#2226: First Order Driver & Treadspeeder

FIRST ORDER DRIVER & TREADSPEEDER

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

Oh, you probably thought I was done with Galaxy of Adventures, didn’t you?  What with the “please buy the line” urging at the end, plus that whole shot of all the figures, and it seeming like I was done.  Well…I kinda thought I was done, too.  But I forgot there was actually one more item in the launch, which is the thing I’m gonna be looking at today.  See, one of the things that was surprisingly absent on Triple Force Friday was vehicles.  With no basic 3 3/4 inch line, we only really had the Vintage Collection to go on, and that was just the two X-Wings.  Galaxy of Adventures did give us one more little reprieve of vehicle coverage, however, with an update on the speeder bike concept, the Treadspeeder!

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

The First Order Driver and Treadspeeder set is the highest price-point item in the Galaxy of Adventures line, following the classic 5 POA-style vehicle packing of “figure and vehicle”.  It’s sold in one of those open style boxes, which is always a little frightening to me, but ultimately mine was in okay condition, so no worries.

FIRST ORDER DRIVER

While the Jet Trooper is the only single-packed army builder at launch, we do get one more trooper, the First Order Driver.  Not a terribly imposing name, but it’s fairly descriptive.  The Driver merges the basic First Order Stormtrooper with a little bit of Scout Trooper.  I’m always okay with mixing in a little bit of Scout Trooper.  It’s worth noting that this particular look stays a little more on-brand than the old Scout Trooper did, making him feel more like a later-era take on the Imperial Patrol Trooper.  Ultimately, it’s a design that’s is distinctly different enough from a standard Stormtrooper to warrant them both getting a release in the line, while close enough that the lack of a basic Stormtrooper at launch doesn’t hit quite as hard.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is very similar to the Jet Trooper figure, although it’s worth noting that as similar as parts of them may look, there are no shared parts between the two figures.  I do, however, expect for this guy to have some of his parts re-used for the inevitable standard Stormtrooper.  Whatever the case, the articulation on this figure is essentially a match for the Jet Trooper, meaning that the Driver is quite mobile, which does seem pretty important for a guy who needs to be able to properly sit on a vehicle.  By this point in the reviews, the stylization of this line is pretty cut and dry.  As a masked character, the Driver is slightly less impacted by it, though it’s a little more obvious on him than it was on the Jet Trooper.  Again, there’s a real Clone Wars-vibe on him, especially with the proportions on the body, and the general layout of the articulation.  His paintwork is fairly standard, though I appreciate that he actually has a few little details on his chest piece to differentiate him from the basic Troopers.  The white/black is a clean combo, and while there’s a little bit of white bleed through on the black sections, it’s generally pretty good.  The Driver is packed with a small blaster pistol, and like the Jet Trooper, features a quick draw action.

TREADSPEEDER

The Treadspeeder is an all-new vehicle for Rise of Skywalker (though we’ve gotten a taste of it in a few of the comics ahead of the movie), but it’s not like it’s all that new a concept, and in many ways is following the sequel trilogy of similar story beats for each corresponding movie compared to the original trilogy.  But I won’t complain if you don’t.  Compared to the much smaller, much more nimble speeder bike of old, the Treadspeeder is a big boi, more of a utilitarian tank than its predecessor.  It’s an interesting design element, because other sequel trilogy elements have tended to go sleeker and more futuristic, while this seems more primitive.  Perhaps Kylo’s influence on the First Order is slowing progress a bit?  Whatever the case, it’s a cool design, and a slightly different take on things, which is never a problem.  The actual toy is definitely designed with gimmicks in mind.  The most basic and simple is definitely the rolling wheels on the bottom, which make it a bit more practical than other speeders in that regard.  Of course, since it’s a speeder, the main gimmick is a pop-apart function.  It’s been that way since ’83, and it’s not going to change now.  Pushing the button on the back pops the front plate in two separate directions and launches the driver out of his seat.  It’s a little bit temperamental, and the armor plate has trouble staying in place when you’re not using the feature, which can be a little annoying.  The speeder also has a missile launched built into one side, as well as storage for the driver’s gun on the left side of the vehicle.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so this would be the one thing I didn’t get at the same time as all of the others, mostly because it appears that Walmart isn’t carrying it.  I had looked at it at the same time that I picked up the Jet Trooper, but was ultimately unsure about dropping $25 to try out the line.  After being confident that I liked the line, I tracked it down again, courtesy of Target, who happened to be having a sale on it, which really pushed me over the edge on picking it up.  The vehicle’s not bad.  Not the best vehicle I’ve ever picked up, but not the worst thing either.  The Driver’s another solid figure, though, and I’m certainly glad to have him with my set.

#2223: Finn

FINN

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

After getting a whole slew of figures and product for the launch of The Force Awakens, Finn became a character that made retailers a little less than comfortable.  He was definitely over saturated for TFA, leading to all of his figures sitting around at retail, because boy were there a lot of them, and boy did no one need all of them.  For Last Jedi, he got three figures, one of which didn’t even go to main retail.  So far for Rise of Skywalker, he’s got exactly one.  That will presumably change, but I bet Hasbro’s waiting to see if this one sits like the others.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Finn is the fourth of the six figures in the basic figure line-up for Galaxy of Adventures.  Alongside Rey, Finn is one of the two figures getting dropped from the line-up for the Wave 2 assortment, I’d guess to make sure he doesn’t build up too much at retail.  Given how many Finns I’ve seen, I’d say this is probably a smart move.  Finn is seen here in his new look for Rise of Skywalker, which is far more divergent from his established look than Kylo and Rey.  The usual jacket is gone, replaced with a similarly styled vest, his shirt is now a more neutral color than the white/black from before, and his hair is noticeably longer.  Honestly, this is best look Finn’s had, because it’s the first one to look properly Star Wars-y.  He’s still more civilian than others, but the feel is there.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  The holster restricts the right hip a little bit, but beyond that the articulation is comparable to the others from the line, which is to say it’s very good and very mobile.  The sculpt is definitely stylized like Rey, although it’s a little more subdued than Rey was.  He still follows that same model of not having a Boyega likeness, but capturing that character likeness for Finn.  He’s got that nice generic hero look about him, which certainly works well for the line.  It’s a good, clean looking sculpt.  His paintwork mostly follows the basic look, but there’s still a fair bit of smaller detail work, and like Rey the face is properly aligned and fairly cleanly handled.  Finn is packed with a small blaster pistol and a backpack.  The blaster fits well in his hand or in the holster.  He’s also got a quick draw feature that’s similar to the Jet Trooper’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I almost passed on this guy on the trip that ended with me getting all of the figures, but after insisting on buying me Kylo, Rey, and the droids, Super Awesome Wife also informed me that I wasn’t allowed to leave the store without buying the remaining three figures for myself, and Finn kind of fell in with that.  This is definitely the most I’ve enjoyed a Finn figure.  I think the new design definitely plays into that, but also it’s really just the most playable a Finn figure has ever been.  More than the troopers and masked figures, I think this is the type of figure that showcases the core strength of this line at making fun toys out of even the potentially less exciting characters that other lines have let down.

#2221: Rey

REY

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

It has been far less time since I reviewed a Rey figure than it had been since I reviewed a Kylo, in no small part thanks to her inclusion in all three main styles of figure at launch.  So, I’ve already taken a look at a Rey from the new movie.  And I already know I’ll be looking at another.  This one’s going to make for a good middle, though, I promise.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rey is another figure from the six figure line-up of basic Wave 1 figures from the Galaxy of Adventures line.  She is one of the two that will be dropped from the line-up for Wave 2 in order to make way for Han and 3P0.  Not to worry, though, because she’s going to be showing back up in the two-pack with Kylo, meaning she shouldn’t prove hard to get.  Like her smaller figure, Rey is seen here in her new Rise of Skywalker attire, which is noticeably different from her prior looks, while still staying “on-brand.”  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation.  Rey’s articulation is slightly more restricted than the last two figures, but not by a whole lot, and I again found her much easier to work with than her VC counterpart.  Only the hips really have any trouble, and that’s more due to the skirt piece than their own design.  She’s also probably the hardest of these figures to keep standing, but still nowhere near as troublesome as the VC guys, or even the Black Series for that matter.  Rey is by far the most clearly stylized of the figures I’ve looked at so far, with a much more streamlined set of features, especially on the hair and face, which go for a far more cartoony style.  She doesn’t have a Daisy Ridley likeness to speak of, but they’ve still managed to hit all of the notes of the Rey likeness, if that makes any sense.  Rey’s paint work is rather nicely implemented.  Mostly, it’s pretty basic, and in fact a lot of it is just properly molded colors, but the work on her face is especially clean, and in all of the figures I’ve looked at, that’s pretty consistent across the board, a nice change of pace compared to the really wonky applications I’ve seen on the other two styles of Rey out there.  It may not be as lifelike, but it sure is less likely to fail them.  Rey is packed with her lightsaber and blaster, both of which fit quite nicely into her hands (and the gun can also go nicely into the holster).  She also has a slashing feature in her waist joint, which like the Jet Trooper and Kylo, doesn’t have too much impact on her posability.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rey is a figure I almost picked up a handful of times before actually getting her.  She honestly had been calling out to me as far back as Force Friday, but I just kept passing, until Super Awesome Wife intervened and insisted on buying her for me.  While I do feel she shows the limitations of the style just a bit more than the other two, I do still really like this Rey, and I certainly was a lot happier with her than the VC figure, which cost me $3 more, I should point out.  Rey is another fairly solid toy.

#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.

#2196: Zorri Bliss

ZORRI BLISS

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

In the ever-crowded, ever-growing cast of Star Wars characters, it can be a little tricky to focus on new, but it does seem like we get one new mysterious, shady, potential fan favorite character just about every time out.  Hey, when a character like Boba Fett sells as many toys as Boba Fett has sold, I guess there’s nothing wrong with trying to capture a little bit more of that lightning in a bottle.  Rise Of Skywalker‘s new masked character of intrigue is Zorri Bliss, played by a very covered up Keri Russell, who apparently has ties to our boy Poe.  Ties to Poe you say?  Well that’s a semi-decent way of getting me on board, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zorri Bliss is figure VC157 in the Vintage Collection line-up.  She’s yet another of the initial six figures available at launch, and the final figure I picked up from this particular assortment.  As of this time, Zorri is only available in the VC style, but I imagine a Black Series release will follow depending on how she’s received in the film.  The figure stands a little over 3 1/2 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Zorri’s articulation really just serves to emphasize my problems with implementation in this line.  He upper half moves fine, but the hips are again mostly stationary, and the knees and ankles don’t offer her much movement either.  Of the four figures I picked up from this line-up, Zorri is definitely the least sure on her feet, and honestly I didn’t have much luck keeping her up without a stand of some sort.  If these guys included stands, that might be okay, but they don’t, which makes her quite a frustrating figure to mess with.  The sculpt is a decent enough offering, all things considered.  While it’s not as impressive as the Jet Trooper, there are still plenty of well-rendered details, and she appears to be fairly accurate to the source material, at least based on what we’ve seen of the character so far.  I will admit that when you put the figure into a basic standing pose and just admire the sculpt, it looks pretty impressive.  Zorri’s paintwork isn’t bad.  Not having a face probably helps her a bit here.  The application is mostly pretty clean, and there’s a halfway decent go at weathering on the helmet.  Zorri is packed with two revolver-looking blaster pistols, which can be held or stowed in her two holsters.  They’re fairly nice, rather unique pieces, and they definitely help her have a bit more of her own flair.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s Jet Trooper, I had not initially planned to buy Zorri, but when you buy one more, it’s easy to make that two more, I guess.  Plus, there’s that Poe connection, I suppose.  I’m an easy mark.  While I was fairly happy with the Jet Trooper, Zorri left me a little cold.  I like the design, and I don’t hate the figure, but there’s really nothing about her that makes me feel like she *needed* TVC treatment, and I ultimately feel like I might have been happier if she’d just been a nicely sculpted 5-POA figure instead.  Maybe I’ll feel better after movie?

I picked up Zorri from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2195: Sith Jet Trooper

SITH JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

What’s a Star Wars movie without some fancy new army builders?  …I mean, seriously, what is it?  Has there ever been one?  I don’t believe so.  Unsurprisingly, Rise of Skywalker is following the well-established conventions of the movies and providing us with various assortments of new faceless goons to choose from.  Today’s is actually a double header, being not only one of the fancy new all-crimson-clad Sith Troopers, but also being based on a new specialization of trooper, the Jet Trooper.  Smash them together and, boom, Sith Jet Trooper!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sith Jet Trooper is figure VC159 in the Vintage Collection line-up.  He’s part of the same six-figure line-up as Poe and Rey, and was one of the Triple-Force Friday launch figures.  He is one of two army builders in the assortment, with the other being the Knight of Ren.  He’s also one of three variations of the Jet Trooper available at launch, though so far the only one under the Sith Trooper heading.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation. Compared to Rey, the Jet Trooper’s articulation is a little more practical, and certainly a little more resilient.  That said, the hips are still the weak point, and at least on my figure don’t end up adding a ton of posability.  On the flip side, I was actually quite impressed by the range of movement on the figure’s neck, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  Of all the figures in this assortment, the Jet Trooper’s articulation and design is definitely the best rendered.  He’s also got possibly the best sculpt of the bunch.  The fully armored appearance is certainly more forgiving to a highly articulated small-scale figure, and honestly they’ve managed to keep the detail work pretty sharp on him, making this the most technically impressive of the launch sculpts.   It’s also helped by having one of the more basic and straight forward paint apps for this line-up.  It’s really just red and black with just a little touch of yellow, so there’s not a whole lot to possibly mess up here.  It’s clean, and definitely striking in appearance.  The Jet Trooper is packed with two different styles of rifle, which is certainly nice for mixing things up if you do intend to army build.  I also appreciate that one can be holstered on his leg while he holds the other, meaning nothing needs the to be tossed into storage when this guy goes on the shelf.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My only early morning run Triple Force Friday purchases were Poe and Rey from this line, because I wasn’t sure I was totally on board with the switch over.  Then I got into All Time later that day and discovered a shipment had come in there, and that gave me a second chance to think about picking up a few of the figures, with the Jet Trooper at the top of that list.  Ultimately, I’m glad I gave him a second thought, because while I still am not completely on board with full time collecting for The Vintage Collection, I do feel like the Jet Trooper is the nicest showing of this bunch.

The Jet Trooper was picked up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2194: Rey

REY

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Since there’s no basic 3 3/4 inch line-up for the movie launch this time around, the small scale component of the Rise of Skywalker toys will be carried by the recently relaunched The Vintage Collection, an interesting prospect given that TVC has only recently started carrying more than one or two new figures per assortment.  It’s also prone to much more compact line-ups, meaning that our first offering of figures is nowhere near as comprehensive as what we’re used to.  In terms of the core cast for the Sequel Trilogy, the first line-up gives us a re-released Poe (reviewed yesterday) and main character Rey in her latest attire, which is the figure I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rey is figure VC156 in the Vintage Collection line-up.  She’s part of the six figure line-up launched at Triple Force Friday, and is one of five new figures in the line-up.  For Rise of Skywalker, there’s been some passage of time since The Last Jedi, so everyone looks to have picked up some fancy new togs.  Rey appears to still be aiming for an “on-brand” appearance, so the base elements from her three prior outfits are all still in the mix, but she’s definitely back to a brighter look following her slightly murkier look during TLJ.  I dig it, and I look forward to seeing it in action on the screen.  The figure stands a little under 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  So, about all this extra articulation that’s supposed to be the main selling point of this style of line vs the 5-poa stuff?  Hasbro was getting the hang of things before halting TVC the first time, and they were also getting the hang of things when the did the Rogue One figures for Black Series, but beyond that, I frequently feel like this style of figure runs into “articulation for the sake of articulation” rather than “articulation for the figure’s benefit”.  The prime offender is pretty much always the hip joints.  While the design here is certainly better than the out of date set-up we saw on yesterday’s Poe, it’s still a very limited, very restricted joint, largely due to how small it has to be to not look super messy at this scale.  The trouble is, it’s enough movement to give the legs some budge, but enough to do a whole lot with that budge, so she’s a figure with hip joints that really just make her hard to keep standing.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s better than other offerings in this style, and probably in the top two for this particular assortment in terms of practical articulation, but she’s still not as posable as a 6-inch figure, nor as sturdy as a 5-POA figure.  Even the sculpt suffers a bit, because they have to contend with adding in all of those joints, which always means breaking things up, and leaving more room for error on misassembly.  Ultimately, it’s not a bad sculpt, and in fact there’s a lot I like about it, though it is a little hard to properly judge some aspects thanks to the paint.  I feel I should start the discussion of the paint by stressing that my figure doesn’t look as bad in person as in the photos.  That said, yes, her face is off center, and it looks really odd.  It would probably look far nicer if it were better applied, and then I might like this whole thing a lot more, but as it is, she’s passable but not really great.  She’s a decently accessorized figure, certainly the best of this new bunch, with her staff, lightsaber both ignited and off, her blaster she got from Han, and a removable back pack piece.  My one main complaint is that she’s got nowhere to hang the lightsaber hilt that I could find, but that’s fairly minor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As this review will have no doubt clued you in, I remain rather apprehensive of TVC.  I liked some of the figures back in the day, but there’s something about it that just seems…out of place?  Black Series came a long and showed me that full articulation works better at the larger scale, and the basic 5-POA stuff reminded me that I really have a lot more fun personally with that style of figure.  If I want a large spread of characters, I’m going for basic and cheap, and if I want something higher end, I’ll drop it for the more important characters.  For me, TVC seems like a shaky middle ground.  The small upcharge per figure really adds up, and I frequently find myself less than thrilled with the articulation.  It’s honestly something I’d kind of confronted with the Walmart-exclusive Black Series, but at least with those, I could focus on the things I wanted to collect instead.  Without the things I want to collect, I guess these become even more frustrating.  Rey’s not a bad figure, but I guess she’s not what I wanted, and it makes being objective tricky.

#2193: Poe’s X-Wing Fighter

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.