We’re in a sort of strange place right now, in terms of Star Wars Episode VII. As of #ForceFriday a few weeks ago, the merchandising for the new movie has hit in full force,* yet we’re still a few months away from the release of the film itself. That fact wasn’t lost on me, as I stood in line before midnight at Toys R Us, nor when I left the store with a big bag full of characters new to the Star Wars universe, most of whom we have no point of reference for aside from vague descriptions and brief appearances in the trailers. But it’s Star Wars! And they all look so cool! It was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of what I’m hoping is another great installment in this sci -i saga.
There’s a lot of intriguing new characters making their debut in The Force Awakens, but the most talked about is Captain Phasma, Gwendolyn Christie‘s First Order Commander. The internet established her as a name to remember months ago, but as of #ForceFriday, with Phasma being the first action figure to sell out at stores everywhere, she has effectively become the most popular character from The Force Awakens. This not only adds another nail in the coffin of the myth that “girl figures don’t sell,” but also means there are quite a few Captain Phasma toys to choose from (or will be when stores start to restock their empty shelves). Here’s a look at some of the options in terms of toys based on everyone’s new favorite Stormtrooper:
3.75″ Captain Phasma Action Figure (Hasbro)
Let’s start with one of the simpler action figures on the market. Hasbro’s Force Awakens 3.75″ figures are reminiscent of the vintage Star Wars toys from the 80s, with five points of articulation (a ball jointed neck and moving arms and legs), which means they may not be the favorite for those who like to put their figures into crazy action poses. But I like the retro appeal of this line, and Phasma is one of the best looking, with an impressive amount of detail in her armor and the folds of her cape, despite her small size. It should be noted Phasma is technically 3.75″ scale, meaning she, herself, measures in at 4″ tall, towering over many of the other figures. The basic series Captain Phasma is available now at many major retailers.
Elite Series Captain Phasma 7″ Figure (The Disney Store)
The Disney Store used #ForceFriday as a platform to launch their Elite Series, a collection of fully posable die cast action figures that will eventually encompass the entire Star Wars movie universe. But they launched with The Force Awakens series, which includes a very striking Phasma figure. She features more articulation than the smaller Habsro figure, and the metal the figure is made of lends a realism to her shiny armor. The downside? All the Elite Series figures have some ugly screws all over the back side of the toy, so they only look great from the front. Phasma’s cape hides some of the screws, but it’s still sort of a bummer, considering how cool the rest of the figure is.
The Elite Series Phasma sold out very quickly on #ForceFriday, but there have been reports that Disney Stores have been restocking the figure since then. She hasn’t made it back to their website yet, but fingers crossed, she will.
The Black Series Captain Phasma 6″ Figure (Hasbro)
If you’re only going to get one Phasma action figure, Hasbro’s 6″ Black Series release might be the best bet. She’s fairly priced (at retail, anyway) at around $20, sports a lot of articulation and a really great sculpt, with film-accurate detailing on her armor and even a peg on her leg to store her blaster. The Black Series Phasma is just beginning to make her way to retail now, and she’s bound to be one of the hot sellers, so if you find her on the shelves, I wouldn’t wait too long to pick her up.
Big Fig 18″ Captain Phasma (Jakks Pacific)
The biggest Captain Phasma toy is from Jakks Pacific, who have been releasing large scale 18″ Star Wars figures for the past several years. The figure only features seven points of articulation, and her armor is definitely more grey than silver, but I’m not gonna lie– the major appeal of this version of the Captain is her size. I couldn’t resist when I found this figure on #ForceFriday, and since then I’ve had literally a dozen co-workers marvel at how cool she looks on the shelf in my office. You can find the Big Fig Phasma at retail now.
Pop! Captain Phasma (Funko)
Funko’s Pop! vinyl figurines are one of the most popular collectibles out there. Everywhere from Barnes and Noble to 7-11 have carried these little guys, and their latest wave features Phasma and the other main characters from The Force Awakens. Obviously super stylized, this version of Phasma is totally adorable, while still maintaining a sense of authority. Look for Pop! Phasma literally everywhere, because I can’t think of a store that doesn’t carry Pop! figures. It’s crazy.
Captain Phasma Wacky Wobblers (Funko)
If there’s one kind of collectible with more reach and longevity than Pop! figures, it’s bobbleheads, and Phasma is represented here, too, courtesy of Funko. The Captain Phasma bobblehead will surely adorn many an office desk in the coming months.
SH Figuarts Captain Phasma (Tamashii Nations)
— LostStarWars (@LostStarWars) September 13, 2015
Of all the Phasma figures revealed so far, this is probably the ultimate. Tamashii Nations has been crafting some of the most stunning Star Wars toys ever in their SH Figuarts line, and they’ll be releasing Phasma and a few more Force Awakens characters later this year. Highly detailed, painstakingly movie accurate, loaded with articulation, alternate pieces for additional posing, and accessories, the SH Figuarts toys are quite impressive. It’s worth noting that, based on what we’ve seen so far of Tamashii’s Phasma, she’s by far the shiniest and most chrome toy based on the character. SH Figuarts Phasma will set you back a bit; while there’s no firm release date nor price tag on her yet, most of this line retails for between $50 to $60 per figure (Totally worth it).
Lego Captain Phasma Minifigure (Lego)
The littlest Phasma we’ve seen so far is the Minifigure by Lego. It’s sort of disappointing that she reuses the First Order Stormtrooper helmet instead of her more uniquely shaped one, but it’s Lego– they’ll reuse parts wherever they can. Phasma is one of the figures included in the massive First Order Transporter building set, which also includes some Stormtroopers for her to lead into battle, and a pair of Resistance soldiers for them to fight.
So yea, I’d say Captain Phasma is pretty well represented throughout the various Force Awakens toy lines. Maybe you don’t need all of these Phasma toys in your life (quick math dictates it would take about $250 to pick up everything I’ve listed in this feature)… especially since– let’s face it– none of us have even seen the character in action, and there’s still at least some chance she’ll wind up super lame, or dead in the first ten minutes.
But regardless, it’s exciting to see a female character– a villain, no less!– get this much love when it comes to merchandising. That’s an exciting step toward fair representation on the part of the toy companies and retailers… and the fact that little girls AND boys (as well as “grown up” guys like me) are clamoring for Captain Phasma toys makes an even bigger statement. The traditional gender barriers that have long dominated the toy aisle are eroding thanks to cool characters like this, and that means that even if she’s a villain, Captain Phasma is kind of becoming a hero to me.