POE’S X-WING FIGHTER & POE DAMERON
STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)
October 4th of this year as Triple Force Friday, the third major film product launch for Star Wars since Disney took over the franchise. There’s been a definite cooling off of the events and their cultural impact as things have progressed and Triple Force Friday was quite indicative of this. Despite a lot of hyping on the part of Disney’s marketing machine, it was just rather anticlimactic. I did actually participate in an early run the morning of (since there were no midnight openings to be had near me), and picked up a whopping two things. I know. But, I did come up with enough items to do a week of coverage, so I guess here we go? I’m starting things in the most me way of doing so, with a look at something Poe related, specifically Poe’s X-Wing fighter, and the guy what flies it, Poe Dameron himself.
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
There were two vehicles present for the launch this year, which marks a serious scaling down from prior years. There’s Luke’s X-Wing (which is OT-based) and Poe’s X-Wing. That’s it. Also unlike prior launches, these aren’t the slightly cheaper, more all-ages oriented offerings, but rather are part of the newly-returning Vintage Collection, meaning their designed to be (closer) to proper scale, and far more detailed that previous offerings. While Luke’s fighter is purely an online exclusive, Poe’s is, in theory, supposed to be showing up at brick and mortar locations. Like its slightly downsized counterpart from The Force Awakens, Poe’s X-Wing has a little bit of required assemble when taking it out of the box, though it’s slightly more intricate when it comes to properly getting the wings and such attached. There are instructions included and it’s pretty straightforward, so I had no issues getting it all properly put together. Once fully assembled, it’s definitely a big boi, at 18 1/2 inches in length and with a wingspan of 18 inches, making it noticeably larger than the previous Poe X-Wing, if still under-scaled for proper movie scaling. It’s also a far more detailed item, with the shared details being a lot sharper on this particular offering. Additionally, there are far less obvious points of assembly, and some of the less oft-seen parts of the ship are actually properly detailed this time around. There’s a fully detailed cockpit this time around, which is far better scaled to the Poe figure that is intended to go in it, with a defined seat, console, and controls. In order to make it more of a display piece and less of a toy piece (and no doubt in order to offer just a touch more customizability), the spot for BB-8 is not filled by a permanently attached BB, but instead has a spot that can hold either a BB or a classic Astromech unit. With the BB removed, the launching mechanism for the wings also had to be moved; now it’s done via two buttons built into the rear of the ship, which are quite nicely hidden. The vehicle also gets proper landing hear and such this time, rather than just the one foot at the front of the ship. All three pieces of gear are designed to fold up compactly and out of the way, and are fully detailed when deployed. They do take a little of work to get properly locked into place when deployed, but work better than I’d initially expected. Also included with the landing gear is a little ladder, used for the pilot to get into place, which even has a dedicated spot on the underside of the ship, which is pretty darn nifty. The biggest change to the Fighter in-universe is of course the colorscheme, which is generally a much brighter appearance. I really dig this look, and I look forward to seeing it in action in the film. The paint does a respectable job of capturing the colors, as well as still giving the ship a real worn-in appearance, which the prior ST vehicles have more frequently shied away from.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Unlike prior X-Wings, this one *didn’t* come packed with its pilot and droid. There is, however, a Poe packed in the corresponding Vintage Collection assortment for the launch (if you need a BB-8, though, you’re going to have a slightly more difficult time of things), which I figured I’d take a look at alongside the vehicle. While most of the assortment was all-new figures, Poe is actually a slight tweaking of Poe’s small-scale Black Series figure from 2015. That figure definitely had its ups and downs, especially when it come to implementation of the articulation in the sculpt, so I myself wouldn’t have minded a fully new figure, but I’m hopeful that Hasbro’s got plans for an all-new figure in Poe’s non-piloting gear, and that this guy can be just a bit more of a place holder. The primary selling point for this release (beyond the vintage style card, which is admittedly pretty cool) is the improved paintwork. The last release had some pretty rough face paint, but this one uses the printing style. It’s a little bit off center on my figure, but a marked improvement over my last figure. Like his last release, this figure is packed with a helmet and a blaster pistol.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After being quite underwhelmed by the overall product launch, the only thing that really stuck out at the launch was Poe’s X-Wing, which I do have to say I like the new look of. So, the Vintage vehicle was the main thing I was looking for when I hit up a handful of stores Friday morning, and was also the one thing I didn’t see anywhere at all that morning, meaning I ended up having to resort to order it online. That sure made the getting up first thing in the morning to go out feel totally worth it. In an effort to not feel totally defeated the day of, I grabbed the Poe re-release in person at my first hit-up. The X-Wing is definitely a very nice piece, no doubt about it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel it didn’t fit my sensibilities as much as the more gimmicky releases from prior films. It also feels a lot less of package deal, given the lack of included figures. For Poe, it’s not a huge issue, since the single card will no doubt be easy enough to get, but BB-8 has no 3 3/4 figures currently at market, which could prove frustrating to someone who doesn’t have a couple laying around.