The Hunt Is On - The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Figures Waves 4, 5, 6, and 7

Thanks to the helpful listings on Entertainment Earth, me and my buddies over at the SWNZ Message Boards have been able to put together a comprehensive catalogue of the next four waves (i.e., 24 figures) of the Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon line. You can see the full list here.

Given the secrecy surrounding the plot of Episode VII, it's understandable that a lot of figures were held back until after the film was released. What's surprising, however, is that there are still a lot of main characters that are absent from these next four waves. That aside, there are still eight figures in this list that I'll be wanting to add to my collection:

  1. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Finn (FN-2187)
  2. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Unkar Plutt
  3. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Kylo Ren (Unmasked)
  4. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Nien Nunb
  5. The Force Awakens  3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Stormtrooper Squad Leader
  6. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Han Solo
  7. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Rey (Resistance Outfit)
  8. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Admiral Ackbar
  9. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Tasu Leech
  10. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" 2-Pack: Sidon Ithano and First Mate Quiggold
  11. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" 2-Pack: Snap Wexley and First Order Snowtrooper Officer
  12. The Force Awakens 3 3/4" "Takodana Encounter" Pack

All four waves are slated for release in the US in January and February, but it's unclear how much longer we'll have to wait to see them here in New Zealand. Given that, it looks like I'll be making some regular visits to local Hasbro stockists over the coming weeks!

Star Wars Rebels Season Two Mid-Season Trailer [SPOILERS]

Season 2 of Star Wars: Rebels returns this Wednesday, and have given us a look att what we can expect to see in the coming episodes. As stated above, this trailer - and my comments that follow - do contain some spoilers!

There's a huge amount going on in this trailer - Mandalorians, Jedi Temple Guards, crossguard lightsabers, Cham Syndulla, Princess Leia, Yoda, and - yes - even Darth Maul. A while ago I wrote that Rebels was ingeniously binding the Star Wars galaxy together by pulling on numerous sources from the canon and the EU, and it seems clear that the second half of season 2 will continue to do just that. I can't wait!

What are your thoughts on this trailer? What are looking forward to seeing most in these upcoming episodes? Be sure to let me know by emailing or sending me a tweet at @Archon_Revuge.

The Force Awakens Original Soundtrack

Whatever your thoughts on the relative values of the first six Star Wars films, one thing remained consistently phenomenal throughout - the music. For this reason, it was a huge relief when Lucasfilm announced that John Williams would be back in the saddle to compose the score for The Force Awakens. The soundtrack is now available on CD, and a short while ago I picked up my own copy from JB Hi-Fi for $19.99.

Williams's score works perfectly as part of the full cinematic package - but the first time I played this soundtrack through without the film to accompany it, I found myself a little disappointed. Star Wars has always been about memorable orchestral themes, and there just seemed to be a real lack of these in this latest soundtrack. Of course, the one notable exception to this is 'Rey's Theme'. It's a beautiful piece of music - light-hearted and adventurous, yet with some heavy (almost Potter-esque) heroic undertones.

Over time, however, the rest of the score has really grown on me. 'The Jedi Steps and Finale' is a clear favourite, and I've played this on repeat more times than I'd like to admit. There's also a distinct refrain that accompanies Kylo, and that may well develop into a fully-fledged "bad-guy" theme in the next film. Ren is, after all, still a villain in utero - so it makes sense that he's not yet deserving of his own theme. (It's also worth noting that the piece of music most commonly associated with Darth Vader - 'The Imperial March' - wasn't even heard until the second film of the original trilogy.)

This is a score that definitely rewards multiple listenings. If - like me - you were dubious about it at first, I definitely recommend giving it another shot.

January 2016 Empire Magazine

I was surprised that Empire's December issue contained very little coverage of The Force Awakens, but it seems they were just saving all of that for their January release. This month's magazine is packed with Star Wars-goodness, including a heap of interviews with the cast and crew, a lightsaber infographic, and (most interesting for collectors like myself) a timeline of Star Wars action figures over the last five decades.

The magazine itself comes in five alternate cover (Rey, Finn, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron. and contains the first quarter of a reversible Force Awakens / A New Hope 'mega' poster.

The January issue of Empire magazine is available at all usual stockists, and retails for $10.20NZ.

The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Guavian Enforcer

Usually, my collecting mandate for 3 3/4" figures is to stick to main characters and military figures. On first glance, the Guavian Enforcer doesn't really fit into either of those categories - but there's something undeniably unique and interesting about his design. I spotted this one on sale at Farmers for $12.59 and couldn't resist adding him to my growing collection of The Force Awakens figures.

Like all of the other figures in this line, the Guavian Enforcer comes with five points of articulation and a pack-in 'Build-a-Weapon' part. My opinion of the BaW gimmick (which you can read here) remains the same, but at least this time it's a weapon that the figure can - albeit awkwardly - hold and use.

But there's no point dwelling on the negative - because in all other ways, this is another spectacular figure. Once again, the lack of super-articulation has actually allowed Hasbro to sculpt a better figure than they might have if they were trying to fit in a huge number of swivel- and ball-joints. His pose is natural, and really conveys the intimidating nature of these thugs. The paint-application is spot on, and the screen-accurate blaster rifle fits snugly into his hand. All I need now is a 3 3/4" Bala-Tik to pair him up with...

Micro Machines Rebellion Rising Deluxe Pack

For me, the most exciting part of collecting in 2015 wasn't the release of the Force Awakens range. It was the return of Star Wars Micro Machines. This is the line that (along with the scaled-up Action Fleet) began my collecting obsession back in the '90s. Given this, it was fitting that my final purchase for the year was the Rebellion Rising Deluxe Pack.

This pack comes as part of the second wave of Star Wars Micro Machines sets. Most of this wave is dedicated to rereleases of Original Trilogy vehicles, but this pack (along with the Clone Fighter Strike 3-Pack) sees the introduction of a number of new prequel-era vehicles to the line. Two of the ships in this set - the Ghost and the Phantom - are repacks from the Inquisitor's Hunt 3-Pack, but everything else is completely new. The Wookiee Gunship is a great little craft with an excellent paintjob, and the the Imperial Troop Transport is a fantastically-detailed rendition of the vehicle based on the '70s vintage toy. The real star of this set, however, is the AT-DP.

A long time ago, I raved about the AT-DP design and it's role as a direct homage to an unused walker design produced by Joe Johnston for The Empire Strikes Back. I never got my hands on the 3 3/4" sculpt of this vehicle, so I'm rapt to finally have another version in my collection. The real surprise with the AT-DP is that the head actually swivels. Articulation is super-rare at this scale (the only other example I can think of is in the neck-joint of the '90s Micro Machine AT-AT), so it's a great extra feature - and one that adds an extra bit of playability / poseability to an already fantastic piece.

The pack also include minifigures of both Kanan Jarrus and the Imperial Inquisitor - making it a great little set for $24.99.

Episode VIII Delayed Until December 2017

Yesterday, announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII - originally scheduled for a May 2017 release - will now debut on December 15th, 2017. No reasons were given for the delay.

Personally, I don't see this as a bad thing. While it'll be hard to wait another seven months for the next installment in the saga, the extra time can only help ensure a quality film. The Force Awakens suffered a similar delay, and that worked out pretty darn well.

How do you feel about Episode VIII being delayed? Be sure to send me your thoughts at or tweet them to @Archon_Revuge!

General Mills Target Exclusive BB-8 Droid Viewer

My partner recently received a care package from a friend in the US that included a box of her favourite cereal - Cinnamon Toast Crunch. In a stroke of luck, it also happened to be one of the boxes of cereal included in General Mills's latest Star Wars promotion

Each box in this promotion contains a retro-style plastic 'droid viewer' that contains a hidden image from The Force Awakens. There are six to collect, including BB-8, B-U4D, C-3PO, PZ-4CO, R2-D2, and a mouse droid. Not only was I lucky enough to get BB-8 which, let's be honest, is the clear favourite in that list - but it also happened to be the Target exclusive version that comes with a screen-accurate paintjob (as opposed to being molded in straight orange plastic). The hidden image can be viewed by looking through the viewer, and features a shot of BB-8 on the sands of Jakku.

This is an incredibly cool little piece - especially given it's unavailability here in New Zealand. A huge thank you goes to my partner for passing this on, and to Alex for sending it all the way through from the US.

Park Avenue Christmas Stocking

I've blogged before about some of the great Star Wars merchandise put out by Park Avenue over the last year (including their cookie jars, cookies, and Easter products). Thanks to my partner's mum, I now also have one of their Christmas stockings to add to my collection.

The stocking itself is awesome enough - but inside there are even more Star Wars-themed goodies, including two bags of lollies, a badge, a keyring, a disc launcher, a yo-yo, and a sheet of stickers (all of which feature iconic characters from the first six films).

One thing's for sure: this will definitely be hanging alongside my Chewbacca stocking next Christmas!

Metal Earth R2-D2 3D Metal Model Kit

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of construction projects, and something that fits this bill perfectly is Metal Earth's (relatively) new line of 3D metal model kits. Their range currently covers a variety of fandoms, including Star Wars - and for Christmas this year I received the R2-D2 model from my partner.

Over the past weekend I spent some time putting the kit together. I have to admit I was a little daunted when I first pulled those intricately cut metal sheets from the packet. Fortunately, the instructions make assembly a breeze. The pieces are clearly numbered, and fit together seamlessly. That being said, the full build still took a good couple of hours - and I definitely recommend having a pair of pliers, tweezers, and a skewer handy to make things easier.

Once assembled, the model is striking. The detailing is fantastic, and there are some great recessed features that really add depth to the piece. He's now taken pride of place on the bookshelf in our lounge!

The Force Awakens Official 2016 Calendar

It wouldn't be a new year without a Star Wars calendar to mark the days - and this year, I'll be doing so with the official The Force Awakens calendar courtesy of my partner's mum.

As usual with these calendars, the artwork is striking. Each month features a new portrait of a character from The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren is paid substantial attention (appearing in four of the twelve months) but Rey, Finn, Captain Phasma, and the droids and troopers all get a look-in as well. 

Micro Machines Blind Bag Wave 2 Miniatures

A short while ago I wrote of my love for "blind-bag" collectibles. Well, it turns out my Dad was paying attention to this - as my parents picked up a couple of the new Micro Machines blind bags for my Christmas stocking this year.

It's no secret that the return of Star Wars Micro Machines was - for me - the most exciting part of last year's Force Awakens merchandise line. Since they've hit the stores, I simply haven't been able to get enough of them. These blind bags just so happened to contain a couple of my favourite vehicles from the line - the First Order Snowspeeder and Special Forces TIE Fighter. Both designs have been rendered in incredible detail at this scale - right down to the miniature snowtrooper figures in the speeder, and the splash of red paint across the TIE. They'll make fine additions to my growing First Order army!

Kylo Ren Mask and Lightsaber

Kylo Ren's design is incredibly iconic, so I was rapt to receive the Hasbro versions of his mask and lightsaber from my partner's brother for Christmas.

While we've had 'wrist-flick' lightsabers for some time now, this one is pretty novel - with the ignition action causing all three blades to extend simultaneously. The saber is well detailed (right down to the jerry-rigged wiring), as is the mask. Back in the '90s I picked up the masks and sabers for both Darth Maul and Darth Vader - so these two new items will nicely round out the trio of iconic dark-siders.

"Build the Millennium Falcon" Deluxe Paper Model Kit

I love a good construction project - be it a Lego set, kitset model, or otherwise. It looks, then, like my next big project will be this "Build the Millennium Falcon" deluxe paper model kit that I received from my partner's mum for Christmas.

The kit contains all of the pieces you need to assemble a paper replica of the Millennium Falcon, as well as a 'Mission Reports' book that outlines the ship's many escapades.I have to say, there's certainly a lot more to this model than meets the eye. While it's mostly made of paper (as the name suggests) it also comes with a circuit board and wiring that'll see the finished model have lighting and authentic sounds from the movie. I've not yet had the chance to assemble it - but a quick flick through the instructions suggests that this'll definitely be a build that fills in a few hours!

The Force Awakens Stickers and Star Wars Metal Ruler

One thing I'd had a lot of trouble finding over the last month were sheets of stickers for The Force Awakens. As always, however, my parents were onto it - surprising me with this set in my Chewbacca stocking along with a very cool metal Star Wars ruler.

Word has it that both of these are available at Warehouse Stationary - further testament to the fact that it pays to check out any and all stores for Star Wars merchandise at the moment. Items tend to be turning up in the strangest of places (like those Force Awakens tattoos at Spotlight) and many tend to be exclusive to a single store.

Kinnerton Chocolate Shapes

Along with Park Avenue, Kinnerton has also been putting out some great Star Wars-themed confectionary (like the advent calendar I picked up last month). Their latest offering is this pack of chocolate shapes, which my partner's mum kindly gave to me for Christmas.

Inside there's a selection of (appropriately coloured) milk chocolate Darth Vaders and white chocolate stromtroopers. Enjoy the photo folks - because I'm pretty sure these won't last long in my pantry.

Stormtrooper Cushion

Another Christmas present from my parents was this very cool Stormtrooper cushion. It was released as part of the new The Force Awakens line, but features the classic trooper design that we all know and love.

Ever since completing my own suit of armour, I've been on the lookout for anything trooper related - so this cushion fits the bill perfectly!

Star Wars Logo Cap

You can never have too much Star Wars apparel, but one thing I've always been missing is any kind of Star Wars head gear. That changed this Christmas when I was given this fantastic Star Wars logo cap by my partner.

There are a number of Star Wars hats out in stores right now - but I particularly love how understated this one is, with the logo only being visible from certain angles. This'll no doubt get a lot of use over the coming months. It is, after all, the summer of Star Wars! (Well, at least for those of us here in the Southern Hemisphere.)

First Order Stormtroopers Puzzle

Working on puzzles during the holidays has become something of a tradition in my family - and this Christmas we turned our attention to a very cool First Order Stormtroopers set that I'd received from my parents.

At 100 pieces, it's a little quicker to assemble - but still poses a challenge (that's an awful lot of identical trooper helmets). The design is a work-of-art in its own right, so I look forward to getting it framed and hung in the near future!

Event Cinemas Force Awakens Cup and BB-8 Topper

A number of New Zealand cinema chains ordered in special Star Wars-themed merchandise for the release of The Force Awakens. Not wanting to miss a golden opportunity, I picked up this cup and BB-8 topper at the Embassy Theatre midnight premiere.

The cup was a standard design, while the toppers were interchangeable. Several different character toppers were available, but I knew that BB-8 was the one for me. I reckon this'll make a great set with the lenticular cup and popcorn bucket I picked up a few weeks ago!

Episode VII: The Force Awakens Premiere (December 2015)

However you look at it, The Force Awakens was a long time coming. It had been over three years since Disney announced that a sequel trilogy was in production, ten years since we last saw a new Star Wars movie in theatres, and thirty two years since we left the heroes of the saga celebrating on the forest moon of Endor. That long wait for the next installment in the saga meant that tickets to midnight screenings sold at break-neck speed. Fortunately, my partner and I were able to wrangle two great seats at the Embassy Theatre here in Wellington. This placed us in the midst of 820 of the capital's biggest Star Wars fans - something that guaranteed to make the experience even more special.

The Embassy went all out with their promotional work - erecting a custom hoarding and countdown, a giant cardboard display, and even adding some Star Wars-themed cocktails to the menu (as well as some great The Force Awakens goodies at the candy bar). In fact, in the days leading up to the release of The Force Awakens it seemed like all of Wellington had caught Star Wars fever. Posters were everywhere, and an entire bus stop on Lambton Quay had been converted to advertising the film.

Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, I'd described my attitude towards Episode VII as "cautiously optimistic". I believed that there was every reason to have hope in the project. But even the most promising films can fail, and it was hard to escape the niggling worry that the very same thing might happen here.

But it turns out that I needn't have had those concerns - because The Force Awakens is good. It's really good.

The Internet is already full of reviews explaining the myriad reasons why this film is a return to form for the saga. But for me, it's simple: The Force Awakens is an enormous amount of fun. There's action and adventure. There's humour and banter. There's a simple story that nevertheless contains real stakes, real triumphs, and real tragedy. It has all of the very same things that sparked my sense of wonder when I first saw A New Hope as a kid. Most importantly, the movie contains some of the most relatable characters (both good and evil) that we've ever seen in a Star Wars film. Sure, they're flying spaceships and waging battles on alien worlds - but they do so while displaying motivations, emotions, and flaws that are authentic and familiar. The struggles they face are universal - and for me, that's what's always made Star Wars so special.

I'd never been more proud to wear this t-shirt.

I ended up seeing the film twice more in theatres - once on the following Saturday, and again in the new year after I'd had a bit of time to let everything sink in. Surprisingly, I didn't find those repeat viewings any less thrilling. In fact, I actually began to enjoy the movie even more. There's a hell of a lot going on in The Force Awakens - and it really does require repeat viewings to fully appreciate everything it has to offer.

So what did you think of The Force Awakens? Did you attend a midnight premiere? If so, how did it go? Be sure to email your thoughts to or send me a tweet at @Archon_Revuge!