The Hunt Is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Starter Set (Toys'R'Us Exclusive) Found

This week, Toys'R'Us finally began stocking their exclusive 3 3/4" Force Link Starter Set. This pack had been on my huntlist since September, so I was quick to pick one up not long after its release. Retailing for $34.99US ($51.33NZ), this set comes with a Force Link bracelet and two figures that are (for now, at least) are otherwise unavailable: the First Order Stormtrooper Executioner, and an (alternate) Elite Praetorian Guard. 


The Stormtrooper Executioner is a phenomenal little figure, featuring some finely painted details and a dynamic leg-stance that sets him apart from his less melee-oriented comrades. My only criticism is that he wasn't given just one extra point of articulation so that he might heft his axe two-handed. The Praetorian Guard fares a lot less well. Try as I might, I can't find a single pose that works for him. Honestly, I'm just hoping that the terrible look of these guards isn't any indication of how they'll appear in the movie - but is simply down to Hasbro failing to translate them into an aesthetically pleasing toy format. Only time will tell, I suppose.

The Hunt Is On - Rogue One 3 3/4" Wave 4 Single-Carded Figures Found

The currently high turnover of Star Wars toys seems to have led to a dreaded 'final wave syndrome', where the last handful of figures in a line are almost impossible to track down. It happened with The Force Awakens, and it appears to have happened again with Rogue One. I'm yet to see any sign of the fourth and final wave of the Rogue One line in brick-and-mortar retailers, but fortunately online retailers are mking life a little easier. Hasbro's online store had one figure from this wave in stock - Lieutenant Sefla - and I was able to pick him up along with some of my recent Last Jedi purchases. for $7.99US ($8.81NZ). Admiral Raddus and Galen Erso proved more elusive, and I had to pay a little closer to New Zealand RRP for these via Amazon at $10.42US ($15.82NZ) a piece.


The real highlight of this wave is - of course - Raddus. Featuring a beautiful sculpt, fantastic paintwork, and that amazing hinged mouth we first saw on the Force Awakens Ackbar, it's a figure that no Rogue One fan should be without (making it all the more annoying that he's proved so elusive). Galen is a little less impressive, featuring a likeness that's somewhat removed from his on-screen counterpart. As something of a concession, Galen does comes with an adorable little mouse droid, which will be great for diorama-building. Both Raddus and Erso also come packed with the usual oversized play-feature weapon.

The figure I really want to focus on, however, is Lietuenant Sefla. The easy availability of this particular member of the wave is probably a good indication of his undesirability. He has a blink-and-you'll miss it appearance in the Battle of Scarif, and looks pretty underwhelming on his cardback. But that's not where the real value of this figure lies.

The Hunt Is On - Rogue One 3 3/4" Wave 3 Single-Carded Figures Found

Finally getting my hands on Wave 3 of the Rogue One 3 3/4" single-carded figures hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been an inter-state and international endeavour. With no stock showing up at my local Maryland retailers, it was only by chance that I stumbled across Bodhi Rook while on holiday in Florida for $7.99US ($12.15NZ). I purchased Jyn Erso (Imperial Infiltrator) via Amazon.com for $10.42US ($15.82NZ), but the Imperial Death Trooper and Shoretrooper proved even more elusive - and it wasn't until I was all the way back in New Zealand that I eventually tracked them down at a Warehouse store for $17.00NZ each.



The wait was more than worth it, however. Bodhi is the standout figure of the wave. Along with Chirrut, he's one of the most screen-accurate sculpts of the Rogue One line. Even better, the usually ridiculously-oversized additional weapon has been swapped for an actual movie accurate prop - Bodhi's cable backpack. It's great to have an item that can actually be displayed with the figure, and I'm hoping this might bode well for future releases.

The Hunt Is On - The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Wave 7 Single-Carded Figures Found

Despite it being over two years since the original Force Friday, I'm yet to see a single hint of the seventh and final wave of The Force Awakens figures in Maryland or New Zealand. Fortunately, I've managed to track down the two figures I want from that wave via other channels. After weeks of being listed at a price close to $30.00US, Admiral Ackbar dropped to a much more reasonable $12.95US ($18,62NZ). In addition, MattG (one of the owners and operators of Star Wars New Zealand) recently stumbled across a stash of Tasu Leech figures in an Australian store for only $12.00 a piece and kindly picked one up for me.


Featuring a phenomenally good head sculpt and a bizarre (yet hilariously) articulated mouth, it's a shame that Ackbar didn't turn up back when the Force Awakens frenzy was at its peak. Nevertheless, it's great to finally have him in hand - and he'll go great alongside by growing cadre of Resistance forces. Leech, on the other hand, is far less remarkable (both in plastic, and on-screen), but he was always a figure that I wanted to add to my collection of scum and villainy characters. He's a good sculpt with a decent likeness, but is a fair bit shorter than the ordinary 3 3/4" figure. Maybe Han was being literal when he referred to the members of Kanjiklub as "those little freaks"?

New Star Wars Film Trilogy and Live Action Television Series Announced

Today, StarWars.com announced that Rian Johnson - director of The Last Jedi - will be helming an entirely new trilogy of Star Wars films. The films will not fit into the episodic Skywalker saga, but will instead "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored." At the same time, Bob Iger has also announced a new live-action Star Wars television series to premiere on Disney's new streaming service in 2019.


The news that there will be new Star Wars media beyond Rebels, Rogue One, Solo, and the sequel trilogy shouldn't come as a surprise. It's no secret that Disney bought Lucasfilm with the intention of getting as much as they can out of the Star Wars franchise. That being said, I'd hoped that these announcements might come closer to the release of Episode IX, giving us a little breathing room between this spate of films and the next.

How about you? What are your thoughts on today's announcements? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!