#1462: General Leia Organa

GENERAL LEIA ORGANA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Despite all that she has endured and lost in a lifetime of war, General Leia Organa continues to shine as a beacon of hope for the loyal subjects of the Resistance under her command.”

Perhaps the most glaring omission from all of the Force Awakens product, even more than Luke Skywalker, was General Leia Organa.  Out of all the figures Hasbro released, there was exactly one older Leia, in the 3 3/4-inch Black Series line.  It’s *okay* but not great, and most annoyingly, it’s not sporting her main look from the film.  Two years after the film, we still haven’t gotten the basic Leia in the main line, but they have at least given her a larger-scale Black Series figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

General Leia Organa was released in the second assortment of Black Series figures following the Last Jedi re-launch.  She’s figure 52, meaning Hasbro’s really committed to keeping the numbering going this time around.  Also, she’s actually listed as a general on the packaging this time!  Yay!  She’s also finally wearing her actual military garb, which is definitely the more exciting of her two designs from TFA.  It just seems more true to the character.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall (keeping her consistent with the other Leia figures from the Black Series) and she has 27 points of articulation.  Leia has a brand new sculpt.  There was definitely an upward trend of improvement to these figures starting with the some of the later Rogue One offerings, and it looks like The Last Jedi is starting pretty strong right out of the gate.  This is definitely one of the stronger figures I’ve gotten from the line, and probably the strongest Leia sculpt we’ve gotten to date.  It’s certainly an improvement over the smaller figure.  The head has a pretty decent Carrie Fisher likeness, and the detail work on the clothing and such is pretty great.  The paintwork on Leia is fairly straightforward, but still a notable improvement over earlier offerings.  They’re still doing a lot of molded plastic for the colors, but there’s enough subtle accenting, especially on the face/hair, that she doesn’t look quite as bland and lifeless as the likes of the Tatooine Luke figure.  I do wish that her hair had a little more noticeable grey in it, but she’s doing a little better than the Han figure in that respect.  Leia is packed with a small blaster.  I don’t believe we actually see it in TFA, but it’s a cool design, and calls back to the one she carries at the beginning of A New Hope.  It’s nice to get at least something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been wanting ever since the Force Awakens figures hit.  I was bummed when she didn’t show up around the time of the movie, and I continued to be bummed with the release of the rather lackluster small-scale figure.  When this figure was shown off at SDCC, I was excited, but a little apprehensive, since The Black Series has been rather scarce around these parts ever since the first assortment of Rogue One.  This was made worse by the fact that I’ve still yet to see most of the first Last Jedi assortment at retail, which left me a little worried about the prospects of finding Leia.  As luck would have it, I came across almost all of the second series while stopping for groceries at a slightly out of the way Target.  Leia is really awesome, and I’m really glad I got her. And, honestly, I’m sort of glad we had to wait, because it means she got added to the line right in the midst of its strongest run of figures to date.

Advertisements

#1194: First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

fosquadleader1

It’s been almost a week since the last time I looked at a Star Wars toy.  And I amassed quite a number of them towards the backend of last year, so there’s just sort of this pile of them waiting to be reviewed.  Here’s one off the pile.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

fosquadleader2The First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader was part of the early 2016 Snow Gear assortment, alongside unmasked Kylo Ren and Nien Nunb).  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  In terms of construction, the Squad Leader uses the same basic tooling as the standard FO Trooper (and by extension, all of it’s deviations, reviewed in the First Order Legion set), which is sensible.  As I noted when I reviewed it before, it’s a pretty strong sculpt, and accurately recreates the First Order armor from the movie.  The main appeal of this figure is the web-gear, which is unique to this guy.  It’s a combination of the Heavy Artillery Trooper’s ammo vest with an Officer’s pauldron.  It’s different enough to keep him interesting, which I guess is the point.  Paintwork for this figure is pretty much on par with the other FO Troopers I’ve looked at.  There are some fuzzy lines here and there, but by and large he’s pretty good.  The Squad Leader includes a basic blaster rifle, as well as a much larger blaster that’s part of the build-a-whatsit.  It’s kind of a cool piece, though it’s actually taller than he his, so getting him to hold it is kind of tricky.  Still, better than a lot of the pieces included with these figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Being part of one of the later assortments of the Force Awakens line, this guy never really showed up at retail in full force.  I ended up getting this guy from Cosmic Comix during their Biggest Sale of the Year! (TM).  I like the Heavy Trooper look, and I liked this variation of it, so I got him.  Is he really different from figures I already own?  Not really, but he’s still pretty fun.

#1173: Sidon Ithano & First Mate Quiggold

SIDON ITHANO & FIRST MATE QUIGGOLD

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

sidonianthoquagley1

Would you look at that?  I’ve made it through a whole week of post-Christmas reviews!  Go me!  For day 7, I’m going back to that galaxy far, far away.  You know what the backbone of Star Wars merchandise is?  You might think it’s Darth Vader, or Stormtroopers, or even R2-D2 or C-3PO, but you’d be wrong.  No, the actual backbone, the thing that’s kept the franchise afloat with a near endless supply of tiny action figures is all of the split-second appearance, no-name characters peppered in to fill out the backgrounds of scenes.  Need to fill a slot in a wave of figures?  Here’s Willrow Hood!  Worried the boxed set doesn’t offer anything new?  How about Snaggletooth?  Need something unique?  Elephant Mon, anyone? Heck, people will spend good money to get a complete set of the bounty hunters from Empire, despite the fact that most of them only appear in that one single scene and only one of them gets even a single line of dialogue.  That’s commitment from the fanbase right there.  Of course, as the prices of oil have risen, these obscure figures are getting fewer and further between.  Fortunately, The Force Awakens provided a great new selection of background characters, which Hasbro in turn took advantage of in order to get some fun new action figures.  Two such characters were Sidon Ithano and his first mate Quiggold, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ithano and Quiggold were released in the second series of two-packs from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line.

SIDON ITHANO

sidonianthoquagley3Sidon Ithano is the captain of the Meson Martinet, the ship Finn almost transfers to prior to Rey’s capture by the First Order.  That’s pretty much his whole character (okay, not entirely true; like almost every background Star Wars character, he’s got a whole elaborate backstory, which most people will never know).  He was playable in a side mission in Lego The Force Awakens, which is how I became familiar with him.  His figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is unique to this figure, and is quite impressively rendered.  The helmet is nice and clean, with lots of really sharp lines, and his clothing sports some incredible texture work, which really makes him stand out. Easily one of the best sculpts from the smaller Force Awakens line.  Ithano’s paintwork is fairly straight forward.  The application is pretty clean, and the basic colors seem to match up pretty well with what’s seen in the movie.  The color scheme is also rather on the unique side of things, which adds a nice bright splash of color to the shelf.  Ithano is packed with a blaster rifle…for all you blaster rifle needs?  It’s a cool design, I guess.

FIRST MATE QUIGGOLD

sidonianthoquagley2What good is a captain without his trusty first mate?  I don’t know.  I guess it depends on the quality of the captain, and, by extension, the quality of the first mate.  So, there’s like, a lot of potential variance there I suppose.  Anyway, here’s Quiggold, who’s a guy who gets just as much screen time as the last guy.  He’s also playable in the same Lego game level, where he gets a cool mini gun thing.  So that’s fun.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation.  Where Ithano is tall and lean, Quiggold is short and squat.  The figure’s sculpt does a pretty solid job of conveying his design from the movie.  He looks suitably like a big puppet (which is pretty much what he was) and the details on his skin and clothing are quite nicely rendered.  I wouldn’t mind if he had some more texturing here and there, but he’s certainly reasonable for the scale.  The paintwork on Quiggold is okay, if maybe ever so slightly imbalanced.  There’s some really great work on the face, which makes his skin look quite lifelike.  I just sort of wish the details continued onto the other exposed parts of his skin, but he’s not awful.  Quiggold includes a large missile launcher version of his big gun, which is…well, it’s not as far off as most Hasbro missile launchers, so I guess it’s got that going for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received these two as a Christmas present from my Super Awesome Girlfriend.  We’ve been playing through Lego The Force Awakens together, and I quite enjoyed the Crimson Corsair level.  She happened to spy these figures at retail and grabbed them for me.  I very much enjoy this pair of figures.  They’re solid renditions of solid character designs, and you can’t really ask for much more.

#1147: Rey (Jakku)

REY (JAKKU)

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

reyro4

This Friday will see the release of the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One.  In honor of the movie’s release, I’m going to be doing a week of Star Wars reviews to countdown to said release.  “But Ethan, didn’t you just do a Star Wars week?” Listen you, if you’re just going to ruin my good time, you can just go read someone else’s toy review site!  No. Stop. Come back.

All of this week’s reviews are coming straight from Hasbro’s various Rogue One product, but as we determined earlier, that doesn’t always mean that the figures are Rogue One-themed, strictly speaking.  There’s a steady helping of Force Awakens product mixed in with all of the new stuff, including today’s figure, Rey!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

reyro2Rey is part of the second series of Hasbro’s smaller-scale Star Wars: Rogue One line.  She takes Kylo’s spot from Series One as the resident Force Awakens character in this particular line-up.  We’ve gotten quite a few different Rey figures, and a lot of them look rather similar.  What sets this one apart from the others?  She’s got a new hat!  Okay, it’s more of a head wrap thing.  And, it’s not actually “new,” just in a different configuration from the last two times we saw it.  This figure takes the Starkiller Base Rey and the Rey’s Speeder Rey and sort of averages the two looks, giving us a Rey that is sporting her head wrap and goggles, but one you can still see the face of.  Perhaps not the most noteworthy look, but she does appear like this in the film, for like, seconds.  Maybe even a whole minute!  I look forward to the eventual wearing Poe’s/Finn’s Jacket Rey, that way I can have all three of the mains wearing the *same* coat!  Oh, the continuity nightmare!  The figure is about 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  The main body appears to be the same mold as the Starkiller Base Rey; it’s not a perfect mold, but there’s at least some consistency.  My only real complaint is the thinness of the arms, but that’s minor.  This figure gets an all-new head, as well as an add-on piece for the additional wrappings on her torso.  The head is a pretty solid piece, and seems to have a slightly better likeness than the Starkiller figure.  It’s not like it’s spot on, but it’s decent, and there’s plenty of solid work on the rest of the head to make the sculpt worthwhile.  The torso add-on is a nice addition, mostly because it hides the slightly flat torso of the original Rey figure, and makes her look much more on par with the Rogue One stuff.  As far as paint, Rey’s pretty standard fare. She’s got all the right base colors, and everything’s pretty clean.  She’s the sort of figure that might be benefited by some accent work to bring out more of the sculpted details, but I guess this way she matches up with the rest of the line.  Rey includes her staff, a back pack, and, of course, the requisite giant missile launcher.  The launcher is patterned after her speeder, so I guess that’s kinda cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, against our better judgement, my family, Super Awesome Girlfriend, Tim, Jill, and I all went out early Black Friday (well, late Thursday, I guess).  Rey was not purchased at this time, because oh gosh the insanity.  Instead, I got her when we went back out much later on Friday, when things had calmed down.  This isn’t a Rey figure I knew I wanted, but I gotta say, I was pretty excited to find her.  Sure, she’s in that weird area of not really being a default Rey, but also being really similar to the default Rey, but she’s actually a pretty fun figure, and a great way for Hasbro to get the character out there one more time.

#1134: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

hantfa1

Here’s another Star Wars review for Star Wars Week!  Alright!  As I noted back in my first Force Awakens Han Solo review, Han (along with pretty much all of the returning guard from the original trilogy) was left out of the initial rounds of product for TFA.  While his 6-inch figure ended up showing up within a month or two of the film’s release, neither of his 3 3/4-inch figures proved quite as timely.  I ended up finding the Walmart-exclusive Starkiller Base version over the summer, but his basic small-scale version proved somewhat illusive.  But, in case you haven’t figured out by this point, I found one, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

hantfa2Han was released alongside Resistance Rey in the second “Forest” assortment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens figures.  (The third figure in said assortment was the Hassk Thug.  Who’s the Hassk Thug?  Good question.  Perhaps the sort of question that should have been asked before Hasbro decided to pack him in equal numbers to two of the higher-demanded figures in the line, thereby adding to the already frustrating over-abundance of “unknown” characters.  I’m getting off-topic; sorry).  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the typical 5 points of articulation.  Han’s sculpt is unique to this figure.  It’s overall pretty good.  The head has a decent Harrison Ford likeness (better than the Starkiller version, at the very least), and the general pose is pretty natural.  The level of detail is okay; some of the details are a little on the soft side compared to other figures in the line.  My biggest issue with the figure is the jacket piece.  It’s a little on the thick side, and the shoulders on the arms aren’t sculpted to compensate, which makes it look like he’s wearing like a life jacket or something.  It’s not awful, but they’ve done better, and for someone as important as Han, it’s something of a letdown.  Han’s paintwork is fairly straight forward, but certainly not bad.  What’s there is pretty clean, and the eyes in particular are much cleaner than a lot of the other figures in the line.  This figure, of course, still has the issue with the hair being light brown, rather than the grey that it should be.  There’s some traces of grey in there, which is better than the other two, so at least they were trying.  Han includes his usual blaster pistol, which is really cool, as well as the usual build-a-thingamajig piece.  In this case, it’s a big gun, which is at least a little better than some of the pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just like Rey, I found Han out of the blue at Cosmic Comix.  He was definitely a major want for me, since the Starkiller version wasn’t really cutting it.  He’s a decent enough figure; not perfect, but pretty good.  I wish the sculpt were a little sharper, and the jacket’s annoying, but I’m honestly just happy to have him.

hantfa4

#1133: Rey – Resistance

REY – RESISTANCE

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

reyresistance2

I think it’s about time we had another theme week.  And, since this is my site, my word is law, so here’s another Star Wars week!  (That’s code for “Ethan’s been buying a lot of Star Wars stuff lately and sometimes it’s hard to space it all out).

Star Wars has long been keen on giving us lots of costume changes for the main characters (because it’s easier to sell more toys that way), and The Force Awakens did a little of that, giving each of the three main characters (and Han and Leia) at least two distinct looks.  As luck would have it, however, the only character who could have both looks represented in the initial TFA assortments without violating Disney’s strict embargo on certain parts of the film was Poe.  Now, for Finn, you could get his second look easily enough by swapping his head onto a standard Trooper, but this left poor Rey without a second figure until after the film’s release.  To make matters worse, the assortment featuring her was held up by the second assortment not moving at retail, meaning it took today’s Rey figure as much 10 months to show up in some areas.  That seems excessive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

reyresistance1Rey was released as part of the second “Forest” assortment of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens figures.  She and the other two figures in the set technically hit in February, but as I noted in the intro, they didn’t arrive a lot of places until after the Rogue One stuff.  Rey is presented here in her Resistance garb from the end of TFA.  It’s only in the movie for like five minutes or so, but it’s there for the film’s final shots, and is a pretty sharp design in general, so it was begging for a figure.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  Rey is head-to-toe a new sculpt; nothing re-used from her prior figures here.  Across the board, this figure’s sculpt is a pretty substantial improvement over the Starkiller Base version.  The proportions feel a bit more balanced, she doesn’t feel as frail, and the pose seems a bit more natural.  The vest is an add-on piece, and it adds some depth to the figure.  The head is probably the best Daisy Ridley likeness in the smaller scale (only the Titan Heroes figure is a challenger in terms of all the scales).  It’s still not perfect, but it’s a lot closer, I think mostly because rather than upscale the strands of hair at the sides of her face so they wouldn’t break (and thus making them look like braids or something), they just left them off, which looks much more accurate at this size.  Rey’s paint is generally pretty good, with one caveat on my figure.  The basic scheme is nice, and matches alright with what we see on screen.  There was some controversy about what the color of her vest should be, grey or tan.  It seems Hasbro went with the color of the actual costume, and didn’t replicate the effect of the lighting from the film.  It’s Han’s jacket all over again!  The application is mostly pretty clean, but my figure’s missing most of the paint representing the bottom of the shirt at the top of her left leg.  It’s really weird, because the app isn’t missing entirely; there’s a small sliver of it around the hip joint.  Not sure how it ended up like that.  Rey was packed with the blaster given to her by Han, Luke’s lightsaber, her staff, and a piece of the build-a-whatsit.  The blaster’s definitely the coolest piece.  The saber is neat too, though she never actually wields it ignited in this particular garb.  The staff is frustrating because it’s worked into the build-a-thing, and so it’s got this big block right in the middle of it, which is really annoying.  Sure, I’ve got several of them, but not everyone does.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been on the lookout for this figure since January, to no avail.  I refused to pay scalper prices for her, so I held out that I might find her in an actual store.  Hasbro recently announced she’d be getting a re-release in a Target-exclusive 7-pack, so I figured that would be my ticket.  As luck would have it, while I was up visiting my parents for Halloween, I went to pick up my comics, and my store had just randomly gotten in a case of this series (these would be the first Force Awakens figures they’ve gotten).  So, hey, I’ve got a Resistance Rey!  Yay!  I really hope this is a sign of the series getting a wider release, because this is probably Hasbro’s best small-scale Rey. 

reyresistance3

#1112: Rey

REY (JAKKU)

STAR WARS: TITAN HEROES (HASBRO)

reytitan1

Let’s talk disappointment.  No, wait, that’s not quite right, let’s talk misplaced expectations and poor decision making.  Shortly after the release of The Force Awakens last year, social media became aflutter with the hashtag #wheresrey.  After seeing the film, a number of people wanted to rush out and buy figures of Rey, the film’s unquestionable lead.  Unfortunately, as far as conventional figures went, there weren’t really any Reys to be found. No figures of the main character on shelves?  Foul villainy must be afoot!  …maybe not quite.  See, it’s important to note that #wheresrey started cropping up about a week after the film’s release.  Now, right after a film’s release, it’s not uncommon for figures from that movie to become a little scarce (for instance, a week after Pacific Rim came out, the figures were gone from shelves and commanding as much as three times their retail value on the aftermarket).  On top of that, the week after the movie came out, we also had this little event called Christmas, which has a tendency to leave toy aisles rather barren.  So, maybe expecting to find a ready supply of figures of the main character of one of the biggest movies of the decade the week of Christmas wasn’t the most realistic expectation.  That’s not to say Hasbro did everything spot-on, mind you.  While they did put out a number of Rey figures, she (and all the main characters barring Kylo in the 3 3/4-inch line and Finn in the 6-inch line) was only available in the initial assortments of figures, released three months prior to the movie.  What really kicked off the whole hashtag, though, was Rey’s absence from the Target-exclusive Titan Heroes 6-pack (and really, Titan Heroes as a whole).  Now, there are a number of credible reasons she was left out of this set, but ultimately, it’s the sort of thing that Hasbro should have avoided (and is looking to avoid in the future, if Rogue One has been any indication).  To their credit, one of the earliest items Hasbro released following the film’s release was a Titan Heroes version of Rey, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

reytitan2Rey was released in the second round of Force Awakens-based Star Wars: Titan Heroes, alongside a Stormtrooper Finn and the Fifth Brother from Rebels.  She’s wearing her Jakku gear that she spends the vast majority of the film wearing.  The figure stands just under 12 inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation.  Structurally, Rey is rather similar to her first 3 3/4 inch figure.  The only real difference is the size and the actual materials being used.  She’s made of a much harder plastic than the smaller figures, and her torso and legs are hollow, which makes her slightly weird feeling (and also a bit creaky when you move her).  Aside from being rather stiff, the sculpt on this figure is actually pretty strong.  The head is definitely the best part, and it gives us Hasbro’s best Ridley likeness so far.  It’s really spot on, in part, I think, because the strands of hair in front of her ears didn’t have to be sized up quite as much and thus don’t look like dreads or curls or something.  The rest of the body is all pretty solid work; not Hot Toys level or detail or anything, but still solid.  The paintwork on this figure is actually pretty impressive.  The base color work is all strong, but I think the best part is the subtle accent work on the skin-toned areas.  There’s just the slightest bit of a red hue there, and it makes her look incredibly lifelike.  There are still a few spots of bleed over here and there, and it’s worth noting that the harder plastic makes this figure more susceptible to paint scuffs, but for a $10 figure, this is pretty great work.  Rey included her staff, which, thanks to the wrist swivels, she can actually hold with two hands, albeit rather awkwardly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have to admit, because of the whole #wheresrey thing, I ended up buying just about every Rey I could get my hands on just to prove a point, and this figure was included.  I don’t actually have any of the other figures in this style, but beyond the novelty of it being another Rey figure, this figure really surpassed my expectations, and, from what I’ve seen looking at the other figures in stores, the quality of the rest of the line as a whole.

#1107: Captain Rex

CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

rexrebels1

Ever since The Force Awakens re-launched everything, I’ve been on a pretty serious Star Wars kick, and it’s only gotten worse with all the Rogue One stuff.  One of the things I’m finally getting around to as part of said kick is watching Star Wars: Rebels.  I gotta say, I don’t know why I put it off for so long, it’s definitely a fun show.  One of the cool things about the show is how it’s connecting its predecessor Clone Wars with the Original Trilogy, by bringing in a few of Clone Wars’ original characters.  One of my personal favorites from Clone Wars was clone Captain Rex, who appears in Rebels during the second season.  I haven’t gotten to him on the show just yet, but that didn’t stop me from picking up his action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

rexrebels2Captain Rex is from the towards the tail-end of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line.  He was part of the third Desert Gear assortment, alongside Unkar Plutt and FN-2187.  This assortment technically hit back in February, but most places didn’t see it until early summer.  Rex is based on his Rebels appearance, which is a fair bit removed from his Clone Wars look, what with it being 15 years later and all.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has the basic 5 points of articulation we’ve come to expect from the standard 3 3/4-inch stuff.  Rex’s sculpt is unique to him, and it does an alright job translating his show design into plastic form.  I wouldn’t mind a bit more fine detailing here and there, but the overall appearance matches up pretty well.  For some reason, Rex has been sculpted with his chest puffed out bit and his neck set back.  The only way to get him to look forward is to tilt the head down as far as it will go on the ball joint, and even then he’s still sort of looking upward.  I’m not sure why they handled him that way, and it makes posing him rather difficult.  In terms of paint, Rex is certainly well executed from at technical standpoint, with most of the paintwork being rather clean.  The real issue is that he’s actually too clean.  His show design has the armor looking rather disheveled, but on the figure that’s really limited to just the bottom of his boots.  He doesn’t look terrible by any means, but he isn’t quite as cool as he could be either.  Rex includes a pair of small blaster pistols, just like the ones he carried during Clone Wars, which can be stored in the holsters on his legs.  He also has his helmet, which seems slightly oversized, but is still pretty cool.  I especially like that he still has the tally marks that he was sporting towards the end of TCW.  Lastly, Rex has a piece of the build-a-whatsit thing.  It’s a staff that fires a missile.  It’s actually not as lame as prior pieces, but still not adding much value to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually picked up Rex before starting Rebels, back during the summer.  I was in upstate New York with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her aunt and uncle on an RV trip, and I found this guy at the local Walmart.  Not gonna lie, I partly bought him because he was one of the few figures there I didn’t have, and I was sort of going into withdrawal due to not having ready access to internet and being in a town with literally nowhere to buy action figures (apart from said Walmart).  That being said, I’d been intrigued by this figure since seeing his prototype at SDCC.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Rex, and I look forward to seeing him on the show. 

#1092: Kylo Ren – Unmasked

KYLO REN – UNMASKED

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

kylounmasked1

Alright, let’s keep moving on with the Rogue One stuff.  Today we’ll be looking at…Kylo Ren?  Okay, I used my bad Terminator rip-off joke with the Poe set at the very beginning, so I can’t use it here.  Ummm…here’s Kylo Ren?

Kylo seems to be a rather polarizing character.  It seems that most either love him or despise him.  I fall into the first category, but can sort of understand people in the second.  I chalk my enjoyment of him up to his being perhaps the greatest onscreen portrayal of Dr Doom to date, in everything but name.  Anyway, Kylo’s gotten himself another figure, and I’m reviewing that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

kylounmasked2Kylo Ren is the last figure in the first set of Rogue One-based Star Wars: The Black Series figures (the set is technically Series 7 of the Force Awakens stuff, which explains his present here).  He’s figure #26, and he’s the highest numbered Black Series figure to date, which is cool I suppose.  This Kylo was previously available at this year’s Celebration event, with a couple of extra pieces not included here, but this is his first main retail release.  The figure is about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  For the most part, this figure is the same as last year’s #03 Kylo.  The only difference between the two is the head, which is unmasked this time around (as denoted by the figure’s name).  The head offers a pretty good likeness of actor Adam Driver, looking just as pouty as he should.  The head fits well on the body, and looks the part, so no complaints here.  The body is alright; I still have my issues with the cloth parts, but I’ve come to terms with them now.  As far as paint goes, most of the changes are once again on the head, which is handled pretty well, though his skin is really pale.  The only change to the body is on the gloves, which have been given a shiny finish here, which actually makes the figure look a little better.  The exclusive Kylo had a lot of extras, including a First Order flag, Vader’s helmet, and an extra helmeted head.  This figure lacks those.  All he gets is two versions of his lightsaber.  Instead of the removable blade version from the first figure (which was technically inaccurate), he gets one with a permanently affixed blade and one without.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t initially planned on Kylo being one of my Rogue Friday purchases.  In fact, I passed him up at TRU’s midnight opening (well, initially, anyway.  Then he was gone by the time I got back).  However, when I picked up the Death Trooper, this guy was sitting there too, and I just kind of wanted him.  I’m actually quite glad I picked him up, because he makes a few nice changes to the prior Kylo, and is just a really fun figure all-around.

#1081: Poe Dameron & First Order Snowtrooper Officer

POE DAMERON & FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

snowtrooperpoe1

Last Friday was Rogue Friday, Hasbro’s second attempt at the whole “Force Friday” thing they tried last year.  It marked the official launch of all of the Rogue One-related products.  However, in light of the fiasco that was last year’s Force Friday event, most stores decided to forego the midnight opening event, with only Toys R Us participating.  Super Awesome Girlfriend and I headed over to the closest TRU last Thursday night, and I picked up an assortment of Rogue One products.  Today I’ll be looking that the first of the bunch, Poe Dameron and the First Order Snowtrooper Officer.  Why are Poe and a First Order Snowtrooper in the Rogue One line?  Well, it’s because it’s been a well-kept secret of Rogue One actually involves the Snowtrooper Officer being sent back in time to kill Jyn Erso and prevent the birth of Resistance fighter Rey.  The only hope of stopping him was the Resistance’s own Poe Dameron, sent back to protect her.

Wait. Sorry, that’s actually the plot of Terminator.  My mistake.  Right.  Yeah, Poe and the Snowtrooper are just here because TFA product is still being released under the Rogue One banner, as is the case with most new Star Wars lines!  I doubt Poe’s really going to be in the movie.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Poe and the Snowtrooper Officer are one of the three 2-packs in the first Battle-Packs assortment in the Rogue One line.  Each line has one or two Force Awakens products peppered in and these two are that portion of the Battle-Packs.

POE DAMERON

snowtrooperpoe2I kinda love Poe Dameron.  He’s easily my favorite part of TFA.  So, I was pretty happy to see another Poe pop up with all the new figures.  Of the three new main characters, Poe ended up with the most distinct looks.  So far, we’ve gotten his jacketed look from the beginning of the film and his pilot look from later.  The only one missing is his dress uniform from the very end of the film, which is the look this figure replicates.  It’s admittedly a somewhat obscure look, since it’s really only seen in the one shot, but it’s cool to get it nonetheless.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and he has the basic 5-points of articulation that everyone should be accustomed to with these new Star Wars figures.  Poe gets an all-new sculpt.  That means we get yet another attempt at Oscar Isaac’s likeness for the head.  It’s still not perfect, but I think this is the best version we’ve gotten from Hasbro yet.  The rest of the body does a good job of snowtrooperpoe5translating the uniform we see on screen into action figure form, at least from the few reference shots I’ve been able to find (seriously, this is a short-lived look).  One thing I do really like is that, even with it being a totally new sculpt, the pants and boots here are clearly the same ones on the jacketed figure.  That’s consistency!  The paint on this guy is alright, but not without issue.  Sadly, most of those issues are on the head (again), mostly dealing with the hairline (again).  It’s far from the worst paint I’ve seen from Hasbro, but it could definitely be better. On the plus side, at least he’s not as pale as some of the prior Poe figures!  The paint on the body is pretty solid, as well, which is good.  Poe includes a blaster pistol (the same as the one that came with his X-Wing pilot figure).  He is also the figure in this set who gets the big honking missile launcher.  Because Hasbro.

FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER

snowtrooperpoe3Befitting the “VS” nature of the new two-packs, Poe’s pack-mate is a First Order Snowtrooper Officer.  He’s pretty much the same figure as the First Order Snowtrooper (reviewed here), but with an added shoulder pauldron.  That means he’s still about 4 inches tall and has those same 5 points of articulation as everyone else.  The Snowtrooper wasn’t a bad figure, but I’ve never been super into the Snowtroopers in general, so getting yet another isn’t exactly blowing my mind.  Seeing as Poe’s a pilot, wouldn’t a Tie Pilot be more appropriate?  I don’t know.  This guy has the same accessories as his predecessor, a blaster with an extended stock and a back pack.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted in the intro, these guys came from Toys R Us’s midnight event for Rogue Friday.  Last year’s event was kind of a bust, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time around, and only even decided to participate a day or so in advance.  Super Awesome Girlfriend and I showed up at the closest TRU at about 11:30 last Thursday night, and we were only the third people in line.  I had a very pleasant conversation with the two guys in front of me (both older fans who were amused that someone my age was out for such an event).  At 12:01, the doors opened, I made my way to the action figure aisle, and picked up most of the figures I wanted, this set included.  I even got a free t-shirt!  A hugely improved experience over last year.

As far as the actual figures?  Well, the Snowtrooper’s kind of blah, but I like the new Poe figure a lot.  He might actually be my favorite of the smaller Poe’s we’ve gotten, even if he is in his briefly seen outfit from the end.  Silver lining: now my TFA Leia isn’t all lonely in her final scene outfit!

snowtrooperpoe4