#1980: Force Link 2.0 Starter Set (w/ Han Solo)

FORCE LINK 2.0 STARTER SET (W/ HAN SOLO)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

When Hasbro launched their tie-in offerings for The Last Jedi, they launched alongside them a new play gimmick…well, an old play gimmick with a shiny new coat of paint, anyway.  Dubbed “Force Link,” it allowed for all compatible figures and vehicles to enhance their playablitity with sound effects and dialogue.  The whole thing required a reader to activate, and I reviewed that reader back when it was first made available. It was an amusing enough gimmick, but the whole thing ran into trouble just a few short months after its release, since Hasbro had failed to build in figures beyond the TLJ offerings planned when the reader debuted.  Not wanting to completely abandon the concept, but also not wanting to make all of the prior figures obsolete, they used the launch of Solo to offer up a “2.0” version, designed with updates in mind.  This, of course, meant another reader, and thereby another starter set, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE SET ITSELF

The Force Link 2.0 starter set was released alongside the rest of the Solo-themed product in April of last year.  Not quite the grand hurrah of prior toyline launches, but there it was.  The set includes the new version of the reader, as well as standard Han Solo figure.  Both of these items remained unique to this set throughout the line’s run, unlike the first starter set.  As with the first set, the three AAA batteries needed for the reader’s operation are not included.

FORCE LINK 2.0 READER

If you read my review of the first Force Link reader, then there’s not much new about the basics of this one.  It operates using the same NFC partnering between the reader and the figures.  The basic physical design is also the same, albeit with some slight cosmetic changes that better match it to Solo‘s aesthetics.  This mean’s it’s operation in conjunction with the figures is also the same, for good and for bad.  It’s still a tight fit on the wrist, and getting the figures to work as Hasbro intended doesn’t so much go; I again found holding the figures up to the reader directly to be more efficient.  There’s one new feature, which is kind of the selling point of the 2.0, but is also it’s biggest problem.  The new reader is tied-in with a Force Link app (which can be downloaded onto mobile devices), allowing for periodic updates.  This is supposed to fix the issue of the prior reader’s fixed selection of characters to interact with by allowing for new figures to be added via these updates.  So, what’s the problem?  Well, right out of the box, the reader is compatible with the Han Solo it comes packed with…and no one else.  No launch figures, no 1.0 figures, nothing.  Every figure beyond Han will simply give you a “Firmware Update Required” message.  You have to download and launch the app, pair the device to your phone and go through a rather frustrating interface process, all to start a very lengthy firmware update (Hasbro says it can take up to an hour, and mine stuck right to that).  The fact that they couldn’t even have the 1.0 and initial figures ready to go is a real problem, and it’s further hurt by the updates not actually being available when this thing hit shelves.

HAN SOLO

The second half of this set is a Han Solo.  But not just any Han Solo; it’s actually the standard Solo Han Solo.  Yes, unlike the first Force Link reader, which supplied us with a Kylo variant, this time Hasbro decided to make it a more worthwhile figure.  For those planning to buy the set, this is great, since they don’t have to worry about some extraneous offering.  For those not?  Well, it kind of means that Hasbro made a Solo line without a single-carded Han Solo, which, in retrospect, may not have been their finest move.  Moving past that, though, how is the line’s standard Han Solo?  He stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  He’s rather similar in design to the Han included with the Falcon, but obviously with the jacket added.  He uses the same head, legs, and hands, with a new torso and arms.  It’s a nice, sharp sculpt, and definitely my favorite of the various Hans available in the line.  His paintwork is clean, which is good, since you actually can’t see him in the box.  In fact, he’s probably the best of the Hans…again.  He’s packed with his usual blaster pistol, which he can hold or keep in his holster.  His Force Link sounds are:  “They call me Han Solo.”  “We’ve got company!”  “Blast ’em!” “This better be worth it.” “I don’t run from a fight.”  “Huh, I’ve got a really good feeling about this.” “Okay, stay sharp!” “Wa-hoo!” and then a blaster sound.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It took a $10 off coupon to get me to buy the first Force Link starter set, so it’s probably not a huge surprise to find out I wasn’t eager to drop full retail on a second one, especially so soon after the first.  So, I clearance-waited on this one, which paid off quite nicely for me, since I was able to snag it for $4 just after the holidays.  Not great for the prospects of the concept continuing, of course.  I can see Hasbro really trying with this set, with the potential for updates instead of having to buy a new reader with every movie, and the avoidance of double-dipping on Han figures like they had with Rey and Jyn.  Unfortunately, the need to update right out of the box, coupled with how mind-numbingly frustrating the update process can be really hinders the fun factor on the reader.  The Han’s a nice figure, but he was stuck in a $30 set, and that’s a real hard sell.  And, ultimately, the fact that you couldn’t get a Han Solo figure in his own toyline without dropping $30 minimum really shot the line as a whole in the foot, which is a real shame, since they weren’t bad figures at all.

Advertisements

#1976: Mon Mothma

MON MOTHMA

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The senior senator of the Old Republic went underground to form the Rebel Alliance following the rise of the evil Empire. She was instrumental in the Rebel’s struggle for freedom.”

Hey, look at that!  It’s Mon Mothma, better known as the only other woman in Star Wars…well, at least until 1999.  Okay, that’s not strictly accurate.  She’s not the only other woman; she’s just the only other one who actually spoke on screen.  She’s never been a super prominent character or anything, but the aforementioned lack of other speaking females outside of herself and Leia does make her rather memorable.  She’s also had no less than three film appearances, and none of them have been part of the same trilogy.  How about that.  She’s never been the most toyetic character, but she did find her way into the Power of the Force line in the ’90s, and I’m gonna be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mon Mothma was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force figures, and made her action figure debut here.  Not a huge surprise, given she’s not the most action oriented character.  Mostly, she just stood there.  This figure depicts her in her official standing around robes, as seen in the film.  Nice.  She does this standing around at a height of 3 1/2 inches and she has 4 points of articulation; since she just stands, but does not walk, she does not have any joints at her hips.  Mon Mothma’s sculpt is actually pretty darn decent.  She’s not at all pre-posed, nor does she suffer from odd or exaggerated proportions.  Her head even sports a passable likeness of actress Caroline Blakiston, which is more than can be said for most of the human figures in this line.  Or any Star Wars line, for that matter.  Likenesses aren’t classically their strong suit.  Her robes are rendered via two separate pieces.  The underlying robes are sculpted as the figure’s body, with the upper robes being a separate overlay piece.  This not only allows her some extra mobility (since the upper robes are a softer plastic), but also adds some additional depth to a sculpt that could have been rather on the soft side.  Mon Mothma’s paintwork is reasonable.  It’s not thrilling or anything, but that’s kind of the nature of the beast, since she’s by design rather monochromatic.  Mon Mothma wasn’t running around blasting or slashing things, so she doesn’t get any sort of offensive armaments.  However, she does get a little pointing stick like she has in the movie, allowing her to dispense valuable knowledge.  And, as we all know, knowledge is power, so really, she doesn’t make out all that badly, now does she.  Bet she could take on the entire Imperial fleet with that bad boy there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mon Mothma was a slightly rarer figure when she was first released, so I didn’t have one growing up.  Nor do I really think I would have sought out one, because she’s not a very play-oriented sort of character.  But, in my mission to get a complete run of PotF2 figures, I was definitely going to need her.  Fortunately, my friends at All Time Toys were able to help me out on that front, and got me a loose one for my collection.  She’s hardly the most thrilling figure the line had to offer, but the more mature collector in me still rather appreciates her.

#1962: Bossk

BOSSK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

When ranking the distinctive Executioner bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back, the top spot is always, unquestionably going to go to IG-88.  There’s no contest there.  If I’m picking a number two, I think I’d have to go with Bossk, that shoe-less lizard guy in a Doctor Who costume.  Because, hey, lizards are cool!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bossk was released as part of the Power of the Force II collection in 1997.  He was one of three bounty hunters released that year, alongside 4-LOM and Dengar, all of whom were finally making sure the poor Mr. Fett wasn’t quite as lonely as he’d been since 1995.  This was Bossk’s second figure, following his original vintage release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation, not surprising for this line. The sculpt was all-new to Bossk, and, amazingly, would remain unique to PotF; a couple of the other Bounty Hunters would keep their PotF sculpts in circulation for a little while, but Bossk was one and done.  Despite the willingness on Hasbro’s part to move past this sculpt, it’s really not a bad offering.  As an alien, Bossk benefits from being what this line excelled at.  The details are sharply defined, pre-posing is at a minimum, and he’s just a generally nice looking figure.  Even the paintwork on Bossk is pretty impressive.  Many of the PotF figures were more basic in their paint application, but Bossk has quite a bit going on.  There are one or two un-painted sculpted elements, but for the most part everything is painted up to properly match his on-screen counterpart.  Bossk is packed with a pair of blasters.  He has his rifle seen in the movie, which is decently sculpted, but there is unfortunately no way for him to actually hold it.  There’s a sling molded to it, so it can go over his shoulder, but it’s still a slight let-down.  He also includes a smaller blaster, which looks to have been made up for this figure.  Fortunately, this one can actually be held.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The only Bossk I had growing up was actually the vintage one, not this one.  This one proved a little trickier to track down than the other PotF bounty hunters.  Fortunately, I was able to get one from my friends at All Time Toys when a loose collection came in.  Bossk’s not without issue.  The inability to hold the gun is really frustrating.  Beyond that, though, he’s a really fun little figure.

#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.

#1948: Spirit of Obi-Wan

SPIRIT OF OBI-WAN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

You know something I really miss? Mail-away figures.  They were quite popular during the ’80s and ’90s, and even made their way into the early ’00s, and were particularly common amongst the Star Wars lines, and they even netted me my very first Han Solo action figure.  To say I have a soft-spot for them is something of an understatement.  In their hey-day, they permeated all manner of merchandising.  Perhaps one of the most infamous is today’s focus, the Spirit of Obi-Wan.  One of the first offerings of the re-launched Star Wars line, he was born out of a partnership between Kenner and Frito Lay.  If you sent in a certain number of proofs of purchase from Frito Lay’s then-new pizza flavored potato chips, they’d send you this fancy exclusive figure.  Obviously, thought the smart toy collectors out there, this figure was going to be super rare and hard to find, so they had to order as many of them as possible, so that they could retire on them in the future.  Little economics lesson here: if you create false demand for an item, then the supply will rise to meet it, and then *nobody* gets to retire.  But enough about senseless speculation, how’s the actual figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Spirit of Obi-Wan was shipped out to fans in 1997, as the second mail-away offer in the Power of the Force II line.  He was the line’s second Obi-Wan figure, following his standard release in ’95.  It was also our first time getting Obi-Wan in his force ghost form, which is somewhat surprising given how much of the original trilogy he spends as a ghost.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 0 points of articulation.  Yes, you read that articulation count right; this figure has no articulation, at least not right out of the box.  There are clearly joints at his neck and shoulders, and you can get them moving without *too* much trouble, but they are affixed in place when new, on every sample of this figure.  Why is anyone’s guess.  It’s entirely possible it wasn’t even fully intentional, but there it is.  Obi-Wan’s sculpt is, understandably, rather similar to his standard release figure.  The only parts actually shared between the two are the head and I believe the right arm, since the translucent nature of the figure makes a solid construction on the torso more sensible than the removable robe of the prior figure.  It actually looks pretty decent, and possibly one of the most surprising things about this figure’s sculpt is that it wasn’t ever repainted into a regular Obi-Wan.  I do have to say, while not spot-on, the head actually seems to have more of a resemblance to Alec Guinness when unpainted.  Speaking of unpainted, that’s the nature of this whole figure.  While later force ghost figures would experiment with variations in coloration, this one is just a straight translucent blue.  I myself like this look a little more, if I’m honest; it makes him more identifiably different.  The Spirit of Obi-Wan was packed with no accessories, unless of course you count the assortment of coupons he came with, but that seems like a stretch to me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had enough trouble holding onto my regular Obi-Wan back in the day, so I did not have this one growing up.  Instead, I added him to my collection thanks to my friends at All Time Toys, who got in not one, but two *sealed* copies of this figure, one of them still in its cardboard mailer.  Since they aren’t actually worth much of anything, All Time was more than happy to pass along one of the pair to me.  He’s not a super playable figure, but he’s a nifty sort of set dressing, and a great example of how badly speculators can screw up a market.  Don’t buy your toys as investments kids; it never really pays off.

#1946: Rio Durant

RIO DURANT

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Though a minor part of the overall film, Tobias Beckett’s plucky pilot Rio Durant was an entertaining character with one of the niftiest modern Star Wars designs, making him a prime pick for just all of the toys ever.  Or, at the very least, two of the toys ever.  I’ve looked at one of his two figures, so today I’ll be looking at the other one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rio is part of the fourth series of Hasbro’s tie-in line for Solo.  As I’ve noted in my last two reviews, this assortment proved to be the one with the most actual Solo characters featured within it, making Rio a natural choice for the line-up, especially with Beckett and Val shipping right alongside him.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and with 12 points of articulation, he’s one of the best articulated basic 3 3/4-inch figures we’ve gotten in quite a while.  As with his larger counterpart, it’s those extra limbs that rally give him the advantage.  Rio’s sculpt is, unsurprisingly, an all-new affair, and it’s by far the best of the three I’ve looked at from this assortment.  Obviously, it’s slightly stepped down from the Black Series release, but not quite as much as you might think.  It’s an accurate rendition of his model from the film, and it includes some of the best detail work you can find at this scale.  While he’s slightly pre-posed, it’s just enough to give him a little bit of extra character, without proving itself too limiting.  The arms in particular are cleverly posed to work with the articulation and offer up a couple of acceptable poses for each of them.  Rio’s paintwork is fairly basic, but the application is clean, and all of the important details are there.  On top of that, he maintains the bright, eye-catching colors of his larger figure, and is just generally a nice figure to look at.  While the larger Rio includes two different blasters, this one instead only carries the smaller one, which, given the lower price point isn’t terrible.  It can be stowed in his holster on his belt, or held in any of his four hands, so you’ve definitely got some display options cut out for you.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I did *not* find Rio at the same Walmart as Beckett and Val.  However, after having found them, and knowing that they were being clearanced, I made a point to swing by another Walmart on my way home, and I was able to grab a discounted Rio there.  I thought this guy might be another situation like with Val, where getting the Black Series figure first kind of left me feeling lukewarm about the basic release, but I have to say, Rio is just a really, really nice figure, and one of the best things to come out of this basic line.  Sure, the larger figure is more poseable and has the extra weapon, but this guy is absolutely no slouch in his own right, and the smaller scale means he’s a pilot who will actually be able to pilot things, even if we don’t actually have the ship he flies in the movie.

#1945: Val (Mimiban)

VAL (MIMIBAN)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Conspicuously absent from the early product for Solo were figures of Tobias Beckett’s distinctive crew of smugglers from the beginning of the film.  Though their roles weren’t huge, both Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau delivered really strong performances.  Newton in particular was praised by the film’s writer as being “too good for her role”, and famously wore a dress bearing images of action figures of all of the Star Wars-verse’s black characters (I believe from her own personal collection, though I may be misremembering that) to the film’s red carpet premiere.  I hope she gets the chance to add her own figure to that selection!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Val (Mimiban) is part of the fourth series of the Solo line, which happens to be most actually Solo-themed assortment, and likely will prove the most difficult assortment to find in the long run.  What’s interesting about this Val is that, though she’s wearing the same outfit as her 6-inch counterpart, they’re listed as being from two different locals.  This one is billed as being from Mimiban, which isn’t quite accurate, since she was wearing an Imperial disguise while there.  I mean, she does *technically* wear this gear right as they’re leaving Mimiban, but it seems odd to list this one as specifically her “Mimiban” appearance, especially if there’s any chance at releasing versions of Beckett’s crew in their Imperial get-ups (please?).  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation.  Like a good number of the Solo figures, she has wrist joints included, which certainly make themselves handy.  She also has a much easier time keeping standing than her partner Tobias, which I’m certainly counting as a plus.  Her sculpt is a decent enough offering.  I’d rank it above Beckett in terms of detailing and accuracy, though I can’t say the likeness is one of their best.  Black Series Val was spot-on, but this one seems a little off.  Still, she’s certainly passable.  Val’s paintwork is, like the sculpt, definitely serviceable.  There are some slightly un-even spots, but for the scale, she’s really not bad.  The figure is packed only with a single blaster, just like her larger counterpart.  However, at the lower price and smaller scale, this is less of an issue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Val at the same time as I grabbed Beckett, largely due to that whole thing with Walmart clearancing them out.  Admittedly, she’s a better figure than he is, but she had the misfortune of being added to my collection just a few days after I got the much more technically impressive Black Series release, which did sort of steal this one’s thunder.

#1944: Tobias Beckett

TOBIAS BECKETT

SOLO: A STAR WARS (HASBRO)

Hey, whoa, remember yesterday, when I reviewed a figure of a character played by Woody Harrelson?  Well, if you liked that, you’re in luck, because I’m totally going to be doing that again today.  What sort of crazy person would put these things back to back?  This sort of a crazy person, that’s who!  Yesterday’s review looked at one of Harrelson’s earliest on-screen roles.  Today, we’re jumping forward to 2018, with his turn as Han’s mentor Tobias Beckett in Solo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tobias Beckett was released in Series 4 of the Solo line from Hasbro.  As a pretty major player in the film, it’s a bit surprising it took so long to get him, but at least he actually showed up at (some) retail.  Beckett is based on his main smuggler’s appearance from the film, same as his 6-inch figure.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  A number of the Solo figures added wrist joints, and Beckett furthers this by also adding swivels at the tops of the boots.  Despite these extra joints, I still found Beckett to be almost impossible to keep standing. I’m not sure why he’s so different from others in the line, but it does appear that the feet are angled a little too far back.  It’s possible this issue is limited to my figure, but it’s still frustrating nonetheless.  The figure’s sculpt is decent enough, though I don’t find it to be quite as strong as the rest of the main characters. The detailing is generally a little softer, and I don’t think there’s really much of Woody Harrelson in the likeness on the head.  It’s certainly not as good as the spot-on likeness of his larger counterpart.  Also not quite as strong as the larger figure?  The paint.  Obviously, there’s less of a canvas to work with on the smaller figure, so less detail is expected, and for the body, that’s not so bad.  It’s really the head that gets the worst of it, because they’ve transformed Harrelson’s scruff into more of a Van Dyke looking thing.  It just makes the whole figure look rather off.  Beckett is packed with his dual blaster pistols, which he can hold or store in his working holsters.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beckett’s a figure a very nearly missed at retail.  None of the stores in my area have carried anything past the second wave of Solo product, and even that was scarce.  I ended up finding this one at the Walmart near where my family was vacationing over the winter holiday, just as they put all of their Star Wars stuff on clearance, at which point pretty much every figure they had disappeared overnight.  If you really just want a Beckett, the Black Series figure is the better offering, and may just be easier to find in the long-run.  Had I not found this guy when I did, I don’t know he would have warranted tracking down after the fact.

#1936: Poe Dameron & BB-8

POE DAMERON & BB-8

STAR WARS: RESISTANCE (HASBRO)

“A hotshot X-wing pilot for the Resistance, Poe Dameron is a natural leader who keeps an eye on the crew of the Colossus.  When Poe sets out on his own missions, he leaves behind BB-8, a rolling BB unit whose spherical shell is packed with useful tools and computer interface equipment, to work alongside Kaz and the rest of the crew.”

With the somewhat longer hiatus than usual between Solo and Episode IX, plus the ending of Rebels, the market was in need of some other form of Star Wars media to tide us all over.  Enter Star Wars Resistance.  Set prior to The Force Awakens, it follows a group of Resistance pilots, and…uhh, well that’s all I know.  I haven’t actually seen any of it yet.  I *have* seen the toys, or at least some of them, including my main man Poe Dameron, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Poe Dameron and BB-8 are part of the launch for the Star Wars Resistance toyline.  They’re a slightly more deluxe offering, which appears to be replacing the two-packs we got for Last Jedi and Solo.  It gives us Poe in his X-Wing pilot gear, which appears to be (mostly) the same as it is in the films.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. I was a little saddened to see him only sporting the basic 5 joints, after the Last Jedi pilot release added in wrist swivels, but there are enough figures without those joints that it’s not a huge surprise.  Poe is sporting an all-new sculpt, depicting his animated design.  Obviously, it’s not going to fit in with your basic movie figures, but he’s fairly similar to the Rebels figures we’ve been getting the last few years.  He’s long and lanky, and the detail work is more on the reserved side.  His head sculpt, despite being based on an animated incarnation, may very well be the best Poe we’ve seen to date, at least from Hasbro.  He’s certainly more of a caricature than other figures, and it’s still not a perfect match, but it’s certainly better than I was expecting.  Poe’s paintwork is pretty basic, befitting his animated nature.  The application is pretty clean, and the face seems to have a bit more detail than I’m used to seeing on the basic figures.  I’m wondering if this is a change in how the paint is done, similar to the printed faces for Black Series and Legends.  I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this on future figures.  Poe is packed with his helmet (in the more generic blue and white, rather than his black squadron leader coloring), a blaster pistol, and, of course, BB-8.  BB is about an inch tall and has the usual ball-jointed head.  Unlike other small-scale BBs, this one doesn’t have the flattened out section at the bottom; he’s a proper sphere like the Black Series release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I *tried* to buy a Poe a lot earlier than I succeeded.  While grabbing a few other things at Target, I saw him there, and thought “hey, there’s a Poe figure I don’t have.”  Little did I know he was still street dated at the time, so I wasn’t able to purchase him.  A week later, I was at the same Target, and all of the Resistance figures that had been there were gone.  No Poe for me.  Then I spotted him stashed back behind another item, and grabbed him, though I still wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to buy him.  Well, as you can see, I was.  Yay.  He’s a fun figure.  Nothing amazing, or Earth-shattering, but he’s nice.

#1934: 8D8

8D8

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Originally designed to work in smelting factories, 8D8 worked under EV-9D9 in Jabba the Hutt’s droid operations center.”

There are a lot of droids in Star Wars, of all sorts of differing models and styles.  When in doubt about what to do for a Star Wars line, they can always bring out the driods.  During Power of the Force II, one of the running sub-goals of the line was re-creating the line-up of the original vintage toyline.  That was a large contributing factor to today’s figure, 8D8, finding his way into the line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

8D8 was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force II.  He’s the second figure of 8D8, and also the final figure of 8D8.  Why no updates since then?  Well, I’m gonna get to that.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Movement-wise, this guy’s not ideal.  He lacks the at the time standard waist joint, which is sort of odd, since the design clearly would have allowed for it.  The design of the hips compared to the arms means that the movement on both the shoulders and the hips is quite restricted.  Guess it all hinges on that sweet neck movement?  Yay?  The sculpt was unique to this figure, and though it comes from later in the run, it’s still kind of plagued by pre-posing.  He’s like, mid-stride, or something.  Whatever the case, he has a lot of trouble standing, and the pre-posing means that his already limited articulation is even further limited if you want to keep him standing.  On the plus side, the actual sculpt is a solid recreation of 8D8 as seen in the movie, and there’s plenty of sharp and clean detail work going on.  The paintwork is also pretty decent.  He’s mostly just molded in an off-white sort of color, but he’s got some silver accenting and his red detailing from the film.  Like the sculpt, it matches up pretty well with what we see on the screen.  8D8 has an “action feature” of light-up eyes.  Nothing super fancy, just a basic light-piping feature, but I guess it gives him a little extra pop.  8D8 is packed with the droid branding device we see him using in the movie, which is one of the better extras from the line.  Also, as a 1998 release, he included a Freeze Frame slide, showing him in the actual movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

8D8 is from a recent run on Power of the Force I did, in my ever-expanding mission to get a complete collection of the line.  I got him from my friends at All Time Toys, for essentially nothing, since I was grabbing so many others.  Ultimately, I can’t say he’s a particularly great figure, and I think it’s really just a design that doesn’t so much lend itself to toy-form, which is probably why it hasn’t shown up again.