We have looked at 6-inch scale Rey figures before, so it’s only logical to look at the other sequel trilogy main character: Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo. What is the best Kylo Ren 6-inch scale action figure? Is there an ultimate 6-inch scale action figure of him even? Click through for a retrospective of all available Kylo Ren action figures!
Would a Kylo Ren action figure cheer him up?
There are two different kinds of Kylo Ren action figures, those with a helmet and then there’s also the unmasked option. A few figures come with both options, many don’t. So for today’s retrospective I will look at both the masked and unmasked options separately.
Let’s start with the masked options since a masked Kylo Ren was the first ever 1/12 scale action figure of the character!
Click to enlarge
There are a number of helmeted Kylo Rens to choose from. Let’s look at the options from left to right!
- The Black Series Kylo Ren was the first Kylo action figure. It’s was an ok figure back in 2015, but the lightsaber looks very wrong and bad, the cloth tunic is too long and the hood looks wonky as well
- Hasbro released a Starkiller variant of the same figure with slightly different deco. However, the lightsaber was redesigned and looks much better now
- S.H. Figuarts also bet on the sequels and released a Force Awakens Kylo Ren. The figure is somewhat smaller than the Hasbro version, but not by very much. However, according to Wookiepedia Kylo Ren is 1.89 m (6ft 2in) tall. And this means the SHF Kylo figure is actually the correct height and the Hasbro versions are somewhat too tall.
SHF Kylo suffers from using all plastic robes, the hood looks much too baggy and the lower plastic tunic seriously hinders articulation, so in many ways the Black Series versions are the better option here
- Mafex also released a Kylo Ren figure. This figure comes with an unmasked head, so it gives you two display options. As usual the Mafex figure is the tallest of them all and next to a Black Series Rey the figure looks gigantic, so you cannot really pose it with other Black Series or SHF figures. From an aesthetic point of view the Mafex figure looks quite good, but the scale prevents the figure from being a top pick for Force Awakens Kylo figures
- The Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren is basically the Last Jedi figure with a new cape and helmet. Hasbro opted not to include an optional unmasked head, a strange choice given the fact that for most of the movie Kylo Ren / Ben Solo doesn’t wear a helmet. The figure is ok, but feels a bit lazy. The plastic cape hinders articulation. you also get a hood up option which looks ok, but the basic problem remains, with the cape attached the figure can basically just stand around and do nothing, and not giving fans an unmasked head is an unforgivable omission here
- S.H. Figuarts also released a Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren. Since the basic costume is unchanged from The Last Jedi SHF reused their Last Jedi body for this figure. So the helmeted TLJ option for SHF Kylo basically looks the same, just without the cape. The only new parts are the cloth cape, the helmet and the unmasked head. The SHF figure is once more somewhat shorter than the much bulkier Black Series Kylo Ren, but if Wookiepedia’s entry for Ben Solo is correct then SHF Kylo has once more the correct height and Hasbro’s Kylo is too tall. The SHF figure does have much better articulation than the Black Series version which is comparably stiff. The cloth cape is one of the better SHF capes. It has a wire and can be posed quite easily. You can also shape the hood so that it looks quite good. You can also choose to pull the hood back, the wire will keep the hood more or less flat on Kylo’s back, which is important when you want to display the figure with the unmasked head. The figure has a few faults though. Some people may not like the SHF elbows here, since they are quite visible, so from a purely aesthetic point of view Black Series options tend to look a bit better. Also, the highly articulated figure makes for a much less cleaner look overall. Yes, you do get great butterfly joints and you can get Kylo into many very dynamic poses. At the price of some aesthetics. Then there’s also a quite noticable difference in the shade of black used for the tunic when compared to the shoulder parts. SHF quality control should have done something about this
There is also a Bandai model kit of Kylo Ren, but it mostly looks like an even more plasticky version of the Force Awakens Figuarts Kylo Ren.
So what is the best helmeted version of Kylo Ren? That’s really difficult to say. From a purely aesthetic point of view the Black Series options are ok, the Mafex figure is also quite nice but much too tall to pose it with other 1/12 scale figures. The Black Series options have only average articulation and the Rise of Skywalker option feels like a very incomplete figure without the unmasked head. Also, the plastic cape hinders articulation too much. The SHF Rise of Skywalker figure is the most feature complete figure, it gives you both a helmeted and unmasked option. You also get great articulation and a wired cape which looks nice. But there are some QC issues (different shades of black for the costume).
All in all I feel there is no ultimate helmeted Kylo Ren figure. The best option may still be SHF Rise of Skywalker Kylo, because the cloth cape looks good and you get the option to display Kylo with or without helmet. Also, the figure has great articulation.
What about unmasked Kylo Ren figures? Once again, there are quite a few options here!
Click to enlarge
Since I found no good photo of an unmasked Kylo Ren looking straight into the camera, I used a publicity photo of Adam Driver. But he’s wearing his hair long, like in the sequels and he doesn’t really look any different here, other than the missing scar perhaps.
To the left you see the various Hasbro options, to the right are the Japanese imports.
The Black Series figures, starting from the center are:
- the Force Awakens unmasked Kylo Ren. It’s basically the same figure as the masked version, however the lightsaber looks better now. Sadly, back in 2015 Black Series paint apps probably were at their nadir and the Kylo Ren figure makes no exception here. The sculpt may be ok, but it’s almost impossible to tell because of the plastic sheen and complete absence of paint apps, only the eyes and eyebrows were touched with a paintbrush.
- years later Hasbro released a Starkiller base variant figure you could only get if you bought the SDCC exclusive centerpiece set with Rey. The figure is ok, the battle damage looks quite good. But since this figure was never released outside of the centerpiece set it’s certainly a figure very few will own
- Hasbro opted not to release a helmeted Kylo Ren figure for The Last Jedi, instead they released only an unmasked option. In 2017 paint apps had somewhat improved and Last Jedi Kylo certainly looks better than the Force Awakens version, but compared to what photo real can do it still looks very outdated. The figure itself is your typical Black Series figure from the time. Articulation is ok, but really dynamic poses are more or less impossible, even more so if you don’t remove the plastic cape
- Hasbro really went all in with The Last Jedi and released various exclusive versions of Kylo. The throne room version of Kylo Ren also received different paint apps. For some weird reason Hasbro decided to give all these exclusive figure variants that came with a display piece the look of a drug addict or someone who hasn’t slept in weeks. But Hasbro at least painted the scar this time. This Kylo also comes with a cloth cape, which looks not all that great, unfortunately. But it doesn’t hinder articulation, unlike the plastic option that comes with the regular release
The Japanese Imports, starting from the center are:
- in what some consider a quite cheeky move S.H. Figuarts decided to release a web exclusive Force Awakens Kylo Ren figure with unmasked head. SHF usually doesn’t skimp on accessories, that the initial release of Kylo Ren had no unmasked option could be because of a mandate from Lucasfilm, we don’t know. Just like the Black Series option the unmasked Force Awakens SHF Kylo is basically the same figure as the previous release, which means plastic robes and hindered articulation. The headsculpt however is quite good, even if it’s not perfect. But SHF’s photoreal tech looks really good
- SHF also released a Last Jedi version of Kylo. The figure is highly articulated, allowing for a a range of dynamic poses. The headsculpt looks quite good and photoreal adds that touch of realism. The scar is a little too faint perhaps. The figure has one serious shortcoming: it has no cape. You do get a helmet option though. Depending on your preferences you may also not like the way the articulation impacts the sculpt. SHF Kylo doesn’t have a seamless look, from visible elbows to extra shoulder pieces to allow for better articulation you don’t have the same clean look as the Black Series offers here. But in my opinion the much better looking head and the articulation make up for this. This Kylo shouldn’t just stand around, once you put him in a dynamic fighting stance you don’t really notice the broken up sculpt
- Figuarts also released a Rise of Skywalker version of Kylo. The figure is more or less feature complete. You do get a wired cloth cape that looks pretty good. You get the reforged helmet and you also get an unmasked head. In my opinion the sculpt of the unmasked head is pretty much excellent. Please compare it directly to the photo of Adam Driver. It almost looks as if the Japanese designers also used that photo as reference. In my opinion this is the very best unmasked version of Kylo. As mentioned previously the body itself is 100% reuse from the Last Jedi figure. However the tunic has different shades of black which is more noticable in brighter light, not so much in normal light, but once you see it you can hardly unsee it, SHF should have corrected that issue
- and this is the unmasked head that came with the Force Awakens Kylo Ren figure from Mafex. Not only did the actual head look quite different from previously released promo photos, the sculpt itself is quite bad, the skin color is all wrong and Mafex had not yet fully adopted photoreal at the time they released the figure. Their paint apps are still a lot better than what the Black Series had at the time, but even so, this unmasked head falls short of expectations. Also, the figure is quite tall and doesn’t really pose well with either Black Series of Figuarts figures
So what is the best unmasked Kylo Ren option? In my opinion the Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren figure from SHF is the clear winner here. There is no better looking Adam Driver likeness in the 6-inch scale. But even this best option has its shortcomings. Different shades of black for the tunic are a QC issue SHF should have caught before release. All the regular Black Series versions are different kinds of outdated or outright bad. And the best looking Black Series version is only available as part of an exlusive SDCC centerpiece set, also it is extremely scene specific.
So in the end I feel that there is no ultimate Kylo Ren action figure. SHF with their Rise of Skywalker version of the character come close, but some QC issues are regrettable. As far as helmeted versions go all of the options have their shortcomings. Some collectors gave the SHF Force Awakens Kylo the Black Series cloth robe and called it a day. And this customized version may indeed be the best one you can probably have. Since with cloth robes SHF Kylo has really good articulation.
Maybe one day Hasbro may revisit the sequels and give collectors an ultimate Kylo Ren action figure, it would need to have both masked and unmasked head and a cloth cape. Until then SHF TROS Kylo is the one you want to own – if you like the SHF approach to articulation (with the added benefit of much better posability).
So what is your favorite version of Kylo Ren?