Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Review : Rey's Speeder (Jakku) and Rey Scavenger Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Deluxe/Vehicle Series #03
Released : September 2017 Price : £69.99
In 2015 Hasbro took their Black Series to a whole new level with the release of a 1/12 scale First Order Tie Fighter. While we had been treated to some smaller vehicles like the Speeder Bike - and beasts like the Tauntaun, Wampa and Jabba - in the past, this Tie Fighter started a bold new era where even the bigger ships were no longer off limits.
The Tie Fighter was #01 in what Hasbro confirmed would be an ongoing Vehicle series. It has taken a couple more years for us to get release #02 and #03 which were announced ahead of Star Wars Celebration 2017 as the X-34 Landspeeder (with Luke) and the Jakku Speeder (with Rey). Both vehicles were released on Force Friday II, 3rd September 2017.
While the earlier box sets were presented with a window box, this precedent was changed with the release of the Tie Fighter and the box arrives sealed. This does mean you can't see the vehicle you are buying, but the benefit is that Hasbro can fit more into the box by delivering the set unassembled. There is a small window to the bottom left which shows off the accompanying Rey figure and her accessories. While there is no window to display the vehicle itself, the box front does carry both a large grey lined artwork of the Jakku Speeder and a couple of insert images of the speeder itself. The Star Wars Black Series logo sits top left.
The rear of the box is split with the first third to the left turned over to the Star Wars Black Series logo, the number #03 in red and then a set of text which is split into two parts. The first gives a few lines about the Speeder itself, the second bit talks about Rey and her Scavenger existence on Jakku and how she is "toughened by a lifetime of dealing with the cutthroats of the harsh desert world of Jakku". Both sets of text are repeated in French, German and Spanish - as is common practice on the standard releases. The other two thirds of the box rear carry a number of images of the vehicle itself from different angles. It shows the various features you will get in the set ad the flight stand is picked out with a text label reading "Tilting Stand".
The right spine (as you look at the box front) is a gloss red spine - identical to the single figure design. It has the large #03 in position at the top and the sets name underneath. The other side carries a large image of Rey in her Scavenger outfit.
The box is opened by one of the sides, the red spine is the easiest route as the figure can be slid out - and this is the bit that can catch if pulling it from the other direction. While Rey is sat in a gloss red cardback, the rest of the box is plain cardboard.
The Speeder, in three parts, is secured in place with a large number of elasticated ties. I would highly recommend just grabbing some scissors at this point and cutting it free - untangling them from the other side is a pretty labour intensive task.
With the set freed from the box, let's assemble the Speeder first.
You will find the main body of the Speeder, a second piece of "junk" and a clear stand. Assembly is pretty easy, but if you need any help then Hasbro have included a small instruction leaflet that is folded under the stand in the box.
Job one is to clip the main chassis into the stand. This is simply a push in piece until you hear a click. It doesn't matter which way round the stand goes as it holds the Speeder either way and can easily be rotated - the natural position is to have the raised bit to the back to represent the super heated air under the Speeder. We then clip the junk stack into the side of the Speeder. There are two pegs on the junk that line up to two holes on the chassis above the netting. These are different shapes so can't be mixed up. The junk clicks in easily enough. The net has some elasticity to it and it stretches up then over the junk and you hook the two loops at either end to the silver hooks on the chassis.
Your Speeder is now assembled and is a pretty hefty and impressive piece. It measures 12 1/2 inches from front to back, and stands 5 3/4 inches high as it sits on the stand (floor to windscreen).
Take a look round the Speeder and checkout the wealth of detail that Hasbro have put into this thing. First thing of note is that the orange base colour is not a single tone - there is a second orange tone built into the trim. The orange is then also weathered really well. There are splashes of brown paint across all areas, and panels of faded paintwork to represent a sandblasting effect. We also get more physical damage like the dint at the front.
There is even screen accurate damage to the fins on the front grille - checkout this image and you will see this isn't some factory error but these line up with the bent fins on the real prop. If you are being picky, this grille section is a bit too clean and some silver paint and sandy residue would have finished it off nicely.
Other details include the cracked visor and the various controls for the rider which are picked out in silver.
You can access the engine by means of some opening panels built into the Speeder. The first is above the netting and opens up on hinges. There is a similar access hatch on the other side - and here the larger panel comes off completely exposing the engine detail underneath. The workings under these panels are a metallic grey with some darker wash to dirty it up. Sadly the choice has been made to not replicate this paint technique on the exposed areas of the engine under the rider and these do look a tad clean.
The speeder includes some other moving parts - including the two control levers for the rider, and two adjustable steering fins at the rear. There is also some poseability from the stand which is not just a one pose deal, but is ball jointed to allow the Speeder to lean to the side. This simple movement suddenly takes the inanimate Speeder and brings it to life dynamically, it now looks like it is speeding across the wastelands of Jakku.
The stand will take quite a bit of lean, but there is a point where gravity takes over and the Speeder will topple.
On to Rey now, and this is a brand new figure to the range giving the full Scavenger look that Rey sported at the start of the Force Awakens. It is difficult to say the head sculpt is a good likeness to Daisy Ridley a only the nose and mouth are visible. The head is swathed in a wrapped head piece with goggles over the top. The headpiece is a beige colouration with very deep sculptural wraps and creases - therefore even without any paint apps on top of the base colour, it still captures the light very well and looks fantastic. The goggles are a differing shade of beige, with silver trim and green gloss lens.
Rey is a combination of sculpted parts and soft goods. Under the head and neck scarf is an under tunic and knee length trousers. Over the trousers is an inner skirt in soft goods that is held in place by being tucked into the waist joint area. Over the whole figure is a courser material that comes from under the neck area and crosses over at the torso. It is held in place by the belt and then hangs loose down over the legs. One side ends at the feet, while the other side loops round and comes up the same way at the back - I would guess this is a single piece of fabric hence the need for the loop. The belt is a dark brown with an olive green satchel. The satchel is very nicely detailed in its own right with visible sculpted straps and buckles and the key clasps picked out in gunmetal silver.
While the headpiece is not removable, you can choose to have Rey's mouth covered or uncovered. This is achieved by a clever moulded piece that is packed separately in the pack. This mouthpiece has a small nub on the inside at the bottom, and this lines up and sits in a very small groove under Rey's chin. By moulding the mouthpiece with the shape of the nose - the nose is the second point of connection, and the whole thing sits in place pretty well. Be warned it won't take loads of movement and there is a risk of this dropping off without you noticing. Once in place the mouthpiece doesn't look out of place and lines up well enough with the rest of the head gear. Nicely done Hasbro.
Where ever you have a vehicle and rider/pilot scenario the articulation of said rider/pilot is key - without ensuring the figure sits naturally on the vehicle, you end up with a frustratingly awkward display piece. Thankfully the designers have considered this with Rey, and that is one of the main reasons for the soft goods so that the articulation remains unhindered.
Even with the neck gear, the head still moves a little to either side on its ball joint. The arms are ball jointed shoulders with full 90 degree rotating elbow joints and some play in the wrist pivotes. There is a torso joint hidden under the soft goods and this gives Rey some lean forward and backward.
The legs have a ball jointed hip and double jointed knees, and the legs finish with ankle rockers.
The staff packed with Rey is the same piece as came with her original Force Awakens single release. While this is a good sculpt in the staff itself, with handles that are sculpted to look like wrapped cloth, the strap remains relatively inflexible being a rubbery plastic and not soft goods.
A new accessory is the back pack. This comes loose in the box but is easy enough to put onto the figure. The two straps pull out of loops on the rear of the backpack. You then place this over Rey's arms and onto her back - the straps then feed back through the hoops and can be tightened up. While being a softer rubber the backpack is still full of detail with canisters and straps painted in silver. There is a built in shoulder piece on the left which hangs over Rei's shoulder when the backpack is in place.
With staff in hand and backpack in place the Rey figure is one that wouldn't have gone amiss in the main line as a single figure release.
Comparing the new Rey to the existing sculpt it is surprising to find new Rey is quite a bit taller. There are no obvious re-used parts at all - even the boots and trousers looking like new sculpted parts.
While Rey is ultimately designed to ride her Speeder, she looks good just stood next to the vehicle - a pose we see in the movie a couple of times. Once Rey is ready to ride the Speeder then she can actually stow her staff in the elasticated netting - again, accurate to the movie.
Getting Rey into the rider's seat isn't quite as easy as it looks. First off there are peg holes on the feet pedals which are not overly easy to line up with the holes on Rey's feet. These pedals are articulated so can be adjusted if needed. You then turn the wrists sideways and put the hands around the two steering columns. Again these are articulated, but you will find as you attach one the other pops off, or the feet slip out. All good fun.
With everything lined up you need to push Rey's bum down onto the seat and use that torso joint to bend her forward into a riding position. While it takes a bit of time to get right, once in place she stays in place really well. Granted the full lean forward for high speed driving isn't there - but what you to get, more importantly, looks great and natural.
With Rey in the driving seat you can then start to play with that tilting stand to get the most out of your display. You will find that every pose will see you putting the netted side forward to your display - the other side is simply a bit plain and boring.
Now there is a very important question that came to our mind as soon as this set was released - can Rey put BB-8 into the netting and transport him across Jakku?
I am pleased so say the answer is yes. The elasticated netting will accommodate a Black Series BB-8 - although over time I guess it will stretch the netting. While some may argue a BB8 would have been a nice addition to the pack, for me it would have added unnecessary cost - there are enough BB-8's out there for collectors to replicate this look if they wish. There is no denying that Hasbro have done a very impressive job with Rey's Speeder. The colouring and paint job on both Speeder and figure are of a high standard - although the engine parts and front grille of the Speeder are a wash away from being perfect. The articulation of the figure matches the requirements to ride the Speeder and the whole thing works when Rey is in place in the riding position and is further enhanced with that tilting stand. The issue is therefore then one of price. Now this release is much more than any other set we've had (Tie Fighter aside) with a larger accessory and a full Black Series figure included. The Wampa and Tauntaun sets - which are the closest comparison - were about £45 at retail 3-years or so ago. If we use this as a benchmark and consider we'd be paying £25 for the figure - then my view is that these sets should come in between £55 and £60. In reality at present these are about a tenner too much, but that may change if the bigger retailers bring these in for a lower cost price with the economy of scale they bring to bear. While I do take value for money into consideration when it comes to scoring - I think there are deals out there for the Speeders and the prices are coming down. Assuming you don't pay more than £65 at a maximum price, then there is no reason Rey and Speeder can't score a 5 out of 5.
Checkout the Star Wars Selection Over at Kapow Toys