When I pick my best figure of the year, for me, I’m usually talking about my favorite figure. I don’t pretend to factor in some sort of objective criteria to make this choice, I pick the figure that spoke to me most, the figure that I wanted to play with the most, and the figure that stuck with me for a long time before being put away. This year it was Rio Durant.
I may have bought I bought a lot of great stuff this year from the 4H’s Mythic Legions, NECA’s movie Ninja Turtles, Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, Figuarts’ Harry Potter, and 1000Toys Synthetic Human, but the line that I think I enjoyed the most and has most improved in the last year was definitely Hasbro’s Black Series line.
I’m a huge fan of the Black Series line, but I know it has had flaws. I think that this year Hasbro did a lot to address the biggest flaw, the face paints for Human characters, and I appreciate that they tried new things with articulation. The character selection also hit a ton of my most wanted vintage characters with the bounty hunters, Rebel Troopers, Tarkin, and the Gamorrean guard, and the new stuff with a vastly improved Rey and the excellent figures of almost every character I needed from Solo.
The Black Series Line is so good now that they were almost crowding each other out for my top selection. Beckett, Vandor Chewbacca, Val, Hoth Leia Gamorrean Guard, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, and Dengar were all in contention. Dengar especially was neck and neck with Rio, but the four-armed fun of Rio won out.
Rio immediately jumped out at me from the marketing materials for Solo and his multi-limbed space-monkey design appealed from the start. There’s something perfectly Star Wars to me about the design and Rio fits in well with the used universe feel of the Galaxy far, far away. I really enjoyed Rio’s brief role in SOLO and felt like the filmmakers quickly created a character that I could care about.
The figure is great fun, even when separated from the appeal of the onscreen character. In a line full of Stormtroopers and guys in brown jackets, Rio’s non-standard biology and blue costume stands out. The articulation is packed into his little frame and he’s always fun to pose and re-pose. Rio is definitely hand-candy.
I’ve gone so far as to buy one to keep carded and an extra loose figure to have handy for play and I find it hard to pass by one in the store. I need one for my car, right?