I get the idea that Force Friday proved to be more of a hit with Hasbro than it did with the fans. Stores quickly sold of of all their figures and to my surprise the 3 3/4″ line seemed to be among the hardest to track down. Even the e-tailing juggernaut Amazon has been dry. Luckily Toys R Us added some to their website about a week after the big day and I was able to order most of the initial assortment before they disappeared again. The figures are assorted into “mission” categories (Desert, Snow, Jungle, and Space), which feels rather weird for a Star Wars line, but it’s not something that’s really emphasized, especially if you’re like me and have no interest in the lame build-a-weapon gimmick. Yeah, take a good look at those pieces in the package, because I’m not going to bother to show them again.
The figures come on cards which are folded over to envelope the edges of the bubble. It’s kind of weird and hard to describe, but it gives the card the illusion of being made from thicker stock. At first, I thought this meant that I’d be able to carefully cut the tape and slide the bubble out, but there’s still plenty of glue making these decidedly un-collector-friendly. The packages themselves look amazing with some wonderful individualized character art and Kylo Ren’s mask and lightsaber up at the top. With Hasbro’s ho-hum package design lately, it’s nice to see presentation that looks this good swinging on the pegs again. I imagine they’ll be a real treat for Mint on Card collectors. Me? I’m an opener, so let’s tear these babies open and check them out. I’ll start with Kylo Ren…
As everyone knows by now, these are very basic figures and the articulation here is a straight 5-POA style exactly like the old Kenner figures only with a ball joint in the head instead of just a swivel. Like it or lump it, it is what it is. That having been said, Kylo Ren, the mysterious hooded villain, is reproduced here quite well in the 3 3/4″ scale thanks to a surprisingly detailed sculpt. The entirety of his robes are textured with a crossthatch pattern, the arm wraps are sculpted and even the insides of his robes if you move his legs apart reveal his sculpted legs underneath. The hood is part of the head sculpt, but the cape is a separate piece that can be removed if you pop off Kylo’s noggin. There’s not a lot of paint here, but that suits the design. You do get a little silver on the mask and a little on the belt buckle.
Naturally, Kylo Ren comes with his unconventional lightsaber, which looks great for the smaller scale and even includes the crossguard blades cast in clear red plastic. The only downside here is that the blades don’t come out, so the only display option is to go with it activated. Moving on to…
Captain Phasma! This character’s popularity has already reached critical mass via what I like to call “Boba Fett Syndrome.” We know nothing about her, but her bad ass chromed out Stormtrooper armor sure is bringing all the boys to the yard. It’s nice to see that this isn’t just a re-used Stormtrooper and that she’s properly sized and about a full head and shoulders taller than the troops. I don’t think anyone was expecting a vac-metal figure in this scale, but the silver plastic Hasbro used does a fairly decent job. There’s a few stray black marks here and there, but otherwise the paint is sharp and clean.
Phasma comes with her cape, which is cast in soft, pliable plastic and is removable by popping the head off the figure. She also comes with her blaster, which can tab onto her leg and can be held fairly well in either hand.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this pair, articulation not withstanding. The plastic feels good and the sculpts are quite detailed. They look great standing on the shelf and only really disappoint when I take them down and start fiddling with them and their limited poseability takes over. I’m sort of warming up to the idea of looking to the 6-inch scale for my articulation and relying on these smaller figures for the whole retro-charm thing. I can understand collectors not embracing these, but I find I’m totally fine with them and at $7.99 a pop, they seem to be priced right.