Pros : Wonderful head sculpt and paint print technology. Packed with three substantial accessories. Good articulation
Cons : The soft good cloak doesn't quite sit right once it comes out of the box. Is a few patches of weathering away from perfection
By my reckoning the 2018 release of Rey in her Island Journey gear is the 4th version of Rey released since her appearance in The Force Awakens and that isn't counting the variants like the Crait version or the original version repacked with Luke's lightsaber.
Island Journey Rey is number 58 in the Black Series phase 3 packaging with a brand new Gregory Titus illustration.
The rear of the packaging carries a more specific overview of the character than we are perhaps used to, talking about Rey's awakening force power and how she travels to the hidden world of Ahch-To to seek out Luke Skywalker.
She is clipped into the inner tray with her cloak, which is folded up behind her and looks quite neat and small in this state. To one side is her blaster and lightsaber, to the other her trusty staff.
Wave 15 is the first Black Series wave to use the face print technology and this is clearly evident when you get Rey in hand as her features are much closer to that of Daisy Ridley with more natural shaded lips, more realistic eye detail and some very subtle skin tone. She does look a little startled from some angles, but all in all a very good looking head sculpt.
You can begin to see the improvement on the head sculpt when you line Rey up against her previous versions from 2015 (Force Awakens) and 2017 (Last Jedi). This one image shows the game changer that the Face Printing Technology can and will bring to the Star Wars Black Series line this year and beyond.
Out of the box and the cloak is a lot larger than it first looks, with a large amount of it having been bunched up behind the figure in the insert. While it is a relatively soft flowing material, it doesn't fold too well and sits like a triangular poncho and doesn't look particularly fetching.
The cloak has a hood built in, but like previous hoods on Palpatine and Obi-Wan it does not sit neatly on the head and floats above the top of the head by some distance.
The cloak is fully removable and once off the real beauty of the figure is revealed with Rey's alternative outfit from the end of The Force Awakens and through the start of The Last Jedi.
The outfit is made up of a grey inner robe over which is a darker beige sleeveless jacket. She retains her arm wrappings and the left hand ends in a darker leather wrap at the wrist. The inner tunic is tied with a belt, which is sculpted as part of this piece of clothing, and from this extends a holsters which is designed to look attached to her thigh. Her trousers are a green tone and cut off at the shin. The legs end with the ankle boots.
Each piece is a single tone colouring with the exception of the arm bandages which are washed to add depth. The skin, where exposed, is perhaps a tad too pink and in the v-neck of the top there is some bleeding between the skin and the beige of the tunic.
Rey comes with three accessories, the first being the blaster than Han gives her at Maz's palace in The Force Awakens. This is the same gun that came with the 2017 Jedi Training Rey. It is a silver colour with black grip and some neat sculptural details like the notches on the barrel.
The blaster fits into either hand, but it is only the right hand on Rey that has a trigger finger to slot into the blasters trigger.
When Rey is not wielding the blaster it can be slotted away in the holster on her thigh. The fit is snug and the blaster holds well in place. The arm articulation even allows a blaster drawing pose.
The second accessory is that much used staff that dates back to Rey's Black Series debut in 2015. It has come with most Rey releases to date, including her speeder bike and Jedi Training releases from 2017.
As with its other appearances, the staff is detailed down its length with grooved wood and wrapped grips. The one issue remains that strap which is a soft plastic piece that is cast in that shape. That makes it difficult to sling on her back, and also creates issues with certain poses as the strap is not hanging naturally and appears to defy gravity. While I appreciate the inclusion of the staff, an update to the design would have been welcomed.
Rey can swing her staff from left, right and both hands, giving you a wealth of poses to choose from.
And yet the final accessory will no doubt relegate the staff to the spares box. Rey comes with Luke's blue bladed lightsaber. This is packed assembled out of the box, but like all Black Series sabers the blade can be clicked off the hilt.
The saber is again a re-use from the 2017 Rey, being the smaller hilt sculpt rather than a direct repack of a Luke's saber. It is coloured silver and has black around the fins on the grip and some red and gold to accentuate the controls.
The saber fits in either hand, and the arm articulation allows a two handed pose. This articulation starts with a ball jointed shoulder followed by a single rotating elbow joint tha tends sufficiently into this two handed pose for the saber as well as action poses for the staff. The wrists rotate and pivot to 90 degrees so can be posed for force pushes and the like.
Rey's lower leg articulatio is made up of a ball jointed hips, a thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers. While Rey will kneel and sit and crouch, it is the action stances that make the figure. The ankle rockers are tight and stiff, but something about the foot shape and the position of the ratchets make Rey tough to stand. This is easily resolved by dropping her onto a Vintage Protech stand or similar.
The final articulation is in the truck of the body with a ball joint in the waist hidden by the cut of that belt. This allows the upper torso to lean forward or backward as well as rotate independently of the legs. The final joint is the improved neck joint which is now a ball joint and a pivot so the movement is improved hugely from a simple rotation to up and down looks, with Rey even able to put her chin on her chest.
Wave 15 is a game changer for the Black Series and the bar has been significantly raised. Rey is streets ahead of any other release to date, and yet she isn't perfect when you consider the cloak doesn't quite work and we are still missing a level of weathering on the outfit which is a real disparity when you look at the head sculpt.
I may be nit picking here, and so when we consider that Rey comes with three accessories, a good level of articulation and this new head technology then it is very clear this figure deserves a very strong 4 out of 5.