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Review of Poe Dameron - Star Wars action figure
Force Awakens Black 6 inch Series

  Hasbro
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Introduction

Last Friday (technically Thursday night, since the festivities started at 12:01 am) was "Force Friday", the day the merchandise dropped. Fans and collectors hit their favorite mass market retailer, as well as the online stores, to snag the new toys and exclusives right out of the gate. In many areas, the outcome was less than stellar, with pegs lacking product and a weak retailer push.  In other areas, people were being their obnoxious selves, pushing and fighting to get figures that will be available everywhere by next weekend. Having gone to the previous three sales, one for each of the prequels, I figured I'd opt out this time around.

When it comes to Hasbro, I'm only collecting the Star Wars Black 6" series these days, so my needs were a bit easier to fulfill. I found the entire first wave on the pegs Friday morning at a local Target, and then found part of wave 2 - a wave not expected until later in the month - at a nearby Meijers. Turns out, the assortment that includes Poe Dameron, Zuvio, Phasma and the Gauvian appears to have hit Meijers early, in advance of other retailers. Those living in the mid-west got a special bonus!

I'm checking out Poe tonight. As expected at this point, we don't know a whole lot about him. We know he's a lead character, played by Oscar Isaac, who is a great pilot and a leader in the rebellion against the First Order. Not too surprising, this first version of the character comes in his pilot's outfit.

You should be able to find him pretty much every where in another few weeks, but Meijers (or online pre-orders) are the way to go right now.  He'll run you around $20, same as any other figure in this series.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Packaging - ****
They've switched things up slightly on the new boxes.  I'm not thrilled with the change, since I prefer when a line remains consistent with the package over its life - it looks better in a MIB collection - but it's a minor nit.  The boxes are slightly narrower than before, so there's less waste, and there's a minor change to the inner cardboard tray, but that's about it.

The graphics and personalization are good, and I really like the inclusion and style of the character photo on the front. It's also all collector friendly, something that most mass market packaging is not. You can easily open the box, remove the figure, and then replace it later for sale or storage, no damage necessary.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***
As I mentioned earlier, this character is played by Oscar Isaac, who is probably best known right now for his role on the hit series Show Me A Hero, but who is taking on lots of nerd friendly roles in films like Ex Machina and the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.  This would be him normally, and here he is as Poe. Considering the scale, the likeness is reasonable. Not great by any means, but they got it in the general ball park, what I like to call cosplayer close. Unfortunately, the paint job throws off what might be a better sculpt than we can discern.

The work on the costume is much better, with lots of fine detail on the jumpsuit and controls. Textures on things like the hoses, cloth, and and straps give the impression of different materials, and adds a nice realism to the overall look. The paint hurts here too, but not quite as much.

One of the advantages of doing a movie that's actually after those (chronologically) that we all know and love is that you can modernize the outfits and equipment without it looking out of place. Some of that modernization is evident in this flight suit, particularly when you compare it to Luke's version. I've included a photo at the end of the two together.

Poe's hands are sculpted to work with the accessories, and he stands at 6", the average for this series.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Paint - **1/2
Ouch. Looks like Poe might have been on the losing end of a fight with an FO Trooper. As I said earlier, it's tough to tell if the underlying sculpt is good, bad or better because the lousy paint makes it tough to see anything else.

The eyes are particularly bad, with a very toy-ish finish and a right eye that's looking off to one side. The black hair is inconsistent, and even the costume has sloppy cut lines and edges, hurting the underlying sculpt detail. For example, the thick, gloppy paint on the control panel on the front of the suit softens the details and hurts the overall appearance.

Even the helmet, my favorite aspect of this figure overall, has some really bad edges and lines. Red runs onto black, black onto red, and nothing is straight or even.

I do like some of the muted colors, like the white of the vest or the red of the suit.  This toned down coloration looks more realistic than the bright orange or super clean white of the older pilot uniform. Of course it helps that something like the suit is actually cast in the color, making it easier to get a consistent look.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Articulation - ***
This is a category where he should have scored better, but for a terrible neck joint.

The shoulders, elbows, chest, waist, knees, hips and ankles all have well executed articulation that allows for a decent range of movement without harming the overall visual aesthetic.  The rocker ankles are particularly worth noting, since they allow the feet to remain flat on the ground in a wide variety of stances.

The wrists are a disappointment, largely because they are non-existent. There is a cut joint at the top of the glove - where the hands swap with bare versions - but there's no wrist movement of any kind, making the number of useful arm poses much smaller. EDIT: After careful examination (and a reader poked me), I found that the ungloved hands do have a rotating hinge joint.  Mine were stuck quite tight, but with some heat I was able to free them up.  Even so, the sculpt on the uniform keeps them from a full range of movement.

But it's the neck that really hurt the score.  It is a ball joint - I popped the head off to be sure.  But the ball is VERY far up inside the head, making any sort of tilt or lean action almost impossible.

When you pop the head off, it looks like there's a pin joint lower on the neck, which would allow the head to tilt back and forth. There isn't - the entire neck post is all one solid piece. The problem is that the post is designed in such a way that the head tilts forward already. With no way to tilt it back, he ends up with this weird head lean.  It gets more obvious with the helmet on, since it is front heavy with the outer visor.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Accessories - ***1/2
He doesn't have a ton, but what's here is solid and critical. There's four extras in total, but one is really the stand out.

The blaster fits in his hand or holster neatly, but it sports a pretty basic sculpt and paint job. There's two sets of hands, but rather than swap at the wrist, they swap at a cut joint in the forearm.  The wrist itself has no articulation with either the gloved or bare hands, which I already whined about earlier.  They do swap easily enough, and both sets are designed to hold the other accessories.

That's three of the four extras (two bare hands, one blaster), and if that were it, you'd see a much lower score here. But they've also given him his flight helmet and did a bang up job reproducing it in this tiny size.

The sculpt and paint work look great, and I love the translucent yellow visor.  The helmet fits on his head perfectly, although because of the issues I discussed earlier with the neck, the helmet exacerbates the forward leaning look. The helmet is front heavy, so the slight forward tilt to the head is magnified when the helmet is in place.

Still the helmet itself is a great accessory, and they did a terrific job with it. It's not the accessories' fault that they screwed up on the articulation of the neck, and I won't be taking it out on the poor little guy.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ***
While the neck and wrist articulation is whack, the overall figure is a solid, sturdy toy with plenty of play potential for kids, and plenty of display and pose potential for adults.  Do your kids a favor - don't buy them only the standard 3.75" figures and let them miss out on these superior versions.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Value - **1/2
At the price we've seen on the new 3.75" series, we should be happy that the 6" Black series has remained at $20 each, at least for now.  That also fits in pretty well with the price of other 6" action figures, particularly those geared toward collectors, and there are some sales going on with certain retailers that can save you a couple bucks.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.  This guy is sturdy enough to be a great companion in the sand box, or a conversation piece on the shelf.

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Overall - ***
I'm betting this guy is a crucial part of the upcoming trilogy, so picking him up was a no brainer. But he has a couple major issues that could have easily been avoided.

Foremost is the articulation.  I'm not happy about the lack of wrist joints, and the neck is outright annoying. Both could have been fixed with a little extra effort.

Then there's the paint, particularly on the face.  The sculpt might actually have potential, but this is a fine example of the paint application taking away any chance it had.

But as I said, having him was a no brainer.  I suspect this is our first look at one of the better heroes in the new films, and I'm betting this won't be the last version we get in the Black series.

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

Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
I picked this guy up at a local Meijer store for $20. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the set of 6 (all of wave 2) for $135.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Star Wars Black Series 6" figure reviews include the Han and Tauntaun, Bossk and Trooper Han Solo, Yoda, the TIE Pilot, and the Sargent Clonetrooper, Luke and Vader, and Chewbacca and Sandtrooper. I've also covered the Biker Scout and Speederbike, the Clonetrooper and Anakin Skywalker. Before that there was Bespin Luke, the Stormtrooper and Obi-Wan, Slave Leia and Boba FettHan Solo and Greedo, and Darth Maul and the Sandtrooper, as well as X-Wing Pilot Luke and R2-D2.

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 Black Series Poe Dameron figure by Hasbro

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

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