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Review : Poe Dameron (Pilot), The Force Awakens (2015) Star Wars Black Series

Updated: Nov 24, 2018

As a big fan of the original wave 1 Luke in X-Wing outfit I was really looking forward to getting my hands on Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens. Poe is number #07 in the TFA range and is part of the 2nd wave. Poe arrives in the now familiar black and red box, decorated with the grey lined artwork that has been consistent on the Black Series packaging since its inception in 2013. Poe is illustrated on the packaging in his X-Wing helmet and appears on the front lower right panel as well as on the rear along with a very limited, "no spoilers", blurb about Poe.

Out of the box and Poe stands 6" high, putting him at the standard height in the Black Series and an exact match for actor Oscar Isaacs reported height. For the first time in a while, Poe comes packed with a decent quantity of accessories - alternative hands, a hand blaster and a flight helmet - all of which we will talk about a little later.

The flight suit is really well done and although reminiscent of the New Hope era suit, it has sufficient differences for you to know it is from a different era of Star Wars. However, unlike the First Order Storm Troopers which are suitably modern and upgraded - this suit could actually pass as an older version as there is nothing on the suit that screams +30years in advance technology. The basic orange suit is nicely sculpted from the feet upward with a "baggyness" that is common on flight suits, and plenty of pockets and pouches. It also sports a couple of varying textures with a very slight chequered texture across most of the suit, but with ribbed sleeves running up both arms.

Over the top of the suit is the life presever from which comes a flexible air pipe that slots neatly into a socket in the leg. The belt holds a holster for Poe's hand blaster, and you also have those straps that hang down - exactly as they did in the 1977 version. The whole suit is painted in a flat orange, but the texture of the plastic does give it depth. The belt and straps are a flat grey, and the life presever and off white - and this has been weathered with what looks like a dry brush to dirty it up. One of the stand out areas of the uniform is the rebel logo on the chest and the Aurebesh writing under neath - which are obviously decals, but look awesome.

So onto the head sculpt, and sadly this is where the figure scores a few negative points. The face itself is not a brilliant likeness for Oscar Isaac's. The Black Series have never given us brilliant human sculpts, but this one is more "off" than normal. It is very cartoonish in terms of the paint applications - it reminds me of how Marvel Select tackled the unmasked Ant-Man 7" figure with a terrible grey smear that is meant to be a 5 o clock shadow. It is also very glossy in finish and therefore picks up lots of reflections. The brilliant part of this figure though is that you can easily hide the head sculpt under the removable flight helmet. The helmet is really well designed and painted with more rebel logo's and Aurebesh symbols. The colour scheme is really nice in black and contrasting red and the visor is an opaque yellow. The helmet is a harder plastic than the original Luke X-Wing helmet, so it is a tight fit and I am sure you will get paint wear on the hair if you have this on and off numerous times. It takes a while to get the helmet seated so the eyes are positioned behind the visor. Once on the helmet looks half decent but is obviously oversized and it does seem to flare out massively at the back. I can put some of this down to the onscreen design and it reminds me very much of the A-Wing pilot helmet for Return of the Jedi. However, you can't get away from the fact that it isn't as well done as the original Luke helmet and I would have preferred a better fitting helmet or indeed a swap-able head altogether.

Talking of swap-able parts, the hands are interesting as these swap at the wrist rather than via a plug in the sleeves. This was obviously needed so you can reflect Poe either wearing or not wearing his flight gloves which go up past his wrists. I was worried these would be really obvious in terms of a visible joint on the un-gloved hand, but they slot in really well and the seam is almost invisible - good job on this Hasbro. The blaster supplied is dead basic in grey plastic. There is also a definite step change backwards in Black Series weapons as they haven't bothered in making the trigger finger sit in the trigger on this one like they have done so well on previous figures like Han and Greedo. This makes Poe look ridiculous when holding the gun, but it does fit neatly into the supplied holster.

Articulation is really good on this one in terms of the top half, with no armour or cloaks to restrict movement. The head rotates 360 degrees and looks up and down - with or without helmet. The shoulder ball joints are un-restricted so can get out to a full right angle to the body and up over the head if you really want them to. The elbow is the new swivel joint so can be bent 90 degrees and then also rotates. The wrists rotate as you would expect with them being swap-able. An ab crunch joint is built in and nicely hidden under the life preserver and Poe can rotate his top half a good way round until the air pipe stops him.

The legs start with a ball joint hip and go into a thigh swivel and then down to double jointed knees. The ankles are then on a pivot and swivel. All of this means Poe can get into a couple of action stances, and can kneel, but he certainly can't sit down - which leaves him needing to be redesigned if Hasbro ever intend on making a 6" scale X-wing.

So what is my overall verdict. Poe certainly isn't a bad figure, he has some real stand out elements like the suit textures, some decent weathering and the very neat rebel decals and Aurebesh symbols. He looses points for a very average head sculpt and an oversized helmet - so whichever option I choose to display him will bother me. I would be interested to see what a skilled painter can do with the sculpt as I think a lot of this is down to paint, but I suppose we need to get used to this sculpt as he it is coming again in November in the Argos 2-pack. Considering the other figures Poe is up against and knowing how well an X-Wing pilot has been done 2 years ago now then there is no excuse for the issues and I am going to score Poe a 3 out of 5.


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