Oh boy, it’s my first Star Wars figure from Hot Toys, something I swore I would never be doing because the last thing I need is to expand my Hot Toys collecting into a franchise as prolific as Star Wars. I had quite the internal struggle over whether or not I should do this, because it’s such a dangerous rabbit hole to fall into and up until now I’ve been able to resist it. Ultimately, I decided to go for some of The Force Awakens figures, because I really enjoy the movie a lot and I especially loved the new characters. And because it’s such a tight cast of characters, I reasoned that I didn’t have to worry as much about going in too deep. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to worry about Hot Toys making a Constable Zuvio, right? RIGHT??? Yeah, well let’s see how that works out. My plan for now is to just stick with the main heroes, and so today I’m checking out Rey and her little droid friend, BB-8. I probably should have broken this one up into at least two parts, so I’ll apologize in advance for how long today’s Feature is going to run. There’s just a whole lot to look at here.
The figures come in box which is considerably wider than a regular HT box, but not quite as big as the two-packs that they’ve done. The top of the box lifts off to reveal an illustrated cardboard insert, and that lifts off to finally reveal the figures inside. The presentation is pretty minimalist, and everything about this package just screams functionality over flash. And that’s probably for the better because just look at the condition this thing came in from Sideshow. It irks me to no end that they continue to drop these $200+ collectibles into un-padded mailer boxes. mine has a nice ding on the front panel and a crunch to the lower left corner. There’s also all kinds of scratches and scarring, which obviously didn’t come from it’s time in transit. This was no exclusive incentive here, so apart from the reward points, I might as well have gone elsewhere. Of course, it’s more the principle than being pissed about box damage, as I only keep these boxes to have somewhere to put all those extra bits when I’m not using them. And believe me this set has a lot of extra bits. The number of extra hands alone for this figure has reached ridiculous proportions. So while the presentation here may not blow me away in the sense of art design or other flash, it’s hard not to be impressed when taking that first glimpse of the open tray and all its contents. Let’s start with Rey as she comes out of the box.
As is often the case with Hot Toys’ figures, Rey looks like she just stepped off the screen wearing her desert garb. It’s not a flashy costume, not by any means, but the craftsmanship and tailoring that went into it are nonetheless amazing. In fact, it’s kind of neat to see how much loving detail they can put into an outfit as drab and simple as this one. The fabric is very light and hangs so naturally on the figure that it looks like the full size outfit was shrunk down to sixth scale. It consists of an underlying tunic, loose fitting pants that reach just below her knees, and a belted sash. She has cloth wraps on her arms, a sculpted plastic bracer on her left wrist and a pair of sculpted, textured boots. The fabric is tan and mostly ragged cut in a few areas to make it look weathered and worn from Jakku’s harsh climate.
Little details on the costume include the plastic, medieval style belt and the cloth pouch on her right hip. It’s interesting how this whole outfit manages to invoke the look of Jedi robes. A little bit of fashion foreshadowing? Or maybe it was just a coincidence.
The body they used here feels perfectly proportioned for Daisy Ridley. I don’t tend to talk about the articulation much with my Hot Toys figures, because a) I’m never really sure what’s going on beneath the costumes, and b) because those costumes are usually too restrictive to make use of that articulation. Rey, on the other hand, holds few secrets and even fewer restrictions. The articulation here is fantastic and the figure is loads of fun to play with thanks to the forgiving nature of the outfit. HT went for some of that realistic rubbery skin texture for her shoulders, and upper torso, but the rest consists of a lot of trusty action-figure-y hinges and swivels. Some may be put off that in extreme poses the pants don’t always cover the knee joints, but I’m fine with it. About the only thing here that feels restrictive are the ankles and that’s because her boots don’t allow for the full range of the ball joints.
Hot Toys rarely goes astray with their portraits and I’m extremely happy with how close the likeness we got is to the beautiful Ms. Ridley. As always, the skin tone is so realistic it’s downright eerie, as is the paint on the lips and the slight flash of teeth. The expression is a nice compromise between being too neutral and too expressive. I think it works well for a lot of poses, although something a little more determined would have worked well here too. It’s worth noting that the exceptional skin tone carries forward to her shoulders and neck area.
I’ve come down on both sides of the rooted vs sculpted hair argument, but in the case of Rey’s rather complex trinity of buns, I think there can be no doubt that sculpted hair was the way to go here. I particularly love the way they were still able to give her the two wisps of hair that fall down on either side of her face. Of course, Rey is more than just a pretty face. She’s a strong-willed and independent warrior, so let’s check out some of her weapons!
Rey comes with her staff, which is a substantial piece of plastic for what it is, and features a lot of detailed sculpting. I don’t think we know a whole hell of a lot about this weapon, other than it’s a quarterstaff that she patched together out of the junk she scavenged. Actually, that’s probably all there really is to know about it. No need to over-complicate it, fans! She obviously knows how to use it pretty well in combat and it no doubt doubles nicely as a walking stick while traipsing through the dunes of Jakku. It has a cloth strap, which is secured to it by two metal clasps and she has a pair of hands dedicated to holding it.
Next up is the little blaster pistol that Han gave to her in that lovely little scene outside the Falcon. While I personally felt that some of the weapon designs in TFA were a little foreign to Star Wars, I really like this little gun. It looks like something that Han either cobbled together or just had stowed away in the Falcon’s glove compartment. It’s like when you know you’re friend is in trouble so you slip her that old .38 you have under your mattress. No? That’s just me? OK, then.
Finally, Rey comes with Luke’s lightsaber. OMG… SPOILERS!!! The hilt is beautifully recreated in this scale and it features a translucent blue blade, which can be easily removed so the weapon can be displayed either engaged or not. As great as the hilt looks, it’s hard to deny that the removable blade feels a lot like a Hasbro accessory. I know that sounds harsh, and I can’t think of anything they could have done differently, so it’s really fine. I know what you’re thinking… What about some LED’s dammit. This figure was ‘spensive!! No, there is no light up feature in the blade, but when I eventually get to looking at the Hot Toys’ Finn and Riot Trooper two-pack, you’ll see why I’m not upset over the lack of electronics here.
Of course, she also comes with a fairly standard figure stand. The post features an adjustable wire crotch cradle and the hexagon base has the Rebel (or is that Resistance?) logo on it. The front edge features the Star Wars logo and both characters’ names. If there was nothing else to say about Rey, I think she still would be a very worthy purchase, but I’m not done yet. Hot Toys included everything you need to convert Rey to her Scavenger look from the beginning of the film.
Yeah, I had no idea there were so many different elements to the costume change and once they’re all on, it almost feels like an entirely new figure. I dig the design of this costume so much. It feels like there’s a little Lawrence of Arabia and a little Wrath of Khan in there, and yet it still looks so undeniably Star Wars. The extras for this costume include her head wrap, goggles, cloth sash, cloth belt, backpack, and left shoulder armor. Not to mention an entire second collection of gloved hands. Getting everything on isn’t too bad, except for the head wrap, which I’ll get to in a bit…
Because of the layered nature of the outfit, there are some additions that aren’t all that apparent once everything is on. The sash, for example is mostly obscured by the head wrap and backpack, but it’s great that, in the pursuit of accuracy, it’s still included. The cloth belt has snap fasteners and actually serves the purpose of securing the sash close to the figure’s body. The backpack is particularly noteworthy because of all the little bits and bobs it has on it. There are all sorts of canisters and tubes and now I really want a copy of the Visual Encyclopedia so I can know what all these things are supposed to be.
The front left shoulder strap of the backpack also contains a canister on a short chain. The shoulder armor piece is sculpted in plastic to look like a heavier weave over a reinforced material. It also includes plenty of sculpted belts and buckles, but it is secured around the arm by a pair of elastic strings. It’s easy to slide on because the arm will actually detach at the bicep swivel, so you don’t have to slide it all the way up the arm and mess up the wrapping.
As I said earlier, the head wrap, which is actually more of a hood, was a bit of a chore to get on, mainly because it’s a very tight fit and it needs to be positioned a certain way starting on the back of the figure’s head to get it to sit right. The other issue here is avoiding damage to those two wisps of plastic hair on either side of the figure’s head. They have a tendency to poke through the cloth, which doesn’t seem to damage the cloth any, but if they get caught, I imagine they would be easy to break off. Once on, there’s a very narrow slit for Rey’s eyes and the goggles simply go over this gap with the help of some elastic strings. The goggles feature some fine details and the eye lenses are tinted translucent green plastic.
The other tough part is getting the material stretched down to hook under her chin if you want to display her with that beautiful portrait exposed. I would be a little cautious about doing this very often for fear of rubbing the gorgeous paint on the face. Still, the effort is certainly worth while here, because I think the figure looks outstanding in her Scavenger outfit, with or without the mask.
Just put her staff in her hand and she’s all ready to go rummaging through downed Star Destroyers and AT-AT Walkers to earn herself another quarter portion. And with all these independent pieces of the costume, there are lots of great variations for display. The sad part is, that since I want to go with the look she had for the majority of the film, I don’t know how much use I’ll actually get out of the Scavenger outfit. I’ve never wanted to double up on a particular Hot Toys figure as much as I do right now, because it would be great to display her both ways. Luckily, I’m not that crazy.. yet. Oh, hey… let’s not forget about BB-8.
I wasn’t expecting much from the BB-8 pack in. In fact, when I got the shipper box in the mail, I was at first taken aback by how large it was and only then remembered that the little droid was included. Oh, yeah! That’s where that other $65 went! I shouldn’t have underestimated him, because he’s actually a fantastic figure and he feels very high quality in hand. The antenna need to be pegged into the head, the head comes separate from the body, and it connects only via magnets, so you can position the patterns and compartments on the body any way you like. This becomes important when we get to the pair of attachments. There also a very simple light feature that’s turned on under the head and lights up his eye and sensor. The blue LED in the sensor is very bright, but the red one in the regular eye is barely noticeable to me.
The figure features a shiny and smooth surface with some deep cut panel lines. The orange and silver paint looks very sharp and there’s just the right amount of weathering and sand build up on him for my tastes. He’s not filthy, but he’s not-straight-from-the-factory clean either.
There are two compartment covers on BB-8’s body that can be removed in order to put on his attachments. I’m not totally sure what the first attachment is, but if I remember correctly it’s the receptacle he stored the data device, which held the map fragment.
The second attachment is a little articulated arm. While these are great little extras, I will admit to being a little disappointed that he didn’t come with his “thumbs up” lighter. Seriously, Hot Toys, how did you drop the ball on that one?
As you’ve already seen, BB-8 comes with a molded mound of sand with a concave area for him to rest in. The sand piece is sculpted so that it will mate with Rey’s stand and you can display the two side by side, which works very well, especially if you’re going for the Scavenger Rey look. However, it’s worth noting that the stand isn’t absolutely necessary to display him.
Yes, thanks to a free-rolling counter balance inside BB-8’s body, he does a pretty good job of righting himself when standing on a smooth surface. That’s not to say I would be entirely comfortable keeping this expensive little ball that way all the time. I’d rather have the peace of mind knowing that he’s not going to roll off the shelf, because if that happened I don’t think that even Rey could straighten his antenna again. And yes, he looks pretty good resting beside Sideshow’s R2 and 3PO.
If you can’t tell, I absolutely love these figure, but before wrapping it up let’s do some bean counting and talk value. Or at least, as much as one can possibly talk about value in relation to Hot Toys prices. Rey and BB-8 retailed for about $290 and should still be available at a lot of retailers. Rey is also available alone at $225, which compared to a pretty bare bones release like Princess Leia at $209, still costs out pretty well when you throw in all the extra stuff for the Scavenger costume as well as the lightsaber, staff, and pistol. Of course, that means that BB-8 represents around $65. He’s a great looking piece, he’s weighty, he’s got electronics, and he’s got some attachments. Even at about half the size and complexity of Sideshow’s R2, he feels like a much more finely crafted product. That having been said, I don’t think even Hot Toys would try to get that price for him alone, and hence the bundle. As a result, I wouldn’t call this set a great value, certainly not when you compare it to the Finn and Riot Trooper set that I’ll be looking at in a couple of weeks, but it feels like a solid value as far as Hot Toys figures are concerned. I would have been thrilled with Rey even if I got her alone, but I have no regrets about picking up the bundle. Now, I keep wondering what’s the hold up with Poe? We haven’t even seen him yet. I keep checking, and while I’m there, hovering over the Buy It button for Kylo Ren. Maybe that’s their evil plan.