Sunday, June 21, 2020

Action Figure Review: Knight of Ren (Vicrul) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   I've been picking up the most recent figures from Star Wars: The Black Series here and there and I finally grabbed the Knight of Ren figure a week or so ago as an Amazon Warehouse Deal (messed up packaging but the figure was fine) so let's check him out today! I could spend the better part of a day talking about the Knights of Ren and how oddly they were handled in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy as they're a great example of one of the weird issues with the films. Introduced only briefly in The Force Awakens and the ancillary materials for that film, the Knights of Ren seemed like they were going to be one of the big mysteries of the ST, or at least a big "reveal". Nope. In The Rise of Skywalker they pretty much show up only to later be killed by Ben Skywalker. What's their deal? That was dealt with in a comic book, which is fine for some things but it seems weird for some enemies who seemed like they were going to be important and who had a relationship to Kylo Ren that was teased for a few years.
   There are six Knights of Ren but Hasbro only released one of them in the Vintage Collection (Ap'lek) and another here in the Black Series. This one is named Vicrul and he's depicted on the cover of The Rise of Skywalker's visual dictionary though Hasbro just labeled each release "Knight of Ren," presumably because the packaging was created before they knew the characters' names (Funko identified their individual releases by referring to the weapon of each Knight of Ren).  Per the visual dictionary, his limited Force connection gives him "heightened reflexes and the power to magnify fear in his prey." That's pretty cool and really makes it frustrating that these guys weren't explored more. Heck, if they hadn't died in TROS it would have been cool to see a follow-up series about Rey and the Resistance hunting down the Knights of Ren. Let's check out Vicrul after the break and see if he's a worthwhile pickup...

The Facts:

Height: 6 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed waist, butterfly pecs, swivel/ hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Scythe and blaster.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
 The Positives:

* It's a shame that we didn't see more of the Knights of Ren and that Hasbro didn't release all of them in the lead up to the film as these guys have some very cool designs. While they're all dressed in black and silver, they all have a unique outfit. Vicrul wears a reptile skin trench coat with armored bracers and greaves. The coat is actually two separate pieces made from a rubbery material that fit over Vicrul's chest and waist. While his articulation is hindered by it a bit, it's all still there and functional. There's quite a bit of weathering on the coat and boots, too, though I'll address that more in a minute.

 * I've seen Vicrul's helmet referred to as a "grenade" helmet due to the resemblance of the individual panels to the serrated shell of a  fragmentation grenade. It's a very Dark Side styled helmet that resembles Kylo Ren's helmet to some extent while also taking cues from Darth Vader.

 * While his coat hinders his articulation a bit, overall Vicrul can still move like most other Black Series figures. The joints all have an excellent range of motion although, oddly enough, he doesn't have double hinged knees. Instead, he has swivel/hinge knees. That makes him a bit unusual for a current Black Series figure but they work OK (with his coat he can't kneel anyways).

* Vicrul's weapons are pretty nicely done with lots of paint details. His primary weapon is a scythe that is augmented with an ultrasonic generator. The sculpt and paint are fantastic on this!

 * His second weapon is an amazing looking blaster pistol. Again, very detailed sculpting and an excellent wash really bring out the details.
 The Negatives:

* Vicrul has a lot of weathering on him but it looks really overdone on his chest. It looks like dried mud caked on rather than dust and dirt from battle. If it was a bit more subtle it would have looked excellent.

 * Vicrul's holster is a but frustrating. It's a simple loop for the barrel of the gun and a simple loop at the top to hold it in pace but the top loop feels a bit fragile. Be careful!
   The Knight of Ren/ Vicrul is a pretty cool figure and I'd give him a Good and a 1/2. He's not one of the best Black Series figures but he's worth considering, particularly for the cool weapons. Honestly, though, this guy probably would have moved a lot more units if he had the rest of the Knights of Ren with him. Considering how we've seen Hasbro handle the Disney Era films, I really doubt we'll ever seen any more of the Knights of Ren, at least for quite some time. That's one of the things that really separates Star Wars now from Star Wars in the past. It used to feel like it was always just a matter of "when" we'd see a character from the films, now it's a matter of "if."

This is the first figure of Vicrul I've reviewed on the site. For more reviews from Star Wars: The Black Series, check out the following:
0-0-0 (Triple Zero)
442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Admiral Piett
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Battle Droid
Baze Malbus
BT-1 (Beetee)
C-3PO & Babu Frik
C-3PO (Resistance Base) 
Cal Kestis
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma (Quicksilver Baton)
Captain Poe Dameron
Cara Dune
Chewbacca (Target Exclusive)
Chewbacca (The Force Awakens)
Chewbacca & C-3PO
Chirrut Imwe 
Chopper (C1-10P)
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Clone Commander Fox
Clone Commander Obi-Wan Kenobi
Clone Commander Wolffe 
Constable Zuvio
Count Dooku
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Death Star Trooper
Dewback/ Sandtrooper
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Doctor Aphra
Dryden Vos
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Emperor Papatine and Throne
Enfys Nest's Swoop Bike/ Enfys Nest
Ezra Bridger
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Jet Trooper
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Gamorrean Guard
General Grievous
General Leia Organa
General Veers
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo (Exogorth Escape)
Han Solo (Mimban)
Han Solo (Solo)
Han Solo (The Force Awakens)
Heavy Battle Droid
Heavy Infantry Mandalorian
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Jumptrooper
Imperial Patrol Trooper
Imperial Probe Droid
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
Jedi Knight Revan
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room) 
Lando Calrissian (Solo)
Lando Calrissian (The Empire Strikes Back)
Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard)
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape)
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight)
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Luke Skywalker (Skyalker Strikes)
Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony)
Mace Windu
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Padawan) 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016) 
Offworld Jawa
Padme Amidala
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia (Bespin Escape)
Princess Leia Organa 
Princess Leia Organa (Hoth)
Purge Stormtrooper
Qi'ra (Corellia)
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Rebel Trooper
Red Squadron (R2-D2, R5-D8, and R2-X2)
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey & D-O
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Rio Durant
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Second Sister Inquisitor
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Sith Trooper
Stormtrooper (Mimban)
Stormtrooper (With Blast Accessories)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tobias Beckett
Tusken Raider 
Val (Vandor)
Vice Admiral Holdo
Wedge Antilles
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 
Yoda (Force Spirit)
Zorii Bliss


  1. Wish they would do the rest of the Knights of Ren. They look so bad ass.

    1. I hear you. Just appearance wise I believe they'd sell quite well. Considering they are all unique sculpts with unique weapons and from a movie it seems that Hasbro and Disney/ Lucasfilm have largely forgotten about already, I don't feel the chances are very good.


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