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 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.

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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, 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

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!

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.