Sunday, April 22, 2018

Road to Solo: Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Black Series Centerpiece by Hasbro

 Last weekend I received a bunch of Solo: A Star Wars Story product in the mail but I really haven't had much of a chance to review all of it. Hopefully this week I'll get around to most of what I've picked up so far! For the past few movies Hasbro has actually tended to release as much product based on previous films as is based on the current film. Solo certainly doesn't buck that trend as the lone Centerpiece Series set released on the street date for new product is of Kylo Ren from The Force Awakens. I've reviewed both Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker from this series (they were released during the Force Friday event for Episode VIII) and while they didn't fly off shelves initially they seem to have picked up some steam over the past few months. These remind me quite a bit of the Star Wars Unleased figures from a decade or more ago that features larger scaled characters in extreme poses on nice display bases. Hasbro has wisely chosen to make these in scale with the 6 inch Black Series figures, however, so they're actually compatible and serve as a diorama "centerpiece" for a Black Series display. Kind of cool, really. Today I'm checking out Han's son, Kylo Ren, in a Centerpiece based on his introduction in The Force Awakens. More after the break...

 The Facts:

Dimensions: 9 1/2 inches tall, 7 1/2 inches wide, 11 1/2 inches long. Kylo himself stands at 5 1/2 inches tall.

Separate Pieces: Two piece electrical pole, fire effect, Kylo Ren's legs, robe, torso, lightsaber, and 6 foot pegs.

Non-Scalper Price: $50 dollars
 The Positives:

* First of all, keep in mind that the Centerpiece figures are largely just statues with no articulation (Luke did have a jointed head, though). Still, they're pretty in scale with the Black Series and can add a little extra something to a display. Kylo Ren looks very cool and, surprisingly, can stand fairly well off of the base (one of his feet will always be posed at an angle but he still is posed to balance). I like the pose chosen for him. 

* The figure has a great sculpt and really captures his look from TFA well. This is from the opening scene of Episode VII when the First Order attacks Tuanul village on Jakku and Kylo Ren uses his incredible Force powers to stop a blaster bolt in mid-air. The pose and sculpt of the statue is pretty impressive, really.

* I really like the look of the flowing robes that Kylo Ren is wearing. There is no actual fabric used (everything is sculpted plastic) but the sculpt manages to capture a very dynamic, free flowing appearance.

* The base for this Centerpiece is very cool and shows off a small section of Tuanul village. It actually makes for a fairly useful little display base, too, even without Kylo Ren present.

 * The base has some pretty cool details such as this ancient looking wall and some scattered jars and vases partially covered by the sand. Of course, there are also plenty of footprints pounded into the Jakku sand, too.

* I'm not 100% sure what this thing is called but it is resting on top of the small wall. Very cool stuff! It's super detailed and lights up when a button is depressed.

* Here's a view of the set with all of the lights turned on (it requires 3AAA batteries, by the way) which causes the electrical device to light up and the flames and blaster bolt to flicker. They look great and you can choose to have the lights flicker on for 12 seconds or keep it permanently on until the batteries die out.

* The blaster bolt looks awesome. Seeing Kylo Ren freezing a blaster bolt in mid-air using the force was incredible cool and definitely gave me some hope that we'd see lots of new, amazing Force powers in the Sequel Trilogy. It's a pretty slick scene and I love Hasbro's attempt at capturing it here. The beam looks very cool suspended in mid-air.

* The foot peg keeping Kylo Ren on the base is actually on the base itself (not on the figure) and is attached via a balljoint. This allows the joint to rotate so Kylo Ren can be posed two different ways: Fully on the base or with one foot on the base. Both ways look cool and give you some options depending on your available display space.

* Part of the purpose of the set is to allow some space for more figures to pose. Kylo Ren looks great flanked by more First Order Troops, particularly the Flametrooper.

 * The set comes with six foot pegs which can be attached in the various footprints in the base. The foot pegs are kept safe and sound inside the base of the diorama.
 The Negatives:

* I complained that the connection for the lightsaber blades felt way too fragile on Luke and Vader. Well, Kylo's was so fragile that it broke right out of the package. I had to fix mine using super glue (fortunately the top portion of the lightsaber hilt rests down in Kylo's hand so I was able to put some glue down in there to hold it in place). Kind of frustrating, really. I wish the saber, blade and hilt, was just a solid piece.

* The flames look pretty cool flickering but look less cool when just posed. Maybe a but more of a dark wash might help the flame effect look better when not lit up.
   Compared to the Luke and Vader Centerpiece statues, I think Kylo Ren is definitely the strongest of the three. His scene definitely feels more "authentic" and less "off camera" and it seems a bit better for displaying other figures on. Kylo Ren looks awesome and I'm quite pleased that he can be displayed separate from the base. The broken lightsaber was a bummer (although it was a fairly easy fix), though. I like this series, and this is a Great release, but it definitely needs to rethink itself if it has a future. I would think that figures/ displays that are incredibly scene specific such as Emperor Palpatine in his Throne Room, Luke in a Bacta Tank, or Han Solo in Carbonie in lightup Carbon Freezing Chamber would probably be more appealing than just popular characters in action scenes. We haven't seen or heard about anything beyond this Centerpiece, so who knows if we'll see more?

If you're looking for more Kylo-Ren inspired products, check out my reviews of the standard TFA Kylo Ren, the TLJ Kylo Ren, the Wal-Mart Exclusive Kylo Ren (Throne Room), and the K-Mart exclusive Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base) set, as well as the SDCC 2016 Kylo Ren Unmasked. Of course, a miniature Kylo Ren also came with the Micro Machines First Order Star Destroyer playset. Oh, and there is the Micro Machines Kylo Ren Playcase, too!

For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III Centerpiece reviews, check out the following:
Darth Vader
Luke Skywalker


  1. This looks so awesome.Kylo Ren looks fantastic here.

    1. Yeah, definitely a very impressive mini-statue.

  2. What are you saying,pal?What language is this?

    1. No idea but Google translate said it had to do with male enhancement supplements. SPAM!!


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