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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Kylo Ren - Star Wars Force Awakens
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-02-22
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

The Force Awakens is ancient history, and announcements about the various upcoming projects now dominate the Star Wars news cycle. But Hot Toys will keep the first film, and the best of the protagonists and antagonists, fresh in our minds with a ton of sixth scale releases over the course of 2016.

Kylo Ren, big bad of the latest film, started shipping a few weeks ago, and it's about time I get around to checking him out. There's no special or exclusive edition, but the regular will run you around $225 from most retailers.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
The usual for Hot Toys and Star Wars. The shoebox style packaging has an interior cardboard cover and plastic tray, which holds everything safe and sound. It's all collector friendly, although you may find it easier to cut off the plastic wrapping used to protect the painted areas of the outfit.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***1/2
There's no human portrait this time around, so all you're getting is the masked head.  It's very clean, very sharp, and very accurate, but it's also a bit underwhelming. This is probably because this is very similar to the work we see Hot Toys do with Iron Man, Robocop, or any of the Troopers. The sharply cut edges and clean definition lend the air of realism, and the addition of the dents and damage gives it a well used appearance.

While it's excellent work, and very screen accurate, it's not really pushing the limits or putting their best skills on display. I also wish we'd gotten an unmasked head sculpt, but more on that in the Accessories section.

The figure is quite tall, coming in just under 13". That would make him about 6' 6" in normal scale, about 3" taller than the actor or the character. I'm a bit torn at this point on the size, since they wanted to use a standard body but felt going with the same size as Han would have been inappropriate, and this was really the next size up. I'd have to agree, and he should be bigger...I'm just not sure he should be THIS much bigger.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
The paint work on the helmet is as clean and crisp as the sculpt, giving it the industrial, machined appearance it requires. There's plenty of wear here, and what was sculpted in is accented by additional paint work. This helmet has a serious story to tell, and considering how capable Kylo is by the time we see him in the Force Awakens, you have to wonder at the psychology of someone who continues to wear a helmet from his earlier days. Compare this to what Vader's helmet looked like...

The paint work on the other accessories is nice, but nothing particularly earth shattering.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ****
The underlying TrueType is largely unrestricted. The torso, neck, and arms are all particularly mobile, and even the ankles worked better than I had anticipated. The solid boots are a little restrictive, but they are made from a softer rubber allowing the ankles to rock and tilt enough to keep the feet on the ground in short to medium stances.

The only really restrictive clothing is the nylon pants. You can get reasonably deep stances, but it will put some strain on the seam at the crotch.

The light up arm has the same sort of restrictions we've seen with earlier releases. The wrist can turn slightly, but has no tilt action. I wouldn't go crazy with it, since you could damage the wiring for the light up feature.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - **1/2
Unfortunately, he doesn't fair particularly well in this category. As I mentioned earlier, he is lacking the one thing that could have really made him worth the price tag - that extra Driver head sculpt.

The marketing materials said there were eight hands, but I only received seven. A pair of relaxed grips he comes wearing, a pair of fists, a pair of saber hilt grips, and one gesturing left. They swap easily enough, and there are a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.  The length of the fingers on the gesturing right seem a bit ludicrous, but that's not uncommon with Hot Toys hands.

He also has a regular saber hilt with the three red blades. This hilt can be worn on the side of his black belt thanks to a slot attachment.

There's also the extra lower arm that allows an additional hilt to light up. This is identical in construction to their earlier Luke, Obi-Wan, and Vader, and the arm, hand and hilt are all one piece. Swapping arms was pretty easy this time, thanks to a zipper on the sleeve. The red blades from the loose hilt can be removed and popped onto the light up hilt as well.

Finally, he comes with a very basic black Star Wars logo base, with his name on it.  You won't really need it, but it's great for display consistency.  And that's it - pretty light for a Hot Toys release.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - ***
The battery compartment and switch on the light up arm are just below the wrist. The three batteries necessary are included, and while you'll have to unzip the sleeve each time to switch the blades on or off, it's actually quite easy.

The red color is appropriate, but like Vader, his saber is never going to burn as bright as the blue versions.  While you can easily see Luke or Obi-Wan's in a normally lit room, you'll have to turn down the lights and put on a little Barry White to see Kylo's properly.

You'll also notice in the shot below that I couldn't quite force the blade all the way in with the light up hilt. It fits great on the regular hilt, but it was a much tighter situation with the additional version.  The blade appears to be keyed to fit as well, making it all the harder to get right.  I suspect a little heat might help, but be careful not to snap the brittle plastic.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ****
There are quite a few layers here, each done with the sort of skill and attention you expect.

At the base is the shirt and nylon Hammer-time pants. The boots are a solid piece, but the soft rubber sculpt allows more ankle mobility than you might expect. Over this layer is the three layers of robes, each from a different material. The top layer of burlap matches the burlap scarf and hood. They included wires in several spots - around the front of the hood, along the bottom of the robes - to allow for posing of the material.

The belt that wraps around the waist is a soft, rubbery material, and includes the hanger for the saber hilt on the right side.

What could have been a rather boring outfit turns into the best feature of this figure.  Using very different types of material adds some nice visual impact, and adds detail for the eye to discern. They've also mixed the rough edges of the scarf with the perfectly wrapped arms, and this sort of juxtaposition in the design makes an all black costume much more appealing.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ****
Because of the quality and look of the outfit, combined with the very poseable body, you'll have a ton of fun with this guy. You can come up with plenty of fighting and resting poses that emote the character beautifully, and you'll think up plenty more as time goes by.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **
When thinking about the value, it's always useful to consider other recent releases. For example, the Hot Toys TIE Pilot was very similar in accessories, but lacked a light up feature. He was around $200. Ob-Wan did have the light feature, and was $220. Luke had the light feature as well, but a ton more accessories at $230. This guy at $225 is definitely on the high side, although it's probably only $15 or so. I have one sponsor selling this guy for $214, and at that price you can add another half star here.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. Take some basic care when working with the light up arm, but there's nothing here that's particularly fragile or breakable.

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
While this figure is slightly over priced for what you're getting, and could seriously use a few more accessories, the overall feel you're left with is far more positive than I had expected. Just looking at him, he's a pretty basic figure. No unmasked head sculpt, a Johnny Cash outfit, and a couple extra hands...there's not much on paper to sell him. But the costume is so well done, the articulation so useful, that you find yourself forgetting all that when you're posing and working with him. How terrific he really is kinda sneaks up on you, which seems fitting for the character.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - **1/2
Light Feature - ***
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at just $214.

- has him in stock at $225.

- Sideshow has him at $225 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Hot Toys Force Awakens releases already out include the First Order Stormtrooper. Other Hot Toys Star Wars figures include the recent Darth Vader, C-3PO, Tatooine Luke Skywalker, Luke in his Stormtrooper Disguise, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han and Chewbacca from ANH. If you'd like a bit more of a regular Stormtrooper, they've done him as well, along with a Blackhole version. Sidseshow has helped out this year with the Original Trilogy as well, with their Hoth Han, Hoth Luke, Tauntaun, Speederbike, and Scout Trooper.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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Star Wars Kylo Ren sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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