TARGET EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS POE DAMERON & FIRST ORDER RIOT CONTROL STORMTROOPER REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse (Head Writer)
And here we go with yet another STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Exclusive figure review! This time is TARGET's very impressive 2-pack that I got for a sweet deal because of some kind of promo code I entered online and picked it up in store. The set comes with Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and a First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper. Since everything about the film is shrouded in secrecy and Oscar Isaac is one of the few "name" actors that I have heard of going into EPISODE VII, it was a smart move to put him in an Exclusive two-pack at TARGET. I have a sneaking suspicion that this role is going to rocket Isaac onto the A-List after his amazing turn in last year's A Most Violent Year with Jessica Chastain. Anyhow, this gem of a two-pack had a hot streak when it first hit the pegs but has cooled off considerably but I am expecting it to be hard to find again after this weekend if Poe Dameron winds up being the breakout character of the much anticipated sequel that has more people taking off on a Friday than when there is a foot of snow outside. A lot of people are going to be coming down with the flu tonight and calling in sick tomorrow, just you wait! Now, onto the review!
Now, I have both of these in their single packs, one Poe Dameron and one regular Stormtrooper and to be completely honest, I like these two in this pack far better than the singles. Poe simply looks better, comes with a giant gun and he is in his "street" clothes as opposed to his pilot uniform which to me, is kind of dull because the pilots all pretty much look the same. Here, Poe is in his regular battle clothes and it still comes with his awesome flight helmet. More than that though, this Poe Dameron is a dynamic, all-new figure and does not use the FINN (JAKKU) figure as a base. No, no. It looks they decided to create an all-new sculpt from top to bottom which really does add a pop to this "Exclusive."
Let's face it, a lot of times when we are getting a supposed "Exclusive," and it really is usually just a recycled figure with a new paint job and thats it. Unlike the regular BLACK SERIES Poe, I really think that this new figure has a resemblance to Oscar Isaac while the regular one looks more like a generic STAR WARS pilot. The head sculpt is most definitely a big winner here and actually impressed me when I got to inspect it up close. Particularly around the eyes, it really looks like they upped the attention to detail which made me very happy. Their is nothing worse than bringing your figure home, cracking it open and have one eye looking up and the other looking over. No worries here on that. I could do without the "badge" or rank ID pin on the left breast side of his jacket. It looks too much like an employee name tag at TARGET!
The helmet is really dope and they took a lot of time adorning it with all of the right details and proper glyphs and logos. There is even a blast shield that is yellowish in color. Their has been a lot of talk about the softness of the cast on some of the newer STAR WARS figures particularly around the legs where they are a tad "bowed." If I hadn't read it on many review sites, I honestly would not have noticed at all but after inspecting it, it is indeed true. But for me, if the figure stands up and balances, I am happy. I don't go that super deep in my analysis because to me it starts to take the joy out of the figure when I begin to micro-analyze every possible fault the figure may have. The more you look for something, the more you are guaranteed to find something you don't like. I am thinking that the final, secret DISNEY STORE Exclusive DIE CAST figure I will be on line for tomorrow may just be Poe Dameron. However, we will have to wait and see about that for another 19 hours or so. Poe's rifle is definitely on the larger side and appears to be more for long range use than up close battles. It has a cool rust appearance on the middle area with an extended shoulder mount. However like most guns of considerable length at this price range, the plastic piece does have a tendency to bend and not hold its shape very well. I find that just fiddling with it and molding it for some time with your hands can usually do the trick. But sometimes it does kind of move back. Hey, that's rubber, what can you do? I particularly like the color scheme on the "civvies" that Poe is wearing and he looks pretty slick in his futuristic bomber jacket.
Now lets move on to the First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper. Personally, I love the evolution of the new Stormtrooper because it looks like an organic change rather than a forced change. As if it has changed for the times instead of revamping the entire look of the iconic black & white cookies of the Empire and now the First Order. It is still obviously a Stormtrooper just with some subtle changes, that's all. The regular Black Series Stormtrooper does not come with the bells and whistles that the Riot Gear Trooper but in my opinion, the RGT totally decimates the regular Trooper and I would love to get my hands on a few extra of these babies. Its the extras that really make this figure for me which I discuss below. God knows, the Stormtroopers have been in need of a shield since EPISODE IV and fans realized that these expendable soldiers were not exactly the greatest sharpshooting warriors in the galaxy. Low pay, not a lot of girl troopers, no hazard pay. Lets face it, its a thankless job!
Naturally, he has a utility belt which is standard but on top of that he comes with not one but two blasters, each in varying length. One is more of a sidearm while the bigger one is for larger skirmishes. Both are in the checkered domino black and white look which I have always dug but its the new shape of the helmet that is so dynamic and updated. In the troopers right hand is some kind of new baton that I was able to see a flicker of in one of the trailers and it reminds me of that device they used in the movie LOOPER. In his left hand hand is a very cool looking shield that has arm straps the way Captain America's shield does. It really is great looking and the shield is small enough to make quick moves without being too clunky or weighty so I am a big fan. I am definitely psyched to see what this baton does in the film and how it works because I am thinking that it has some kind of spinning action. I would definitely say it is a toss up between the Riot Control Stormtrooper and the TRU Exclusive Snowtrooper as which is my new favorite trooper of the First Order.
All in all, I really think that HASBRO did a bang up job on this TARGET Exclusive. I don't think it has been such an extraordinarily hot seller because we really have no background on just who exactly Poe Dameron is except that he's a pilot. However, that could all change after this weekend and prices could skyrocket if the role of Dameron pushes Oscar Isaac into superstardom. As far as the Riot Control Stormtrooper goes, these black & white guys that can never seem to hit a moving target have already supplanted their place in the pantheon of pop culture and world history. Sure its gotta be hell to go to the bathroom in one of those Stormtrooper suits but I hear the First Order has a much better dental plan than the Empire.