Star Wars Black Series Rey and BB-8 Force Awakens figure review

According to my calendar, it’s still somehow not Dec. 18. That means I’ve got to try and be patient for a few more months until I’m gleefully watching  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Until then, I’m biding my time and getting hyped up with the first wave of Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens figures. Today we get a two-fer with the new trilogy’s assumed scene-stealing droid, BB-8, and the mysterious Rey.

Showing remarkable restraint, we don’t know much more about these characters than we did since their debut in the first teaser trailer. And I love it! Save it all for the movie. Now let’s see how I much love these figures.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -rear package

Packaging: Like the others in this revamped Star Wars Black Series line, the duo is packed in a clean black and red color scheme box.

Again, I appreciate how little info is revealed in the bio so we can pretty much take these characters as blank slates. One switch I would like to see if making the portrait image on the packaging more distinct so they’re not lost. You have to squint real close to see BB-8 with Rey.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -BB-8 straight onLikeness:  All we know about BB-8 is he’s an astromech droid shaped like a ball and seems as close to adorable you can get in the Star Wars universe before the purists complain it’s pandering to kids.

There’s no telling what the purpose of the various panels means, but they’re all distinct and unexpectedly all the line/design work is sculpted. All the little details including the black and white antennas are faithfully captured as well. BB-8 may be tiny, but he’s a very impressive entry into the SWB line.

Rey isn’t bad either. The sculpting is very detailed and accurate to the images we’ve seen so far right down to the shirt collar that’s visible over the vest-type outer garment. The arm wraps, belt and shorts are also well executed. The likeness to actress Daisy Ridley is also easy to spot as well although it’s obscured by the paint, which I’ll get into next.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -straight shotPaint: One of these two shines in this category. The other is Rey.

From a distance, Rey is adequate. The basic paintwork hits the broadstrokes, but this is definitely a case where better paint apps could have made Rey a shelf standout.

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Hasbro just doesn’t believe in the extra expense to cover paint washes on outfits. Rey definitely needed one to better capture the grit and grim of being on Jakku. Instead, she’s got a pristine fresh from the cleaners’ outfit.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -right with staffThen there’s the head sculpt. The SWB sculptors often do a tremendous job with the likeness of the actors/characters and it’s hidden by a mediocre paintjob. Rey sadly gets the similar treatment complicated by an odd decision to paint her face like she’s wearing makeup.

Honestly, it looks worse in pictures than it does in person, but of all the times to add some makeup to a character, the character that hangs in the desert wouldn’t have been my top choice.

BB-8 on the other hand earns high marks again. Despite all the complicated lines and paneling, the figure has a sharp paint job and even a slightly grimy wash to further bring out the details.

Scale: Ridley is 5’7″ and her figure seems to be right in scale compared to Finn, who’s played by the 5’9″ John Boyega.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -scale with Finn and Kylo-RenI don’t have my SWB R2 unpacked, but BB-8 definitely appears to be short enough by comparison to be soundly in scale.

Articulation:  BB-8 surprisingly actually has a little articulation courtesy of a neck peg. Sadly, he doesn’t roll so you’ll just have to keep him stationary.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -on the move with FinnRey has the typical baffling SWB articulation. It’s great for some poses and just frustrating enough in other instances to drive you nuts.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -left detailRey has a ball-jointed neck, up and down neck, waist, hinge shoulders,  swivel elbows, wrists, wrists hinges, hips, thigh, swivel knees, knees and ankle. Rey’s thick robes in the bottom half of her outfit limit crouching poses.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -back detailThe knee articulation isn’t as deep as I’d like, ending right at the shorts just before you could really get a good pose.

Accessories:  Rey comes with her staff. It’s a decent enough weapon, albeit once again one that would greatly benefit from a few more paint applications so it doesn’t look so much like a toy accessory.

The big bonus of course is BB-8, who wouldn’t warrant the price of a figure by himself, and he may be the best accessory we get all year.

Worth it? Star Wars Black Series figures will set you back $20 per figure. The other figures in the line come with exactly one accessory making this pack with BB-8 fully satisfying from a value perspective.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -running with FinnOn her own, Rey would fare slightly lower thanks to the head sculpt paintjob and sketchy articulation, but she’s paired with one of my absolute favorite SWB figures this year in BB-8 so it’s a major curve. I suspect Rey is so hard to find in stores not so much because of her, but the interest in BB-8 and he doesn’t disappoint.

Where to get it? Force Awakens figures are a hot commodity and don’t last long on the shelves, but you can find them at Toys R Us, FYE, Target and Wal-Mart if you’re lucky.

Star Wars Black Series Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 -close up

Amazon.com has been hit or miss with having the figures in stock. Currently they’re out of stock, but you can use this link to purchase when they return: Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Rey (Jakku) and BB-8

Or if you’d rather go all-in, you can grab the full wave cases from site partner Entertainment Earth: Order Star Wars VII Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 1 Case from Entertainment Earth!

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