Monday, November 13, 2017

Toy Review – Star Wars Toybox Kylo Ren from The Disney Store

By Dave


Since I’m still excited about Disney’s new line of Toybox action figures, today I’m going to take a look at Kylo Ren from the Star Wars branch!


If you don’t know, the Toybox line is based on the character designs used for the Disney Infinity toys-to-life video game series. They were dynamic, simplified, and appealing and served to create a uniformity between the many characters and licenses that were used in the games – Disney, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel Universe, and more.

Disney dropped the series last year (on my birthday), and while I was relieved that the hole we’d been throwing money into was closing, I was also disappointed that there were so many characters that we’d never see adapted in the Infinity style.

Fortunately on November 4th Disney Stores received the first waves of an all-new line of action figures under the name of “Toybox”. As of now there are three lines – Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel.

There were nine figures available on release day; three from each line – Buzz, Woody, and Jesse from Pixar; Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk from Marvel; and Kylo Ren, Rey, and a First Order Stormtrooper from Star Wars. And they all looked awesome.

I didn’t want to go overboard and just buy everything before knowing what the quality was like, so I picked up a few favorite characters to open.

I reviewed Rey last week. I picked Kylo Ren over the available First Order Stormtrooper because obviously he’s a better foil for Rey and also because he’s such a tremendous villain. I find his story from The Force Awakens to be more engaging than any we’ve seen thus far in the films and can’t wait to see where his path leads.

Does the figure live up to the character? Read on and find out.


THE PACKAGE

The new line is packaged in my favorite – a blister card. It’s the kind with one edge glued and the rest folded over the cardback and taped. I don’t love that, but I guess it’s more secure. I like the design with the logo sort of cut into the blister on the side. The figure is easy to see. I like the big, red label denoting who the character is. It’s not hidden like it is on Hasbro products.

The back features all of the characters from the wave (also a nice change from Hasbro) and a generic blurb about the toy line.

Each character is numbered within its line. Kylo Ren is #1 for Star Wars.


THE TOY

The figure is made from a slightly softer plastic that is almost rubbery, but doesn’t feel cheap. It works very well for the cartoony aesthetic of the line.

If you’re familiar with Disney Infinity, then you know that this figure is exactly the design from the 3.0 game.


The sculpt is one of the cleanest I’ve seen – a lot went into preserving the shapes and forms of the style. It would have been very easy to leave out some detail or not reproduce it in as sharp a manner, but there’s a lot to look at on this deceptively simple design.

Kylo Ren is even more monochromatic than Rey. There are subtly different glosses across the materials of the figure, for example his tunic and sleeves are different, which serves to highlight some details and break the black up a bit. I particularly like the sculpt of the wrappings on his arms. It’s very sharp and distinctive.


I didn’t try too hard, but the head doesn’t seem to be removable. I was hoping to get the hood off for a different profile and a better look at the rest of the head. The mask looks great and has as much detail as you need to recognize Kylo Ren.

The tunic is a very soft rubber that doesn’t impede posing at all. I almost didn’t buy this figure because I assumed it would restrict the legs, but after thinking about it I decided I trusted whatever in-house design team Disney is using to produce this line. I was right to do so.


There is a soft rubber half cloak over the tunic. The back features sculpted torn layers that look great and are yet another small detail to add layers and interesting design to what could have been just a plain, dark character.


I particularly like the sculpted pose of the left hand. It captures the grasping desperation that’s at the heart of the man formerly known as (SPOILER ALERT) Ben Skywalker.

Side Note: I have no clue who is actually making the Toybox line. They’re exclusive to the Disney Store, much like the Disney Parks Exclusive Droids that we’re seeing every year now. This is why the “from” credit in the headline that is usually populated by NECA or Hasbro or whoever just says Disney Store.


In the past I’ve complimented toy companies for incorporating articulation into specific designs, but the Toybox line makes it seem easy. Within this faithful reproduction of a character design meant for animation and to be smooth and rounded are fourteen points of versatile articulation.

The head is on a hinged ball joint (like current Marvel Legends) and has a great range. The hood is a separate piece from the head and the rest of the clothing, so it moves relatively freely, though as I stated above it doesn’t seem to be removable.

The arms feature shoulders on hinged swivels, hinged elbows with swivels at the top, and hinged swivels at the wrists. The shoulders are slightly limited by the design of the figure, but otherwise the arm joints all work together to create a large degree of poseability.
There’s a swivel at the waist. It would have been great to have a sort of ball joint like NECA’s Predators, but for the price point I’m impressed with what I got.


The legs have hinged swivels at the hips, hinged knees with swivels at the top, and hinged ankles. It all works well together, but I would’ve loved for the ankles to have been rocker joints. It doesn’t matter too much, as I can still get the figure to stand pretty much however I want. It’s worth noting that the Hulk figure – to be reviewed later – does have more sophisticated ankle joints. Which means there’s room for diversity within the line style.


THE ACCESSORIES

Kylo Ren comes with his signature lightsaber.

The sculpt is excellent. The base is translucent red, so the blades look great. While Rey’s (Luke’s) lightsaber blade had a clean sculpt, Kylo Ren’s has the wild, chaotic design his weapon is known for.

The hilt has great sculpted detail and some nice silver highlights on the black, but unfortunately the black didn’t quite cover the edges of the crossguard, so there’s some red leaking back onto the hilt. It’s not a huge deal and honestly I don’t think I would’ve noticed it without the pictures, but it’s there and significant because it’s literally the first flaw I’ve found in the Toybox line.


The lightsaber fits securely into Ren’s right hand.


THE VERDICT

For $12.95 this is an excellent action figure. As of this writing I have played with four different figures from the Toybox line and they are all at least very good.

They have all of the articulation and style that collectors would want, combined with the durability and design appeal that kids enjoy. Got get some. You’ll thank me.



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