So last Friday we had our second official "Force Friday" (even though TRU, at least, did the midnight thing last year for Rogue One, but it was branded by the LFL machine) so I went back out to Toys R Us to jump through the hype hoop once more. Unsure of what to expect since the Force Awakens Friday event was kind of a bust, but they seemed to have plenty of everything this time. Except for 6" figures, yet AGAIN, as they were cleaned out by the time I was let in to the store. Also, last time I was in the full swing of Hype but this year I'm just not feeling it... not sure if it's cynicism or that nothing about Last Jedi has really grabbed me or that the toys are all kinda bland and not that different, or what. But at least it was an easier time on my wallet and psyche as I just hit the one store and called it a night. But, I still bought a decent amount, as well as some more during the weekend after an impromptu visit to Disneyland and a toilet paper run to Target.
Disney Parks - Star Wars Droid Factory: C1-10P "Chopper"
Wow - where did this come from!?!? Rebels has really been the proverbial red-headed stepchild of the Star Wars toy universe of late, but thankfully Disney Parks stepped in to make the definitive Chopper figure! It's 3¾" scale and built using the same "Build A Droid" joints as their popular in-store mix'n'match toys (so, yes, this does mean that Chopper's head, legs and wheel/rocket fit on the R2 body and vice versa!). The sculpt here is just phenomenal, but even better is the paint - everything is detailed and there's lots of color variation on the torso. His "belly arm" is a separate piece and can swing out but most awesomely: his two head-arms are not only present, but fully articulated! They're connected to the head via pegs so there is a swivel joint there and the elbow and wrists are hinged too! And as if that wasn't enough he comes with an alternate "regular" leg and a rocket booster that can be swapped out with the rolling wheel (which does, yes, roll; along with little wheels in the other legs too!). This thing is just off the charts! It costs $12.99, which is actually surprisingly reasonable given all the paint, articulation and extra parts AND that is an exclusive to Disney Theme Parks (though I believe you can buy it online from them, too). It just, in every way, blows Hasbro's Chopper out of the water!
Disney Parks - Star Wars Droid Factory: Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) & See-Threepio (C-3PO)
Disney just rolled out Protocol Droids in their "Build A Droid" stuff at the parks so to "celebrate" they made this 40th Anniversary two-pack using the B-a-D parts to give use the two most famous droids. They're good figures but not anything especially groundbreaking so if you've been collecting all along you're safe without these. R2, or as the packaging calls him, "Artoo," has a swivel head, swivel shoulders, hinged feet and a removable third foot (with little wheels in all three feet) - and the head and legs are removable/swappable as well. Threepio has swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel wrists, T-Crotch, and ball-jointed elbows, chest, knees and feet - not bad! His head, arms and legs are removable/swappable as well (though sadly his hips are too small to fit R2's legs, which seems like it could have been a relatively easy fix that would have added a lot of play value). I generally also prefer my Threepios un-vac-metalized, but the gold plastic used here is kinda dull. Both come in ANH/Tattooine "dirty" deco, which is kinda nice as it adds a sense of better value. Ultimately though, I don't think this set is worth the $24.99 at all. We have a million R2s similar or identical to this, and there's been better fully-articulated Threepios in the past. But if you want a Threepio while at the parks you're probably better off building one out of the parts so you can give all the different colored limbs from these new movies.
Disney Parks - Star Wars Droid Factory: R3-B0017
I absolutely LOVE this figure!!! I've been over Astromechs for a LOOOONG time and generally dislike goofy, gimmicky stuff, but man... this guy really does it for me! He's translucent green with a clear dome and some green paint for details. And, yes, he Glows In The Dark! Not greatly, but well enough. Disney put him out as their Halloween exclusive for this year (hence the name: "Boo '17") and they do seem blessedly aware of his popularity as he's been pretty easy to find so far. I'm probably going to have to get another, just cause... damn. Is it a ghost of an astromech? Who knows, who cares - it's a cool looking droid that glows in the dark!
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Resistance Gunner Paige
It's been pointed out a lot but these first two series' of Last Jedi figures have a lack of interesting figures. The vast majority are just the lead characters in only "kind of" different costumes, and no weird/cool aliens. But here we get a new pilot, so that's nice and worth getting. She's got a GREAT sculpt - I really love how detailed Hasbro makes the Five-Points-Of-Articulation figures, they really do blow everyone else out of the water! Surprisingly her gloved hands are separate pieces but glued in place rather than being articulated swivel joints - COME ON, Hasbro! A pretty cool touch is that her rebreather mask, which hangs from her chest, can also fit over her mouth! The hose is sculpted to "hang" and the mask is slightly undersized so it doesn't quite work but the intent is VERY MUCH appreciated and a great touch. It kinda clips into her helmet, but I'll probably pick up a second later on when on sale to glue everything in place. Her helmet is a really nice new design and is cast in translucent yellow rubber so that her "goggles" can be seen through. She also gets a little blaster. All in all this is a surprisingly good figure and adds in a lot more value than I expected based on the previous figures in the line!
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Resistance Tech Rose
The Machine is in full swing to convince us that Rose is the new Lando and the "hot new addition to the team!" Cool. But, she's one of only two new characters in these early series' of toys, so the sale is made. Like Paige, Rose is a really great sculpt full of lots of crisp detail that really makes an interesting figure out of a dumpy jumpsuit (no sarcasm, this easily could have been a boring figure but all the details really make it kind of interesting). She comes with a blaster and a tiny Thing, which I assume is a significantly important communicator or tool. It has a peg and plugs on to her belt fairly snuggly. She's a pretty good figure, for what she is. Not exciting, but good.
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Rey (Jedi Training) & Elite Praetorian Guard
I must confess I've fallen for the Praetorian Guards, so my "one thing" that I wanted to walk away from Force Friday II with was a figure of one. Annoyingly it's in a two pack and with a figure also in the single carded line... grrrreat. Rey is a fine figure, but it's JUST her Force Awakens costume, but in darker colors... cause... it's a darker movie - GET IT!?!? Yawn. The Praetorian is neat and has the helmet with the weird wide brim. It's my least favorite of the three helmets we've seen, but at least I got my guy. He comes with two sword-axe-thingies that connect to make larger staff weapon. I don't know if these guys are Battle builders or not, the name implies that they are, but I hope they aren't cause I sure as poodoo don't want to get saddled with more than one of this Rey.
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Rathtar & Bala-Tik
This was a huge surprise that Hasbro would be making this! And almost as much so that I'd get it. The Rathtars are arguably my most disliked thing about Force Awakens, but I'm such a toy slut I ultimately bought up 5 Gauvians (and in both scales! Ugh!!!) so I essentially HAD to have Bala-Tik. He's an okay figure, but either his sculpt or my figure of him has warped legs with feet tilted forward... thus, he can barely stand! Great! The Rathtar is fine for what it is. A hollow body with open mouth, though a bit under-scaled. Fortunately, all his tentacles, packed separately from the torso, are labeled to corresponding holes for easier assembly than expected. Annoyingly, though, the connections are all tenuous and some of the tentacle fall out easily. Surprisingly they aren't ball-and-socket joints so at best you have swivel joints. It's a fine set for what it is, but it's really only for completists.
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Resistance A-Wing Fighter & Resistance Pilot Tallie
I wanted a vehicle and since this was cheaper (and a safer bet than the new "Ski Speeder") I wound up getting this one. The vehicle itself is a surprisingly good sculpt and size; and surprisingly totally different than the Rebels one from last year! (I really expected to be a repainted/partial retool of that one) I've never been a big fan of non red A-Wings and while the blue stripes here go with the X-Wings from the last movie I can't say they look all that compelling, or even appealing, here. The cockpit opens and the guns on either side launch missiles, and there is a flip down landing gear on the front underside - not bad! The figure is a big draw for me as a fan of pilots and she's all new! That's right, despite looking the same she's a different tooling than Paige up above! The sculpt is very similar (particularly on the legs) but the details are less sharp and the gloves are part of the arms. Her helmet is part of the headsculpt too, but fortunately they made the visor a separate part so it's see-through as well. She does come with the same blaster as Paige, but her flight suit is darker. All-in-all, a nice purchase - I just wish the ship had a cooler looking deco.
Hasbro - Star Wars The Last Jedi: Electronic Duel Elite Praetorian Guard
Please don't be the new Phasma...! Please don't be the new Phasma...! Please don't be the new Phasma...! Please don't be the new Phasma...! Man, last time I fell in love with a cool looking armor and bought a bunch of toys before seeing the movie, the character ended up barely being in it and when she was, was just laughably worthless. But at least there is a minimum of three Praetorian Guards (based on helmet design) so that's gotta be worth something. This 12-inch figure is, sadly, unremarkable. Technically 5 points of articulation, but only 3 are poseable: swivel left shoulder, swivel left wrist and very limited balljointed head. The other two are swivel right shoulder and left-to-right hinged right leg, and they're the only-okay play-feature. Squeeze the legs together and the right arm swings up, the staff (really just the handles near the hand) lights up via red lights and the torso emits a variety of blaster sound effects. Of everything I got this past week this is the only one I regret. It's not that great and not that fun. It's just a 12-inch Praetorian for the collection.
Jakks Pacific - Star Wars Big Fig: Praetorian Guard with Exclusive Weapons
Target has this exclusive 18" version of the Praetorian with the domed helmet, and from what I can tell it's just the packaging and the accessories that make it exclusive but I really dig this armor and didn't want to miss out on the weapons should I end up getting more of these guys down the road. So, for extra $5 I went ahead and got it. The sculpt is nice and pretty much on par with the rest of the line, complete with the standard seven points of articulation - the Big Five plus swivel wrists (I really wish these Big Figs had balljointed heads rather than just swivels, but I suppose that would lead to head-theft...). The weapons are all pretty nice, and with sharper sculpts than I expected from this line. We get a pretty scimitar-ish staff, a big axe and the two-swords/one-staff pair of weapons from the Hasbro two-pack. They're all pretty great but since they're sooo long/tall I really wish there was elbow articulation or that one arm was sculpted bent, at least a little, since these are going to take up A LOT of room to display holding the weapons. Maybe I'll just make a Praetorian Axe rack or something to display them.
Mattel - Star Wars Hot Wheels: Poe's Ski Speeder
Since they had all the new Hot Wheels ships out (and, sadly, it looks like Hasbro's Titanium and Micro Machines lines are dead) I felt I needed to at least get some, so I went for the new ships! I'm kinda disappointed by the name "Ski Speeder" but I guess it does kinda have an Original Trilogy ring to it. It's a nice bit of diecast ship, though the sculpt is softer in detail than I'd prefer. I'm not that into this design, particularly now that I see it has an open-canopy cockpit, but these guys kicking up the red dust clouds is probably my favorite thing in the trailer, so... what're ya gonna do. And I do appreciated that they made a shorter stand for it, so that the under-fin/"ski" touches the ground.
Mattel - Star Wars Hot Wheels: Resistance Bomber
I was quite pleased to see this ship making a toy appearance smaller and (considerably) cheaper than the Lego set! I'm also not super attracted to its design, but it's good enough to have. I do wish the sculpt had a bit more detail and, especially, that there was more paint detailing on it... but this is Mattel. I was a bit worried at first that the stand wouldn't be tall enough for it, but fortunately it is (or they made a new for it). As a fan of ship miniatures I'm happy to have these new ships (though I wish the film's designers were as inventive as the Original Trilogy's were).