#1432: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“R2-D2 is a tripodal computer repair and information retrieval robot, or astromech droid. As an R2 unit, he is equipped with navigational starfighter interfaces, plus extensive sensor packages and numerous devices to facilitate in-flight repairs: laser arc welder, circular saw, grasper arm, and fire extinguisher. He communicates through information-dense chips, beeps and whistles and seems to take pleasure in causing anxiety for his neurotic companion, the protocol droid C-3PO.”

More Star Wars?  Really?  Listen hypothetical reader, I have a lot of Star Wars figures, and I can’t just stop reviewing them for three months every year just because there’s a big explosion of new product.  That would be insane.  Almost as insane as writing an action figure review every single day for the rest of my life.  Moving on.  One major player absent from all of the new stuff I reviewed was astromech droid R2-D2, who for the second time in a row has been left out of the initial product launch for a Star Wars film.  Fortunately, I have a whole back catalogue to fall back on.  So, here’s an R2 figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1995.  While later R2s in the line would go for more scene-specific looks, this one is just a standard R2; no special bells or whistles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 3-ish points of articulation.  I say “3-ish” because in addition to joints at his head and the tops of his legs, R2 also has an extending middle leg, which I guess is *sort of* articulation.  This was the first time an R2 figure got the extending leg.  It’s still sort of in a prototype stage, and isn’t as cleverly designed as later models, but it works well enough.  R2’s sculpt was new to him, and it’s not bad.  Most of the important details are there, and they’re nicely defined.  He does end up a little skinnier than he’s usually depicted, but with all the wonky proportions that were going on in this line, I think it’s safe to say that R2 got off pretty easy.  R2’s paint is passable, though not without a few flaws.  Let’s start with the head: the vac metalizing, though inaccurate to the film, is certainly a cool feature, and helps him stand out.  Of course, as is usually the case on vac metalized pieces, some of the overlying paint has had a fair bit of chipping.  The body was mostly molded in white plastic, and, as you can probably see from the photos, it was pretty prone to yellowing.  The overlying paint is fairly decent overall, though it’s important to note that the’ve left off one of the blue stripes that makes up R2’s “face.”  I only just noticed that while writing this review, actually.  Now I’ll never be able to un-see it; the sacrifices I make for these reviews.  R2 included no accessories, but he does have a pretty nifty light-piping feature in his head, which illuminates his eye when you get the light just right.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

R2 was a gift from my parents, I believe on a Valentine’s Day?  Since I was never much for lots of candy, they tended to get me a small figure of some sort instead, and that was R2.  This was my first R2 (and I believe one of my earlier Star Wars figures in general), and he’s really the only one I had until well into the 2000s.  Like the rest of the line, he shows his age, but he’s a fun figure, and certainly not bad for the time.

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#1431: Force Link Starter Set

FORCE LINK STARTER SET (w/ KYLO REN)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Hey guys, remember how I wrapped up my Force Friday II reviews like not even a week ago? Well, I knew I’d be getting around to more of that stuff eventually, but I did sort of expect more than a 5 day break.  You can’t always get what you want…or expect…or something. 

Anyway, I’m plunging back into Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi line, and taking a look at one of the central items from the line, the Force Link Starter Set, i.e. the thing that provides the gimmick to every TLJ I’ve looked at so far.  Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, up until now all of my Last Jedi figure  reviews are incomplete.  It’s okay, I’m fixing it today!

THE SET ITSELF

This set was released alongside the initial product launch for Force Friday.  Included in the set is the Force Link Reader and a Kylo Ren.  The Reader is also available in the big BB-8 playset, and will also be offered in a TRU-exclusive pack later down the line, but this will remain the cheapest way to get one.  As of right now, this Kylo figure is exclusive to this set.  Not included in the set are the three AAA batteries that you’ll need to get the Reader up and running.

FORCE LINK READER

Obviously, this set’s main focus here is the reader.  The thing what makes the other toys do what they do.  Like the Comm Tech gimmick from the Phantom Menace toys, each toy in this line includes a small NFC chip (imbedded in the figures this time, instead of an exterior stand).  The Force Link reader contains the main chip with all of the actual sound information, and each smaller chip just serves to “unlock” that particular set of sounds.  Unlike the Comm Tech reader, this one’s wearable.  Wooooo!  Different!  The reader’s a fairly simple design; a bracelet with two bits and a strap.  The battery pack goes over your wrist and the actual reader part goes forward, sitting against the back of your palm.  There’s a hing between the two segments, which has a spring in it to keep the reader part forward, and thus always against your hand.  The whole thing’s not a terribly large contraption, which is certainly for the best; this is meant for kids after all, and they need to be able to actually use it.  The flip side is that it’s a bit of tight fit on anyone who isn’t child-sized.  The strap is adjustable, but it only goes so far.  I suppose you could change out the strap for a longer one if you really needed to, but it’s ultimately not a big deal.  Why isn’t it a big deal? Well, mostly because I’m not sure how many people are going to end up using this thing the way it’s intended.  The way the instructions and the back of the box show the reader in use, it’s strapped to the back of your wrist, and you hold the figure in your hand and move it about.  In order to get the reader part to best line-up with the chip in the figure’s torso, you pretty much have to entirely envelop the figure in your hand, and even then, it’s not always super reliable.  I found it much easier to just hold the reader in one hand, or even place it on a flat surface, and touch the figures to it directly.  I’ll give Hasbro some credit on this, though; I did find the wrist set-up was far more practical when using the vehicles, so the strap’s not a total loss.  I do have one minor complaint about the reader: there’s no on/off switch, so it just turns on when you tap a figure to it.  This can be unreliable, and a bit frustrating at times.  Once you get it going, the sound quality on all of the effects is fairly decent, at least for something of this size, and once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to get the sounds going.  For the ships, there’s really just one sound for each, which includes the engine starting up, followed by some sustained flight sounds, which will pretty much go until you set the ship down.  The Imperial Probe works in a similar fashion, getting some sustained hovering sounds, but he does also get the distinctive robot chatter from the film, which will pop-up occasionally.  Each of the figure’s gets a whole list of dialogue, as well as one sustained battle sound, which will eventually culminate in an explosion of some sort.  A lot of the dialogue seems to be archive dialogue from the movies (including some new lines from Last Jedi), but a few figures, Luke and the unmasked Kylo most noticeably, get re-recorded lines with “soundalike” actors.  Luke’s is a little off, but not terrible.  Kylo’s, on the other hand, is downright laughable, and made worse by the fact that the masked Kylo is still using Adam Driver’s real voice.  I’ve gone through all of my figures now and made a list of the bits of dialogue each of them played.  It’s possible there are more for a few of them, since the clips are accessed at random.  There were a few times I thought I was done with a figure, only to find one last sound.  Unfortunately, while going through my figures, I did find that one of them, the Praetorian Guard, had the chip from A-Wing Pilot Tallie, instead of his own.  I foresee this being a recurring issue.  Here’s the list of dialogue by figure:

LUKE: “May the force be with you,” “Trust your instincts,” “Come, I’ll show you the true meaning of the Force,” “Leave this place!” “Stay Back!” and a loud whooshing sound.

REY: “I’m with the Resistance,” “You’re going to pay for what you did,” “The First Order are everywhere,” “I can do this,” and a lightsaber sound.

CHEWIE: Wookie sounds, as far as the eye can see

KYLO (SINGLE): “I feel the power of the Force,” “I know what I have to do,” “Traitor!” “You will bring Luke Skywalker to me,” and a sustained lightsaber effect.

POE (SKI SPEEDER): “Now we have a chance,” “We got a lot of company!” “I’m gonna get us in position!” “Red 4, Red 6: Cover us!” and a sustained blaster sound.

HUX: “We shall destroy the Resistance,” “Bow to the First Order!” “Capture the droid if we can, but destroy it if we must,” “We have their location,” and a blaster sound.

POE (SINGLE): “I’m Poe! Poe Dameron!” “I can fly anything,” “We’re gonna do this,” “Take my lead,” “Let’s light it up!” and a blaster sound.

ROSE: “I can fix anything!” “We have a mission to complete,” “You can’t give up on the Resistance,” “Bullseye!” “Blast ‘em!” and a blaster sound.

PAIGE: “Orders received,” “We have to tackle the First Order head on!” “My sensors are picking up TIEs; Brace yourself!” and a blaster sound.

TALLIE: “Reporting in, Squadron Leader,” “Protect the bombers!” “Here they come!” and a blaster sound.

FINN: “The name’s Finn and I’m in charge!” “Stay low! It confuses their tracking!” “Oh, you gotta be kidding me!” “Do exactly as I say, I can get you out of here,” “YAAAGGH!!” and a blaster sound.

BOBA FETT: “He’s no good to me dead,” “Don’t bother hiding,” “Orders are to finish you off,” “You’re on borrowed time,” and a jetpack sound.  (His flamethrower extra also makes a flame throwing sound.)

HAN: “Han Solo.  I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon,” “I got a bad feeling about this,” “They’d be crazy to follow us, wouldn’t they?” “Never tell me the odds!” “Great shot!  That was one in a million!” and a blaster sound.

VADER: “If you only knew the power of the Dark Side,” “Sweep the asteroid field until they are found,” “Prepare your troops for a surface attack,” and a lightsaber sound.

KYLO REN

Alongside the reader, this set also includes yet another variant of our boy Kylo.  This Kylo is distinct from the two other Kylo figures released at launch in that this one has his mask.  I can certainly get behind that.  Like his predecessor, he stands about 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Though you wouldn’t guess it at first glance, this Kylo figure is actually a completely unique sculpt from the single release.  The details here are all consistent with the single release, but he’s posed ever so slightly differently.  It’s a more intimidating, advancing sort of pose, with his legs a bit more spread apart, and his hunch more pronounced.  The hand poses have changed as well, with the right one in a grip, and the left in a slight Force-using pose.  The cape’s also been tweaked ever so slightly, so that it leans more to one side, thus exposing his right arm a bit more, and allowing him to better hold his lightsaber.  Of course, the biggest difference between the two figures is the head, what with it having the helmet now and everything.  It’s a very nice sculpt, and presents all of the details quite sharply.  Like the single release, the paint on Kylo is fairly simple; lots of black, with just a little bit of silver thrown in.  It’s certainly accurate to the source material, and they do what they can to keep it from being too bland.  Kylo is packed with his lightsaber, which appears to be the same piece from the single release.  This Kylo gets his own unique Force Link dialogue, which includes: “Show me again, the power of the darkness” “I will let nothing stand in our way” “I’ve been waiting for this day a long time” “Find them” “You know what I’ve come for; where is it?” “Put every hangar on lockdown!” and a lightsaber sound.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, why didn’t I just review this with the rest of the Force Friday II stuff, right?  Because I just bought it Monday, that’s why.  Here’s the deal: I was going to hold off of getting one of these readers until the TRU-exclusive set with the Executor Trooper and Praetorian Guard was released. Then I found out that General Mills was offering a coupon for $10 off the starter set in some of their cereal boxes, and found one of said boxes. The reader is rather gimmicky, and I don’t really know how much use anyone’s going to get out of it.  That being said, I much prefer this sort of thing to the random bulid-a-whatsits from The Force Awakens.  Of course, by the very nature of it’s design, it’s pretty much limited to whatever figures and ships Hasbro had slated when it went into production, so I doubt it’ll survive past the new year.  The Kylo figure included is actually surprisingly cool, and quite different from the one I already had. At $25, this set seemed a little high; at $15, it feels like a really nice deal. 

#1426: Clone Commander Gree

CLONE COMMANDER GREE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Clone Commander Gree, designation 1004, led the Elite Corps of clone troopers during the Clone Wars.  He saw deployments on such heated battlefronts as Kashyyyk.  Though a faithful commander who carried out the Jedi’s orders, Gree was ultimately loyal to the Republic.”

I’ve spent two whole weeks looking at the smaller scale offerings for The Last Jedi, but I’ve not yet looked at any of Hasbro’s other big line, The Black Series.  There’s a simple reason for this:  I’ve yet to see most of the new Black Series stuff anywhere.  I did manage grab at least one figure, albeit not one of the characters from the new movie.  Instead, we jump back to the Prequels (I know, not my first choice either), and take a look at one of my favorite clones, Clone Commander Gree!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Commander Gree is a Toys R Us exclusive offering for Star Wars: The Black Series.  A smaller supply of this figure initially showed up at SDCC this year, but the vast majority of figures showed up at TRU retail stores for Force Friday, allowing Gree to take the slot taken by the Snowtrooper Commander and Hovertank Driver in years past.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  Gree is seen here in his Phase II Clone Trooper from Revenge of the Sith.  It’s definitely the more distinct of his two designs, and thus not a surprise for this figure at all.  Gree is largely built from the same pieces as the Clone Sergeant I reviewed way back when. It was a good sculpt then, and it’s still a good sculpt now.  Gree obviously gets the Phase II helmet in place of the Phase I version, and it fits well on the body and looks far more accurate than a good number of other Phase II trooper figures.  Gree gets a unique torso and left thigh piece as well, patterned after the standard pieces, but adding some of Gree’s extra straps and such.  The torso even gets a port for a removable antennae, which is a nice touch, though the antennae has a tendency to fall out of place a lot.  Paint is the most important part of a good Commander Gree figure, and this figure definitely delivers on that front.  All of the colors match up very nicely with his on-screen color scheme, and the level of detailing, especially on the camouflaged areas of the armor, is just top notch.  They’ve even included a good deal of silver detailing, showcasing the wear and tear that Gree’s armor’s undergone.  That’s a detail that’s largely been left off of the smaller figures, so I’m very glad to see it show up here.  Gree is actually quite well accessorized for a Black Series release, getting both small and large blaster rifles, and a pair of quadnoculars to hold.  I wouldn’t have minded an unmasked head as well, but that’s still more than what’s been included with prior 6″ troopers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I first started collecting The Black Series, my one rule was no Prequel figures.  I broke that rule for the Clone Sergeant, but I’ve stuck to it since.  However, even when I decided on that rule, I knew this guy would be an exception.  Gree’s always been my favorite of the Clone Commanders, and I have just about every other figure of him, so I certainly wasn’t passing on this one.  My TRU didn’t get any Black Series figures on Force Friday, but this guy showed up about a week later.  This is easily the best Gree figure ever released, and definitely one of my favorite Black Series figures.

The Blaster In Question #0024: Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR DELUXE BLASTER

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Everything looks better in blue.  Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of things do, and that goes for Nerf blasters.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at yet another Star Wars blaster.  This time it is the Target exclusive Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster.  Well, sort of exclusive.  I’ll explain later.  Let’s get into the review

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Quite A Mouthful Blaster was released in 2016 as a tie-in product for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  This specific blaster is the Target exclusive blue recolor of the Jyn Erso Blaster from the same line.  Plus, this one’s got a bunch of accessories that Jin’s blaster doesn’t.  It’s built on the classic magazine-fed flywheel system we’ve seen on the Stryfe and other blasters.  Holding down the rev trigger spins up the flywheels and pulling the main trigger pushes a single dart into the wheels, sending it flying.  The big difference between the CCADB and the Stryfe is the inclusion of lights and sounds which activate on the trigger pull, regardless of the rev trigger being pressed.  I was actually pretty impressed with the lights on this blaster.  Every time the trigger is pulled, a series of green LEDs in the barrel light up in rapid succession giving the illusion of a laser blast traveling down the barrel.  Accompanied by the sound effects, it really does make just pulling the trigger quite satisfying.  It’s also worth noting that holding down the rev trigger turns on the blue LED in the chamber as part of the blaster’s Glowstrike feature.  The included magazine holds 12 darts and, unlike most standard N-Strike Elite magazines, is completely transparent orange on both sides.  The outer shell of the base blaster is completely new work though shared with the Jyn Erso blaster, and looks a good bit like the blaster in the film which, if anyone cares, was made with an AR-15 as the base of the prop.  Like with the Poe Dameron blaster, the use of real-world firearms parts makes holding the blaster fairly comfortable, though there is some noticeable down-scaling from the real thing, making it a little cramped in the grip.  All the included accessories with the CCADB are recolored attachments from various other blasters.  The stock comes from the N-Strike Raider CS-35, the scope comes from the Modulus Long Range Upgrade Kit, the barrel extension/suppressor comes from the N-Strike/Elite Specter REV-5, and the bumps along the sides of the magazine indicate it comes from the Modulus Flip-Clip Upgrade Kit.  In addition to the grip being a hair small, some sections of the blaster feel a little flimsier than I’m used to from Nerf.  It’s not a lot, but the grey panels on the sides of the grip and the battery tray cover do flex a good bit if you have a firm grasp on the blaster.  This CCADB is not a heavy hitter in terms of performance.  The power of the flywheels is rather limited, either by design or because the batteries also have to power the lights, sounds, and Glowstrike feature when firing.  This is an indoor blaster, no question.  It does fire reliably but shots arc more severely than most other blasters and don’t land with as much force, making it ideal for busting into your sibling’s room and emptying the mag without fear of getting in as much trouble.  The CCADB comes packaged with 12 Glowstrike Star Wars darts, a 12 round magazine, a scope, a stock, a barrel extension, and 4 AA batteries already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster is largely what convinced me that the addition of lights and sounds to the Star Wars Nerf lineup wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While the Death Trooper blaster is fine, the effects on this blaster are pretty top notch and, having seen this year’s offerings, set the standard for effects for “deluxe” blasters to follow.

#1424: Boba Fett & Han Solo

BOBA FETT & HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

We’re starting to wind down on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi stuff.  Yesterday’s Finn review marked the last of the actual Last Jedi offerings I’ll be reviewing (at least in this round of stuff), but as with every new Star Wars release, there’s a healthy helping of items based on prior films.  As TLJ is the second film in this new trilogy, they’re putting out more than a few items based on the Original Trilogy’s second part, Empire Strikes Back.  I’ll be taking a look at Hasbro’s latest versions of Han Solo and Boba Fett from that film today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Han and Boba were released in the two-pack assortment of The Last Jedi figures, alongside the previously reviewed Rey and Elite Praetorian Guard pairing.  This is one of the two ESB-themed items in the initial product launch.

BOBA FETT

They just can’t keep the Fett-man down, can they?  If the Star Wars toyline went too long without at least one Fett, it would surely collapse into some sort of null field of pointlessness, right?  Fett’s the glue that holds the fandom together! Gotta keep those Fett-fans happy.  Or something like that.  Anyway, this new figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Now, after years and years of lots of nearly identical Boba Fetts, you might be wondering what sets this guy apart from the pack.  He’s an all-new sculpt, and it may well be the best sculpt we’ve ever seen on a Boba Fett figure.  It’s at least the best small-scale Boba we’ve gotten.  The last 5POA Boba I looked at had a number of issues that prevented him from being the best he could be, but this figure really tackles a lot of the issues I had with that and a lot of the other 5POA figures head on.  One big issue I’ve had with a lot of the basic figures is the rigidity of their poses.  This figure fixes that, giving Boba a slightly offset balancing of his weight.  It’s effectively still a straight standing pose, but it adds just a little more character, and makes him look a touch more human.  It also resembles the pose Boba had in the initial promo shots from Empire, which is a fun bit of nerdy trivia.  The sculpt also gives us a very nice take on Boba’s armor, with all of the details being sharply defined, and nicely recreated.  The head’s definitely my favorite part, as it’s easily one of the best Fett helmet sculpts ever produced.  It’s a spot-on recreation, and I just really love it.  Boba’s sculpt is aided by a pretty awesome paint job, which follows the trend of improvement on Hasbro’s part. The paint is clean and sharp for the most part, and there are a lot of really nice details.  There are a few details missing, but mostly minor stuff, and he looks far better than some of the earlier figures.  Fett is packed with his large blaster, his small blaster, and a big bulky thing that replicates his flamethrower.  Both the figure and the big bulky thing are ForceLink compatible, but as of yet I don’t have anyway to figure out how to test the sounds they make.

HAN SOLO

Han was actually completely absent from the product launch for The Force Awakens, so it’s a little bit amusing that he’s included this time around, despite not being in the movie (well, at least as far as we know).  This guy’s sporting Han’s spiffy jacketed look from Empire, which is my favorite look for the character, and which seems to be less common than you’d hope when it comes to toys (seriously, how do we not have this look in The Black Series yet?).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  No real surprises there.  At first glance, this figure’s sculpt looks to have some parts in common with the Force Awakens figure.  An actual comparison of the two figures reveals that there are no parts actually shared between the two, but they appear to at the very least have started from the same basic source files.  Not gonna lie, this figure’s far from perfect.  One of the things that makes the jacketed look my favorite for Han is how sharp he looks, but this figure ends up looking a little bit schluby.  The real culprit behind this is the waist.  The waist is too low, which in turn makes the jacket too long, which has the illusion of making his arms look too short and gives him the appearance of his gut having out over his belt.  If the waist were a quarter of an inch higher, the figure would look a bit better.  The likeness on the head also isn’t one of Hasbro’s better Harrison Fords.  From some angles it’s manageable, but from others he barely even looks human.  It definitely feels like they took their old Han sculpt from TFA and tried to de-age it, which hasn’t quite worked.  On the plus side of things Han’s jacket’s pretty nicely detailed, and I appreciate the texturing on the stripes on his pants.  The paint on Han is kind of “meh”.  It’s okay in some spots, but there’s more noticeable slop here than on other recent figures, and worst of all, his got weird placement on his eyes, which just throws the whole figure off.  I hate when that happens.  Han’s packed with his blaster, which can be placed in the holster if you so choose.  I was happy to see it was actually the correct version that he carries in Empire, not just re-used from a prior Han.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Finn, I didn’t grab this set on Force Friday.  I had seen it beforehand, and I mostly checked out the Han figure, who left me kind of cold, and mostly ignored the Boba Fett, since the Saga Legends Fett did nothing for me.  So, on Friday I focused on the TLJ stuff and left this behind.  Then I saw some photos online, and realized what an improvement Fett was, and slightly regretted not grabbing them.  When my Target re-stoked the basic figures, they also marked the two-packs down a bit, so I got these two alongside Finn.  Boba’s fantastic.  He’s rivaled only by the 6-inch Black Series figure in terms of coolness.  Han’s okay.  Far from the worst Han Solo figure, but nothing particularly amazing, which is a shame, since I’m always eager to get a new Bespin Han.  Alas, I’ll just have to hang in there for the next version.  This one will do until then.

#1423: Finn – Resistance Fighter

FINN – RESISTANCE FIGHTER

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Throughout the last week and a half of The Last Jedi reviews, there’s been one major player absent (well, apart from Leia, who actually wasn’t released): Finn.  He may not have been everyone’s favorite new character from TFA, but I personally really liked Finn.  There was a earnestness to him.  I’m happy (though hardly surprised) to see he’ll be back up and about for The Last Jedi.  Hasbro seems to have learned a bit from their experience last time around, and has put out only one Finn at launch, which I;ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Finn is part of the first basic series of The Last Jedi figures.  With the exception of the First Order Stormtrooper (which I didn’t get) Finn wraps up the Orange Assortment of heavy hitters.  Shots from The Last Jedi have shown Finn in a few different get-ups; the figure opts for what I assume will be his standard look in the film.  Essentially, he’s just wearing the same basic gear that Poe was sporting at the start of TFA.  We already know the jacket’s shared, so maybe Poe’s just loaning Finn more of his wardrobe?  Ultimately, it doesn’t look much different from Finn’s TFA look, but it’s a tiny bit more exciting, I guess.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique to him, but like a lot of the figures in this series, there’s some definite similarities to a few earlier items.  He looks not unlike a TFA Finn head placed on an Armor-Up Poe body.  He’s not, of course.  The head is a lot sharper and less cartoony looking than the prior Finns.  He’s even got John Boyega’s slight sly grin, which helps to better sell the likeness.  Definitely Hasbro’s best Finn head sculpt.  The body is decent enough.  I appreciate that he doesn’t just have the exact same build as the Poe figure, and I really dig how sharp all the details are.  This is the best that jacket’s looked on a small-scale figure.  Perhaps my favorite part of the figure is a very, very minor detail; the back of his jacket has a small stitched slash, showing where Finn was wounded by Kylo in TFA.  That’s a definite attention to detail, and also confirms that this is the original jacket and not just some sort of replacement.  Finn’s paint work is pretty basic stuff.  It’s well-handled; the lines are all clean, and the colors look to match pretty well with what we’ve seen of this outfit from the promotional images.  Finn is packed with his blaster he got from Han, which looks to be same piece included with all of the Jakku Finns.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t buy Finn on Force Friday.  I saw him there (and when I found a set early), but I didn’t get him.  I guess he just looked too similar.  I almost got him when I needed another basic figure to qualify for the Target promotion, but he was sold out by that point, so I figured I’d make due with his TFA figure.  And then I opened up all of my Last Jedi figures, and the set just really didn’t feel right without a Finn.  Fortunately, within a few days, most of the stores around me had re-stocked, and I was able to grab this guy without much trouble.  He’s actually a fair bit different from his predecessors, and makes for a much better overall figure.

Guest Review #0046: Jyn Erso

JYN ERSO

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Ethan’s Super Awesome Girlfriend! Today I’m going to be reviewing the lovely Jyn Erso from Hasbro’s Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

“We have hope! Rebellions are built on hope!” ~Jyn Erso

For those of you who don’t know, Jyn Erso is one of the main leads in the Star Wars film Rogue One. She’s a young woman that’s never really been on the right side of Imperial law, but she always does what she thinks is right.

This figure is about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation. One of those points is in the waist which has a slight restriction in movement.  All of the pieces are unique to the figure and her outfit is mostly part of the figure’s sculpt, excluding the vest, scarf, boots, and gun holster.

Her hair tries to emulate the character’s hair style in the movie, and it succeeds for the most part using some sort of gel to keep the bangs together on the sides. I mean really, it’s hard enough getting side bangs like that on a normal person so I can cut the doll some slack. The shirt is all molded onto the torso and arms of the figure and looks to be tucked in at the waist. Her pants are also part of the mold of the legs. Both articles include seams, folds, creases, dips, and various other textures to make them more realistic; the pants even look like they’ve been shoved into her boots and even look asymmetrical in their folding. The material of Jyn’s vest is a lot like Rey’s, except it’s a different color and has different designs on it. Printed on the vest are a couple of pockets, one of them with items poking out, a zipper, and patterned texture to make it look like leather. Jyn’s hooded scarf is made of a gauzy material that isn’t completely seamed and so little bits of string keep coming off. Be careful, the scarf may unravel if you’re not gentle. Her boots and gun holster are made of the same slightly flexible plastic and are about the same color too. On her boots there are various buckles, flaps, seams, and creases as part of the sculpt to give off a leather boot vibe. Most of the noticeable paint is on the torso, arms, and hands and it’s okay. There is some grey from her shirt on both her neck and the bit where the sleeves meet skin. Also there is some brown from her gloves on her fingers.

Her only accessories are her gun and her baton. Apparently, most of Jyn’s action figures either don’t come with her baton or it’s all folded up and she can’t use it, which is a shame because I really like her baton; it’s different from other characters. The baton is fully extended and made of hard plastic; parts of it also have a patterned roughness. The figure’s action feature also includes the baton. If you squeeze her legs together the arm holding the baton moves. Her gun looks like an elongated pistol and it’s two different colors, though I can’t tell if it’s painted that way or not. The grip has patterned roughness and the mold also includes various ridges, indents, and do-dads to give it an authentic look. The gun is pretty cool and fits perfectly in the holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the third figure that I bought on Force Friday this year (2017) while I was out with Ethan. Originally I was going to wait to buy this figure and the others, but we wanted to get the gift card from target which meant I had to buy 100$ worth of Star Wars merchandise…woooh. Anyways, I really like having this figure because the character was so amazing in Rogue One and I hope to see more of her in the extended universe, like the YouTube series. If not, well, I’m happy she’ll be on my shelf!

#1422: Resistance A-Wing (w/ Resistance Pilot Tallie)

RESISTANCE A-WING FIGHTER (w/ RESISTANCE PILOT TALLIE)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

“A longtime reliable fighter model used by the Resistance that dates back to the struggle between Empire and Rebellion, the A-Wing is a nimble, wedge-shaped fighter propelled to incredible speeds by large twin engines.”

I’ve looked at one of The Last Jedi’s new vehicle designs, but like its predecessor The Force Awakens, it’s also borrowing from the Original Trilogy’s sizable bank of pre-existing vehicles.  Today, I’ll be looking at another of those returning vehicles, the A-Wing fighter.  The A-Wing’s actually had a fair bit of play recently; not only is it returning in TLJ, but a prototype version of it was also fairly prominently featured in Star Wars: Rebels.  That translates to not one, but two toy versions in the last year.  I’ll be looking at the most recent version today.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The A-Wing Fighter is one of two smaller-sized vehicles released on the Force Friday launch of The Last Jedi line (the other was the Canto Bight Police Speeder). Like the Ski Speeder, assembly is rather minor for the A-Wing.  The thrusters need to be popped into place, as do the side cannons, but that’s it.  It should be noted, however, that once you put this sucker together, it’s not coming apart.  At all. Moving on: once assembled, the fighter’s about 11 inches long and 7 inches wide.  The ship features an opening hatch and  a small landing leg, which swings down out of the ship’s front.  The A-Wing is sporting a brand-new sculpt, based on it’s updated design from the new film.  The ship isn’t too terribly different from the A-Wings of the past; same basic design elements and everything.  In general, it’s just a little bit longer and thinner than prior A-Wings.  The sculpt is pretty decent overall.  It’s in keeping stylistically with the other vehicles we’ve gotten in the last few years.  The details aren’t the sharpest ever, but they’re decent for the scale and price.  Speaking of scale, the A-Wing is the least down-scaled vehicle I’ve looked at yet from the new movies.  There’s still a tiny bit of tweaking to keep it at least believably in scale with the rest of the vehicles, but it’s hardly noticeable.  What is rather noticeable is the way the cockpit connects to the rest of the body.  It’s not particularly subtle at all, and it’s rather different from how the hatch looks to work on the actual ship. It doesn’t ruin the ship or anything, but it’s rather annoying all the same.  On the plus side of things, the paint wis fairly decent on the A-Wing.  The blues and reds are vibrant, and the edges show off some nice wear and tear, which gives the ship a nice used feel.  I do feel a nice wash would go a long way towards helping to further sell this used look, but what’s there is definitely solid.  The A-Wing has two main play features.  There are two missile launchers, mounted on each side of the ship, which use the standard spring-loaded schtick, as well as the current-standard ForceLink feature.

RESISTANCE PILOT TALLIE

Included with the A-Wing is one of its pilots, a Resistance fighter named Tallie.  That’s all I’ve got on her.  I have no idea if she’s prominent in the film or if she’s just another Goss Toowers in the making, but I do know she’ll be flying this ship at some point in the film.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Design-wise, she’s rather similar to Paige, which I suppose makes a degree of sense.  I had initially assumed most of her tooling was shared with Paige, but a comparison of the two in-hand shows that, while they do share certain elements to their sculpts, it doesn’t appear that these two figures actually have any parts in common with each other.  Being that the two sculpts are still very similar, I do rather like this one, same as with Paige.  The details are nice and crisp, and have a nice realistic look to them.  Her helmet is permanently attached to her head, which is a shame, since I really dug the two removable helmets on the basic pilots.  On the plus side, they did at least have the good grace to mold her visor as a separate piece, so it can be translucent and thereby avoid another appearance of the infamous banana visors of TFA.  I appreciate that they went to the effort of putting a whole face under there, and the helmet is at least nicely detailed.  Tallie’s paint work is fairly standard stuff.  Mostly just basic color work.  There’s a bit of slop here and there, but nothing terribly noticeable.  The best work’s on the helmet, which even gets some smaller details to keep it interesting.  Tallie is packed with a standard small Resistance blaster, in a very dark brown.  Yay for variety of colors?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t initially planned to grab this one on Force Friday.  I tend to skip vehicles at launch, and I was already breaking that rule by getting the Ski Speeder.  Surely I couldn’t also grab another vehicle, right?  And I didn’t.  Well, not at Toys R Us, anyway.  But then we went to Target, and Super Awesome Girlfriend (who had gotten there before me) wandered up with this set in her hand and said it was the last one they had.  That, plus Target’s “Spend $100 and get a $25 gift card” promotion, helped convince me to get this one.  It’s not the most exciting item I picked up on Force Friday, but it’s a decent ship with a decent pack-in figure, and I can’t ask for much more than that.

#1421: Resistance Gunner Paige

RESISTANCE GUNNER PAIGE

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Okay, it’s time for another installment of “Ethan writes an intro for a character of whom he has no prior knowledge!”  In today’s game, I, Ethan, will be discussing Resistance Gunner Paige, from the film The Last Jedi.  Paige, for those of you not in the know, is a gunner…for the Resistance…in the movie The Last Jedi.  Yeah…. Oooh, ooh, wait, I’ve got another thing!  Yes, she’s also the sister of yesterday’s figure Rose.  So there you go.  Feeling better informed?  I’d guess “no,” but there’s not much I can do about that.  You know as much as I do.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Paige was released in the first series of The Last Jedi basic figures.  She’s another from the Teal assortment, and wraps that assortment up (since I didn’t pick up the C-3PO).  There’s already a revision case of this assortment starting to hit stores now, and it appears that Paige is being dropped in favor of Obi-Wan and Yoda, so she may end up being a little more difficult to find down the road.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  She gets an all-new sculpt, and it’s a quite nice one at that.  As with the other figures I’ve reviewed from this assortment, the detail work is nice and crisp, and there’s lots of great little details all throughout the sculpt.  Her likeness is pretty decent, too, so that’s good.  Like Poe, she’s got a removable helmet, which is nice to see return on the basic figures.  There’s a aviator’s cap under the helmet, which matches with what we’ve seen of the character and also gives a neat sort of an Amelia Earhart look to her, which I quite like.  She’s got a small breathing mask attached to her gear, which I initially thought was just another fun little detail of the sculpt, but was pleasantly surprised to discover was in fact a working mask which could be plugged into her helmet.  It’s a lot of fun.  Paige’s paint work is fairly decent overall, though it would appear a number of her sculpted details have gone unpainted, which is a real shame.  Given the overall improvement of most of the figures in this line, as well as the level of detail on some sections of Paige’s paint, I kind of have to wonder if it’s possible that a round of paint apps were just missed on the initial shipments of Paige figures.  It’s not unheard of.  Regardless, what’s there is solid, and the missing details aren’t that noticeable.  Paige includes the previously mentioned removable helmet, which is a lot of fun, as well as a standard Resistance blaster pistol, this time in dark metallic grey.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like her sister Rose, Paige was something of a gamble for me, since I don’t really know much about the character.  But, I quite like her look, so she was definitely pretty high on my Force Friday list.  She was one of the first figures I grabbed, or at least the first of the figures that got tossed at me as the guy next to me searched for Luke.  As with Rose, Paige is a pretty solid figure, and I look forward to seeing her in action!

Guest Review #0045: Princess Leia Organa & R2-D2

LEIA & R2D2

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Super Awesome Girlfriend. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Leia and R2D2 combo pack from the Hasbro Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Leia figure is based off her Hoth costume in the beginning of Empire Strikes Back. It’s one costume that rarely ever makes it onto an action figure, which is a shame because it’s a cool one. Her more common costumes are her white robes from A New Hope and her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi, those aren’t terrible costumes but I’m really glad the Hoth one is a first for this line. Anyways, I digress.

This figure stands at about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation and like all the others in this line, one of those points is in her waist and is slightly restricted in movement. All the pieces that make her up are unique; expect maybe the head which she might share with the other Leia in this line. Most of the figure’s outfit is sculpted into the mold, except her vest and shoes.

The hair is realistic looking and tries to emulate the style from the Hoth scenes from Episode 5. Not gonna a lie, but it looks a little weird to me. I know it’s hard to do that style exactly, especially with all that hair, but it throws it off a little for me. However, I doubt a lot of kids, who are the target audience, are going to care that it’s not quite right. Her arms, torso, and legs are sculpted to look like her snow suit, including wrinkles, divots, and various padding. The detailing on the snow suit is pretty cool; on some of the pads you can see little bits to suggest stitching, the pants wrinkle and puff out like they were shoved into boots, and she even has some wrinkles on her gloved hands. Her vest is made of some thin fabric sewn together is some places. On the vest is a printed on little panel of buttons that did Lord knows what and has a stimulated diamond pattern. Lastly her boots are made of a softer, more flexible plastic and still reminds me of Polly Pockets. The boots aren’t super detailed but you can see the straps and where it folds and wrinkles from the straps.

The figure’s paint is pretty simple and alright, there wasn’t really much to paint. There’s a little bit of white on her neck, but I barely notice it unless I’m staring at it super hard. Her face looks really nice and I’m happy that they kept it simple; they kept true to Carrie Fisher and didn’t try to elongate her lashes through style or make up.

Like all the other figures in this line, Leia comes with a couple of accessories. The first is her gun, which isn’t painted and all the detailing is in the mold. It looks pretty cool and appears to be one of the more detailed guns of the line…weird. It has a scope, ribbing, and various tiny little doodads and thingies to make it look like a legit Star Wars gun. Her other accessory is R2D2, who has three points of articulation. His legs are completely unrestricted movement and his head can spin around. He stands at about 4 ½ inches tall and his detailing is in both the mold and painted. The sculpt is pretty good and it even includes little details that people normally wouldn’t notice, like various little bolts, fans, and thinga-doos. The paint leaves little to be desired. Not all the various areas are painted in, some places the paint went over the line, there’s various blue smudges and areas that don’t have enough paint. Overall, the paint could’ve been a lot better.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this Leia on Force Friday even though she had been out for a while by then and wasn’t one of the main draws that day, but Ethan was getting a lot of stuff and I decided to grab this figure while we were out. I’ve always really liked Leia, she was one of the first princesses I was exposed to as a child. When I was two my parents took me to a rerelease of Empire Strikes Back and even though Yoda was my favorite character then (or so my parents claim; apparently I wouldn’t sit still when he came on and I continuously giggled), Leia was my favorite princess and I think she’s shaped a lot of my preferences for female characters. She was such a cool, charismatic, strong, yet soft individual that I wanted to be like her and not Cinderella, Snow White, or Aurora. I’m excited to have this figure in my collection and I can’t wait to get the other Leia in the line. Even though the R2D22 isn’t the best, he’s still a cool character and will keep BB8 company!