The toys are strong with this one.
When Jenna recruited me to come up with a Gift Guide for the best Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, I put together my list in no time. There’s a lot of awesome stuff out there supporting the new movie (which is, of course, the first ever Star Wars movie to enjoy a Christmas season release, making it the perfect time of year to unleash such an onslaught of stuff to buy).
But then I started thinking… should I be making this list with adult collectors like me in mind? Or kids? The whole question got underlined after Saturday Night Live released their brilliantly on-point Star Wars sketch this weekend:
After giving it some though, what I ultimately came to is this– cool toys are cool toys, no matter how old you are. So consider this list worthy of both children, and those of us who never grew up. A slight caveat, though– you may want to hold off on dropping $250 on a Hot Toys Captain Phasma for your 4-year-old… though I’m certainly not here to tell you how to live your life.
I’ve broken down this list into three categories: Budget-friendly gifts under $40, intermediate gifts with a price tag of $40 to $149, and high end gifts that cost over $150. Here we go!
BUDGET-FRIENDLY (Under $40)
Rey’s Speeder (Hasbro) – $24.99
Vehicles have always been a big part of Star Wars, and the same goes for the toy line… Making vehicles the figures could fit in was half the reason Kenner opted to make the first Star Wars toys in 3″ scale. The Force Awakens toy line from Hasbro features quite a few new vehicles from the movie, but one of the coolest is Rey’s Speeder. The Speeder features a really nice, all new sculpt that is loaded with details… I particularly like the netting on the sides, filled with the latest scrap parts Rey has foraged. The set also includes a Rey action figure in her scavenger gear, making this set a pretty great value for under $25.
Plush BB-8 (Disney Store) – $9.95
This is too adorable not to include. The Disney Store has released a super cute plush BB-8 that would make the perfect stocking stuffer for any Star Wars fan. The droid measures about 5″ tall, so it’s small enough to go anywhere and big enough to offer a good hug after a long day at work.
The Force Awakens Pop Collection (Funko) – $9.99-12.99
The Pop line from Funko has become one of the most ubiquitous toy lines out there. The number of people– toy collectors or otherwise– who don’t have at least one or two of these bobbleheads hanging around their office, car or home gets smaller every day. Pops make pretty solid gifts, because they’re small, don’t cost much money, and they can be found pretty much everywhere. The Force Awakens Pop collection has a lot of characters to choose from, including the core cast of the movie and a whole slew of retailer exclusives, most of which you can find in the individual links below:
Riot Shield Stormtrooper (Walgreens exclusive)
Poe Dameron – Unmasked (Wal-Mart exclusive)
Elite Series Boba Fett (Disney Store) – $24.99
The Disney Store used #ForceFriday to debut their new line of die cast action figures called The Elite Series. The line launched with six Force Awakens figures, and has gone on this Fall to include characters from the other six Star Wars films. The latest release is the notorious Boba Fett, and he’s hands-down the best figure in the collection thus far. This guy is super detailed, with amazingly intricate paint apps giving his armor the perfect sense of realism, and he includes his ever-present blaster gun. It’s also worth noting, Disney Store will be releasing a seventh Force Awakens figure on Friday December 18th. Who is it? That’s a mystery, until the release of the figure!
Jakku Sand Playset (Disney Store) – $29.95
This is a really fun little playset! The carrying case opens to reveal a diorama based on the sandy shanty towns of Jakku, and it includes a little Millenium Falcon, as well as mini figures of Rey, Finn, BB-8, and a Stormtrooper. After largely ignoring Gamora and Black Widow, it’s nice to see Disney Store not shying away from including Rey in more of their products like this fun set.
The Black Series First Order Stormtrooper (Hasbro) – $19.99
Here’s a secret when it comes to gift buying for somebody who likes Star Wars: When in doubt, buy a Stormtrooper! We can never have a big enough Stormtrooper army, and Hasbro‘s 6″ First Order Trooper is a really nice toy, loaded with articulation and packing two fierce-looking blasters. This makes the figure perfect for building a truly imposing First Order army.
INTERMEDIATE ($40 – $149)
Poe’s X-Wing Fighter (LEGO) – $79.99
LEGO has a number of really nice building sets for The Force Awakens, but one of the coolest is Poe’s wicked Black and Orange X-Wing fighter. This 717-piece set includes mini figures of Poe, another X-Wing pilot, BB-8, and a Resistance ground crew team member, as well as an in-scale X-Wing. It doesn’t get much better than this, in terms of gifts for the builders on your list.
Classic 48″ Darth Vader (Jakks Pacific) – $99.99
Okay, so this one is going to stray from the Force Awakens theme a bit, but you know what? It’s a four foot tall Darth Vader, so I don’t even care! Jakks Pacific has been releasing a bunch of very cool oversized Star Wars figures for the past few years, but this massive 48″ Vader is the coolest toy they’ve released yet. The massive Sith Lord features motion sensors that make him recite dialogue from the movies, and he can even be programmed to recognize someone as a friend… or a foe!
First Order Tie Fighter (Hasbro) – $39.99
The Tie Fighter is one of the most iconic starships of all time, and we’ll be seeing quite a few of them on the big screen in The Force Awakens. Hasbro has released a First Order Tie Fighter in their 3.75″ Star Wars line to commemorate the occasion. Just like the vintage Tie Fighter, this vehicle features a working cockpit (complete with pilot figure), and pop-off wings to simulate a mid-space explosion!
Resistance X-Wing (Hasbro) – $49.99
Speaking of iconic vehicles, Hasbro has actually released two X-Wings in their Force Awakens line. We’ve got Poe Dameron‘s orange and black ship, but as far as I’m concerned the cooler version is the Wal-Mart exclusive Resistance X-Wing. In its grey and blue colors, the starfighter looks great on its own or in a fleet (since it’s a generic army-building ship, owning doubles is not a problem). This version of the vehicle even features some upgrades to the design of Poe’s ship, namely the cannons on the wing tips, which are now made of a firmer, less bendable plastic.
The Black Series Poe Dameron vs. Riot Gear Stormtrooper (Hasbro) – $39.99
Like I said earlier, Stormtrooper figures are always a good fallback gift idea for Star Wars toy collectors. If you want to go a little bit bigger than just a trooper, Target is offering a Black Series two-pack with Poe Dameron in his Resistance fatigues, as well as the trooper with riot shield and baton, as seen in the recent Force Awakens trailers. Even if you gift-getter doesn’t need a Poe figure, they can keep the Stormtrooper and turn Poe into a custom Llewyn Davis, so it’s kind of a win-win either way!
Kylo Ren Ultimate FX Lightsaber (Hasbro) – $64.99
There are quite a few toy lightsabers in The Force Awakens collection, ranging from the low-tech $10 one, to the crazy expensive Black Series prop replica. The best middle ground, though, is the Ultimate FX Kylo Ren lightsaber, a Toys R Us exclusive. For under $70, this saber sports a highly detailed, film accurate sculpt, a good size and heft (crucially important for practicing your saber skills), and a number of lights and sound effects from the movie.
S.H. Figuarts Captain Phasma (Bandai Tamashii Nations) – $84.99
S.H. Figuarts‘ Star Wars action figures are stunning, and their take on Captain Phasma is one of their best toys yet. Between the film accurate sculpt, the shiny silver finish on her armor, and the insane amount of articulation built into this figure, S.H. Figuarts‘ Phasma may be the best version of the character in toy form. Captain Phasma won’t be released until early 2016, but placing a preorder for this highly in-demand figure while you can would be a great gift for any Phasma fan.
HIGH END ($150+)
The Black Series First Order Tie Fighter (Hasbro) – $169.99
I love The Black Series. Hasbro‘s adult collector-oriented 6″ toy line has seen some fantastic releases in the past, but none are as impressive as the 6″ scale First Order Tie Fighter. This huge vehicle includes a Tie Pilot Commander action figure, a working cockpit with second seat, and a massive wingspan nearly three feet across. I’ve always been particular to the X-Wings, myself, but it’s hard to deny how much awesome is in this one (albeit really big) box.
Captain Phasma Sixth Scale Figure (Hot Toys) – $249.99
Okay, when I said before that S.H. Figuarts‘ Captain Phasma was probably the best toy version of the First Order commander, I lied. That honor goes to the amazing 12″ Phasma coming in May 2016 from Hot Toys. If I were rich, I’d buy everything Hot Toys releases– their work is truly next level in terms of sculpting, paint apps, and film accuracy. Their Star Wars line has been incredible start to finish, and Phasma promises to be no exception. She’s available now for preorder, along with a few different Stormtrooper figures for her to lead into battle.
Millennium Falcon (LEGO) – $159.99
The crowning jewel of LEGO‘s Force Awakens collection is the new Millenium Falcon, an awe-inspiring 1,329 piece set which includes our new heroes Rey and Finn, as well as Han Solo and Chewbacca mini figures. The whole ship is over 18″ long, making this as cool to play with or display as it is to build.
Rey Sixth Scale Figure (Hot Toys) – $224.99
Another amazing Hot Toys release! Their Rey figure features an uncannily realistic portrait of Daisy Ridley… I mean, look at her– it’s hard to believe that isn’t a photograph of the actual actress! Rey won’t be released until July 2016, but she’s available for preorder now. If the current hteories are correct about where this character is going, I expect Rey’s popularity to get boosted a LOT after The Force Awakens gets released… so now is the perfect time to reserve the best Rey toy on the market while you can.
BB-8 App-Enabled Droid (Sphero) – $150
There are lots of cool Star Wars toys, ranging from action figures to tech-enabled gadgets. This one is probably the coolest. Sphero‘s BB-8 is a remote controlled replica of the droid, which syncs to your phone or tablet via an app that can control him to move, react and more. The tech on this toy is outstanding, and I can attest that he is highly addictive to play with. This little guy is fun, filled with interactive features, and promises hours of enjoyment as I use him to menace my cats. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!