Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Kylo Ren (Star Wars Elite Series)

KyloRen

SPOILERS!  There will be spoilers in this post.  If you haven’t already seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I must ask what you’re doing reading this review, it’s been a month since it came out.

KyloRen-Force

The Elite Series is a Disney Store exclusive Star Wars toy line.  At 7″ scale, these figures dont nmix too well with others from the movie, but their main drawing point is that they are die-cast metal – most or all of each one eschews the usual plastic in favor of cold, hard heavy metal.  But the real question is, are these figures still worth it?

KyloRen-Lurk

***

SPOILERS
Kylo Ren’s real name is Ben Solo, he is the son of Han and Leia, he looks a lot like snape, and he kills Han Solo.

***

KyloRen-Normal

There.  Insert jokes about Darth Snape here.

KyloRen-Packaged

PACKAGING: ****

I lost the photo I took of Kylo Ren’s packaging, so here’s a stock photo.  The Elite Series uses a window box very similar to the Star Wars Black packaging.  It’s pretty good, and protects the figure well.

KyloRen-Stand

SCULPT: ****

As an Elite Series figure, this is a mixture of die-cast metal, rubber, and plastic.  His main body and limbs are certainly metal, while his hands, feet, and head are plastic, and his hood and cloak are rubber.  The pieces integrate very well, with the metal giving this figure an impressive amount of weight and heft.  Children could kill each other with it very easily.

KyloRen-Mask

As for the sculptural details, this figure looks better than the Black Kylo Ren, with the varyious textures being represented extremely well.  Whether it’s supposed to be cloth, leather, or plastic/metal (whatever that helmet is), Kylo Ren looks like he stepped out of the movie.  This figure manages to contain the type of high-quality sculpting that we’ve been missing lately – though they didn’t have to sculpt Adam Driver’s face, so that could be a factor. Oddly, something about this figure messed with my camera, and I had the damndest time focusing on it.

KyloRen-Back

Unfortunately, Kylo Ren does have extremely visible screw holes in his back.  Just keep his cape over them, though, and they will never be noticed.

KyloRen-Face

PAINT: ****

Although he wears black, Kylo Ren’s robes have a light gray wash over them to draw out the color.  It’s expertly-applied, and helps make the figure look more real.  Of course, the black is also painted, as this isn’t plastic – the paint seem sdurable as well, though I wouldn’t try scraping it.  Plastic, rubber, and metal all combine seamlessly in one figure thanks to the paint!

KyloRen-NoKneel

ARTICULATION: ****

Kylo Ren has a ball-jointed head, shoulders, and hips, with hinged elboes and knees, and swivel waist and wrists.

KyloRen-Dance

Although his articulation is solid and sturdy, Kylo Ren’s movement is also pretty limited.  He can’t properly kneel, and most of his fighting poses seem very awkward.  Part of this may be in order to keep the heavy figure from collapsing, but that does not excuse the fact that he can’t wield his lightsaber two-handed.  Kylo fought like a knight, and he treated his lightsaber like a claymore, after all.

KyloRen-Lightsaber

ACCESSORIES: ***

Kylo Ren comes with one good accessory – his lightsaber.  I’ve kept mine rubber-banded to his hand and sheathed in plastic, which preserves it and keeps it from either falling out or scraping paint on his hand.  I appreciate the steps taken to keep it intact in packaging, at that.  The saber is better-sculpted than it appears, with some tiny detailing to reflect the blade’s unstable nature.

KyloRen-Ready

For your money, what else could he have come with?  Vader’s burned helmet?  That torture droid?  An alternate head?  An unlit lightsaber?  Honestly, any of thos would be nice, as the saber does feel a little barebones for the price.

KyloRen-Rage

VALUE: ****

This figure should run you $25 or so, which is a decent value for your money these days.

KyloRen-NotDroids

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

This figure, being essentially made of metal, is really durable.  Normal breakage issues will not be a problem here.

KyloRen-Lurk

However, do be careful not to scrape paint off his metal parts, or put unnecessary strain on the plastic – die-cast does not mean indestructable!

KyloRen-Panels

WHERE TO BUY:

These figures are only available at the Disney store.

KyloRen-Skeletor

OVERALL: ***

Aside from certain issues like his articulation, Kylo Ren is really a fantastic figure – heavu, solid, well-detailed, nd just poseable enough to work, the Elite line is kind of an anomaly in Star Wars in general, but this character works in it.

KyloRen-HeMan

Just one more note – concering “Where’s Rey,” there are a lot of toys of her, and a whole ton more coming very soon.  Consideing the one-year lead time for toy production, this means that the super Rey-heavy wave was in productio long before “Where’s Rey” began trending.  Representation of females in toy lines is an issue, but Reys inclusion is one time where it is not a proble – and claiming that it is one only serves to discourage toy companies from getting it right.  If you really honestly believe that Rey must be in every assortment, every figure pack, and every single collection, then be my guest, just realize that not even Luke Skywalker ever got that treatment.  Go point out the Black Widow deficiency in Marvel, or the lack of females in pretty much every other line – but please, the one time they get it right, acknowledge and move on.  Don’t stomp out the only progress you’ve made.

 

KyloRen-Red

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