Review: Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron and Riot Trooper

Did you guys know they made a new Star Wars movie? I hear it’s pretty good. Actually, it’s very good and I’ve seen it four times. I considered reviewing the movie here, but at this point I figure I’ll show my fondness for the film by reviewing all the toys I bought. I already reviewed Kylo Ren waaaaaay back in September, and while I’m not going completionist on the line, I’ve picked up quite a few 6″ Black Series figures since then. Instead of continuing where I left off with wave 1, I’ll be looking at the Target exclusive 2-pack of Poe Dameron and Riot Trooper. (And just in case you haven’t seen the movie, there will be no spoilers in this review!)

Poe Dameron

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Appearance

Starting with the charismatic space bro himself, here we have Poe Dameron in the casual outfit we see him in for the first half of the movie. The sculpted detail is just as good as one would expect from the Black Series, and the paintwork does an excellent job making his jacket look textured. The red bit on his right shoulder has some really sloppy paint on mine, unfortunately. The sand dusting on his pants is a nice touch, though.

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I don’t currently own the figure of Poe Dameron in his pilot suit so I’m not sure if this is the same head sculpt or a new one, but jacket Poe has a much nicer looking head than pilot Poe. If the head sculpt is the same, it’s crazy how hard they dropped the ball on the other one. Not that this one is perfect, but it’s very recognizably Oscar Isaac and most of the paint apps are fairly clean and well done.

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Articulation

Poe comes equipped with the standard suite of 6″ Black Series joints, with universal shoulders, hips, neck, elbows, and ankles, ball-jointed mid-torso, thigh cuts, and swivel/hinged wrists. He poses about as well as any other Black Series figure, and his jacket is flexible enough to get out of the way when posing. Unfortunately, it does tend to slide up a bit, breaking the illusion of a full jacket rather than a vest and separate arms.

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Accessories

Poe is armed with his blaster, which is missing the strap it had in the film but is otherwise accurate (from what I can remember). It’s mostly silver with some brown weathering, which looks okay. Poe holds it well in his right hand, but getting him to hold it two-handed is a challenge, and it never quite looks right.

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In addition to the rifle, Poe also gets a gen-2 X-wing helmet. Unlike his personal black helmet that comes with the pilot Poe, this helmet seems pretty generic and nondescript, matching the standard blue/white X-wing he had in the film’s opening. It’s definitely a big helmet and much wider than the actual film prop, but it fits snugly and doesn’t look too huge. Bonus points for the nice, clean paint apps.

Riot Trooper

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Appearance

Since I haven’t reviewed the regular First Order Stormtrooper figure, I’ll lump the two together since they’re the exact same figure. I personally love the design of the First Order Stormtroopers, and the riot trooper is no different. The glossy white armor looks great against the matte black undersuit, much like the Figuarts Stormtrooper and a huge step up from the ugly Imperial Stormtrooper.

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Out of the two FO troopers I own, the riot trooper has the cleanest paint apps, with the helmet lines nearly perfect. Speaking of the helmet, the sculpted detail is fantastic, all the way down to the grille-like detail in the trooper’s “mouth,” which you wouldn’t even notice unless you look closesly. Personal bias aside, I honestly think the First Order trooper is one of the nicest-looking Black Series figures… and damn it, I already want more.

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Articulation

Where the trooper excels in looks, he falters in articulation. The trooper has all the necessary articulation (the exact same as Poe), and it all works just fine… with the exception of the elbows. Due to the sculpt, they can’t bend very far at all. It’s very strange that the upper arms weren’t sculpted with the elbow joint in mind, as even the armor design itself is cut to allow for elbow movement. You could go in and cut down the plastic on his upper arm, but it seems like a lot of work for such little reward. Double-jointed elbows would have been perfect here.

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Elbows aside, TK-whatever can pull off some decent poses thanks to his fantastic knee and torso movement. The stuff on his belt is flexible enough to not hinder hip movement, too, which was a pleasant surprise after trying to pose Boba Fett. His elbows prevent you from any two-handed poses, but since this guy mostly uses a shield and baton, it’s no problem here.

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Accessories

The riot trooper’s most prominent accessory is his riot shield… and if you’re wondering why I haven’t photographed him without it, it’s because the damn thing won’t come off. It probably can come off, but that would require applying heat and effort I’m not willing to go through since I already have a regular non-shielded trooper. Unfortunately, one of the “straps” of the shield is right on the trooper’s elbow joint, which only hinders the joint even more. Because of this, it’s hard to pose the riot trooper with his shield in any way that doesn’t look awkward and unwieldy.

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His other unique weaponry is the stun baton, also known as the traitor stick (with which you deal with traitors). This weapon was really cool in the film… and it’s kind of lame here. For one, it’s just one solid piece of plastic, meaning that it can’t extend. It’s also a bit smaller than it should be, making it look overall very underwhelming. Secondly, riot trooper can barely hold it. The handle isn’t quite thick enough for a solid grip, and it falls out very easily. How’s he supposed to challenge traitors if he can’t hold his baton?

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Thankfully, the riot trooper also comes with the same rifle and pistol as the regular stormtrooper. Either weapon can peg into the slot on his right thigh for storage, and both have fairly good paint apps and fit into his right hand snugly. These two weapons could have easily been left out of the 2-pack, but I’m glad they were included.

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Overall

The Poe Dameron and Riot Trooper two-pack isn’t any sort of great deal, as it costs roughly the same amount as two individual figures. That said, both figures are exclusive to this pack (well, at least one has exclusive accessories), and Poe is arguably more memorable in this outfit than he is in his pilot suit in the film itself. That combined with the popularity of one particular baton-spinning riot trooper in the film has put this two-pack in much higher demand now than it was when it first came out. Before the movie, every Target I went to had pegs full of these guys; now there are barely any left. I wouldn’t call this set a must-have, but both figures are solid and there’s plenty of play value. Poe looks great next to the other two protagonists, and you can really never have enough stormtroopers. Pick it up if you get the chance.

Where to Buy

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