It’s easy to get lost in the marketing, the Farce Friday, then the reviews, yadda yadda yadda . . . but let’s dial it back a little. This is frikkin’ Star Wars. To paraphrase a certain bumbling VP, this is a big effin’ deal. This is a truly generational thing. I was a pup when the original trilogy ended. I was a punk high school kid when the prequels hit. And now I’m taking my 6-year-old cousin to The Force Awakens this winter because she’s excited as hell.
And one of the things that got her pumped, and rightfully so, is the fact that it looks like we’re going to meet a new spunky female protagonist. The fact that Rey here is #2 in the series is a pretty good indication of that, right?
Rey’s still mostly mystery where I’m concerned, since I’ve been avoiding spoilers, but the short bio on the back says she’s a survivor, a tough cookie (with a long history?) and . . . not much else. Hell, the droid gets almost as much exposition as she does, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I can probably guess at the lineage, though.
I’ve done a bit of a bell curve with this figure since opening. At first, gotta be honest, wasn’t really all that impressed, especially with the likeness. Out of the box, I warmed a little, since there’s some good sculpting, some decent paint (on mine, at least), and an overall interesting design. Buuut I came back down on the articulation and functionality.
So the face sculpt looks like it’s there, but the paint definitely ain’t. Hasbro, you gotta get this under control. The rosy cheeks and flat eyes and weird lip coloring reeeeeally hurt this one. I suspect like most of the Black Series figures, she’s a better paint job away from a solid likeness, but c’mon. I paid my monies. Don’t give me a chore to do.
The costume has some neat texture and a curious Jedi/sand people/farmboy thing going on, and the sculpted robe and draping pieces work pretty good. Curious that Hasbro would go very cloth heavy on Kylo and not here on Rey. Where this line’s concerned, I don’t have a strong preference on the cloth goods, I just want what works. And in this case, the sculpted clothing works fine.
Buuuut that puts the blame mostly on the articulation itself. Most of this new series has dispensed with the double elbows, and while that’s not horrible on Finn or Kylo, that hurts Rey. Because her elbow swivels are not very good. Her included staff is probably a smart choice of weapon because she can’t hold a blaster convincingly worth a damn. She does have the pivots on her wrists, and a lot of the other good parts, like thigh swivels, floating torso joint, swivel ankles, and the like are all here, but then they go and do the swivel joint on her damn knees. It looks good and it get about 90 degrees of bend, but it’s practically hidden under her baggy shorts — why not go for double knees? The sculpted goods really don’t hider her much, but her single joints make it a moot point.
It’s not all mixed bag, though, because Hasbro included BB-8, aka “Star Wars Wall-E,” to sweeten the deal a little. In what is sure to be the first of many, many plastic iterations, BB-8 is smartly packed in with Rey, even though it sounds like his usual partner is coming in wave 2.
The mech design is instantly something you can’t help but dig: he’s a robot soccer ball! And for as simple a piece as this is, it’s captured really well. Obviously, the rolling that he uses to get around could be a little troublesome for a static figure, but it’s done well here, and he does have a ball-jointed neck to add personality. The sphere is somewhat weighted on the bottom, so he actually stays upright without a lot of adjustment. The paint work might be a little wash heavy, but seeing as he literally rolls everywhere, a little grime is to be expected.
So Rey is unfortunately another entry in the “almost but not quite” Black Series annals for me, but I am still interested in the character, so maybe another version might better capture this survivor/warrior chick. And while she’s probably the softest figure of this wave, depending on how you feel about Chewie, there’s still points to be had for adding a new female figure, and a kickass new droid, to the ranks.