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The Force Awakens!
Star Wars Black Series #03 Kylo Ren

“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.” – Kylo Ren. “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)

Normally, I kick off these reviews by talking about the characters behind the toys I’m reviewing. That’s kinda tough to do when the character is basically going to be a giant black hole until the film comes out in December. Moreover, spoiler sensitivity seems to be at an all-time high lately. If I did discuss what we do know… well, some folks are trying to preserve their original trilogy, five-year old experience by going into the movie super cold. You’d think that would mean that they would avoid this, or any, review like the plague, but you never know.

So we’ll stick to basics based on unavoidable visual cues. We know Kylo Ren is at least sort of Sithy. He wears black and carries a red lightsaber, even if it’s a little more feral than we’re used to seeing. That about covers it. The trailers review a few more details, but not really that much more.

When the figures dropped on Force Friday last month, I didn’t really plan to buy any of the first five. The second, elusive, wave was more up my alley with Phasma and Target-Product-Placement guy. The first wave was around plentifully enough (throw a brick here and you’re bound to hit a WM Supercenter). Characters like Finn & Rey will need to endear themselves to me to get me to buy a figure probably (and maybe even a better version than these first ones). I did get weak and pick up a Stormtrooper early on. He’s cool enough. And then I doubled down and snagged a Kylo Ren.

That’s not to say I shouldn’t have bought Kylo Ren, he’s got a pretty fun, albeit basic, figure.

The sculpt itself is entirely new, though it’s largely hidden by soft goods. I really try to like soft goods on figures, I do, and that includes accepting that it’s the better options in certain circumstances. This may well be one of them, his cloaked look would be hard to pull off with soft plastics that didn’t completely compromise the figure. But I’m still not a fan of the robes here. It’s difficult to get the hood to look convincing so I’ve opted to fold it down in back. The length is another issue. Like Vader, the robes run long and bunch up at the feet. This may well be accurate, but I would probably like it better if they were a tad shorter.

I haven’t removed the soft goods because I’m not sure I can get them back on. The “belt” piece isn’t easily removable and I strangely can’t get Kylo’s head to pop off as easily as the rest of the line. I don’t want to cut it off, so it’s just there. It’s a shame because the sculpt underneath looks great. I love the ribbing sculpted on the arms and that carries over to the chest and a lengthy skirt piece around the otherwise plain legs. Combined with the soft plastic neck piece, I think it’d look fantastic.

On top of everything is a really nice head sculpt. It’ll be cool to get an unmasked figure later, but Hasbro did a great job on the helmet. I’m fascinated by the various dents and dings up there – each one represents a story and I’d like to hear them all. I also like the 60s retro black/chrome look and that’s captured here (though the paint could be brighter). Continue to Page 2…

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10 comments to The Force Awakens!
Star Wars Black Series #03 Kylo Ren

  • Excellent review and comics, as per.

    Gotta agree with you on the soft goods robes. They’re a bit long, neat-o texture, though, and what is the point of having soft goods to allow all kinds of poses when the legs are blocked by rigid plastic flaps, which are covered by the soft goods so you can’t see ’em anyway? Baffling.

    I heard of a trick where you can dampen the cloth, shape it into the way you want it to lie on the figure, and let it dry. Maybe that might help your Kylo’s hood . . . ?

  • Brainlock

    We had seen Adam Driver’s unmasked head before these were released, and if this figure had come with it, I would have picked him up already. as it is, I can wait two months to see what role he plays. I am seeing more 6″ figures the last few weeks, so the restocks are coming…and nobody wants Chewie. 🙁

    still kicking myself for not grabbing a Maul back when these first hit and he was plentiful… ah well. (and R2!!!)

    I did find Phasma, Poe, and Guavian Enforcer (aka not!Red Hood), tonight at Kmart ($22). passed on …Zuvio? desert alien dude. also saw my first new 6″ Stormtrooper.

    Poe is an all new sculpt compared to X-wing Luke, including alt.ungloved hands…and forearms. his chest box reminds me of the “neutralizer box”(?) used in Heroes s3v4 and now Heroes Reborn.
    (speaking of, any word on Grunny’s “Gorwyn” X-pilot? They might need a thicker torso, and I really wish the X-wing vest was a separate piece, so I have less work to custom him into Xxxx!)

    Phasma – again, not sure on her yet, but it was more of “she’s scarce now, and will likely still be scarce in a few months, so better grab her now.”
    (now I need to track down a Brienne!)

    Guavian – his look is DC’s Red Hood meet’s “Zero” from Cable’s future Six Pack/Stryfe’s MLF (hello custom fodder!).
    (there is a potential spoiler on this box description, but I’m not sharing it here.)

  • Mikey

    I think your being way too harsh on the soft goods.To my mind at least in the last picture Maul looks the worst of the three because of the molded hunk of plastic he’s cocooned in.

    • I may be being too harsh, but I disagree on the last picture! Maul pulls it off the best!

    • I will respond with Black Series Palpatine. That figure looks awful.

      On a semi-related note, why doesn’t Palpatine have a lightsaber? Yoda came with one, so he could function as prequel Yoda or OT Yoda. Palpatine just has a walking stick, so he can’t function as a prequel version. Lame.

  • J. Lee

    Trying my best to hold out for the upcoming Ahsoka but, I am digging this guy more I see him and the draw for Rey is the droid mostly and already seen it stolen out of the box already x( in stores so that stinks.

    Ina a way I feel there could be a spoiler under that so glad couldn’t see the chest. Remembering Dark Empire from Dark Horse.

    Too many cool lines out now and not enough cash.

  • clark

    Yes, you can get the soft goods off and back on. You’ve got to heat the head up really well with a hairdryer before it pops off, then you’ve got to get the arms off at the shoulder, once again using more heat (I blasted the hairdryer into his armpits, seemed to work the best).
    After that you can slip the robes off from the top, put the arms, scarf, and head back on, and you’re left with a figure that has a little more free articulation, but looks much less interesting than it did when you started the whole process.

  • The Ghost

    Gotta love the mountain of Star Wars stuff out in Australia. Stores are filled with it and will probably only increase/

    Yet 6 inch Black Series figures are nowhere to be seen.

    Count yourselves lucky you don’t live in this backwater as a collector.

    • Wayward Knave

      I know what you’re going through, Ghost. I’ve yet to see a First Order Stormtrooper of any kind in the department stores here in Manila. The classic TIE Fighter pilot and the Clone Sergeant have shown up on the shelves, though. Chewbacca, Finn, and Constable Zuvio are still waiting for buyers.

      As for Kylo Ren, I hope he becomes the basis for a six-inch Jedi Temple Guard down the line. The three-inch version looks nice but the lack of articulation is disappointing.

  • Mark

    I really want to like this line, but for every figure that turns out great there is one that turns out really not so great and sadly it’s these figures that are characters that I would want to get.