Updated: Nov 24, 2018
The first wave of Star Wars, The Force Awakens 6" Black Series figures hit shelves on the 4th September 2015, Force Friday. This signalled another evolution for the 6" Black Series and the 3rd packaging change in as many years.
Rey, in her Jakku outfit, was #02 in Wave 1 of the TFA series and was packed in with the diminutive BB8 droid.
The new box design is particularly striking, and when you get it up close you realise it isn't just a flat black and red design, but the Black Series signature line artwork remains with images on front and reverse of the character. And on the left side panel the character name is picked out in small red text and then much larger, but very discreet, grey text. The bold red stripe on the right side shows the numbering system for these figures, while the back has a multi-lingual bio of the character - whilst giving nothing away about Rey's role in the movie (which as we write this is not yet released). Unlike prior releases in the UK where the rear has been stickered to cover the various Euro languages - this one has not and signifies a more global approach to packaging from Hasbro and Disney.
Into the packaging and the figure comes in the usual clear insert tray with a solid red background piece, which certainly makes the figure "pop" more visually on the shelf vs the old black inserts.
Rey herself is very well sculpted, although the head perhaps feels a little featureless - a common issue in sculpting younger female faces in particular. Her hair sits in a very (dare I say Leia-esque) complex style with trailing pieces and tie backs which leave her with 3 pony tails. The outfit is relatively simple, but again captures the look of the original trilogy when you compare it to what Luke wore on Tatooine in the 1977 original.
Under the wrapped gown are a upper tunic and some knee left trousers, and her arms are wrapped in a similar bandage type material down to some leather braces around her wrists. Slung round her waist is a belt, which contains a pouch or bag of some kind around the rear. Boots are ankle high and fairly featureless, although there is some pattern when you get up close.
All of the outfit is painted very nicely with no noticeable paint bleed or errors. The under garments are picked out in a very light off-white, while the outer robe is a more tan shade. For this price of figure I would have expected some wash and highlights to bring out the depth in the outfit and weather it a bit considering what we have seen of Rey on Jakku.
The face is very plainly painted. The eyes and eye brows are in the right place but a bit thick and the lips a bit too red. Neither of these helps the face sculpt. The hair, which is tied back, is flat brown again but its a pretty neat job between the hair line and the forehead with no bleed or skin coloured hair. Overall the paint is adequate and neat, but I would love to see what this figure would look like with a top notch paint job.
Articulation, and we start at the head which is on a ball joint. It rotates a full 360 degrees, but there is almost no movement up or down which leaves Rey looking straight ahead in all poses.
The shoulders are ball jointed, with her left getting up to a full 90 degrees to her body while the right sticks a little due to the shoulder sculpt. Elbows bend and swivel and there is both a swivel and joint on the wrist. This all means a good wide range of arm movement and the ability to hold her staff in both hands if needed (and probably a blaster too if she needs to).
The waist is jointed, but moves very little - springing back to a central position. Hips are ball jointed and if needed you can use these and the knee joints to get Rey into a splits or kneeling position. However, the sculpted robe does restrict the leg movement and you could argue maybe should have been soft goods, but that will always be controversial and not to every ones tastes. Rey stands pretty well with articulated ankles.
The staff is taller than Rey herself, and is cast in a brown plastic. Two "wraps" are sculpted onto the main body and painted in off-white. And a strap hangs off the staff and is sculpted to be hanging down when the staff is upright, leaving you with one real position for the staff when displaying Rey.
Over to the other accessory / figure and BB8 is a pleasant surprise vs what we thought we may get. He is very heavy and is obviously weighted like a weeble. The head is nicely detailed and then weathered (unlike Rey). The head rotates a full 360 degrees round the body and moves from side to side on a peg which goes into the main body of the droid.
The body itself is a detailed sculpt, but the weathering is not as good and that is a shame. Like Rey, give this BB8 sculpt a decent paint job and it would be a real winner.
My other gripe with BB8 is the weight on mine doesn't seem to be positioned right, or heavy enough and he lolls off to one side when I try and stand him. This is easily rectified with a washer or key ring under the main body as a make shift stand.
At £22.99 these figures are not cheap. The articulation and sculpt are perfectly good and the paint is adequate, but could be better. BB8 is a nice pack-in and his head shows that when they think about it Hasbro can apply good paint weathering to bring out a figures sculpt.
I give Rey and BB8 a 4 out of 5, losing one star for the flat paint job.
I would also give a word of warning to Mint in Box collectors that if you purchase these figures from Argos, you will get their stock item sticker on the box as you can see in my images. It is great that Argos are now carrying 6" Star Wars, but they certainly aren't geared to the needs of the collector.