#2220: Supreme Leader Kylo Ren

SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

So, uhh, hey, I might have gotten some more Galaxy of Adventures figures.  In fact, I may have gotten all of the Galaxy of Adventures figures.  And I may be planning to review all of them over the course of the next week.  Buckle up guys, because we’re getting real adventurous with this here galaxy.  It’s been a good while since I’ve reviewed a Kylo Ren figure, which is only surprising given how many freaking Kylo Ren figures there are.  Well, unsurprisingly, there’s one in the Galaxy of Adventures line and he’s the one that’s next on my slate of reviews.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (because he got that promotion at the end of Last Jedi) is another of the six basic figures that make up Wave 1 of the Galaxy of Adventures line.  Kylo will also be available in a two-pack later on, which will ditch the cape and add an unmasked head.  Kylo is seen here sporting his “all-new” look for Rise of Skywalker, which is to say he’s got the same thing he was wearing last time, but he’s repaired his helmet and started wearing a hooded cloak again.  It’s really not wildly different from his prior looks, so he’s definitely staying on-brand.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Kylo isn’t quite as mobile as the Jet Trooper I looked at yesterday, but he’s still pretty darn posable, especially when the cloak is removed.  Of course, then he doesn’t have the cloak on any more, hurting his menacing points just a touch.  You win some, you lose some.  He’s once again very stable on his feet, even while wearing the heavy cloak piece, which is always a nice change of pace for a Star Wars figure. His sculpt adheres to the style of the line, but again this is less noticeable, given Kylo’s general design.  It’s the proportions that sell it once again.  Honestly, Kylo has a design that sort of lends itself to this sort of sharpening of the look; there’s a definite flow to it that just really works, and that all-black thing is definitely in his favor.  The level of detail is still impressive for an animated figure, with all of the quilted elements of his uniform being nicely rendered, and the folds and textures of this gloves and boots looking quite nice.  It’s also nice that the cracks in the helmet are sculpted in, rather than just being painted.  The cloak is a removable element and is molded to fit around the figure, much in the same fashion as the old PotF2 Jedi Luke.  It stays in place alright on its own, and certainly cuts an impressive silhouette.  The paintwork on Kylo is fairly basic again, though there’s an impressive amount of variety contained within the various shades of black. The tiny bit of red on the helmet makes for a nice little dash of color.  Kylo is packed with his signature lightsaber, which he can easily hold in either hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up and really enjoying the Jet Trooper figure, I decided I wanted to pick up the rest of the line.  My initial plan was to pick them up one at a time as I saw them, and after a particularly rough day, I stopped by Walmart on my way home from a dinner with my parents with the intent of picking out one figure.  Super Awesome Wife was with me, however, and had different plans, picking up all of the figures on the shelf, dividing them evenly between the two of us, and telling me I wasn’t leaving without them.  Kylo was among the ones that she grabbed.  He’s a really nice figure, and probably my favorite Kylo that I own.  He lends himself well to the style.

#2219: Jet Trooper

JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

For the last four films, each Star Wars product launch (at least from Hasbro’s end) was built around two main components, aimed at two different markets.  For the adult collectors looking for higher-detailed sculpts and the best posability, there was the 6-inch Black Series line, and for those looking to stay truer to the old Star Wars roots, there was the 5 POA 3 3/4-inch line.  I found that to be a pretty good balance, but it didn’t sit with the adult collectors who were attached to the Vintage Collection-styling that merged the Black Series articulation with the 3 3/4-inch scale, so those higher end 3 3/4 inch figures have been slowly making their resurgence over the course of the four movies.  For Rise of Skywalker, they’ve replaced the basic 3 3/4-inch line entirely, which creates a slight marketing issue, since those figures really aren’t all that kid-friendly like the 5 POA ones were.  So, to maintain a more kid-friendly line, Hasbro’s launching yet another scale…yay?  Galaxy of Adventures is a series of cartoon shorts re-telling stories from the franchise, and Hasbro had been running a 3 3/4-inch line of re-issued main characters to tie into it, but has now replaced that with a more dedicated line.  The primary focus of this new line (at least at launch) is Rise of Skywalker, and that follows through on the first figure I’m looking at, the Jet Trooper.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jet Trooper is one of the six figures that make up the first basic wave of Galaxy of Adventures figures.  Believe it or not, he’s the only troop builder in the set; there is as of yet no basic Stormtrooper of either First Order or Imperial variety in the line at this time.  It’s also our first official look at the standard Jet Trooper, after having gotten the Sith derivation in the VC line.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  The Jet Trooper is a surprisingly mobile figure given the price point of these guys.  While it’s not quite at Black Series level, it’s certainly more practical than the VC articulation I’ve encountered recently.  Perhaps the most impressive inclusion are the ankle tilts, which make this guy really stable.  Remember how one of my primary complaints with the recent VC figures was lack of stability?  Really wasn’t an issue with this guy.  Beyond that, let’s talk about the sculpt itself.  The whole line is definitely stylized, to match the cartoony style of the animated shorts.  For a fully armored character like the Jet Trooper, it’s a bit less immediately evident, but you can still see the signs of it in the general proportions of the figure.  He’s a little skinnier than his real life equivalent, and the angles on some spots of the armor are a lot sharper.  On the scale of cartoony Star Wars figures, he’s closer to Clone Wars and Rebels than to Mashers or Toybox, and I’m honestly alright with that.  Despite being stylized, the Jet Trooper’s sculpt still has a bunch of small detail work going on, though, especially with the fully-detailed undersuit for his armor, and quite a bit of detailing on the figure’s helmet.  The paintwork on this Jet Trooper is fairly similar to the smaller Sith Jet Trooper, but obviously swapping out white plastic for the red.  It’s cleanly applied and even includes the writing on his chest plate. The Jet Trooper is packed with a blaster rifle, which he has no trouble holding.  He’s also got a spring-loaded feature in his right arm, which is a “quick draw” feature of sorts.  It’s pretty low-key in its implementation, with no buttons or releases, and it doesn’t impact posability, so it gets no complaints from me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these figures were shown alongside the rest of the Triple Force Friday offerings, I really didn’t know how to feel about them…well, that’s actually not true.  I really wanted to hate them, because they replaced the 5 POA line, which was the one I most enjoyed.  Because of this desire to hate them, I passed on them when doing my Friday morning run.  It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I finally decided to give them a try, in part due to a positive review from Max.  I picked up this guy first, because I liked his general look the most of the starter figures.  Honestly?  He’s a really good figure.  I just can’t help but enjoy him.  No, it’s not the 5 POA line, but he honestly left me far more satisfied with my purchase than any of the VC figures I picked up, and he’s going for $3 less than those, making him a pretty awesome value.  I hope that the size-shift doesn’t scare people off of these guys, because they’re probably the best value out there right now.

#1957: Han Solo

HAN SOLO — THE SCOUNDREL

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

“A smuggler and a scoundrel, Han Solo proves that he can also be a hero when he rescues his friends and helps in the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire.”

Accessibility is always a major concern with long-running brands, and Star Wars has always wrestled with the best way to keep their most prominent players consistently represented and available to an all-new audience.  Pretty much in tandem with that, Disney is working to keep the Star Wars universe fresh and on-going while still giving new fans a chance to get up to speed.  Put them together and you have Galaxy of Adventures, animated re-tellings of old-school Star Wars stories, with a toyline of heavy hitters to match.  Today, I’m diving into the line with a look at “The Scoundrel”, Han Solo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han was released as part of the second round of Galaxy of Adventures figures, which started hitting stores just after the new year.  All of the figures in this line are reissues of prior offerings, most of them pretty recent.  Han mixes things up ever so slightly, not by being a new figure, but by being a slightly older one than most of his pack-mates.  Rather than the post-Force Awakens product of most of the line’s sculpts, this one is a Saga Legends release from 2015.  Somewhat surprising, since we got a Bespin Han figure from the Last Jedi line, but that one wasn’t a great sculpt, and this one was always a little difficult to find so yay, I guess.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt predates the move to ball-jointed necks for the heads, so just a cut-joint on this guy.  It hurts his posability a little bit, but on this style of figure, it’s not a huge impact. The sculpt is actually a pretty nice one.  Of the lowered-articulation figures, this is definitely the best younger Han Solo.  The likeness on the head isn’t a spot-on Ford likeness, but it’s still one of Hasbro’s better attempts.  The figure also has a very easy time staying on his feet, which is always a definite plus for a Star Wars figures.  On a whole, despite being a slightly older sculpt, it’s a much better offering than the TLJ Bespin Han sculpt.  The paint work on this figure is pretty basic, but pretty decently applied, and a good match for his colors from the film.  Han is packed with his signature blaster, which can be held in his hand or stowed in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t collecting Star Wars figures regularly when the Saga Legends version of this guy hit, and he was kind of rare, so I never saw one.  I did my best to make due with the Last Jedi release, but it wasn’t as good a figure as I’d hoped.  While the Galaxy of Adventures stuff hasn’t largely been up my alley, I was definitely happy to see this guy crop back up.  He’s a nice figure, and will definitely be my default Han on the shelf for the time being.