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Review : Star Wars Black Series Centrepiece Starkiller Base Exclusive



In 2018 Hasbro introduced pieces 3 and 4 to their fledgling Centerpiece line within the Star Wars Black Series - statue dioramas onto which you can pose your existing Black Series figures. Number 04 was Rey on Starkiller base, as seen in Episode 7, The Force Awakens. For San Diego Comic Con 2018, Hasbro produced a deluxe version of this Starkiller Centerpiece adding an exclusive battle damaged Kylo Ren figure and other features in a huge window box. The set was sold at SDCC 2019 and in a limited run afterwards. Surprisingly in the Summer of 2019 the UK retailer The Entertainer obtained further supplies, selling these at half the original RRP.

Packaging 4/5


The Exclusive Starkiller Base Centrepiece comes in an enormous window box, one of the biggest so far in the line after the 2015 First Order Tie Fighter. It measures 41.5cm wide, 27.5cm deep and 29cm high.


The colour scheme is black like the other Black Series product with grey text confirming the Starkiller Base name. There is no colour on these, a usual approach for Exclusives, so there is no large red side spine or text. The window takes up most of the front of the box and wraps over the top flap also. On first glance you may think the clear window is marked and scuffed, but these are deliberate snow flashes on the window - I am not sure this works.


The two side panels are gorgeous and are huge panels of grey lined Gregory Titus artwork - Kylo and First Order troopers adorning the right, and Rey on the left. At the bottom of the Rey side panel is a small flip down opening which allows you to test the backdrop lighting without taking the figure out of the box. While Duracell batteries have been used by Hasbro, the lifespan on mine was obviously up as this did not work when I picked up my set.


On the back of the box we have a colour image of the set which has some Aurebesh annotation around it, most likely highlighting the various features of the set.


"STARKILLER BASE


AS THE ICE COVERED TUNDRA OF STARKILLER BASE CRUMBLES, REY CHANNELS THE RAW POWER OF THE FORCE TO DEFEAT THE DARK WARRIOR, KYLO REN. EXPERIENCED WITH HER SALVAGED QUARTERSTAFF FROM JAKKU, REY FINDS THAT YEARS OF PRACTICE AT HAND TO HAND FIGHTING SERVES HER WELL WHEN SHE IS FORCED TO USE A LIGHTSABER IN COMBAT.


WHEN HER BLUE-BLADED LIGHTSABER - ONE PASSED DOWN THOUGH GENERATIONS OF FORCE USERS - CLASHES WITH KYLO REN'S UNCONVENTIONAL FIERY BLADE, REY RECALLS THE WORDS OF MAZ KANATA : "CLOSE YOUR EYES, FEEL IT, THE LIGHT, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE, IT WILL GUIDE YOU".


THOUGH REY HAS YE TO RECEIVE FULL TRAINING, HER CONNECTION TO THE FORCE IS AS UNDENIABLE AS SHE IS RESILIENT. WHILE THE YOUNG SCAVENGER ONCE DISMISSED HERSELF AS "NO-ONE," REY SOON REALIZES THAT HER LIFE IS BEING SHAPED BY THE MYSTERIOUS POWER OF THE FORCE."



Instructions and Assembly 4/5


Being an exclusive and packed in a display box, the set requires no immediate assembly on arrival. It does take quite a bit of work to unclip the set with a variety of 9 degree turn pegs and some twisty ties and elasticated bands. Be careful if you want to preserve the back drop as it is taped in places that you will need to slice.


There is a fold out leaflet with blue colour highlights which confirms the instructions for the set. There is a packing piece around Rey's legs that needs trimming away. The Kylo figure is sat to the side of the box and is tied into his tray with one saber in hand and the hilt to the side. The final backing piece slides out when the other parts are removed.


The set then needs some disassembling if you want to fit batteries and the water to create the misting effect. The top part of the snow and Rey clip off, as does the side piece where Kylo stands and the dead tree that connects the two.


If you flip over the main base there is a battery compartment secured by a screw and that takes 4 AA batteries. To the side of this are a set of foot pegs clipped into an alcove. These will be needed later.


With the batteries fitted, turn the base back over and you will see another alcove on top with a plug in cap similar to a paddling pool. This is where you add a small (10ml to 12ml) of water using a straw or a syringe.



Sculpt & Paint (Rey and Base) 3/5


While the releases is a 2018 release, Rey does not use the face print technology and thereore is not as crisp as the traditional Black Series Rey figures released at the same time. The likeness is passing and the paint neat enough.


The sculpt is a dynamic one as Rey leaps off a rock to attack Kylo. Her robes are flowing out behind her and her arms are out to the side holding her saber. The robes are neatly painted with varying cream colours. There are some blemishes on the figure like brown from the hair or wrists straps has splashed or dripped.


The base is impressive with varying shades of grey rock and stark white snow. There are broken branches around the base and right across the centre - just under Rey - is a gash in the rock with a glowing translucent lava effect.



Sculpt & Paint (Kylo Ren Figure) 4/5


Kylo Ren is a variant to all other Kylo releases to date and is exclusive to this set. The base body remains the same as the usual Force Awakens Kylo - but the soft goods have been tattered around the base of his robes with further holes up the body. The lower part of the robes are sprayed in white to recreate the sticking snow - and there is a similar paint effect round the feet.


The upper area has been tweaked from the original release so a slash appears on Kylo's right shoulder exposing his skin. A deep cut runs down his face, into the neck and chest and ends with a deep wound on his shoulder. The face itself is probably one of the better versions of Adam Driver and this does use Face Print technology. The hair piece has also been adjusted and is more ragged and windswept.


There are some issues though with the figure, the main one being the rubberised under skirts which have been bent outward by the way Kylo is packed in the box. This does leave the soft goods pushed outward under the waist and it is not easy to shape this back in to the body.


Accessories (Kylo Ren) 4/5


Kylo comes with two versions of his broadsaber, direct repacks from the original Force Awakens Kylo Ren. These are nicely cast in a harder plastic and with some good detail in the hilt. They are cast in grey with some silvering effects added.


The ignited saber has the red blades extending outward and to the two sides. Rather than be flat and smooth, the blade is sculpted with a ragged flame look.

These fit into either hand, although the fit to the left hand is the tightest.



Articulation (Kylo Ren) 3/5


Kylo has the standard Black Series 16 points of articulation.


Head : Ball joint and pivot neck

Body : Ball joint waist

Arm : Ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, pivot wrist

Legs : Ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees, ankle rocker


While this is standard articulation, it doesn't hugely help this figure match the dynamic pose of the Rey statue. The legs will bend into a fighting stance - but with only single jointed elbows most lightsaber stances look tame.


Kylo also suffers from really loose ankle rockers, and this makes him really unstable - even when pegged into the diorama base.



Final Piece & Functionality 3/5


To finish the set we take the Rey piece and attach the second snow piece which contains all the shaped footprints and peg holes. The peg holes from beneath the set are clipped into your footprint of choice and then line these up and clip on Kylo in the chosen position. This isn't easy as the pegs are not a tight fit in the figures foot and Kylo has - as we've seen - very floppy ankles.


Once the poses are lined up you can see the shape of the whole diorama, a very similar look to what we had anyway in the box.


The lava area lights up (see video) with the press of a button on the side of the mound Rey is stood on - the button is disguised as a lock. There are three options - a 12 second option, a 20 minute option and a final "on all the time" option.


Assuming you have filled up with 10 - 12ml of water then the mist effect also kicks in with the light. This is a little underwhelming as small wispy puffs are blown out and only at one point. I expected a more impressive display.

There is of course the backdrop piece which is a black framed piece of clear plastic with tree effects painted onto the plastic. This takes a further 3 AA batteries via a panel on the base. It is operated by a button on the side and this lights up the trees in a blue. This looks great on a dark background (see the video) and not so much on white backdrops.


While I appreciate this piece is added for more features, it is annoying pressing two buttons to have the entire piece functioning and would have preferred a more integrated options. There also remains the same issue as I had with the earlier Centrepieces - in that the lightsabers fail to light up.


To try and help visualise the various functions of the set, check out our short video...




Summary


In summing up I will start by stating I refused to buy this set when it was originally released as I felt the £79.99 price tag at the time was excessive. Having now got the item in hand I stand by that decision. Like the other Centrepieces, they all feel like they are 50% too high for what you get and having bought this set for £39.99 this feels like a fairer price for the set.


For me the Centrepiece line as a whole has missed the mark so far. They are giving us statues of figures we already have, while items that would fit perfectly as a light up diorama are not being considered - think Han Solo in Carbonite on Jabba's Palace Wall or Jabba's throne itself.


The set is much better than the preceding version of this scene - with the Black Series figures on snowy bases. And the Kylo figure is a nice variation to those that we have had before. Execution of sculpt and paint is pretty good - just not quite as good as the figures we are seeing in the main line at the same time.


At £40 this is a good release and a great "centrepiece" to a collection focused around the Sequel movies. Just don't expect to be wowed by the lights and misting effect. I score it an above average 3 out of 5.




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