Which is the Best 3.75″ Kylo Ren Figure?
The One True Master of the Knights of Ren…
For a character deliberately designed to ape the success of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren did not get off to a bad start. After The Force Awakens, Adam Driver’s character was by far the most interesting of Disney’s additions to the saga. While The Last Jedi took his development in a less-than-fulfilling direction, there’s still the promise that JJ Abrams can finish what he started with The Rise of Skywalker.
Since the release of The Force Awakens back in 2015 Hasbro has been quick to capitalise on the popularity of the troubled Ben Solo, releasing multiple unique 3.75” figures (not including repacks and variants) to date.
With new versions coming out every year, the diligent collector may well wonder:
Which Kylo Ren action figure is the best?
Worry not, we’re here to review and find out. Let’s take it from the top and work through the Rens in order – starting with The Force Awakens…
1. Kylo Ren – The Force Awakens
The very first Kylo Ren action figure. This 5POA vintage-styled not-a-Sith monster stood out alongside Captain Phasma as one of the most impressive figures of the line back in 2015. However, when you consider some of the figures that were released for The Force Awakens line, you begin to realise that that’s not much of an accolade…
Whilst this Kylo Ren does strike a mean stance when stood with his lightsaber in hand, there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s a rigid, lifeless statue. The sculpt looks good but that’s all there is to him.
2. Kylo Ren – The Black Series
The deluxe 3.75” Kylo Ren. Released in the second wave of the red boxed Asda/Walmart exclusive Black Series line, this Kylo Ren features an ignited lightsaber, a un-ignited hilt, a soft goods lower skirt and more articulation than you can impale your father with.
For the longest time, this was my Kylo Ren figure of choice, with the posability making it more fun to photograph and play around with than the initial 5POA version. However, as is often the case at this scale there’s no denying that the soft goods look goofy. Meanwhile, the option of a removable cowl would have made a huge difference to how we could use him (see also: the non-removable gloved hands on the Black Series Rey figure).
It’s good, and if super articulation is your jam then it’s definitely worth picking up now on re-release in The Vintage Collection. But is it definitive? Perhaps not so much…
3. Kylo Ren – Rogue One
A return to 5POA but with one key difference – posing. While most of the Rogue One 5POA figures are sculpted in the same old vintage pose (see also: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren), this version of young Ren looks a little more alive.
Using the body from the unmasked Kylo Ren The Force Awakens figure, he has a slight step forward and a Force-using gesture for his left hand. It’s a stance that adds some dynamism to his form and makes the most of his limited articulation. And as you can imagine, the fact that it calls to mind the dynamic posing of POTF2 doesn’t hurt either.
However, the single element that takes this version of Ren to the next level is his removable cowl. Cast from a soft plastic the cowl slips easily on and off the figure, and when on it sits so convincingly that from the card I wasn’t even 100% sure that it was removable. Overall this makes for a sturdy, fun figure that looks fantastic and suits a variety of purposes.
4. Kylo Ren – The Last Jedi
After JJ Abrams and his design team managed to create such an iconic look for Kylo Ren, along came Rian Johnson to move his scar, destroy his mask and remove the visually interesting elements of his costume.
If The Last Jedi represents a backwards step for the character the same is true of his toy. Without his mask and asymmetrical rags Kylo Ren has a lot less going on, and that’s accurately reflected in the plastic.
While the design isn’t great the likeness is superb. There are minimal paint apps but those that are present do the job, particularly for his eyes. The cloak is a soft, rubbery material that sits well on his shoulders and gives him a characteristic hunch. Yet the figure itself carries a flat, neutral stance like something from the 1970s; a (literal) step back from the Rogue One figure.
5. Kylo Ren – Solo
Excluding the Vintage Collection release (which is a repack of the Black Series figure listed above), the Force Link Kylo Ren from the Solo basic 3.75″ line is the most recent Ben Solo action figure to hit the shelves.
Once again taking its lead from The Last Jedi, this version of Ren comes in the same costume as the figure above with the exception that this one has his distinctive helmet. Even so, it’s a completely new sculpt, with a new, heavier cloak and a marginally more dynamic stance than the earlier toy.
It’s these two factors that prove the figure’s downfall. The slight lean of Ren’s stance makes him a little trickier to balance, a problem exacerbated as his centre of gravity is deliberately offset to account for the weight of the cloak. When this combines with his awkwardly-posed arms the figure as a whole becomes a bit of a mess, like it doesn’t really know what to do with itself.
It’s not bad for £3 if you can find it at The Entertainer, but that’s the best I can say.
And the winner?
Ultimately it’s between the Black Series and Rogue One versions for the best 3.75” Kylo Ren figure. If you value articulation above all else and/or don’t mind soft goods then the Black Series is what you need. But (and I surprised myself with this) if you want a fun Ben Solo toy with excellent aesthetics and different display options, then the 5POA Rogue One Kylo Ren figure is the one to go for.