This odd little line of figures was first seen in Toys R Us stores in Taiwan a couple of months back. They then showed up on the shelves of a French retailer, and then regular readers will know that in late October we exclusively revealed that these so called 6" figures would be carried by Aldi in the UK.
These are not exclusive to Aldi in the conventional sense. I suspect these have been produced and offered by Hasbro and Aldi are the only one to have taken these up so far.
Roll on to this week and the figures finally hit shelves at £6.99 each.
Let's be clear first what these are. These are not 6" figures, they are closer to 5.5" so more scaled with the McFarlane Walking Dead or Character's Doctor Who figures.
They are at best 4 points of articulation - head, shoulders and waist - with fixed legs. They are a very hollow, almost blown plastic and therefore very light weight.
They arrive in these very economical cardboard boxes with a window cut out. The box design is a reduced version of the Hasbro 12" Hero figures and includes a very short character bio on the reverse. The side art is particularly nice, and would look awesome in a TFA display of packaging.
Let's start with Kylo Ren. He comes packed with his saber which is separate and fits into his right hand. Kylo has no head articulation, so is now 3POA with his entire lower legs and skirt one piece only.
He is a really nice sculpt and even though the cloak is fixed and hard plastic, it is done really well. Sadly, he sits much smaller than the 6" Black Series version and looks bizarre alongside any BS 6" figures
Finn is a full 4POA and comes with his gun molded into his hand and it cannot be removed. He also comes with a very odd split in his coat which at first I thought was an articulation piece.
Finn's head sculpt is very good and in an odd way is preferable to the one on the Black Series. Finn is also the same height as his Black Series counterpart, so does scale well with all other BS figures.
The Stormtrooper is also 4POA and again has his gun molded into his hand. The sculpt is OK but very soft with lots of smooth edges and bleeding between one part and another. He is also considerably "yellow" when compared to Hasbro BS version and is a good half head too short.
He can sit in a background army build set-up and won't be too conspicuous, but not enough for me to go out and buy loads of these. I'd rather spend £20 on a single BS Trooper rather than 3 of these.
The Snowtrooper, like the Stormtrooper, comes with a fixed weapon. His weapon is painted so is more screen accurate, and he comes with a backpack which is supplied loose and then sits on his back.
Again, the plastic is very off white and he too is too short by a few mm. Again, background figure he will work - but save your money for the real ones.
Darth Vader is the final figure in this 5 figure series, and an odd choice considering all the others are TFA based. As a figure Vader is pretty nice, reminiscent of his angular helmet look in Rebels.
His cloak is a little bit more flexible than the other plastic, and flows well enough. He comes with his saber, with unpainted hilt, and it slots into his right hand.
Vader is tiny, so undersized vs his Black Series version.
These figures had so much potential, and have sadly disappointed.
They aren't articulated enough to be a kids range - mini-meph was most disappointed as he has always wanted some bigger figures, but when the legs didn't move and the weapons were fixed, he soon lost interest.
They also miss the mark on being a potential "back drop" range for Black Series. I have no idea why Hasbro made these too short? I can see the appeal of a lower articulation 6" range - same as we have in the 3.75" ranges - but this isn't it.
My advice, save your money. Whether you are buying for your kids or for yourself for your collection then these are of no use other than maybe as a niche element of a TFA collection. I doubt these will see a wave 2, I even doubt will be picked up by anyone else after Aldi sell out.