One, Two, Three Times a Knight of Ren…
For a character deliberately designed to ape the success of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren is not off to a bad start – after one film he’s already the most interesting of Disney’s additions to the saga, and there’s the promise of plenty more to come in the next two instalments.
Since the release of The Force Awakens back in 2015 Hasbro has been quick to capitalise on the popularity of the troubled Ben Solo, releasing no fewer than eight 3.75” figures and counting. The kitbashed version released on a Rogue One card recently came into my possession, leading me to this rather particular question:
Which Kylo Ren action figure from The Force Awakens is the best?
1. The Force Awakens
The very first Kylo Ren action figure, this vintage-styled version stood out alongside Captain Phasma as the most impressive figure of the line. Unfortunately, when you consider some of the figures included in The Force Awakens line you realise that’s not much of an accolade…
Whilst this Ren does still look cool when stood with his lightsaber, there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s a rigid, lifeless statue. The sculpt definitely looks good, but that really is all there is to him.
2. The Black Series
The deluxe 3.75” Kylo Ren. Released as part of the Asda/Walmart exclusive Black Series line, this Ren features an ignited lightsaber, an unignited hilt, a soft goods lower skirt and more articulation than you can impale your father with.
This has been my Kylo Ren figure of choice, with the posability making it more fun to photograph and play around with. However, there’s no denying that the soft goods look goofy, as they pretty much always do at this scale, while the option of having a removable cowl would have made a huge difference to how we could use him (see also: the non-removable gloved hands on the Black Series Rey figure).
3. Rogue One
A return to 5POA but with one key difference – posing. While most of the Rogue One 5POA figures are sculpted in the same boring old vintage pose (see also: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren), this version of young Ren looks a little more alive. Using the body from the helmetless Kylo Ren TFA figure, he has a slight step forward and a Force-using gesture for his left hand. It’s a stance that adds some dynamism to his form and makes the most of his limited articulation, while the fact that it calls to mind POTF2 doesn’t hurt either.
However, the single element that takes this version of Ren to the next level is his removable cowl. Cast from a soft plastic the cowl slips easily on and off the figure, and when on it sits so convincingly that from the card I wasn’t even 100% sure that it was removable. Overall it makes for a sturdy, fun figure that looks fantastic.
And the winner?
Ultimately it’s between the Black Series and Rogue One versions for the best 3.75” Kylo Ren figure. If you value articulation above all else and/or don’t mind soft goods then the Black Series is what you need. But (and I surprised myself with this) if you want a fun Ben Solo toy with excellent aesthetics and different display options, then the 5POA Rogue One Kylo Ren figure is the one to go for.