5 of the Best 5POA Star Wars Action Figures
Star Wars revolutionised the world of action figures with its 3.75” 5POA (points of articulation) line through the 1970s and ‘80s, as Kenner released multiple classic figures, vehicles and playsets that are still keenly collected today. Of course, since you’re on a site like this it’s safe to assume that you knew that already…
While toy technology has moved on in leaps and bounds since Kenner launched the Star Wars line back in 1978, cost-cutting saw modern license holder Hasbro revert to 5POA style action figures in 2013. Since then a disappointingly high number of the figures have been poor quality retro throwbacks, but from that mass of wasted plastic a select few toys have risen above their movement deficit to become valued parts of our collections. Through a combination of quality sculpts, outstanding likenesses and pure toyetic quality, these figures represent the very best of modern budget toymaking.
Welcome to 5 of the Best 5POA Star Wars Action Figures.
5. Boba Fett (Mission Series)
The 2014 Mission Series Boba Fett brings the galaxy’s most feared bounty hunter to plastic life as he appeared in The Empire Strikes Back – and it’s this 1980-style appearance that gives this figure the edge, as over the years the brighter Return of the Jedi variation has proven more popular with Hasbro’s designers.
Given the number of times that Boba Fett’s been attempted in 3.75” of plastic, it’s surprising how few have managed to hit the mark. By focusing on a solid plastic sculpt this bounty hunter has no over-sized soft goods or warped removable helmet to contend with. Instead, it’s one of the finest proportioned versions of the character that we’ve seen.
From the sculpted details to the crisp decal applications, this isn’t just a great 5POA Boba Fett – it’s one of the best 3.75” Mandalorians around.
4. C-3PO (The Last Jedi)
The next figure on this list is also the most recent, with this version of goldenrod making his debut in 2017’s The Last Jedi line. The well-proportioned sculpt perfectly captures Anthony Daniel’s skinny alter ego, with carved details bringing out both the obvious and more subtle details of the C-3PO costume. From the grooves in his knees to his skeletal fingers, there’s enough attention to detail here to befit a higher price figure. And given this is C-3PO after all, the lack of articulation barely hinders posability at all.
Threepio is an easy character to get right in the paint stakes, but this figure still pulls off a good job. The matte gold may not be as good as vac metal but it’s consistently applied, while the wires at his midriff, palms and face all benefit from colour and highlights.
As far as 5POA goes, The Last Jedi 3.75” C-3PO is all you need to complete your display.
3. Anakin Skywalker (Saga Legends)
The 5POA Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker is the most subjective addition to this list and I had to talk myself out of putting him even higher up – but bear with me here, and you’ll hopefully soon understand why I think he warrants a place here.
In the dark days before the Prequels, all we knew about that era was that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker had been trained by Yoda and fought together in the Clone Wars. In my imagination Anakin Skywalker, cunning warrior and great pilot, was the true embodiment of the Jedi hero. While I’ve always enjoyed the Prequels and Lucas’ expansion of that era, it wasn’t until Revenge of the Sith (and later the Clone Wars series) that we really got to see the Anakin Skywalker we had been told about.
The colours and costume design of the 2013 Saga Legends Anakin Skywalker scream “retro sci-fi adventure hero”, while the remarkable likeness to Hayden Christensen caps off a well-sculpted (if somewhat static) toy. Yet the true worth of this figure is something that only 5POA can encapsulate: this, to me, feels like the 1980s vintage Anakin Skywalker figure that I always wanted.
2. Luke Skywalker (Bespin Battle Pack)
Hasbro’s first foray into modern 5POA action figures produced this absolute gem of a toy, as this version of Bespin Luke Skywalker saw release in the 2013 Bespin Battle Pack alongside Darth Vader and an earlier version of Boba Fett.
At the time the amazing sculpt and subtly-detailed paint applications were enough to persuade a fair few SA-indoctrinated collectors to give the 5POA line a go (including me), with many thinking that this is how POTF2 should have been all along (not including me). With a ball-jointed neck, excellent proportions and expressive yet-not-ridiculous pose, as well as a working holster, blaster and lightsaber accessories, it’s easy to see how this figure won so many of us over.
Of course, a little subjectivity comes into play once again with this entry, but then figures of young Skywalker in his Bespin fatigues hold maximum appeal to me. It’s my favourite look for my favourite character from my favourite film, so a well-made pocket-sized action figure like this is a pure win, as far as I’m concerned. This is my kind of 5POA.
1. Kylo Ren (Rogue One)
Kylo Ren is the best thing to come out of the Sequels yet, and so it’s only fitting that he’s received one of the very best basic line action figures as well.
Sculpted in a step-forward pose more dynamic than a standard 5POA figure, Kylo Ren encapsulates the menace and physical presence of the character that JJ Abrams made so memorable in The Force Awakens. As with the first 5POA version of the character the sculpt has a heavily textured feel and a decent weight, but it’s the sculpt that knocks this toy out of the park. As well as the lithe, hunched pose, Ren features a Force-gesticulating left hand, perfect for those fiery Jakku nights, and a right hand that looks good both open or holding a lightsaber.
The removable cowl takes this figure to the next level as it looks amazing on, but then comes off to reveal a perfectly proportioned ‘formal’ Ren beneath. The ball-jointed neck is the icing on the cake, giving this version of Ben Solo additional expression and possibility.
This is a great action figure, 5POA or otherwise – and really, that’s the point of this list.
Whether you agree, disagree, or are SA ‘til you die, leave a comment below with your thoughts!