Toy Empire is a column that examines modern Star Wars collectibles by theme, from characters to audience. If you need a guide for your own bounty hunting, look no further.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always been drawn to the bad guys of the Star Wars galaxy. Of course, I want to see the good guys win at the end of the day, but there is no denying how cool the Empire always looked. The sleek, white, faceless stormtroopers have always been some of my favorite baddies. And then, of course, there was Darth Vader, the absolute fiercest-looking villain out there. How could you not love these guys? Sure, they were doing terrible things to the innocent people of the galaxy. But they looked great doing it!
The Force Awakens introduced us to a new big bad in the First Order, an organization that rose from the ashes of the evil Empire. And with that, we’ve got a new ensemble of really cool-looking bad guys that make you want to go out and buy all of their action figures! Come on, I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
I now present to you the villains of The Force Awakens in plastic form! Since I’ve already dedicated an entire column to the awesome that is Captain Phasma, in this column I’m going to focus solely on the toys of the new stormtroopers, General Hux, and our new main villain Kylo Ren.
This is your standard line in the classic scale, featuring five points of articulation and a lower price point. But along with that also comes the largest character selection of any of the current Star Wars lines. We get one figure of General Hux and a few great variations of Kylo Ren. Where this line really shines, however, is with the stormtroopers! From the standard armor to the more specialized troopers like the flametrooper and the snowtrooper, the 4” basic line is absolutely perfect for army building! What’s better than sending Rey into battle against Kylo Ren? Sending Rey into battle against Kylo Ren and 40 stormtroopers, that’s what!
The Black Series is for the long-time Star Wars collector who prefers the 4” scale, but may want more articulation and better attention to detail. The character selection isn’t quite as deep, but we do already have a nice Kylo Ren in this line that features a soft-goods cloak and really nice detail. Pair that up with the highly articulated stormtrooper, and you can build a really sleek, super-posable First Order to battle against your Resistance!
POP! Vinyl Bobble-Heads by Funko
Who doesn’t love Funko? The incredibly fun POP! line of vinyl bobbleheads has given us a wide selection of characters to collect from the Star Wars universe. The Force Awakens line expands that by giving us Funko’s signature cute styling of even the baddest of the bad! Everyone from General Hux to various stormtroopers can be found. And if you’re really into collecting these, you may have even noticed some retail exclusives that allow you to display Kylo Ren with or without his hood! There are so many choices! You better just buy them all. That’s what I always tend to do.
6” Black Series Action Figures by Hasbro
I’m a longtime collector and fan of Star Wars toys in general. But as a toy collector, I’ve always had a preference towards action figures that are in the 6” scale. So this particular Black Series from Hasbro has become a favorite Star Wars line to collect for me. And with The Force Awakens, the character selection has really opened up, including plenty of First Order representation!
One of my personal favorite Kylo Ren figures comes from this line, complete with a great amount of articulation, soft-goods robe, and a lightsaber with a removable blade. We recently got a General Hux in this line to help command the troops. And speaking of those troops, our selection of the different types of stormtroopers seems to be growing at a rapid pace. Just as with the basic 4” line, you can build an army that includes basic troopers, flametroopers, and snowtroopers! But these figures are much larger and feature more articulation. Something for everyone!
The Disney Store exclusive Elite Series is a very unique lineup of action figures that really walks that line between being toys you can play with and collectibles you should display. Each figure is about 7” tall and features accessories and some articulation, but the very heavy, die-cast metal bodies make them much more suitable to presentation on a shelf. Like all of the other toy lines I’ve discussed, this one has a great cast of characters that includes several stormtroopers and the nefarious Kylo Ren. But one thing that this line has that no other does yet is the option to pick up an unmasked Kylo Ren figure, complete with Adam Driver likeness!
So now that you have a bit of insight, it’s time to start building your First Order! Amass those troops! Make Supreme Leader Snoke proud!
Until next time!
“Pixel Dan” Eardley is a reviewer, reporter, and all-around toy enthusiast. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, Dan enjoyed a variety of popular toys including Star Wars, among many others. His love of toys has followed him into his adult life where he continues to collect toys both new and old. Through his popular videos on his YouTube channel, with over 100,000 subscribers, Dan shares his enthusiasm for the collecting hobby with the world.