We’re now officially past The Force Awakens, meaning the focus of Hasbro’s Star Wars toys will migrate slowly and surely toward other corners of the franchise. We’re seeing this already in the newest 3.75″ basic figures, which include five Force Awakens toys along with a brand new Rebels figure in the lineup. Like the rest of this toy line, these figures feature only limited articulation, but a few well planned accessories, and some very nice sculpting overall.
The current basic Star Wars figures are broken up into two distinct sets– the Forest / Space theme, and the Jungle / Snow theme. Each line delivers three brand new figures to the collection, including Captain Rex from Rebels, FN-2187 with his bloodied-up Stormtrooper helmet, Jakku junk dealer Unkar Plutt, Rey in her Resistance outfit (complete with lightsaber), Han Solo, and the Hassk thug, one of the creatures hanging around Maz Kanata’s cantina.
This is a really good mix of figures, in my opinion. Han rounds out the core cast of the movie (although I hope we see General Leia join the series later this year), while our new heroes Rey and Finn each get their most logical costume variants. Then there’s two funky looking aliens, including Plutt, the perfect candidate to display with all those silly Build-A-Weapon, just what he needs as Jakku’s premiere scrap and parts broker. And Rex has already established himself as a major player in Rebels‘ second season, so I’m more than happy to see the elder Clone Trooper get the toy treatment.
Of this batch of figures, I think Rey and Han are the best. Each features an excellent all new sculpt, with Rey featuring an improved likeness of Daisey Ridley, while Han Solo fits in perfectly alongside Chewbacca and their younger action figure allies. I’m happy to have an official FN-2187, as well, as the figure’s removable helmet is a nice touch. Rex also includes a removable helmet, as well as two blasters with holsters on his legs. His sculpt captures his animated look quite well, from his grey beard to his stocky beer gut, but his back is hyper extended, leaving him in an awkward and unnatural stance that impacts his ability to look in any direction but up, and also throws off his balance to the point where standing becomes a major issue. I’m not sure what Hasbro’s thinking was with this odd choice for a pose.
The aliens end up right in the middle between the great Han and Rey and the disappointing Rex. They both feature fantastically detailed sculpts, and their bizarre designs are loaded with personality. The Hassk didn’t get much screen time, but he’s cool enough to feel like a worthy addition to the toy line regardless. And Plutt looks great, too, while also establishing himself as one of those great, minor pseudo-nemeses to our heroes. In the final cut of the movie, we never really see Plutt standing in direct proximity to other characters, but I had envisioned him as being taller than this toy stands. What he lacks in height, though, the junk dealer makes up for in sculpted details, and even an added forearm swivel… a feature that leaves me curious if it was designed to translate the limb Plutt was originally going to lose during the movie.
Yes, the limited articulation of these basic Star Wars figures is still likely to turn some people off. And yes, these figures should really retail for a few bucks less than their $9-10 SRP. But to get too hung up on those issues would mean missing out on some of the most fun Star Wars action figures I’ve seen in a very, very long time. The vintage Kenner-style design of these figures coupled with the wonderful sculpts, truly makes them feel like the most authentic successors to the amazing Power of the Force line, and if Hasbro keeps this aesthetic going, I’d be more than happy to continue building The Force Awakens cast of heroes, villains, and creatures, as well as whatever other Star Wars sub-sets they come up with next.