Porgs Galore...

Well, it's happened: the first porgs have been added to our collection. It all started when my fiancée and I received an adorable plush porg for Christmas from her parents. But of course, like anything good, we couldn't stop at just one - and a few days later we found ourselves also picking up a 'porg-on-board' for our car.

With his soft flocked body and adorable round eyes, the plush Porg captures all the cuteness of the real thing. Best of all, his flexible wings allow him to be posed in all kinds of amusing ways (as pictured above). The porg-on-board is a little smaller, but features suction cups on his wingtips (allowing you to stick him to your car's window à la a particular avian's event-filled ride aboard the Falcon). Best of all, he comes packed with an accompanying 'porg on board' sticker to alert other drivers to your precious cargo!

Star Wars Official 2018 Calendar - Collectors Edition

The new year is almost upon us, and in 2018 I'll be keeping track of the days with this fantastic 40th anniversary calendar I received from my parents for Christmas.

Each month features an image of a main character from A New Hope, framed by gorgeous screen shots from the film. Best of all, the calendar continues the tradition of including a two-page centrefold that allows the calendar to still be displayed long after 2018 is up. This time around, it's a unique 40th anniversary version of the original Star Wars theatrical poster.

BB-8 8GB USB Flash Drive

Wrapping up the Christmas presents from my parents this year (see what I did there?) is this delightful BB-8 8GB USB flash drive. I've been in dire need of a new flash drive, so this little guy'll fit the bill perfectly.

Made of a durable rubberised plastic, BB's head pops off to reveal the USB socket. He's ever so slightly stylised - his head just a little more squat than usual. In fact, he's perfectly in keeping with the Stormtrooper flash drive I received a few years back.

Star Wars Christmas Stocking and Santa Hat

I love holiday-specific Star Wars paraphernalia, and this Christmas my parents surprised me with a very cool stocking and Santa hat set featuring Darth Vader and a cadre of stormtroopers.

The hat went great with the stormtrooper Christmas t-shirt I got for my birthday, while the stocking joined the rest of the family's over the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

Sphero BB-9E App-Enabled Droid and Force Band

My fiancée has always been one to spoil me, but this Christmas she went above and beyond - surprising me with the Sphero BB-9E App-Enabled Droid and a Force Band. Last year, I received the Sphero BB-8 from my parents for my 30th birthday, and was immediately blown away by just how much he could do. The same is true of 9E. Despite the superficial similarities in appearance, this is no mere repaint. Featuring glowing lights in her head (yes, my fiancée and I have decided this BB will be female), 9E also possesses a new personality, negotiating her surroundings in a completely different way to her older brother.

A few new pieces of internal tech also allow her to do things her sibling can't. For one, internal vibration sensors allow her to be programmed to 'react' to passing humans while she's charging on her base. That particular feature hasn't worked too well for me yet - but that may be due to me placing her in a sub-optimal charging location. Alternatively, you can program her to spontaneously initiate conversations with other Sphero droids when she's not being operated by a user. This feature is particularly fun, as the droids carry out their interactions completely in character. Place 9E next to her arch-nemesis BB-8, and you'll find the two droids begin squabbling on awakening - with BB-8 usually running for cover somewhere in the corner of the room.

While Sphero began with an app that was exclusively for the operation of BB-8, they've now released a generic 'Droids' app that allows you to run all of your app-enabled droids from the same program. This app is also packed with new features - including an option to have your droids watch (and react to) the Star Wars movies alongside you. There's also now the ability to engage more than one droid in patrol mode simultaneously.

In addition to the usual charging base, 9E also comes with the new 'Droid Trainer' - unlocking even more options within the app. This collapsible base doesn't feature any electronics, but is probably better thought of as a something like a 'treadmill' for your droids. Featuring a low-friction concave hollow, the Force Trainer allows the BBs to spin and move on the spot. Sphero have hinted that they have a lot of upcoming features that will utilise this device, but for now it's main use is in the 'augmented reality' (AR) section of the Droids app. Entering this mode allows you to use your touchscreen device to 'drive' around ships from the Star Wars universe, collecting items as you go. At the same time, your droid will move accordingly. Turn left, and your BB will roll left in its Droid Trainer cradle. Come to a stop, and your BB will come to an abrupt halt too. It's a fun little gimic, but not much more than that. It's also questionable whether it can be counted as genuine 'AR' as your BB doesn't actually appear on screen when you point your device at her. That being said, the base is covered in AR arma patterns, building in the functionality for the base to - at some point in the future - be used for a genuine AR experience. This might be a tantalising hint at what Sphero have in mind for future updates.

Gimmicks aside, the Droid Trainer is most useful in its simplest configuration - the aforementioned 'treadmill'. The Trainer finally gives us the opportunity to have an operational and interactive droid setting next to us on our desk without fear of it running off the table and (quite literally) losing its head. It's also a great way to practice emotes and movements when you're limited for space.

As an added bonus, my fiancée also gave me the Sphero Force Band. This has been out for a while now - originally created to work as a sort of 'remote control' for BB-8, but now compatible with all Sphero droids. I'd been somewhat dubious of this item, questioning how functional it'd truly be. It turns out my concerns were for nothing, however. I've had some bad experiences with kinetic-based devices (see my recent write-up on the truly awful Force Link bracelet), but the Sphero Force Band works beautifully. Once the Force Band is on and synced, a simple 'force push' will send your droid rolling away from you, and a 'force pull' will bring her back. Raising and lowering your arm modifies her speed, and moving your arm to the left or right will roll her in that direction. Heck, she'll even look where you point! It's all incredibly intuitive, and after a couple of laps around the room you'll find yourself driving your droid without a second thought. Best of all, the Force Band runs completely independently of the Droids app, so there's no need to keep your portable device on when using this function.

Surprisingly, this isn't all the Force Band has to offer. As well as operating your droid, the Force Band also comes with a standalone app that contains a raft of other features. For one, there's a virtual reality 'training' mission during which you use your Force Band to assist a (digital) BB-8 in a number of tasks. Most fun, however, is the 'Force Awareness' mode. Once entered, this mode will quietly tick away in the background until - at some point - it detects a holocron in your vicinity. The band will then vibrate in a sort of 'hot and cold' fashion as you move around the room attempting to find the holocron. Once found, your holocrons will appear in the app - containing data on some character, weapon, or other element from the sequel trilogy (very much like a set of digital trading cards). You can keep track of how many holocrons you've collected, and how many you have left to find. The holocrons also vary in rarity, adding some excitement to the hunt.

A select number of the weapons and vehicle holocrons can be added to your 'Armory' - another feature of the Force Band app. Once this mode is entered, your Force Band essentially becomes a kinetic soundboard, making different noises depending on what you have 'equipped'. Equip a pistol and make a point-and-shoot motion with your hand, and you'll be rewarded with a blaster sound. Equip a vehicle and swoop your hand as though it's flying, and you'll hear realistic engine noises. The playability options are endless - especially for kids (and, ahem, some adults) who still love to run around the house with a starfighter in their hand.

Technological wizardry aside, the physical construction of the Force Band is also superb. There's real quality here - from the fine in-universe detailing, to the authentic weathering, to the enormously satisfying 'click' of the magnetic clasp. Heck, it looks nice enough to even double as a straight-up costuming accessory.

I'm absolutely rapt with BB-9E - and the additions of the Droid Trainer and Force Band also open up a whole battery of new play features for both her and BB-8. I've no doubt Sphero will continue to add new features for this duo too, and I'll be sure to report on them here when they do!

Stormtrooper Christmas T-Shirt

With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, it was rather apt that my parents also got me this excellent Stormtrooper t-shirt for my birthday!

I'll be rocking this all Christmas Day (and eve too, most likely). It's a nice match for the Stormtrooper Peekbuster ornament I also received for my birthday!

Hallmark Keepsake Stormtrooper Peekbuster Christmas Tree Ornament

Over the last decade, I've been slowly building a collection of Hallmark's exquisite Keepsake Star Wars Christmas ornaments. As time has passed, the ornaments have become more and more complex: featuring lights, sounds, and now even motion-sensing capabilities. This year, the Stormtrooper Peekbuster ornament takes advantage of this latest feature to create an incredibly effective present-peeking deterrent. Thanks to a birthday present from my parents, one of these peekbusters is now standing vigil over our tree.

With a Christmas-themed sculpt and a forward-facing motion sensor, the Stormtrooper Peekbuster is a wonderfully unique addition to the Keepsake line. Programmed with six custom-recorded phrases, the trooper sounds off whenever motion is detected in the vicinity. The detailing and paint app is - as always with these decorations - top-notch. Best of all, he's almost perfectly in-scale with figures from the 3 3/4" line, leaving open some tantalising diorama-building possibilities.

Star Wars Super Graphic

For my birthday this year, my wonderful fiancée performed an incredibly impressive feat - surprising me with a Star Wars book that I had never even heard of. Written by Entertainment Weekly's Tim Leong, Star Wars Super Graphic is a veritable feast of factoids, statistics, and minutiae about that galaxy far, far away. With a dry wit and a formidable knowledge of the saga, Leong presents trivia from throughout the canonical Star Wars universe up until the release of Rogue One (and yes, that includes the animated series, novels, and comics too). Always wanted to know the precise placings of the pods in the Boonta Eve classic? This book has you covered. Need details on the relative speeds of starships from the Rebel, Imperial, Resistance, and First Order fleets? Leong has the answers. And, as the title suggests, every spread of information is presented in gorgeous and creative graphic visualisations.

I'm an enormous fan of encyclopedic works that chronicle the Star Wars universe (the visual dictionaries and incredible cross-sections volumes that accompany each film are, for me, always necessary purchases). Given this, I'm shocked that I almost missed this phenomenal publication. Many Star Wars trivia publications can be stuffed with information that is commonplace and - well - rather trivial. Not so here, however. Super Graphic had me realising just how much I still have to learn about the Star Wars universe. While Leong includes some great moments of levity (the visual breakdown of the divisive 'Yub Nub' celebration song is a particularly wonderful high point), a large portion of the content in this volume - like a complete chronological viewing order for the Clone Wars animated series - will be a vital resource for every fan of the saga. If you haven't yet, go out and pick up a copy of this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

The Hunt is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Imperial Probe Droid and Darth Vader Found

Force Friday II saw a smattering of 3 3/4" figure releases from films other than The Last Jedi - the most exciting of which was the Force Link Imperial Probe Droid and Darth Vader set. It was on my Force Friday II huntlist, but it took me until a couple of weeks ago to finally pick one up from Walmart for $19.99US ($28.72NZ).

The Vader is an admirably good sculpt for only five points of articulation, and comes with a lightsaber, removable cape, and the now-obligatory embedded Force Link chip. Despite all of this, the ubiquity of Vader figures over the years means that he'll remain rather uninteresting for most collectors. But let's be honest. No-one is buying this set for Vader. The real attraction here is the Imperial Probe Droid, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.

It's been twenty years since we last saw a 3 3/4" Imperial Probe Droid - and by all accounts, it's been well worth the wait. In complete contrast to the rest of the 3 3/4" line, the Probe Droid comes with more articulation than you can shake a stick at. Each limb features at least two points of articulation, along with a rotating head and telescoping antenna (the latter of which took me an embarrassingly long time to discover). The exquisite attention to detail doesn't stop there, however. The sculpt and paint app is top-notch, and is honestly closer to the kind of thing you'd expect to see on higher-end collectibles. With a beautiful satin metallic finish, glossy black photoreceptors, and tiny wear-and-tear marks all over it's body, this model is about as close to screen-accurate as you can expect from something that - at the end of the day - is a kid's toy.

The Probe Droid adds some playability with a single spring-loaded missile. Like the Force Link A-Wing, however, this feature is well-hidden and doesn't detract from the aesthetics of the model. In fact, it's almost impossible to spot (it's that little round speaker-like greebly just above the legs). It is, however, awfully sensitive, and - on my Probe Droid, at least - prone to firing without warning.

To finish off the whole package, Hasbro have added a transparent display stand emblazoned with the Imperial cog on the base - again something we'd expect to see only on a much more expensive item.

Hasbro have really hit it out of the park with this set, which bodes really well for the impending Wampa and Luke Skywalker pack!

Force Link 3 3/4" Resistance A-Wing

While it didn't make it on to my original Last Jedi huntlist, the Force Link Resistance A-Wing has been calling my name ever since Force Friday II. It's great to see such an OT-inspired vehicle coming out in the 3 3/4" line, let alone one that pays a direct homage to Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art. Unfortunately, the $55.00NZ price tag made it a difficult purchase to justify for my otherwise character-centric collection. Last week, however, I finally bit the bullet when a $10 discount at Toys'R'Us brought it down to a much more reasonable $19.99US ($29.32NZ). And boy am I glad I did.

Put simply, this might be my favourite 3 3/4" vehicle release since Disney took over the Star Wars franchise. There are just so many reasons to love this set - first of which is the size. In an age of horribly under-scaled vehicles, this A-Wing bucks the trend with perfect dimensions. If any tiny tweaks to the sizing have been made, you'll need a side-by-side comparison with some reference photos to spot them. I'm also impressed with how sturdy this vehicle is. If under-scaling is the greatest scourge of Star Wars toys in this era, flimsy warping plastic comes in a close second. Not here, however. Everything about this build reminds me of those wonderfully durable vehicles of the Power of the Force line that filled my childhood. This is a ship that'll be able to take its fair share of play in the hands of children and adult collectors alike. It also features two spring-loaded missile launchers, but - unlike those horrible Nerf-firing monstrosities of 2016 - this playability does not come at the cost of aesthetics. The missiles are discretely placed within the laser cannons, so that the vehicle can still be displayed as a screen-accurate model.

My only real gripe with the A-Wing is its landing gear. There's one fold-down leg under the nose, while the rear of the ship instead sits on the tail fins. The overall look isn't too bad, but it would've been much improved by an extra pair of legs at the back. Sure, this would've added to the production cost - but maybe we could have had these instead of the completely unnecessary Force Link feature.

Every ship needs a pilot, so the A-Wing also comes with an exclusive pack-in figure - Resistance Pilot Tallie. Featuring the usual five-points-of-articulation, Tallie comes with a great sculpt and paint app. She's a little loose in the cockpit, but this can be remedied by some finagling of her pose. Unlike her Resistance Bomber comrade Paige, Tallie's helmet is unremovable. Fortunately, however, it features a transparent visor - not those dreadful banana-visors we saw on early waves of Force Awakens figures.

Given that an ordinary figure retails for $7.99, the inclusion of Tallie means that - with the current Toys'R'Us discount - the A-Wing will only set you back $12.00 more than the figure alone. That's a phenomenally good price for such an outstanding 3 3/4" vehicle. If you've been on the fence about this set, now's the time to go and pick one up!

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.

One really nice feature of this set is the surprising number of accessories that accompany the two figures. The Praetorian Guard has his 'whipstaff' in both its 'whip' and 'staff' configurations, while the Stormtrooper Executioner comes with a fantastic little electro-axe (featuring translucent electrical sparks), as well as a blaster rifle and blaster pistol - both of which can clip into the holster on his right thigh.

Of course, there's one more item in this set that I've yet to mention: the Force Link bracelet. For those who are unfamiliar with the technology, the Force Link bracelet is an electronic device that - when worn by someone holding a Force Link figure - will play dialogue and sound effects appropriate to that character, responding to taps on the device and particular movements of the wearer's arm.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

In short, the bracelet is bad. So, so bad. My fiancée and I each spent a long while trying to elicit the correct sounds via the appropriate gestures - but for the most part, it seemed utterly random. Sometimes a character would repeat the same line ad nauseum, while other times they wouldn't say a thing. Occasionally we managed to elicit the desired sound out of the device, but only with the most convulated of arm gestures. Later in the day, I struggled to even get the device (which features no buttons or switches) to turn back on. Put simply, the Force Link bracelet is really just an inferior version of the same technology we saw almost twenty years ago with the Episode I CommTech reader. While that device was clunkier, and the chips too large to fit within the figures, it at least managed to work reliably every time. As an added bonus, the CommTech reader was actually fashioned after an in-universe device - the comlink used by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace. The Force Link bracelet is just... well, a bracelet.

That being said, no one will be buying this set for the bracelet. The real attraction here are those two exclusive figures. Toys'R'Us is also currently sweetening the deal by offering a free Star Wars poster with any Star Wars purchase, and $10 off any combined Star Wars purchase of $50 or more.

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.

Sefla is, first and foremost, an army-builder - an excellent way of filling out the ranks in your Rogue One Rebels display. For a background character, his sculpt and paint job have been given a surprising amount of care. Not only that, but he comes with some phenomenally great accessories. For one, his helmet is removable - making him only the third post-Disney-buyout 3 3/4" figure (along with Finn [FN-2187] and Sergeant Jyn Erso [Imperial Infiltrator]) to have this feature. In addition, his oversized pack-in accessory is actually a screen-accurate weapon (the missile launcher used by Baze), and suitable for display purposes. Combined with his regular sidearm, this trio of accessories rounds out a figure that's much better than I had originally anticipated!

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.

Jyn is a great rework of the Imperial Ground Crew figure from wave 1 - now with fingerless gloves and a removable (albeit oddly rubberised) helmet. The Imperial Death Trooper and Shoretrooper are both variants - albeit important ones - of figures from the Wave 1 two-packs. The Death Trooper now comes with his iconic pauldron and ammunition belt, and looks a lot better for it. The original version of this trooper always seemed a little lanky and unencumbered, but the addition of the extra gear balances out his silhouette perfectly. The Shoretrooper, on the other hand, is the basic 'grunt' version of this soldier - losing the command skirt and extra colouring that was found on the earlier incarnation. Each trooper comes with his on-screen blaster, as well as an obligatory larger 'action-feature' weapon (in this case, slightly different variations of a grappling hook rifle - not shown above).

Star Wars Is Everywhere - The National Christmas Center

Located in Paradise, Pennsylvania, the National Christmas Center features a range of stunning exhibitions documenting Christmas past and present, and across a range of cultures. One display is dedicated to toys from Christmases-gone-by - amongst which I spotted a vintage 12-inch stormtrooper.

Have you found Star Wars in the most unlikeliest of places? If you have, be sure to share it with us via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com.

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"?

Both figures come with a blaster rifle and the usual 'build-a-weapon' piece. Most satisfyingly, these two acquisitions mean that I've now obtained everything on my Force Awakens wishlist

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.

(Image courtesy of StarWars.com)

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 these announcements? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

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

Yakface is reporting that Toys'R'Us will have their exclusive 3 3/4" Force Link Starter Set (containing the otherwise-unavailable First Order Stormtrooper Executioner  and alternate Elite Praetorian Guard design) in stock next week.

This set has been on my hunt list since Force Friday II, so I'll be doing my best to snag one once they hit shelves. As something of a sweetener, Toys'R'Us will also be offering a free Star Wars poster with any Star Wars purchase, and $10 off any combined Star Wars purchase of $50 or more.

Lego 41486 BrickHeadz Captain Phasma

Today's post comes on behalf of my fiancée, who has recently been delving into Lego's new 'BrickHeadz' line. These adorable little sets come in at $9.99US ($14.45NZ) a piece, and are essentially the Lego equivalent of a Funko Pop! figure. So far, the line has included characters from Disney, DC, and Marvel, but on November 1st Lego finally tapped into one of their most lucrative licenses with 41485 Finn and 41486 Captain Phasma - the latter of which my fiancée picked up without a moment's hesitation.

Put simply, Phasma is a phenomenal little set. Promotional images had made me somewhat sceptical about her headsculpt - especially the flat 4 x 1 across the front of what should be a very curved helmet. It seems these concerns were for naught, however, as it all works very well. In fact, there's a staggering amount of detail in her head alone, which might explain her very high part count of 127 pieces - 36 more than Finn. Another excellent touch is her red-trimmed cape, which - despite the blocky medium from which it's built - still seems to give the impression of flowing and falling naturally over her shoulder. 

Her blaster rifle is adorned with a single metalised silver piece, but this raises the question: why was the entire figure not built from bricks of this colour? My only thought is that Lego isn't yet producing the necessary pieces in silver, so ruled it out for cost reasons. Still, while Phasma works well enough in grey, having her rendered entirely in metalised parts would have really made her pop.

All up, this set has us incredibly excited for the future of Star Wars BrickHeadz. With an (albeit exclusive) Boba Fett and Han Solo in carbonite debuting at NYCC this year, and rumours of more sets early next year, there's a good chance Phasma will have some friends in the near-future.