‘Star Wars’ Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

Photo Credit and (C) 2019: Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

As Supreme Leader of the First Order, Kylo Ren wields more power than ever before. Nevertheless, Kylo Ren continues to search for secrets of the Force from the depths of the dark side.Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90)

On October 4, 2019, Rhode Island-based Hasbro, Inc. released a “wave” of eight new Star Wars The Black Series six-inch scale action figures based on characters from several films and TV shows in Lucasfilm Ltd.’s Star Wars franchise. Most of the new figures were tie-ins to the (then) upcoming Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker and Jon Favreau’s TV series (for Disney+) The Mandalorian, although Star Wars: Rebels and the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are also represented.

The wave consisted of – in no particular order – the following figures:

  • Supreme Leader Kylo Ren
  • Rey & D-O
  • Cal Kestis
  • The Mandalorian
  • Sith Trooper
  • Offworld Jawa
  • Second Sister Inquisitor
  • First Order Stormtrooper

Although the 90th figure in Hasbro’s seven-year-old (as of this writing) Star Wars The Black Series collection is billed as a new figure based on the Dark Side half of the “Force dyad” formed by Rey and the conflicted Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo), it is actually a tweaked version of an older figure from 2017: Kylo Ren (#45),

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this premium Supreme Leader Kylo Ren toy, inspired by the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie. – Product description on Hasbro’s official web site

Photo Credit and (C) 2019: Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd.

More to the point, Hasbro took the nearly identical “body” – including the four articulated limbs – of Kylo Ren (#45) from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and equipped him with a new mask that reflects the one rebuilt by Sith alchemists and metallurgists during Kylo’s reign as the Supreme Leader of the First Order.

Supreme Leader Kylo Ren 
portrays the Sequel Trilogy’s most fascinating character, Kylo Ren, the powerful but conflicted leader of the First Order. As incarnated on screen by actor Adam Driver (A Marriage Story), Kylo is not only an angry young man obsessed with the Dark Side of the Force, but he is also a member of the Skywalker family. His mother is Leia Organa, the natural daughter of Anakin Skywalker and the twin sister of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, and his father is the smuggler-turned-Rebel hero Han Solo. 

Ready for his close-up! Photo Credit and (C) 2019: Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Born five years after the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Ben Solo  trained as a Jedi Knight under the tutelage of his uncle Luke Skywalker; however, the powerful but troubled young Jedi Padawan was seduced to the dark side of the Force by the mysterious Dark Side user known as Snoke. Eventually, Ben turned his back on the ways of the Jedi and destroyed Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, killing many of his fellow apprentices and joining the dark side users known collectively as the Knights of Ren. By the time of the Starkiller Incident, Ben called himself Kylo Ren, and was known throughout the First Order as “the Jedi Killer.” 

The 6-inch scale Black Series figure is detailed to look like the character from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, featuring premium detail and multiple points of articulation. ﹘ Promotional blurb in the Supreme Leader Kylo Ren product listing, Hasbro Official Website

What’s In the Box?

Photo Credit and (C) 2019: Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd.

The figure of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren is a representation of the former Jedi apprentice and “Darth Vader wannabe” as seen in the first act of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, clad in an evil-looking black outfit reminiscent of his infamous grandfather Vader’s iconic and fearsome armor, complete with a flowing black static-dampening cape.

In addition, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90) is equipped with both a deactivated lightsaber hilt and an activated lightsaber with an unstable red energy blade. It appears flame-like in comparison to other lightsaber blades because Kylo Ren’s kyber crystal is cracked, which is why the hilt has crossguard vents from which excess energy can be expelled.

As is the case with Hasbro’ Star Wars The Black Series’ action figures based on human – and humanoid – characters, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90) is fully posable thanks to the number of points of articulation (POA) that the company’s designers and manufacturers have incorporated into the six-inch scale figure. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has at least 13 POAs, including a swivel point at the neck to turn the head from side to side.

This multiplicity of articulation points, which are analogous to “joints” in human anatomy, allows collectors and fans alike to display their Star Wars action figures in more realistic poses than was possible with the original Kenner-era (1978-1985) “mini-action figures” from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Of course, on some figures, say, Luke Skywalker (Jedi Training), the multiple POAs have the unavoidable effect of making the figure look more like a toy than something an adult collector would buy, especially if the character is not wearing armor or a flight suit that can hide the more obvious hinge-like mechanisms of the POAs.

In this figure, although Supreme Leader Kylo Ren’s points of articulation can be seen, they tend to blend into the black plastic of the Vader-like armor worn by the leader of the Knights of Ren throughout Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The red-and-black packaging of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren contains the following:

  • Supreme Leader Kylo Ren figure with a non-removable “re-forged” mask
  • Deactivated lightsaber hilt
  • Activated lightsaber with simulated “unstable” energy blade
  • Removable cape and optional “hood” accessory
Photo Credit and (C) 2019: Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd

My Take

I purchased Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90) shortly after my birthday in March, along with a batch of other Star Wars The Black Series figures (including Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony, Rebel Trooper, Emperor Palpatine and Throne (Amazon Exclusive), and Rey & D-O.  I usually don’t splurge on so many figures at once, but, hey, you only live once, y’know?

As a fan from the “1977 Generation,” I tend to favor collectibles from the Original Trilogy, but I also love the Prequel and Sequel Trilogies. As a result, I try to get Star Wars The Black Series collectibles from the entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga, although my collection still reflects a bias toward Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Hasbro did a good job with this rendering of the Sequel Trilogy’s almost Shakespearean antagonist and dark side “twin” to the Jedi-in-training called Rey. Yes, it’s essentially a reissue of an existing figure with a new head (the rebuilt mask is not removable) and slightly altered accessories, but since I don’t own Kylo Ren (#45), it doesn’t bother me one bit.

I never intended to restart collecting Star Wars stuff after certain life-changing incidents occurred between July of 2015 and October 2017. I didn’t even know that Hasbro had a Star Wars The Black Series collection, much less that it featured six-inch scale action figures until a friend gave me the 40th Anniversary Darth Vader and Legacy Pack as a Christmas present almost three years ago.

But, as Hasbro’s promotional department loves to point out in its Shop Hasbro site:

Kids and collectors alike can imagine the biggest battles and missions in the Star Wars saga with figures from Star Wars The Black Series! With exquisite features and decoration, this series embodies the quality and realism that Star Wars devotees love. Star Wars The Black Series includes figures, vehicles, and roleplay items from the 40-plus-year legacy of the Star Wars Galaxy, including comics, movies, and animated series. (Additional products each sold separately. Subject to availability.)

I have been collecting Star Wars figures since Kenner Toys (the original Lucasfilm licensee) introduced them in early 1978. I have figures and vehicles from various product lines created between 1978 and the present, most of them from Hasbro’s Power of the Force 2, Episode I, and many other post-2002 “collections.”  And as you can see from my reviews here and elsewhere, Star Wars The Black Series products are my all-time favorites.

As a collector and Star Wars fan, I recommend this Star Wars The Black Series figure of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. The sculpt and paint jobs are well done; Hasbro even added the red detailing that shows where the red-gold material used to reconstruct the shattered mask fused the myriad shards to make them whole again.

I give this figure four and-a-half stars (out of a possible five) and a wholehearted recommendation for fans of both the Skywalker Saga and Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series figures and vehicles.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

2 thoughts on “‘Star Wars’ Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (#90, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: