The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren & Darth Vader Electronic Figures
This deluxe animatronic figure is produced based on digital data from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With 31 points of articulation, this villain is highly poseable. Hold Kylo Ren's Lightsaber™ and wave it for incredible real time interaction with light and stereo battle sound effects! Raise his left arm and watch him come alive with voice and animated actions.
Thinkway's larger electronic figures are certainly eye catching when you see them on store shelves, but are they worth putting in your shopping cart? I take a look a two Star Wars bad guys, Kylo Ren and Darth Vader, to let you know what I think. Come inside for the full review.
Earlier, I brought you my thoughts on Thinkway's incredible remote controlled AT-AT figure, but I'm not done with this toy company just yet. I also got the chance to get my hands on a pair of the larger scale figures they offer as well. Considering I'm a huge collector of villains, you know I had to play around with the Kylo Ren and Darth Vader ones.
To be honest, it's actually a lot easier to talk about these figures together, as many of the things I have to say apply to both of them (and I suspect many of the other figures in this line). I'll mention a couple specifics about each one, but by and large, you can take my thoughts on both in one go.
The first thing you'll notice about these electronic figures, is that they're huge. Sure, there are other large scale figures out there from Jakks Pacific, that are in the same size range, but these are entirely different in the best ways. First of all, they're incredibly articulated. I'm not talking about just a handful of places either (like Hasbro's smaller 3.75 inch line), the Thinkway figures feature 31 points of articulation. Hell, Kylo's TOES on his boots can be adjust, as well as the fingers on their hands. At this scale, it's really impressive to see so much attention and movement included in these figures. It's not something we're really accustomed to seeing, and adds a lot more to the playability factor of these toys.
Visually, they're great facsimiles of their movie counterparts, offering up an impressive amount of detail. Vader's buttons are neatly aligned, Kylo's helmet is dented and shows wear, and the soft goods for their robes/capes are a very nice touch (I've always been a sucker for cloth over plastic). They're solid sculpts of these characters that give fans a fairly movie accurate figure which looks great on display.
Speaking of display...I have the feeling that's what many people are going to be using these for. That's not to say playing with them isn't fun, but their size keeps them from being as practical to play with as other toys. I mean, these things take up a good chunk of space, and make a lot of noise (it's volume is something I had some minor issues with for the AT-AT as well). They aren't bad toys, however, and can still be fun.
The electronic components in the figures are markedly different than the AT-AT. The walker is a vehicle, and worked great as a remote controlled toy. It can move around on it's own, and do all sorts of cool little maneuvers. The figures, however, are more like BIG action figures that have to be held and posed for playing with. This makes the electronics work a little differently.
The Lightsabers light up and as you swing them around make the appropriate swooshing and humming noises. It's actually very accurate, and is able to keep up with your movements as you hack and slash through the air. The figures makes it into a game, where you can "train" with the Lightsaber and be graded on your performance. Based on how quick/smooth you are in guiding the blade, they'll utter a new voice clip. You're skill level determines what he says, so the better you do, the more confident/menacing they become!
Of course you can also have them duel it out, if you have someone to play with you, in which the sabers make the clashing noise and can be pretty fun. The things are durable, and stand up to some serious playtime. I have TWO boys in the house, and they have messed up some toys in their time on this planet. Even when turned over to them, Kylo and Vader held up well, and still look great on the shelf.
One of the only downsides (aside from not giving me the option to turn down the volume), is that they're just large enough to be unwieldy when it comes to playing. Sure, it's fun to sit around with them, and swing the saber, but you're not going to use them like you would other action figures you pick up. There's more effort involved in playing with them that I don't see kids taking the time to do regularly.
As a collector, I can imagine most would keep them for display, only 'playing' with them to show off what they can do. More than likely, that's what I'll end up doing, but that's okay. The sculpts do look great, and will look significantly better than any other figure of this scale within your collection. Now I just need a new Darth Maul from them...