S.H. Figuarts: The Last Jedi Figures Announced

Along with the new design for the site that has been installed today, I have decided that from now on I will be covering the news on the S.H. Fguarts Star Wars figures, I will also post reviews as new items are getting released.

For my first post about S.H. Figuarts, I will talk about The Last Jedi figures that were announced during Force Friday II. In total 8 figures were announced! These figures are going to be released 2 per month starting this month until December when the movie is released, it’s a great schedule that builds the hype for the movie. The schedule goes as follow:

Captain Phasma
First Order Stormtrooper w/ Pauldrons

Elite Praetorian Guard (Double Blade)
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner

Kylo Ren
Elite Praetorian Guard (Heavy Blade)

Rey (Jedi Training)
Elite Praetorian Guard (Whip Staff)

Along with these figures, there are preorder bundles for each month offering four BB-units figures – BB-9E, BB-2, BB-8 and BB-4. Some bundles are still available on AmiAmi, so if you want one you should probably hurry.

It seems that in every brand, the Elite Praetorian Guards have a big place in merchandising and I like it. I love their design, they’re like the Imperial Royal Guards but in a more action outfit so I expect them to get some good action scenes this December! And unlike for Rogue One, Figuarts has decided to release named characters with Rey and Kylo and not just troopers.

For the troopers, the First Order Stormtrooper with pauldrons is not exactly a repack from the The Force Awakens First Order Stormtrooper. It is an updated. He has The Last Jedi helmet, the difference is the mouth piece. He also has the three different pauldrons – the red, the white and the black. In terms of weapons, he will have the blaster and the blaster pistol that can be attached to his leg. For the interchangeable hands, it will be the same as the TFA version.

About Phasma, this time Figuarts has done her armor chrome. In terms of accessories, she will also have her blaster, a blaster pistol, her spear and a some sort of small knife or mini spear (new weapons she is getting in TLJ).

The Elite Praetorian Guards will all have the sword and whip with them and each one will have their specific weapon as well – double blade, heavy blade, whip staff, plus obviously interchangeable hands.

For Rey and Kylo Ren faces, Figuarts will be using the digital face printing, a technique they have been using with all their figures and that gives a really realistic result and also avoid paint apps problems like in the Hasbro lines. In terms of accessories, Rey will have her blaster, Anakin’s lightsaber hilt and the lightsaber with the blade on, plus a satchel. For Ren, he will have his helmet, his lightsaber with the blade on and one with just the hilt. However, he won’t have his cape as seen on the Vanity Fair cover photoshoot. If Figuarts didn’t include it, I think it may mean that Kylo won’t have his cape much in the movie, at least it would be my guess.

If you want to see all the promotional pictures that were released for these figures, go check the album we made on our facebook page!

If you live in Japan and were able to go to Force Friday II events there, you may have already been able to get Phasma and the First Order Stormtrooper, plus see with your own eyes the upcoming figures on display and looking at the photos posted on facebook, it looks like Figuarts has done another amazing job!

Let us know in the comments, if you are going to pick some of these awesome figures!


Force Friday II And The European Situation

The big planetary event celebrating the release of the merchandise for The Last Jedi took place last Friday and it may have been generally a success in the United States more or less but in Europe outside of the United Kingdom, it was a whole different situation. Giving European fans as usual the impression that the big companies don’t really care about us and they only care about the US sells because it is not the first time, things aren’t great when it comes to merchandising in Europe (outside of UK).

Last year, for Force Friday (Go Rogue) there was nothing on the shelves of toy stores for Rogue One, absolutely nothing except at Disney Store a few Elite Series were there and one or two mugs. I was told that the reason for that was because a few stores had put the toys on shelves before the street date and Hasbro France had reacted to it badly. Leading Hasbro to force toy stores not to put anything on the shelves the day of the street date. This is indeed totally crazy but it seems to be the truth. I had gotten that same answer from two different people working at toy stores and saw that other people also got that explanation for why there was nothing in stores for the Go Rogue event. I personally saw boxes of U-Wing last year at Toys R Us La Défense next to the checkout, put there for weeks because they didn’t have the right to put them on shelves. This was absolutely scandalous. The worst in all of that is when stores put on shelves toys before the street dates in the US, nothing happens, Hasbro US just lets things happen but it seems in France, the company is a lot more strict. As you can imagine, there were obviously no midnight opening events in France. And let’s not forget other European countries where there was simply nothing until a few months after the Go Rogue event actually took place.

One could believe that this year Hasbro France would avoid another fiasco but no, it was just another debacle but at least we have to admit there were a few things on shelves this year. For Force Friday II, there were actually two stores doing a midnight opening in Paris – Toys R Us La Défense and Village Joué Club. Joué Club had basically all the basic 3.75 inch figures, the 2-packs, the creature packs and the most surprising thing Rey Black Series figure, not wave 1, but just Rey. I’ll just let that sink into your minds. For Toys R’ Us, the only difference is that they had Luke and Kylo Ren in Black Series along with Rey. So there again, not wave 1 but just three figures of wave 1. How is possible that Hasbro just cut a wave of Black Series? Well, it’s a mystery at the time, maybe the rest of the wave will be released later on, maybe not but it is not the first time this kind of situation happens in France, Hasbro had already cut waves for no apparent reasons.

That’s for the midnight openings, but what about all around France? Let’s just say it was a total disaster. King Jouet advertised on their site they had the Force Friday II products but if you looked on their site they had nothing Hasbro, just a few lego sets and at my local King Jouet in Ajaccio, they had nothing. Joué Club stores, I have heard they had nothing apart from Village Joué Club who had done the midnight opening. For Toys R’ Us, it was random. Some had nothing, others had a few things. For example, you can see what Toys R Us Montpellier had:

It was not a lot indeed. So let’s not even think about Black Series wave 2 along with the two speeders while in the US many stores had it.

Disney Stores had their own products and a few 3.75 inch figures but anyway, DS don’t usually sell Black Series as they focus on their own Elite Series line.

Now about online stores like Amazon France and CDiscount. Amazon had Luke, Kylo and Rey Black Series so the same situation – not even half of the wave, the two speeders and that’s all. CDiscount had in preorder Luke, Kylo and Rey, plus they had a few items like BB9-E Sphero but nothing more.

For Spain, the situation was even worse than in France. There was a midnight opening but there only were legos and mugs, no figures. Thanks to @HurricanOfFire on Twitter for reporting this.

Surprisingly for Germany, it wasn’t the same thing, at least for some stores who had the entire wave 1 of Black Series with Hera and Thrawn in a Toys R Us store. Thanks to @kenobi_domi on Twitter for reporting this.

So, maybe Force Friday II was a success in the United States and the United Kingdom but for the rest of Europe it was a real mess. Maybe it would be time for Hasbro to rethink their strategy when it comes to Europe because us fans living in France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and the rest of Europe, we would like to be able to buy the same toys as there is in the US, we matter too, we are fans too. Let us know in the comments your Force Friday II experience.