#1421: Resistance Gunner Paige

RESISTANCE GUNNER PAIGE

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Okay, it’s time for another installment of “Ethan writes an intro for a character of whom he has no prior knowledge!”  In today’s game, I, Ethan, will be discussing Resistance Gunner Paige, from the film The Last Jedi.  Paige, for those of you not in the know, is a gunner…for the Resistance…in the movie The Last Jedi.  Yeah…. Oooh, ooh, wait, I’ve got another thing!  Yes, she’s also the sister of yesterday’s figure Rose.  So there you go.  Feeling better informed?  I’d guess “no,” but there’s not much I can do about that.  You know as much as I do.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Paige was released in the first series of The Last Jedi basic figures.  She’s another from the Teal assortment, and wraps that assortment up (since I didn’t pick up the C-3PO).  There’s already a revision case of this assortment starting to hit stores now, and it appears that Paige is being dropped in favor of Obi-Wan and Yoda, so she may end up being a little more difficult to find down the road.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  She gets an all-new sculpt, and it’s a quite nice one at that.  As with the other figures I’ve reviewed from this assortment, the detail work is nice and crisp, and there’s lots of great little details all throughout the sculpt.  Her likeness is pretty decent, too, so that’s good.  Like Poe, she’s got a removable helmet, which is nice to see return on the basic figures.  There’s a aviator’s cap under the helmet, which matches with what we’ve seen of the character and also gives a neat sort of an Amelia Earhart look to her, which I quite like.  She’s got a small breathing mask attached to her gear, which I initially thought was just another fun little detail of the sculpt, but was pleasantly surprised to discover was in fact a working mask which could be plugged into her helmet.  It’s a lot of fun.  Paige’s paint work is fairly decent overall, though it would appear a number of her sculpted details have gone unpainted, which is a real shame.  Given the overall improvement of most of the figures in this line, as well as the level of detail on some sections of Paige’s paint, I kind of have to wonder if it’s possible that a round of paint apps were just missed on the initial shipments of Paige figures.  It’s not unheard of.  Regardless, what’s there is solid, and the missing details aren’t that noticeable.  Paige includes the previously mentioned removable helmet, which is a lot of fun, as well as a standard Resistance blaster pistol, this time in dark metallic grey.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like her sister Rose, Paige was something of a gamble for me, since I don’t really know much about the character.  But, I quite like her look, so she was definitely pretty high on my Force Friday list.  She was one of the first figures I grabbed, or at least the first of the figures that got tossed at me as the guy next to me searched for Luke.  As with Rose, Paige is a pretty solid figure, and I look forward to seeing her in action!

#1420: Resistance Tech Rose

RESISTANCE TECH ROSE

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

After a week of reviewing The Last Jedi’s carry-over characters from TFA, I’m finally getting to the new stuff.  Oh yeah!  Now I can talk about…figures I don’t…have anything….to talk about…because these figures don’t have bios…  Yay?

Okay, that’s not entirely true.  I mean, it is true that the new figures don’t have bios, which is a little frustrating, but I do at least have a passing knowledge of the few new characters in this initial assortment.  Today, I’ll be looking at Rose, a Resistance tech (as noted by her name up there) who is paired off with Finn on a mission to infiltrate the First Order.  She looks poised to play a rather prominent role in TLJ, at least if the merchandise is anything to go by.  Let’s check out her first figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rose was released in the first series of The Last Jedi figures.  She’s part of the Teal assortment, where she’s actually the heaviest packed figure.  Clearly Hasbro is doing everything in their power to avoid another “where’s Rey?” situation.  We know that Rose will be getting at least two looks in the film; this figure gives us her resistance Tech jumpsuit, which I think it’s safe to say will be her main look for the film.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Rose sports an all-new sculpt, and she’s in keeping with the rest of the new figures in terms of style, meaning she’s a slight improvement on the TFA and Rogue One offerings.  The detail work is amazingly sharp, especially on the jumpsuit, and the likeness of Kelly Marie Tran is one of the best we’ve seen in this line.  Things like her hair, hood/collar, and belt are separate pieces glued in place, which offers some nice depth and layering to the figure.  The proportions on this figure are also quite nice, as they managed to fairly accurately capture Tran’s shorter, slightly stockier build, which has the added benefit of supplying a nice bit of variation to the whole set of figures.  That’s always a plus!  Rose’s paint work is rather basic, but also very sharp and clean, which is great to see on any Hasbro offering.  I particularly like the small printed characters on the front of her jumpsuit.  Those are a lot of fun.  Rose is packed with the same blaster rifle that came with the Armor-Up Poe, as well as a small tool of some kind, which can be clipped onto her belt.  Nothing super thrilling, but they’re both solid additions.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, when it came to what I was picking up on Force Friday, the old characters were easy to decide on, but the new characters?  They’re all guess work.  At this point, I’m entirely going by what looks cool.  I did the same for TFA, and while that netted me the likes of Sarco Plank and Goss Toowers, I can’t say I’m upset to own either of those two.  Rose looks cool enough, and she certainly made for a good figure.  Here’s hoping the character lives up to it!

#1419: Poe Dameron – Resistance Pilot

POE DAMERON – RESISTANCE PILOT

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Didn’t I *just* review a Poe Dameron figure?  Like, two days ago?  Why yeas, observant reader, I did.  But there’s a second Poe in the initial The Last Jedi offerings, and as an admitted Poe-fanboy, I of course picked up both versions of him.  It’s just what’s done.  So, without further ado, here’s a second Poe!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Poe was released in the first series of The Last Jedi figures, as part of the Orange assortment.  The last figure gave us Poe’s “casual” look, but this one gives us his X-Wing pilot gear.  It looks like his pilot stuff will be largely unchanged, which seems fair enough.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Yes, you read that right; he has 7 points, not 5. That’s because this Poe figure has wrist articulation!  Oh yeah!  Now we’re movin’ on up!  At first glance, this figure looked to be the same sculpt as the Poe included with the TFA X-Wing, but after opening him up, it appears he’s an entirely new sculpt.  It’s very similar to the prior sculpt, but everything is much sharper, there’s much more texture, and there’s some slightly tweaked details.  It’s really a much better looking sculpt.  The head isn’t quite as close to Isaac as the Captain Poe, but it’s a cleaner sculpt than a lot of the prior figures, and isn’t a terrible likeness.  In terms of paint, this guy’s quite nicely handled.  The details are all a lot bolder and more precise than the last pilot Poe, which is much appreciated.  Poe is packed with his helmet and small blaster.  Both pieces appear to be the same ones used on the last pilot Poe, but the helmet is actually black this time and looks to be closer to the actual prop than the last one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so, despite my whole Poe-fanboy thing, when the images of all these figures first started showing up, I can’t say I was much excited by this figure.  He really just looked like a straight re-release of the TFA figure, and I already have that one.  When I found all the figures early, I took a closer look and noticed he seemed at least a little bit tweaked, but I still wasn’t biting.  So, why did I get him?  Well, Target had this nifty “Spend $100, get a $25 gift card” promotion on the Star Wars toys, and Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were $5 short of $100, so I got Poe.  I’m glad I did, because he has a lot more to offer than I initially realized.

The Blaster In Question #0023: Poe Dameron Blaster

POE DAMERON BLASTER

STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI

While the vast majority of the Force Friday haul was action figures for Ethan, I did manage to pick up something for myself, and, big surprise, it’s a Nerf blaster.  It is the smallest and cheapest of this year’s Star Wars releases.  I am, of course, talking about the Poe Dameron Blaster pistol.  Let’s take a look at it.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Poe Dameron Blaster was released in 2017 as part of the Force Friday lineup of new products promoting the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII.  The blaster is about as simple as it gets, mechanically.  It is a single shot muzzle loaded pistol with a priming tab in the rear of the blaster.  The tab is a separate piece from the plunger and has its own return spring so it doesn’t stick out the back of the blaster when primed like the Nitefinder or Firestrike.  In addition to priming the action of the blaster, pulling the tab back also activates the Glowstrike feature which is part of every Star Wars branded blaster at this point.  There is a single purple LED with a clear inner barrel that “charges” up the dart so it glows in the dark when fired.  The light turns off following a trigger pull which, in turn, fires the dart and sets off the blaster’s light effect and sound.  I can’t speak for the accuracy of the sound as the film has not yet come out, but I have to say I find the light effect a little disappointing.  I wasn’t expecting the same level of light effects as are on higher end blasters, but the single light on only one side of the blaster feels a bit underwhelming.  This is only accentuated by the fact that the light stays on for almost a full second after the trigger is pulled.  Even with the lackluster setup, I would have much preferred a quick flash of light than the drawn out night light effect the blaster has.  Ultimately, it’s kind of a nit-picky criticism to make, but I know Nerf have the capability to deliver better and I wish they had done it just a little different.  The form factor of Poe’s blaster, thankfully, brings us back to the positives.  Like with most of the prop blasters in Star Wars, Poe’s blaster in the film is built on the frame of a real world firearm, in this case the Sig Sauer P226.  This won’t matter to 98% of people who buy the Nerf replica, but what it means is that the grip is exceptionally comfortable.  It may seem like a small detail, but if a blaster is genuinely pleasant to hold, even if it’s only so-so otherwise, I’m much more likely to pick it up and pew pew around my house than I am with a functionally superior but less comfortable blaster.  The handle also houses the single AA battery that powers the light, sound, and Glowstrike feature.  The little bit of extra weight in the grip also helps with comfort.  The build quality is good and everything feels solid, as you’d expect from a Nerf blaster.  Poe’s blaster has an attachment rail on the top for accessories if you really think it needs them.  Unsurprisingly, Poe’s blaster is a bit underpowered compared to the Elite series.  This is the case with just about all licensed blasters Nerf makes so it’s not surprising.  This is an indoor blaster, plain and simple.  It doesn’t pack nearly the same punch as core Nerf blasters, but that just means you’re less likely to accidentally injure your younger siblings when you burst into their room.  Besides, the glowing darts and sound effects leave enough of an impression to make up for it, especially for nighttime ambushes.  The Poe Dameron Blaster comes packaged with 3 Star Wars branded Glowstrike darts and one AA battery already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

To be completely honest, I was pretty disappointed with this years selection of Star Wars Nerf.  I didn’t even buy this blaster just because I wanted it but because Target was giving away freebies if you bought something from Force Friday.  That being said, do I regret buying this blaster?  No.  It has plenty of issues and I wouldn’t put it anywhere near my top 10, but for what it is, I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.  And besides, it’s just so dang comfortable.

 

#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.

#1417: Resistance Ski Speeder (w/ Captain Poe Dameron)

RESISTANCE SKI SPEEDER (w/ CAPTAIN POE DAMERON)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

“An older design predating those of the Rebel Alliance, these low-altitude, high-power ski speeders use a stabilizer strut to keep balance when zipping across alien terrain.”

The Star Wars franchise has a history of introducing fun new vehicles with just about every installment.  The Force Awakens didn’t do this as much, preferring to stick with variations of some old favorites, as a call-back to the older films (I didn’t mind).  The Last Jedi looks to be meeting somewhere in the middle, giving us both old favorites and some new designs.  I’ll be looking at one of the newer creations (though, if the bio’s any indication, that’s not the case “in universe”), the Ski Speeder, which looks to be the standard Resistance transportation following the trailer’s ominous hints at the destruction of their old fleet sometime during The Last Jedi’s runtime.  Hasbro’s offering a small-scale version of the vehicle, packed with ace Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Resistance Ski Speeder was one of the launch items for The Last Jedi’s Force Friday II event.  It’s a C-Class-sized vehicle, and is the only one of its size at launch time.  Time will tell if that’ll change later.  In terms of assembly, this vehicle’s a bit easier than the last few vehicles.  Pop on the right wing, the stabilizer strut, and a  blaster cannon and you’re good to go.  When fully assembled, the vehicle measures an impressive 18 inches long and stands about 5 inches tall when sitting and about 8 inches when the strut is fully extended.  In terms of moving parts, there’s the landing gear, which drops out of either wing, as well as a very small rotating gun on the left underside of the cockpit.  There is *not* an opening cockpit hatch; it’s open-topped, which does appear to be accurate to the film.  The Ski Speeder is sporting all-new tooling, based on its film design. Though they may be a new design, the Ski Speeders definitely take influence from earlier ships, most notably the Rebel B-Wing, which it should be noted is one of my favorite OT ships.  I tend to like this design, as impractical as it would be in real life.  From what we’ve seen of the Ski Speeder, this toy does a respectable job of translating it into plastic.  Like a most recent SW vehicles, the Speeder looks to have been scaled down a little bit from its on-screen counterpart.  It doesn’t look to be as expensive as the AT-ACT or even the Resistance X-Wing, which is likely due to the ship’s more feasible size.  The details have also been slightly simplified, so as to better fit the line’s overall aesthetic, but once again, it seems to be a less drastic change than we’ve seen previously.  There’s still quite a bit of detail on this thing.  Paintwork on this vehicle is a step up from recent vehicles.  It’s still not quite up to the level it used to be from Hasbro, but there’s a bit of weathering and such, which keeps it from being too dull.  There’s a few action features built into this ship, though nothing particularly obtrusive.  The most obvious is are the two missiles which can be launched from the central engine.  The stabilizer strut serves as a handle, and there’s a trigger at the top of it.  It’s essentially a big gun.  Shame that they went back to hard plastic missiles; this would have been a perfect place for Hasbro to work in some Nerf.  It would literally just be a Nerf gun.  The second feature is a detaching wing.  When you press the turbine at the top of the engine, the right wing springs off, in a similar fashion to the wings on the TIE Fighter.  I’m guessing at least one of these ships is losing a wing in the movie.  The final feature is the ForceLink feature, which looks to be the same basic concept as with the figures.

CAPTAIN POE DAMERON

Oh, he’s a captain now, is he?  That’s new.  I think.  I mean, I don’t know what his rank was before, if there was one.  I’m assuming this is a promotion.  Good for Poe.  This figure gives us Poe in his casual gear from The Last Jedi.  Since he gave his awesome leather jacket to Finn in the last film, he was in the market for a new one.  Now he’s got this snazzy dark brown jacket, which makes him look not unlike Han from the last film.  Or the Fonz.  I guess cool guys have a consistent look.  I’m not complaining.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is all-new to this guy; nothing re-used from any of the prior Poes.  The proportions are all well-balanced, and the detail work is all quite sharp.  I dig the texture on the jacket.  We’ve gotten yet another stab at an Oscar Isaac likeness on this new head sculpt.  It’s not awful.  It’s closer than earlier attempts, I think.  His cheeks are definitely too pronounced, which makes him look ever so slightly like a young Al Pachino, but his not terribly far off.  Maybe they’ll get it by Episode 9.  One thing I think is probably helping this figure is the paint, which is a step-up from the last few figures.  I did have to pick through a few sets to find the one with the best work, but they did seem a bit sharper in general this time.  There’s still a bit of slop around the wrists, but that’s a minor issue.  Poe’s packed with his blaster pistol (the same one included with several Poe figures), as well a headset, or as a like to call them: “Beats by Rey.”  Yeah, I went there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Poe fan. Ever since the first images of this set leaked, I knew it was going to be at the top of my list.  It was actually one of the few items I didn’t find the week prior to Force Friday, which bummed me out initially, but less so in the end, since I wasn’t able to buy anything then anyway.  This set was the very first item I grabbed on Force Friday.  I almost got stepped on to get it, but them’s the risks you take, right?  The ship’s pretty fun and I look forward to seeing it in action.  Honestly, I kind of bought this for the new Poe figure, and he didn’t disappoint.  Now, knowing my luck, he’ll end up released on his own in like a month.  Still, this is one of my favorite items I picked up this time around.

#1416: Kylo Ren

KYLO REN

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Pouty, brooding, and prone to temper tantrums, with a scarred face and a taste for pretty sick looking masks.  No, I’m not talking about Darth Vader, or even my top dude Doctor Doom; today, I’m looking at the Star Wars universe’s newest black-clad-dude-with-attitude, Kylo Ben — sorry, Solo Ren — crap, I mean Kylo Ren!  That’s the one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kylo is part of the Orange Assortment of the first wave of Star Wars: The Last Jedi figures.  This figure debuts Kylo’s new The Last Jedi look.  It’s not terribly far removed from his prior design.  He’s ditched the outer skirt piece and the hood/scarf, in favor of a cape draped over his shoulders.  Also, in a nice little subversion of expectations, rather than hiding his scarred face behind his mask, he’s got his scar out there for the whole world to see.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is all-new to this figure, and it’s some pretty solid work overall.  The head sports a pretty solid Adam Driver likeness.  He’s sporting the scar he got from Rey during TFA’s final battle…in theory, anyway.  The scar’s changed placement a little bit, because director Rian Johnson thought it looked better that way.  More power to him on that.  It’s not like scar placement’s really going to have a negative impact on the movie.  The rest of the sculpt is pretty great.  His clothes continue the trend of impressive texture work in these figures.  His skirt piece is split for leg articulation.  I’m iffy about it.  It’s fine on characters like Luke or the Guard, who have longer skirt pieces, but for Kylo, I feel like a separate piece like we saw on Rey would make more sense.  It’s minor, but a slight annoyance. One thing I quite like about this figure is how well they’ve recreated the slight hunch the Ren has.  Prior figures have lacked this, and it hurt the resemblance a bit, but this figure’s got it down.  Similar to Luke, Kylo has a removable cape included.  It’s a pretty nice piece, and helps to add to his intimidation factor.  He can’t really hold the saber while wearing it, though, so there’s a bit of compromise going on.  Kylo’s paint is pretty basic; mostly it’s just variations of black.  Everything’s pretty clean, though, and he’s accurate to the source, which is what’s important.  In addition to the removable cape, Kylo also includes his trusty lightsaber, which looks to be the same as last time.  Kylo is also ForceLink compatible, like the other figures in this line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I skipped out on the initial small-scale Kylos last time, and ended up regretting it in the end.  I definitely wasn’t planning to do that again this time.  I got this guy from TRU at the midnight opening, without too much trouble (well, apart from him being flung at me).  He’s got a few minor issues, but this is definitely a solid figure overall.  Another win.

#1415: Chewbacca

CHEWBACCA

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

For The Force Awakens, Disney had some restrictions on which characters were allowed to be released before the film, which almost completely relegated the original trilogy’s returning heroes to post-film assortments.  One major exception to this was the franchise’s premier walking carpet, Chewbacca, who made several appearances at the first Force Friday.  I didn’t get any of them, but the option was there, and that’s the important thing.  Chewie’s returning yet again for The Last Jedi, and given that he accompanied Rey to meet Luke at the end of the last film, it’s likely he’ll be receiving a more prominent role to boot.  He’s taking it slow on the action figures this time, with just the one figure to start with.  That’s better than nothing, though.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chewbacca is another of the 11 launch figures for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line.  He comes from the Teal assortment, and gets to fight with C-3PO over which one of them’s the more known quantity in the set.  Chewbacca is based on his ever so slightly tweaked look from the new trilogy. It’s not much different from the prior design; the big change is the new bandolier.  The figure’s a big one, standing almost 5 inches tall.  He’s got the standard 5 points of articulation, though the neck movement is rather limited by the design.  The sculpt looks to re-use the torso and left arm from the TFA Millennium Falcon Chewie, albeit with some slightly sharper mold-lines.  The rest is new, or at the very least tweaked. The head and bandolier remove the elements of the Falcon headset, and the head gets an open mouthed expression in contrast to the closed mouths of the last two Chewies.  The bandolier is a separate piece, but thanks to the slight divot on the torso, it actually stays in place, which I’m a fan of.  The legs now have the slightest bend at the knees, making him appear to be mid-stride, and the right arm is bent at the elbow, so he can hold his bowcaster at least a little better than the prior figures.  There’s a nice heft to this figure, which I think has been missing from some of the more recent Chewbaccas (the Black Series version in particular felt far too scrawny to me).  Getting the paint right on a Chewbacca figure is always a little difficult.  Fur’s not easy to handle, especially at a mass-production scale.  This figure does okay.  Some of the transitions could stand to be a little more subtle, but I’ve seen far worse.  The work on the eyes and mouth is very sharp, and the bandolier is pretty decent, too.  Chewie is packed with his bowcaster, which is a new, three-piece mold.  It’s a cool idea, but ends up falling apart a lot, especially when you try getting him to hold it.  Chewie also includes the newest Star Wars-sensation, the Porg!  I have no clue how prominent these little guys will end up being, but it’s nice to get at least one small-scale version in the initial launch, and especially nice that it’s not in a huge set (like poor BB-8 was for TFA).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t pick up a single Chewbacca from the Force Awakens product.  In fact, I haven’t actually bought a small-scale Chewbacca figure since the Star Wars Saga release from 2003.  I guess getting a new one was a bit overdue.  I wasn’t 100% sold on getting this guy, but when I saw the figure in person during my pre-Force Friday find, I liked him enough to put him on my list for the actual event.  He’s a nice figure, definitely one of the better versions of him I own.

#1414: Rey – Jedi Training & Elite Praetorian Guard

REY – JEDI TRAINING & ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Another Rey review? In the same day, even?

Back when I was looking at the stuff from the very first Force Friday, I had no clue who the heck this Rey person was.  I didn’t even know she was the main character (I mean, neither did anyone else not involved in the film at that point, but still).  Things are rather different now, of course, since she’s undoubtedly the central character of this new trilogy, and privy to all the action figures that entails.  Hasbro is doing their darnedest to make sure the standard Rey is available as many ways as possible, in much the the same way that they handled the standard Jyn figure for Rogue One.  At launch, the Jedi Training variant of Rey is available both on her own and packed with one of Supreme Leader Snoke’s fancy new guards.  Since I’m a sucker for cool faceless minions, I, of course, went for the two-pack option.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These guys are on of the pair of two-packs in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line at launch.  This one’s the only announced two-pack so far to be TLJ-based, but I’m sure that’ll change.  As noted above, the Rey figure here is the same as the version included in the Wave 1 Orange assortment, with one extra accessory thrown in.

REY – JEDI TRAINING

It looks like Rey will be wearing her cool Resistance togs from the end of The Force Awakens for at least some segment of the new movie, but this figure depicts her in her brand new Jedi training outfit.  The design actually isn’t too far removed from her Jakku look, albeit in grey and black instead of the tan and white, as well as boots that go further up her calves and a holster for the blaster she got from Han in TFA.  It’s definitely a strong look.  I think I still like the Resistance look a little more, but I do find this to be an improvement on the scavenger look.  This figure stands a little under 3 3/4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Rey’s all-new sculpt is a definite improvement over her inaugural figure, which I always found to be the weakest of the initial batch of figures.  This figure’s proportions are far more balanced, she feels much less frail, and the likeness to Daisy Ridley definitely feels like an improvement over prior attempts.  Still not spot-on, but closer.  Rather than the robes sculpted onto the legs schtick of the last sever Rey figures, this one opts for an add-on piece instead, which works far better for her shorter cut style of garment.  As with Luke, the texturing on this figure is nothing short of amazing, and just phenomenal for the scale.  In terms of paint, Rey is generally pretty well handled.  The application’s all pretty sharp, and the colors appear to match pretty well with what we’ve seen so far from the movie.  Both versions of Rey are packed with her staff, blaster, and Anakin’s lightsaber, which is a very impressive selection.  The two-pack version adds in a…weird-back-pack-shoulder-blaster thingy… I kinda thought we were done with these.  I mean, it looks like one of the Rebel packs from Endor, so that’s at least kind of cool, but it’s still not a piece I see myself using ever.  Both the figure and the backpack are ForceLink compatible, so there’s that.

ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD

First we had the Imperial Royal Guards, now we have the Elite Praetorian Guard.  Always gotta have those regal looking dudes in red, right?  These guys were kept und wraps for a while in the lead-up to the product launch, but now they’re all over the place.  Here’s hoping they don’t end up as glorified cameos like the Guavian Enforcers.  There are three different helmet variations for the Guards; the one seen here has what appears to be a hat of some sort.  Maybe he’s trying to keep the sun out of his eyes?  Anyway, the figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Like yesterday’s Luke figure, this guy’s got the skirt cut into legs thing going on.  It works okay with this design, fortunately enough, so I can’t really complain.  The sculpt is all-new, and generally pretty decent.  The work on the armored parts is nice and crisp, and he’s even got some great texture work on the skirt to denote it as a separate material.  The Guard’s paintwork is actually quite minimal, with the only real work being the small blue dot near the top of his torso, and a little bit of black on his inner thighs.  It’s accurate to what we’ve seen so far of these guys, and they did go to the effort of giving the armor and the skirt two different finishes, which is nice.  He’s packed with a pair of axes, which can be dual wielded or snapped together to form one larger weapon, which is pretty nifty.  Like Rey, he’s also ForceLink compatible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Luke, this set was pretty high on my Force Friday list.  I had initially planned to just grab the standard Rey, but I really couldn’t pass up the sweet looking Guard.  I found this set early as well, but was still unable to purchase it until the actual event.  This set didn’t prove too difficult to grab on Friday morning; I ended up picking it up off the floor after the guy mentioned yesterday flung it from its peg.  Rey’s probably my favorite small-scale figure of her yet (though the Resistance version is still a very reputable contender).  The Guard is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to pick up the other two variants down the line.

#1413: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Master

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI MASTER

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Okay, you guys read this morning’s post.  You know what that means.  That’s right, it’s time for my Force Friday II reviews!  Oh yeah!  Let’s do this, homebiscuits!

Perhaps the most anticipated of the new products are those based on Luke Skywalker.  Apart from a few re-released OT figures, Luke was almost completely absent from the Force Awakens and Rogue One products.  In Hasbro’s defense, their original plan for TFA’s small-scale line was to have Luke offered as a mail-away figure, which would have been a super nifty way of handling things, but it was ultimately nixed by someone higher up.  Anyway, I’ve been patiently awaiting a new trilogy Luke.  Now I have him.  Yay!  Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jedi Master Luke is one of the 11 basic figures Star Wars: The Last Jedi released on Force Friday II.  The figures were divided into two different assortments: orange and teal.  Luke was part of the Orange assortment, which was the assortment devoted to the more central characters.  Luke’s sporting at least two looks in The Last Jedi.  This figure is based on the look he was sporting in The Force Awakens’ final moments, which he will no doubt be keeping for at least a decent chunk of the new movie.  I like this look a lot; it sort of merges the aesthetics of Obi-Wan’s look in A New Hope with Luke’s Jedi Knight garb from Return of the Jedi.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is all-new to him, and it’s stylistically consistent with the stuff from both TFA and Rogue One, so the leg joints, for instance are cut right through his robes, rather than the robes being a separate add-on piece.  The figure’s stance is simple and straight, but it’s not too stiff; it looks fairly natural.  The level of detail on the sculpt is a step up from the two previous lines, which is quite impressive on such a small figure.  The head sports a pretty spot-on Hamill likeness, and the texture work on the clothing is just top-notch.  The wrinkles and everything really sell that “hermit” look quite nicely.  His belt is a separate piece, affixed in place, which offers some nice depth to the figure.  Interestingly, he’s got a loop to hang his lightsaber hilt from, but there’s no saber included.  It’s good forward thinking, I suppose.  Luke also has a soft plastic removable cloak.  It’s certainly similar to the one from the old PotF2 Jedi Luke, but the execution is quite a bit more precise, the details are sharper, and the overall appearance is far less goofy.  Paint’s always been an issue with Hasbro figures, Star Wars figures especially.  While Luke has a little bit of slop in one spot on his back, the overall application is a marked improvement over the TFA and RO figures.  Apart from the cloak, Luke has no extras.  What?  No weird gimmicky accessory to be thrown straight into my box of weird gimmicky accessories?  Indeed, this time around, Hasbro’s put the gimmick inside the figure itself, with the CommTech 2.0 ForceLink feature.  There’s a chip inside the figure, which, when brought within close proximity of the ForceLink Reader will play character relevant sounds.  I don;t have a reader yet, so I’m not sure how well it works, but it does mean that all the figures get this nifty little symbol on their left foot.  And now I have less excess plastic to worry about dealing with when I open these guys.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ever since the end of The Force Awakens, I’ve been wanting this figure, so he was at the very top of my list of wants for this Force Friday.  I actually found him and most of the other Last Jedi product a week early, when I stopped by the Walmart nearest my brother’s college after moving him in.  Unfortunately, they were all restricted at the register, with a code claiming they’d been recalled for lead paint, so I wasn’t able to buy them then.  When Force Friday rolled around, Luke was #1 on my priority list.  When I actually got to the action figure aisle, the Lukes seemed to be missing, but they were just hiding at the back of the pegs.  Of course, I discovered this when the guy next to me in the aisle flung literally ever figure on the peg in front of the two Lukes at me, but at least I got one of those two Lukes, right?  I’m really happy I found this guy.  He’s one of my favorites released in this style, and one of my favorite small-scale Star Wars figures in general.