OK, we’ll concede it. The Force Link Starter Set/Kylo Ren multipack is pretty darn cool and fun. Keeping in mind that we were adult collectors when the Episode I CommTech line was released, we had a pretty good idea of what the Force Link gimmick would be (and we had our fair share of reservations and concerns). But now that we have the item in hand we can honestly say that we were off in our assessments. Technology has obviously come very far since the late nineties/early 2000s, and the Force Link concept has been produced in an era when electronic gadgets like this are in their prime. We probably should have expected a more successful application of the gimmick in the Star Wars [The Last Jedi] line. While similar in functionality to the CommTech feature, the clarity in the speaking lines and awesomeness of the sound effects (like blaster blasting and explosions exploding) are quite impressive and unexpected. More physical interaction with the device is required to get full functionality out of the Force Link and this may not be clear to Star Wars fans who do not read all of the directions included. We recommend taking a few moments to digest what is required to get the most and best fun out of this new device. Before we go into details about it, collectors may be interested to know that it appears that the Force Link could be a revived Kenner concept that never got off of the ground: the Electronic Sound Generator toy.
The directions to the Force Link are simple, but frustrating. They state that a tap is needed to turn the Force Link into the "on" position. The Force Link is motion activated and contains no off or on switch. It also turns off by itself. Once fastened on your hand you simply need to pick up the figure in order to activate the primary phrases. Hand placement on the figure is key here. You basically just need to grasp the figure in the palm of your hand while wearing the Force Link on your wrist. This is close enough distance to activate the electronics. Once in your hand, you can move the figure from side to side or forward and backward to activate additional sound effects. You can also continue to tap the Force Link to generate even more sounds and phrases. It takes some rhythm and a little precision to get the most out of the Force Link wristband. And for us, there was a learning curve to get the Force Link to generate all of the included phrases, so we imagine the same will be true for other collectors as well. You will likely get frustrated at first, but it will pay off. But once you get it, you're good and it will become second nature, almost like riding a bike (and not nearly as difficult). Hasbro has produced multiple products (at launch there are over 30) where the Force Link is utilized. Most collectors have noticed that Force Link figures have a blue symbol at the bottom of their left foot. This isn’t where the chip is located, it’s just an identifier. You really need to grab the figure by its center to make the most of it.
Included with the Force Link Starter Set is a new Kylo Ren figure. Although a heavily reworked 2017 SW [TLJ] Kylo Ren figure, Hasbro has retooled some of the figure’s limbs so that they fall in different positions than the basic figure. The figure has been given an all-new head sculpt and has also been repainted. Kylo Ren comes with a removable cape and lightsaber accessory. It was nice of Hasbro to include a pack-in figure with the Force Link Starter Set. It allows kids and collectors to utilize this toy right away and provide immediate play value without needed basic figures to interact with it. The phrases are pretty cool. You can hear them with crystal clarity and the sound effects are pretty awesome too. It would have been awesome if Hasbro provided a more exclusive type of figure that none of us have yet. We’re sure there are plenty of army builders we haven’t see from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi yet, and we think a character like that may have been a wise choice instead of another Kylo Ren figure. But at least they gave us something with the Force Link. That’s the most important detail here. The Force Link Starter Set/Kylo Ren pack started off with an MSRP of $29.99 which we thought was much too expensive. But we’re already seeing many retailers mark it down to $24.99 and even less with some other promotions. We have received immediate feedback from our readers on Force Friday II that their kids are adoring the Force Link technology. And that’s really the most important thing here. We encourage you to give it a chance too. Just get “CommTech” out of your heads.
Force Link Starter Set/Kylo Ren
Assortment Number: C1364
Retail: $29.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Force Link is an all-new action figure accessory.
Features Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)
Feature Details: wear Force Link to activate lights, sounds, and more in 30+ toys: activates every Force Link figure, motion-activated, activate lights and sounds
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: N/A
Date Stamp: N/A
Status: Kylo Ren is a retool and repaint of 2017's SW [TLJ] Kylo Ren figure. This time the figure's limbs have been repositioned and the figure has been given an all-new head sculpt. The figure has also been repainted.
Articulation Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable cape
Force Link Details: "Show me again the power of the darkness." • "I will let nothing stand in our way." • "Find them!" • "You know what I've come for! Where is it?" • "Put every hangar on lockdown!" • "I've been waiting for this day for a long time." • "I'll show you the dark side." • *sound effects*
Date Stamp: N/A