Jyn Erso Rebels as Rogue One’s First Action Figure Exclusive [Review]
We first saw Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso action figure at Star Wars Celebration Europe, where the lead actor was also given her first look at her plastic miniature. At the time, the only way to get the figure was to wait for this September's Star Wars Black Series wave to arrive. Jyn would join the likes of Sabine Wren and Princess Leia, among others, in the most female-focused Black Series wave to date. But Hasbro wasn't content to make everyone wait out her fall arrival, and following its own lead from San Diego Comic-Con 2015, made Jyn Erso an early release exclusive at this year's convention.
Jyn's inclusion in Hasbro's SDCC 2016 plans actually came as a bit of a surprise, as much of the company's exclusive content was revealed well in advance of the show. There was also no indication even at SWCE --- which was just a few days prior to SDCC --- this was going to happen. Still, Jyn Erso was a welcome addition to the show, and like the First Order Stormtrooper before her, gave fans eager for anything to do with the latest Star Wars cinematic hotness something concrete to enjoy before the Rogue One's December debut.
The arrival of Jyn is a big deal for a number of reasons. First, she's the first female exclusive figure offered since the start of the Black Series. Granted, there haven't been a great number of Black Series exclusives, but it goes to show that Hasbro is perhaps listening to fans a bit more than we traditionally give them credit. Second, Jyn is only the sixth female figure in the line (not counting the Rey Starkiller Base repaint) out of more than 65 total figures in the Black Series to date.
With roughly a 1:11 ratio, that's not a great amount of diversity in the line. However, as we have pointed out, the upcoming wave is righting the ship just a bit in that regard. Coupled with Rey being a central character for the franchise moving forward, Hera Syndulla getting a figure in a later 2016 wave, and Jaina Solo winning this year's fan vote (thank space Jesus), the Black Series is on the cusp of fixing that ratio. At least all those Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers got their shot first. Anyway.
Even in this early stage --- and I say early as the SDCC 2015 Stormtrooper went through slight changes before full retail release on Force Friday --- there's a lot to like about the Jyn Erso figure overall. We don't have nearly enough "normal" Rebellion soldiers in the series, and this more plainclothes style actually stands out among the other figures. Typically in a toy line, that's just not the case, and more average looking costumes tend to be dull and boring. Perhaps it's the newness of the character, but Jyn's everyday Rebel outfit works well.
There's some nice detailing in the jacket sleeves and the vest, and you do get the impression of authenticity. The same can be said for her pants. While all black, at the cuff by her boots, there's some nice piping work to give the idea of different textures at work. You also get a sense of how much effort went into the cobbling of Jyn's boots. Upon close inspection, there's a lot of nuance in her shoes from the heel tag to the manufactured elements all being pieced together. It all works together to provide realism to this character living in such a fantastical galaxy.
Everything works for Jyn from the neck down, but the head sculpt is again a point of contention. Like the recent New Hope Luke Skywalker, the likeness is too soft and the plastic used robs her of any true features. Hasbro makes much of its ability to use facial scans of the actual actors, but Felicity Jones' likeness loses all its shape when crafted in plastic. The same fate hasn't befallen other new figures like the unmasked Kylo Ren or the Force Awakens Han Solo. While the Han has Harrison Ford's aged face providing some points of reference, Adam Driver is equally as wrinkle free as Felicity. His head however actually looks like the actor. Maybe it's the hair providing balance to his angular face. Perhaps Jyn's casual styling hurts her here, but there's still some work that could have been done on the portrait to make her presence stronger.
The Black Series has always been one of the more consistent mass market 6" figure lines, and it's been continually improving with each and every wave. Now that Hasbro is spreading the love a bit more to Star Wars fighting female characters, things can only get better. Maybe by the time Jyn arrives everywhere at retail, the portrait issues will be worked out, but even if they don't, the SDCC exclusive Jyn Erso is another solid effort from Hasbro's Black Series.
The Star Wars Black Series Jyn Erso figure will be available worldwide this fall. This SDCC exclusive version was provided by Hasbro for review.