This two pack was revealed on Force Friday, turning up in the Argos Star Wars brochure for the event and revealed as a UK Argos Exclusive, and due in November. It would later to go on to be confirmed as a US Exclusive in Target, and also be put up for sale by a number of independents who would order direct from China.
Roll on 2-months to the 3rd of November and stocks hit the UK and I was luck enough to pick this up on day of release.
The pack is named "Escape from Destiny", although this isn't denoted on the box, only on the Argos website HERE. What the name means is unclear, and until the film is released we will be left to ponder.
The box is essentially double the size of a normal Black Series box and other than that is identical in design. The black trimmed front holds a dual line drawing of Poe and the Storm Trooper. The sides are both red, but without the numbering system we see on the standard releases. On the reverse the bio's are split into two. Poe's bio is word for word identical to his wave 2 pilot release, while the Storm Trooper text is a new paragraph and details this Trooper's role as Riot Control.
I will start with the Storm Trooper first, and essentially this is the same model that was first released as an SDCC exclusive, and then released in wave 1 of the Force Awakens figures. Without going over old ground I would recommend you hop over to my original review HERE and once done press the back button and carry on with the rest of the review - see you soon.
The differences on this Trooper are basically the accessories. As a bonus he still comes with both weapons that the standard version is packed with. This means that if you aren't a fan of the riot gear you can simply tool him up as a standard trooper. The shield comes ready strapped to the arm, and although it would probably come off with some wriggling and a bit of force I have left mine alone for now. The shield is a solid accessory, shaped and decorated on the front with 4 spike studs and a triangular panel which may or may not be a viewing slot. Round the back the two arm straps sit neatly on the troopers left hand and with the articulation of the arms the shield can be positioned in a number of poses.
The baton is a slight disappointment. First off it doesn't fit easily into the right hand as the hand grip is too big, that leaves the baton falling out easily. I am not sure why an alternative hand couldn't have been swapped out or the handle simply made a tad thicker. The other issue for me is the baton just looks odd. I am sure it is screen accurate, but it kind of looks like some kind of futuristic hedge trimmer.
The final gripe that I want to throw in here is the joints on this Storm Trooper are wildly loose vs the original wave 1 figure. Out of the box the ankle joints were flapping around, so much that this is one of the few 6 inch figures I have had to drop onto a stand for support.
On to Poe Dameron, and he is of course a bit of a rehash of previous parts, but again obviously relevant to a scene in the film. The head sculpt was a big issue with the original Poe figure (SEE HERE) or rather the paint applications on top of the sculpt made him look nothing like the character. This one is painted much better, and you can start to see the sculpt is not a bad attempt. He still doesn't photograph very well and looks a tad glossy in our gallery, but I think most collectors will be much happier with this Poe. The inner shirt looks very "Han Solo" ish and I wonder if this will one day make a come back in a Carbonite Han.
The jacket is a re-use of the one that came on wave 1 Finn. Obviously this is either the same jacket (will have to wait till December) or a uniform jacket for the Resistance. The insignia and red panel are crisp and painted neatly and I prefer the wash and slightly duller paint job on this coat vs the Finn version.
The trousers I think may be the same as those coming with the wave 3 Resistance Trooper. These are painted really well and we do get some weathering and paint effects to dirty up Poe a little. The figure comes with another new type of weapon, a larger rifle of similar design to that packed with wave 1 Finn. This is cast in a silver gun metal plastic and has some bronze dry brush to weather it up. Like the other resistance weapons we have seen so far, they do look overly clunky and large - again probably more to do with the film than the sculpt.
The other accessory is the X-Wing helmet which is the same sculpt and design as wave 2 Poe. This time it is a white and blue design, and much more reminiscent of the Original Trilogy helmet, in fact it comes with a nice rebel decal on the visor section. All the paint apps on the helmet are neat and well finished, but the fact remains this is over-sized to get it to fit on Poe's head, and therefore looks odd when worn. The visor doesn't quite come down over the eyes, and the rear of the helmet looks massive and bulbous. As I said in the original Poe review, I would have preferred a swap-able helmeted head.
Articulation is pretty standard on Poe with ball jointed head, articulated shoulders, swivel and jointed elbows and pegged wrists. There is a torso joint nicely hidden beneath the jacket and the hips do allow for Poe to sit down if needed if they ever decide to give him a 1/12 scale X-wing. Knees are double jointed and the figure finishes with ankle rockers and unlike his box companion he stands really well.
So is this set worth it at the £39.99 RRP. Well in reality this is two 6 inch figures for £20 each. It is also a good exclusive choice in that it contains an army builder and a tweaked figure which obviously hasn't cost a lot of money to develop vs a brand new figure.
It would have been nice to see some stickered or branded exclusivity on the box for MIB collectors. And with this being Argos MIB collectors will also have to contend with those box stickers.
The "floppy" Storm Trooper is a shame, and I hope this was isolated to my box (let us know via our Facebook page).Poe's head sculpt and paint is an improvement, but still not what we expect for a "collectors range", although the jacket and trouser paint applications are much better with more depth than figures in wave 1 in particular which were very flat in colour.
I am going to score this pack as a 3 out of 5. It's not going to blow anyone away, but it also does a job and gives us our 2nd version of Poe and a variant Storm Trooper without taking up any wave slots. It will be interesting to see if this sells out at its £40 price and if Argos will judge it a success and work with Hasbro on more exclusives. It will also be interesting to see how the name of the box set fits within the film, which we will find out in December.