onto the review. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

RivalStorm2Arent you a little big for a stormtrooper blaster? Not you, the reader, was doing a bit where I—  you know, because of the quote from— look, nevermind.  The Rival version of the First Order Stormtrooper blaster was released in 2018 as one of the more “collector’s” style of blaster like we’ve seen with the Boba Fett Apollo reskin and the Deadpool Kronos. Like both previous examples, this blaster comes in a fancy display style of box with lots of stormtrooper imagery, as you’d expect. Unlike the other blasters, though, this isn’t simply a recolor, it’s an entirely new shell, and boy is it a shell. Mechanically speaking, the Stormtrooper blaster works just like the Helios, albeit without the ability to switch the charging handle from one side to the other. Because of this, the body of the blaster has to accommodate the same layout of internals, which is why the stock section looks a little chunky compared to props from the movies. Add to that the barrel and fore grip section which isn’t present on the Helios and you now have a pretty huge blaster.  Not that that’s a bad thing in and of itself, but it does throw a couple RivalStorm3things off just a bit in terms of the design. More of that later. Out of the box, the blaster comes with 2 extra bits that are meant to be slotted into the right side in order to make it more visually accurate to the movie prop. They don’t serve any function beyond aesthetics but I did find it interesting that they are easily removable, I guess if you want to put everything back in the nice display box. There is a scope molded into the body of the blaster so it’s not removable, but it might have been nice if they put any kind of reticle in there at all. As it stands, it’s just a tube. The aforementioned wonkiness in scale probably has the greatest impact on ergonomics. The first thing you notice when picking this up is that the grip is absolutely huge and kind of blocky. I know the Sterling submachine gun has a grip with flat sides, and consequently, so does the movie prop on which it’s built, but some contouring around where the webbing of my thumb sits would have made a big difference here, especially since the Helios has just such contouring, so it’s not an issue for RivalStorm4preserving the function of the blaster. Secondly, because the stock is so thick, the butt plate is much wider than it would be normally. Again, wouldn’t have been an issue with some light contour work, but for now, the wide plate with hard edges along the sides can be unpleasant if you don’t seat it just right on your shoulder. And that’s really all the functional complaints I have about this. I mean, it’s a Helios and I love the Helios. The charging handle on the left side is hinged so it can flip up to be more out of the way for storage or what have you, and is a pretty good shape for being as slim as it is. As a Rival blaster, performance is solid, firing hard and far, definitely something to give your younger siblings pause. The First Order Stormtrooper Blaster comes packaged in its fancy box with the two extra decorative pieces, a 7 round Rival magazine, and 7 special red Rival rounds, you know, ‘cause it’s a laser gun. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I do actually have one more complaint about the blaster, but I saw this one coming the moment I saw it unveiled at Toy Fair. It’s expensive. Really expensive. Such is always the case with licensed blasters. If you want a Helios, you can get one for about 1/4 the price of this. I got mine through GameStop with a bit of a discount, but still, you have to be sure you want this if you’re planning on picking one up. Maybe if you’re feeling crafty, you could paint the white parts gold and have yourself a Captain Phasma blaster. Then in true movie fashion you could never fire it once and then try to apprehend a deserter with a stick. Good choiceRivalStormbox

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#1575: Admiral Ackbar & First Order Officer

ADMIRAL ACKBAR & FIRST ORDER OFFICER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Star Wars fandom has a tendency to latch onto certain characters, and blow there contributions way out of proportion.  The biggest example of this is, of course, Boba Fett, but coming up close behind has got to be Admiral Ackbar.  Ackbar’s big claim to fame is a unique design and one highly memorable line.  Pretty much the only difference between him and Nien Numb (introduced in the same movie, and with about the same amount of screen time) is that Ackbar actually spoke English.  Despite all of this, there was a sizable chunk of people who were genuinely angry that Ackbar’s role in The Last Jedi was that of a background character….just like he has been for his entire existence.  I personally was happy to see him again in whatever role they could give him, and even happier to see him get a new action figure out of the whole thing.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Admiral Ackbar and his pack mate, a generic First Order Officer, were released in a Toys R Us-exclusive two-pack as part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR

“Ackbar became a Grand Admiral in the New Republic, winning many victories, including the pivotal Battle of Jakku.  He retired to Mon Cala but was coaxed back into service with the Resistance by Leia Organa.”

Ackbar is no stranger to action figures, but this is his first time in the 6-inch scale.  He’s seen here in his uniform from The Last Jedi, which is different from his TFA uniform, which was in turn different from his RotJ uniform.  Each time, it seems his uniform’s gotten a bit less unique.  I don’t dislike his Last Jedi design, but Ackbar is really just wearing the same togs as everyone else.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation, which includes an articulated jaw.  Pretty swanky.  Ackbar’s sculpt is new to him, and it’s certainly impressive.  The best work is definitely on his head and forearms, which capture the prosthetics from the film quite nicely.  The head in particular does a great job of working in the jaw movement without disrupting the sculpt too much.  The rest of the figure is decently handled.  The uniform features the appropriate texturing and such, and the proportions match up well with the head and hands.  Because of the way the waist articulation is implemented, the overhanging flap on his jacket is cut off at the belt, which looks a little goofy and is hard to get properly aligned when posing him.  The paint on this figure follows the example of the sculpt.  The most impressive work is on the head and hands, which get a decent amount of accent work and the like.  The body is certainly passable, but there’s no accenting on any of the uniform, which looks a bit goofy and cheap.  Ackbar is packed with a standard rebel blaster, which he can hold in his right hand.

FIRST ORDER OFFICER

“The officers of the First Order military forces show unwavering allegiance to Supreme Leader Snoke, leading his massive armies and fleet in a relentless drive to dominate the galaxy.”

This is a figure we’ve seen most of before.  With the exception of the head, he’s identical to the First Order Disguise Finn figure.  Obviously, it’s a sensible re-use, and a great way of justifying the totally unique tooling for Ackbar.  Anyway, I liked Finn, so I like this figure.  His new head is suitably generic, so if you wanted to get a few of these, it wouldn’t look too terrible.  It’s got a slight resemblance to Vinnie Jones in my eyes, but I hardly mind that (even if it is a bit goofy to see such a head on such a scrawny body).  The paint on this guy is pretty much comparable to Finn’s, with the obvious changes to the head.  The face is a little sloppy, but the faded hair actually looks pretty decent.  Like Finn, this guy includes the small blaster pistol and removable hat.  He loses the riot baton, but I’m guessing those aren’t standard issue for officers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this set once before the movie’s release.  I’d just dropped a bunch of money on figures the day before, so I decided to hold off.  Then I didn’t see the set anywhere for a month, and I started to worry a bit.  Fortunately, it showed back up, and I was able to snag one last month while on a trip out and about.  Ackbar’s the definite draw, and he’s a solid figure.  Not 100% sold on this particular costume, but it certainly could be worse.  The Officer’s not really anything special, but he’s a decent figure nonetheless and a welcome addition to my First Order ranks.

The Blaster In Question #0037: First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1

FIRST ORDER STROMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER

STAR WARS

stormrifle1Look at this post.  Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so punctual.  Ok ok, technically this week’s blaster isn’t from the “empire” so to speak, but the First Order is basically the Empire 2.0, so yeah.  Also, I know there is a more recent First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster on the market now, but I couldn’t justify hefty price tag on that one just yet so we’re going with the older one.  But that’s enough about that, on with the review!

THE BLASTER ITSELF

stormrifle2The First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster (the first one) was released in 2015 as part of Nerf’s Star Wars tie-in products, at the time, corresponding with the release of The Force Awakens.  Functionally, the blaster operates just like the N-Strike Elite Rampage, or Raider before it as it built on virtually the same internal mechanism using a pump-action magazine fed setup.  This makes a lot of sense as a design choice since it probably saved the good people at Hasbro some time and therefore money working out how the blaster was going to work.  Also, given that the Sterling Mk. IV SMG (the real steel firearm on which the F-11D Stormtrooper rifle is based) loads magazines from the side, I’d say the decision practically made itself.  The blaster looks and feels pretty good.  Leaving enough to clearly denoted it as a toy, the blaster resembles the prop from the film pretty closely.  Being modeled after a real world firearm, the ergonomics are pretty good.  The pistol grip is simple but does the job well.  The pump grip could be a little more rounded for comfort in my opinion, but it’s understandable squaring it off to accommodate the proportions of the blaster body.  As a fun side-note, most of the official promotional stormrifle3images for the blaster show it with the pump grip installed backwards.  The FOSDB also comes with a scope and stock accessories that fit onto standard Nerf attachment rails and lugs, respectively.  The scope is very low-profile and actually provides quite a nice sight picture for what that’s worth in a Nerf attachment.  The stock is nice and solid, if a bit short on its own but the way the body of the blaster extends back past the grip means it’s at least a useable length when attached.  At the very least, it fits with the overall compact size of the blaster.  Without the stock, the blaster itself is really sized more like a large handgun than a rifle, something that it has over the Rampage.  That and the fun primed indicator disguised as a vent that changes from black to red when the blaster is primed.  Both of these little improvements make it that much more disappointing that the performance isn’t up to the same standard as Elite blasters.  I’ve been over the reasons why this is the case, but it still bums me out sometimes, especially with blasters that should be awesome by all rights.  Even if you’re not getting exactly the same range and power, at least you can throw out movie quotes as you bust into your younger sibling’s room and start blasting.  Good luck hitting anything, though.  It is a Stormtrooper rifle, after all.  The FOSDB comes packaged with a scope, a stock, an all-white 12 round magazine, and 12 red Star Wars branded Elite darts with transparent red tips.stormrifle4

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster was really the first Star Wars Nerf blaster I can remember seeing and getting excited about.  Before this series, the best we got always seemed to be single shot, muzzle loaders, so it was really great to see tie-in blasters get more serious designs, even if they’re almost direct copies of existing blasters.  Clones, maybe.  Wait, no, we’ve confirmed the First Order doesn’t do clones.  Only bad movies do that, that’d be stupid.

#1515: First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter

FIRST ORDER SPECIAL FORCES TIE FIGHTER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The elite of the First Order straighter pilots have access to specialized craft, such as the two-seater TIE craft outfitted with enhanced weapons and sensor systems. The skilled pilots of the First Order launch into combat aboard advanced fighter craft, hunting down enemy vessels and protecting space around installations and warships.”

There’s no denying that vehicles are a defining piece of the Star Wars mythos.  They’re so important, that the scale of the vintage line was largely chosen to facilitate the inclusion of these vehicles.  They’ve been an important part of the line for the past 40 some years, and its part of why the 3 3/4 inch scale has never fully died out.  When Hasbro introduced the 6-inch Black Series, it was kind of assumed by the fanbase that this line would be without any vehicles.  Fairly early on, there were a few smaller items (such as the speeder bike), but full scale vehicles seemed more than a little cost-prohibitive.  Imagine the fanbase’s surprise at SDCC 2015 when Hasbro unveiled a 6-inch scaled TIE Fighter, as part of the products tying into The Force Awakens.  I’ll be looking at that vehicle today!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter (gosh, that’s a long name) was released as a special deluxe item in Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series, which hit in the winter of 2015.  The TIE has a pretty large footprint, at a whopping 18 by 18 inches.  It’s sizable enough that I was half tempted to just put a flat surface on the top of it and just use it as a coffee table.  It has an articulated antennae, a rotating lower cannon, and an opening hatch at the top.  Like the smaller scale TIE, this vehicle is based on the slightly updated TIE Fighter design seen in TFA, which isn’t too far removed from the classic TIE design.  The sculpt is, understandably, unique to this particular item.  It’s a pretty solid piece of work.  Hasbro took advantage of the larger scale, and has filled every inch of this rather sizable piece with tons of detail work.  Speaking of scale, this TIE is a fair bit closer to proper scale with its respective figures than the smaller TIE was.  It’s still not 100% spot-on, but you can get two people in the cockpit sitting back to back as seen in the film, which is a step up indeed.  Said cockpit is definitely the coolest part of the Fighter for me; it’s got two full seats, plus all of the various instruments and panels seen in the movie.  There are clips in each seat, to help hold the figures in place.  They can make it a little difficult to get the figures in there, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad.  A definite plus, though, is that you don’t have to be quite as picky about the figures that go into this Fighter, unlike the smaller one.  I was able to get Poe and Finn in there without too much trouble at all.  The paintwork on the Fighter is decent enough.  It’s pretty clean overall, and there’s some sharp work on the interior of the cockpit.  There’s also some pretty sweet accent work on the red Special Forces stripe.  The TIE Fighter’s only real accessory was an exclusive TIE Fighter Pilot figure, which I didn’t get with my fighter.  It’s the same as the single-release First Order TIE Fighter Pilot, just with some extra red detailing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As cool as the novelty of this item was, when it was originally released with a $180 price tag, I passed.  That’s a lot of money and it takes up a lot of space.  And then I was out to dinner with my family, and there was a wait for our table, so Christian, Tim, and I walked over to the Goodwill across the parking lot.  At said Goodwill, they had this behind the counter, marked at $20.  So, for the price of a single Black Series figure, I got this huge freaking thing.  It’s pretty awesome, I gotta say.  Sure, I don’t have either pilot for it, but Poe and Finn look pretty at home in there, and I can’t stress enough how awesome it was to get this thing for 11% of its original retail price.

#1418: General Hux

GENERAL HUX

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

While I generally liked the tie-in line of figures from The Force Awakens, there were definitely some figures that just didn’t turn out as well as they could have.  In this respect, it’s somewhat fortunate that a number of characters have the same (or at least very similar) designs in The Last Jedi, thus giving us a second shot a few of those characters.  For me, one of the biggest disappointments from the basic TFA line was General Hux, an entertaining character with a sub-par figure.  Now he’s got a new figure, and hopefully this one’s a bit better.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

General Hux is another of the 11 basic figures in the first series of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  He’s from the Teal assortment, which houses some of the more secondary characters.  Definitely appropriate for Hux.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  This Hux has more or less the same design as the last figure, albeit minus the hat.  Hux only had the hat sparingly in TFA, so I can’t say I mind its removal for this figure (in fact, I’m quite pleased to have him un-hatted; I was a little annoyed that both of his TFA figures had it permanently attached).  Despite the largely unchanged design, this figure sports an all-new sculpt.  And boy is that for the best.  Perhaps my biggest complaint about the original Hux was how his greatcoat had been handled; sculpted to the figure and worked into the legs just looked really goofy.  This figure instead gives him a separate jacket piece, which not only makes him more consistent with the other figures in this line (since short-jacketed characters such as Poe, Finn, and Han all had separate pieces for their jackets), but also just looks a ton better.  As an added bonus, since the jacket is a separate piece and can be relatively easily removed, you can also get a pretty respectable sans-jacket look out of this figure.  That’ll definitely come in handy should people want to put together a few First Order officers.  Moving past the coat, the rest of the sculpt is pretty solid work as well.  As with Kylo, I feel the skirt piece would look a tiny bit better if it were also a separate piece, but it looks decent enough separated onto the legs the way it is.  The head sports a respectable likeness of Domhnall Gleeson, which is also fairly consistent with the face on the last Hux.  The paint on Hux is all nice and clean.  There’s not a ton of details, but there are enough.  I definitely prefer the molded skin tone seen here to the painted face of the last figure, and I like the more clear-cut black of his uniform.  Hux includes the same blaster as last time, but this time he also comes with a mouse droid, which is really fun.  It even has working wheels!  Also, like the others in this series, Hux has the new ForceLink feature, for those that are interested in such things.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was rather excited to get the first Hux and was ultimately let down, so when this new Hux was announced, I was skeptical. I’d been burned before.  When I found the figures early, I got a chance to look at him up close, and I was rather impressed by what I saw, so I definitely knew I’d be grabbing him on Force Friday.  Hux is the sort of figure that’s easy to overlook in the chaos of all the new figures, but he’s a surprisingly strong addition to the line.  Definitely worth checking out.

#1296: First Order Stormtrooper

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the Stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.

Wow, that’s the same bio used on the Hasbro Black Series figures.  I guess Disney’s really strict about what goes in those bios.  I mean, I guess it’s a decent enough write-up for the Stormtroopers.  It’s not like there’s a whole lot to them, right?  So, hey, it’s been a while since I reviewed a basic Stormtrooper (First Order or otherwise).  How about one of those?  This time, the figure’s metal.  Oooooooooh!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The First Order Stormtrooper was released as part of the very first series of Disney’s Star Wars: Elite Series, which hit way back on the first Force Friday event.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s very similar in construction to the previously reviewed Poe figure (metal for the torso,arms, and legs, and plastic for the hands, feet and head), though he does feel a bit lighter weight.  That’s probably due to the slightly more svelte design.  He’s still rather restricted in terms of movement (he’s yet another FO Trooper that can’t actually hold his blaster two-handed), but he’s on par with the other two figures I’ve gotten.  It could certainly be worse.  While there was a definite upturn in the level of detail displayed on the K-2 figure, the Trooper, as an older release, is still rather on the soft side.  Given the sleeker nature of the Stormtroopers, it’s not too bad, but he does miss out on the fun underlying jumpsuit details that we saw on the Black Series version of this design.  On the plus side, he lacks the weird hand thing that plagued the Poe figure, and just seems to have better proportions in general. He also doesn’t face any issues of facial likeness, which seems to alleviate a major issue the Disney figures seem to face.  Like both prior Elite Series figures I’ve looked at, the Stormtrooper is assembled using screws along the back of the figure.  10 of them to be exact.  While K-2 added covers so as to prevent them from ruining the aesthetics, the Stormtrooper takes after Poe, which means his assembly screws are left totally uncovered.  It’s definitely distracting, but at least it’s confined to the back of the figure.  The paint on the Stormtrooper is decent enough; it’s not like there’s a lot of really complex work or anything going on, so there’s less that can be screwed up.  There’s still some slight slop here and there, but for the most part he looks pretty clean.  The figure is packed with two blasters (one large and one small) and a display stand, which is the same as the ones included with Poe and K-2.  The smaller blaster is designed to be stowed on the right thigh, but I ended up having to do a little work on my figure to get the two pieces to fit together, due to a slight malformation of the gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was given to me by my friend Rio, who is an exchange student visiting from Japan.  Rio has been staying with one of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s friends, and has become a fixture of our group of friends over the last several months.  She also really likes to give gifts, so she’s made a point of getting something for each of us over the course of a few trips she’s made to various attractions.  When she traveled to Disney World, she got something for Super Awesome Girlfriend, but not for me.  I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was far from upset, but Rio wanted to get me something.  On her trip to NYC over spring break, she tracked down the Disney Store and, with a little guidance from Super Awesome Girlfriend, picked this guy out for me.  He’s actually pretty cool, and you can never have too many Stormtroopers, right?  Anyway, Rio is heading back home to Japan today, so I thought I’d give this figure a review as a send off and a testament to how great it’s been to have her around these last few months.  Good luck, Rio!

#1194: First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

fosquadleader1

It’s been almost a week since the last time I looked at a Star Wars toy.  And I amassed quite a number of them towards the backend of last year, so there’s just sort of this pile of them waiting to be reviewed.  Here’s one off the pile.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

fosquadleader2The First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader was part of the early 2016 Snow Gear assortment, alongside unmasked Kylo Ren and Nien Nunb).  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  In terms of construction, the Squad Leader uses the same basic tooling as the standard FO Trooper (and by extension, all of it’s deviations, reviewed in the First Order Legion set), which is sensible.  As I noted when I reviewed it before, it’s a pretty strong sculpt, and accurately recreates the First Order armor from the movie.  The main appeal of this figure is the web-gear, which is unique to this guy.  It’s a combination of the Heavy Artillery Trooper’s ammo vest with an Officer’s pauldron.  It’s different enough to keep him interesting, which I guess is the point.  Paintwork for this figure is pretty much on par with the other FO Troopers I’ve looked at.  There are some fuzzy lines here and there, but by and large he’s pretty good.  The Squad Leader includes a basic blaster rifle, as well as a much larger blaster that’s part of the build-a-whatsit.  It’s kind of a cool piece, though it’s actually taller than he his, so getting him to hold it is kind of tricky.  Still, better than a lot of the pieces included with these figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Being part of one of the later assortments of the Force Awakens line, this guy never really showed up at retail in full force.  I ended up getting this guy from Cosmic Comix during their Biggest Sale of the Year! (TM).  I like the Heavy Trooper look, and I liked this variation of it, so I got him.  Is he really different from figures I already own?  Not really, but he’s still pretty fun.

#1092: Kylo Ren – Unmasked

KYLO REN – UNMASKED

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

kylounmasked1

Alright, let’s keep moving on with the Rogue One stuff.  Today we’ll be looking at…Kylo Ren?  Okay, I used my bad Terminator rip-off joke with the Poe set at the very beginning, so I can’t use it here.  Ummm…here’s Kylo Ren?

Kylo seems to be a rather polarizing character.  It seems that most either love him or despise him.  I fall into the first category, but can sort of understand people in the second.  I chalk my enjoyment of him up to his being perhaps the greatest onscreen portrayal of Dr Doom to date, in everything but name.  Anyway, Kylo’s gotten himself another figure, and I’m reviewing that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

kylounmasked2Kylo Ren is the last figure in the first set of Rogue One-based Star Wars: The Black Series figures (the set is technically Series 7 of the Force Awakens stuff, which explains his present here).  He’s figure #26, and he’s the highest numbered Black Series figure to date, which is cool I suppose.  This Kylo was previously available at this year’s Celebration event, with a couple of extra pieces not included here, but this is his first main retail release.  The figure is about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  For the most part, this figure is the same as last year’s #03 Kylo.  The only difference between the two is the head, which is unmasked this time around (as denoted by the figure’s name).  The head offers a pretty good likeness of actor Adam Driver, looking just as pouty as he should.  The head fits well on the body, and looks the part, so no complaints here.  The body is alright; I still have my issues with the cloth parts, but I’ve come to terms with them now.  As far as paint goes, most of the changes are once again on the head, which is handled pretty well, though his skin is really pale.  The only change to the body is on the gloves, which have been given a shiny finish here, which actually makes the figure look a little better.  The exclusive Kylo had a lot of extras, including a First Order flag, Vader’s helmet, and an extra helmeted head.  This figure lacks those.  All he gets is two versions of his lightsaber.  Instead of the removable blade version from the first figure (which was technically inaccurate), he gets one with a permanently affixed blade and one without.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t initially planned on Kylo being one of my Rogue Friday purchases.  In fact, I passed him up at TRU’s midnight opening (well, initially, anyway.  Then he was gone by the time I got back).  However, when I picked up the Death Trooper, this guy was sitting there too, and I just kind of wanted him.  I’m actually quite glad I picked him up, because he makes a few nice changes to the prior Kylo, and is just a really fun figure all-around.

#1081: Poe Dameron & First Order Snowtrooper Officer

POE DAMERON & FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

snowtrooperpoe1

Last Friday was Rogue Friday, Hasbro’s second attempt at the whole “Force Friday” thing they tried last year.  It marked the official launch of all of the Rogue One-related products.  However, in light of the fiasco that was last year’s Force Friday event, most stores decided to forego the midnight opening event, with only Toys R Us participating.  Super Awesome Girlfriend and I headed over to the closest TRU last Thursday night, and I picked up an assortment of Rogue One products.  Today I’ll be looking that the first of the bunch, Poe Dameron and the First Order Snowtrooper Officer.  Why are Poe and a First Order Snowtrooper in the Rogue One line?  Well, it’s because it’s been a well-kept secret of Rogue One actually involves the Snowtrooper Officer being sent back in time to kill Jyn Erso and prevent the birth of Resistance fighter Rey.  The only hope of stopping him was the Resistance’s own Poe Dameron, sent back to protect her.

Wait. Sorry, that’s actually the plot of Terminator.  My mistake.  Right.  Yeah, Poe and the Snowtrooper are just here because TFA product is still being released under the Rogue One banner, as is the case with most new Star Wars lines!  I doubt Poe’s really going to be in the movie.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Poe and the Snowtrooper Officer are one of the three 2-packs in the first Battle-Packs assortment in the Rogue One line.  Each line has one or two Force Awakens products peppered in and these two are that portion of the Battle-Packs.

POE DAMERON

snowtrooperpoe2I kinda love Poe Dameron.  He’s easily my favorite part of TFA.  So, I was pretty happy to see another Poe pop up with all the new figures.  Of the three new main characters, Poe ended up with the most distinct looks.  So far, we’ve gotten his jacketed look from the beginning of the film and his pilot look from later.  The only one missing is his dress uniform from the very end of the film, which is the look this figure replicates.  It’s admittedly a somewhat obscure look, since it’s really only seen in the one shot, but it’s cool to get it nonetheless.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and he has the basic 5-points of articulation that everyone should be accustomed to with these new Star Wars figures.  Poe gets an all-new sculpt.  That means we get yet another attempt at Oscar Isaac’s likeness for the head.  It’s still not perfect, but I think this is the best version we’ve gotten from Hasbro yet.  The rest of the body does a good job of snowtrooperpoe5translating the uniform we see on screen into action figure form, at least from the few reference shots I’ve been able to find (seriously, this is a short-lived look).  One thing I do really like is that, even with it being a totally new sculpt, the pants and boots here are clearly the same ones on the jacketed figure.  That’s consistency!  The paint on this guy is alright, but not without issue.  Sadly, most of those issues are on the head (again), mostly dealing with the hairline (again).  It’s far from the worst paint I’ve seen from Hasbro, but it could definitely be better. On the plus side, at least he’s not as pale as some of the prior Poe figures!  The paint on the body is pretty solid, as well, which is good.  Poe includes a blaster pistol (the same as the one that came with his X-Wing pilot figure).  He is also the figure in this set who gets the big honking missile launcher.  Because Hasbro.

FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER

snowtrooperpoe3Befitting the “VS” nature of the new two-packs, Poe’s pack-mate is a First Order Snowtrooper Officer.  He’s pretty much the same figure as the First Order Snowtrooper (reviewed here), but with an added shoulder pauldron.  That means he’s still about 4 inches tall and has those same 5 points of articulation as everyone else.  The Snowtrooper wasn’t a bad figure, but I’ve never been super into the Snowtroopers in general, so getting yet another isn’t exactly blowing my mind.  Seeing as Poe’s a pilot, wouldn’t a Tie Pilot be more appropriate?  I don’t know.  This guy has the same accessories as his predecessor, a blaster with an extended stock and a back pack.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted in the intro, these guys came from Toys R Us’s midnight event for Rogue Friday.  Last year’s event was kind of a bust, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time around, and only even decided to participate a day or so in advance.  Super Awesome Girlfriend and I showed up at the closest TRU at about 11:30 last Thursday night, and we were only the third people in line.  I had a very pleasant conversation with the two guys in front of me (both older fans who were amused that someone my age was out for such an event).  At 12:01, the doors opened, I made my way to the action figure aisle, and picked up most of the figures I wanted, this set included.  I even got a free t-shirt!  A hugely improved experience over last year.

As far as the actual figures?  Well, the Snowtrooper’s kind of blah, but I like the new Poe figure a lot.  He might actually be my favorite of the smaller Poe’s we’ve gotten, even if he is in his briefly seen outfit from the end.  Silver lining: now my TFA Leia isn’t all lonely in her final scene outfit!

snowtrooperpoe4

#0997: Captain Phasma

CAPTAIN PHASMA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

PhasmaSmall1

With the dust very definitely settled from The Force Awakens, it does seem that people went a little crazy over Captain Phasma. She was a perfectly entertaining character, and she definitely had a cool design, but there wasn’t much more than that. Which definitely upset some people. I had no real expectations, so I wasn’t let down. I would like to see more of her in the next one, though (especially after catching up on Game of Thrones and finding out just how awesome Gwendoline Christie can be), so here’s hoping. Phasma’s gotten at least one figure in each of The Force Awakens’ many lines, with the latest being from the smaller Black Series line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PhasmaSmall2Phasma is the last of the three figures that make up the fourth series of Walmart’s exclusive 3 ¾-inch Star Wars: The Black Series. The figure stands a pretty sizeable 4 ¼ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Her design is quite similar to the First Order Stormtrooper, but the actual figure is a fair bit sturdier than the smaller Trooper, which is much appreciated. There’s plenty of great fine detail work (the helmet once again stands out), and the proportions are pretty nicely balanced. My only complaint is less about ther sculpt and more the way the figure was packaged: her shins are quite bowed, which makes keeping her standing quite difficult. The cape (which is a sculpted add-on) is thinner and less obstructive than the larger figure’s cape, which is good. It’s a little odd, since the aesthetics of this series so far have dictated cloth capes and such, but I can’t say I mind the sculpted piece. Like her two previous figures from Hasbro, this Phasma goes for flat silver paint, in place of the more chrome stylings of the movie. I’m still a little bummed by that, but it’s a little more acceptable on a more articulated figure such as this one. In spite of the flatter finish, the paintwork here is pretty solid. There’s a bit of bleed over on some of the black/silver changeovers, but that’s all pretty minor. Phasma is packed with her usual custom blaster, which she can hold much better than the troops she commands could hold theirs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Han and Leia, Phasma was purchased for me by Super Awesome Girlfriend. As with all the Phasmas I’ve looked at so far, I really like this one. I think the 6-inch one is still my favorite of the three versions, but this one’s still really solid, and I think she’s my favorite of the Series 4 figures!