Lego 30497 First Order Heavy Assault Walker Mini Building Set

Along with the 3 3/4" figure line, my other main collecting focus (at least, now that Micro Machines are out of the picture again) are the Lego polybag mini building sets. With the prices of full-scale Lego sets rising dramatically in recent years, these polybags have been a great way for me to keep my hand in with Star Wars Lego. Force Friday saw the release of the first polybag vehicle from The Last Jedi - the First Order Heavy Assault Walker. It's proved to be incredibly elusive in Maryland, but a couple of days ago I finally tracked down a lone set at a Target store in Delaware.

This might very well be one of my favourite polybag releases to date. Unlike static sets such as the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter, this model is packed with features. The legs feature a surprising ten points of articulation - allowing for all kinds of poseability - and the nifty ball-jointed neck only adds to this versatility. The bomb bay on the rear of the torso also tilts - but it's yet to be seen if this is a movie-accurate feature, or simply a by-product of the construction.

Most importantly, all of the most distinctive design elements of the heavy assault walker (such as the angular chin, bent-back 'paws', and shoulder-mounted cannon) are rendered in ingenious and aesthetically pleasing way.

It's a phenomenal set, and fantastic value at only $3.49US ($4.83NZD)!

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Wave 1 Figures Found

I've spent the weeks since Force Friday II slowly tracking down the items on my Last Jedi Hasbro huntlist. In contrast to last Force Friday, I've been spacing out my purchases - doing my best to take advantage of the best deals and make my budget go as far as possible. My main focus was on the 3/4" Force Link line, and I began by picking up Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) on release day, followed soon after by Finn (Resistance Fighter), Kylo Ren, Resistance Gunner Paige, Resistance Tech Rose, and the Rey (Jedi Training) and Elite Praetorian Guard 2-pack.

As with the Force Awakens and Rogue One lines, this new Force Link range continues to be restricted to only five points of articulation. With every wave of new figures, however, this is becoming less and less of a concern. Put simply, these are some of the best-looking Star Wars figures to hit shelves since Disney bought out the franchise back in 2012. The tooling is fantastic across the board, with simple elements (like fabric texture) looking better than ever. Kylo's cape and Luke's cloak are rendered in vinyl which - in this collector's humble opinion - leads them to look far better than the cloth capes found with their 3 3/4" and 6" super-articulated Black Series equivalents.

The likenesses are also spot-on - particularly in the case of old-man Luke. But the real stand-out figure in this line is the as-yet-unknown Paige. Not only does she finally give us a Resistance pilot with a removable helmet, but she also comes with a detachable oxygen mask that neatly clips into her donned helmet - a phenomenally cool detail!

Each figure (not counting Luke) comes with a single sidearm or lightsaber, while Rose also comes with an unidentified tool that clips to her belt. Thankfully, Hasbro has ditched the oversized additional weaponry in favour of the new 'Force Link' technology: an embedded chip that, when scanned by the (separately sold) Force Link bracelet, elicits a series of character-specific dialogue from the device. The one exception to this is the Rey in the 2-pack, who still comes with a whopping Falcon-esque shoulder-mounted quad cannon (not pictured above). It's a forgivable inclusion, however, since Rey already comes with a plentiful supply of screen-accurate accessories including her blaster, staff, and Luke's lightsaber.

I haven't had the chance to test the Force Link feature yet - since I'm holding out for the Toy'R'Us exclusive bracelet set that's being released later this year - but I'll be sure to update this post when I do!

J.J. Abrams Replaces Colin Trevorrow as Director of Episode IX

With the last Star Wars director swap only a few months in the past, Lucasfilm have dropped another bombshell - J.J. Abrams will be replacing Colin Trevorrow as the director of Star Wars Episode IX.

(Image courtesy of
I, for one, couldn't be happier. I've been a fan of Abrams ever since the first episode of Lost, and the announcement back in 2013 that he would be directing Episode VII filled me with all kinds of hope. Hope that - I would argue - wasn't misplaced. After doing a phenomenal job with The Force Awakens, it seems only fitting that he returns to round out the trilogy. The release date for Episode IX has now been moved back from May 24th 2019 to December 20th 2019 - most likely in light of this change-up.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this announcement? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to!

Maryland Toy Store Tour - September 2017

After a few months on holiday in my homeland of New Zealand, I've returned to Maryland, USA. One of my first priorities after getting back was to scope out the range and distribution of The Last Jedi products stateside. First up on my toy store tour was Target, and I was shocked at how picked-over everything was.

Earlier last week, I checked my local Farmers store in New Zealand and there was still a plentiful supply of the entire range of 3 3/4" figures - even Old Man Luke. Here, however, there was only Rose, Finn and Hux. No Luke's, Kylos, Poes, Chewies, 3POs, Stormtroopers, Paiges, or Reys (either in single-carded or two-pack form). One thing that was in stock - and which had been completely absent from New Zealand stores - were porgs. So, so many porgs...

Next up on my tour was Toys'R'Us. Things were a little better there. While the more highly desirable figures (like Luke, Chewie, and the Stormtrooper) were still absent, there was a healthy supply of most other characters from the wave.

Finally, I paid a visit to Walmart. Their stock selection fell somewhere between Target and Toys'R'Us, with the same favourite characters still failing to make an appearance. There was also a complete lack of new additions to their exclusive Black Series 3 3/4" line (the pegs still being full of two-year-old Finns and Hans).

The really concerning thing is that every store I visited had an absolute glut of Forces of Destiny dolls - which doesn't bode well for Hasbro continuing the line. It's a shame, because they look absolutely fantastic; both as a straight-out-of-the-pack toy, and as a base for more detailed customisation (which my fiancée soon plans to do with the Leia and Wicket pair).

All said and done, it's clear that Force Friday II arrived with much greater fanfare in the US than in New Zealand. Every store I visited had at least one dedicated display, along with some great standees and promotional material. How're things looking in your area? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to!

Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Second Trailer Released

This morning saw the release of a brand new trailer for the fourth (and final) season of Star Wars Rebels - and it's a cracker. You can check it out below:

It's clear from this trailer that the last season of Rebels is going to dovetail beautifully into the events of Rogue One and A New Hope. As Ezra says: "all the paths are coming together." The fourth season of Rebels begins airing on October 16th.

What are your thoughts on this trailer for the final season of Star Wars Rebels? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to!