Star Wars action figures come in so many different sizes and styles it’s tough to keep track of them, One thing collectors generally agree on is that Star Wars action figures fall into two camps: vintage and modern. From there it gets more complicated, but the modern era of Star Wars action figures began when Kenner brought the characters back to store shelves in 1995.
Twenty-five years later, they’re still cranking them out. That’s a lot of figures. Which are the best of the best? Here are the ten best modern Star Wars action figures, ranked. Credit for all pictures goes to the amazing photo archive at Rebelscum!
Maybe not the best action figure in terms of utility, but points for effort when it comes to ‘Wow, they did that?’ In 1997, Kenner showed just how adventurous the modern line was going to be when they offered B’omarr Monk as an internet exclusive (a person printed out a form and sent in for him). His unusual size and shape provided a chance to get a little bit outside the box, and it was especially daring considering B’omarr Monk is only partially visible spidering through the shadows of Jabba’s Palace.
The prequels may not get a lot of love from fans (which why, considering we got the Clone Wars out of them) but some of the action figures are among the best. Case in point ins Watto. Released in 1999 in support of The Phantom Menace, Watto sports an amazing sculpt and level of detail for a figure of his day. Compared to some of the other figures in the line, he was a work of art. Whatever you thought of the character or the movie, this amazing piece of plastic ranks among the modern best.
8 Hermi Odle
Competition gets a little more fierce when you combine excellent sculpt with excellent articulation. Hermi Odle is another crazy background character from Return of the Jedi, notable for his size (and how ugly he is). But he’s so ugly fans waited almost twenty-five years to get him. Hermi appeared in the 2007 30th Anniversary line celebrating the release of the original Star Wars. Figures his size on a single blister card were rare and still are, making him even more unique.
7 ARC Trooper Commander
The Arc Trooper Commander from 2011is twice the awesome. The trooper (or “Captain Fordo,” as he’s unofficially known) can swap out gear to become a standard ARC trooper from the Clone Wars or the more specific (and more awesome) Fordo from the 2003 Clone Wars 2-D micro-series.
Fordo debuted in The Vintage Collection, a highly popular sub-set of the modern line which pairs retro Kenner-style backer cards with premium sculpts and articulation. TVC (as it’s known) comes and goes depending on the interest among fans. It’s currently been running since 2018 and is going strong.
6 Luke Skywalker (Resurgence of the Jedi Battle Pack)
When it comes to aliens and troopers, Kenner and later Hasbro always seemed to excel. With human faces, it’s been a toss-up. Mark Hamill has had some good figures and some not good ones. This is a great one. By far the best version of farm-boy Luke Skywalker in the modern line in terms of sculpting, this figure appeared as part of a Battle Pack called Resurgence of the Jedi. Paired with R2-D2, C-3PO, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the set depicted the moment Obi-Wan recounts the legend of the Jedi to Luke.
5 Yoda (with Kybuck)
This outstanding figure – or better to say figures – come out on a single card in 2007 as part of the 30th Anniversary line. Though the 3-D Clone Wars series was just around the corner, Hasbro hadn’t yet fallen out of love with the 2003 Genndy Tartakovsky series. They would continue to mine that limited but amazing series throughout the next few years. The Yoda figure in and of himself is not the best, borrowing quite a bit from an earlier Revenge of the Sith figure, but the Kybuk is legendary.
4 Saelt-Marae (Yakface)
Released in 2019, Yakface (or as he’s properly known, Saelt-Marae) is a modern interpretation of one of the most infamous vintage Kenner action figures. Yakface was intended to be offered as a mail-away in the original line, but in 1985 with the movies over and interest dwindling, the original run of figures came to a sad end. Yakface never made it to shelves in the United States but saw release in Europe and elsewhere. This version features a museum-quality sculpt, amazing articulation, and shows how much detail can be packed into a figure that’s only four inches tall.
3 Gamorrean Guard
Another figure that seems like they took the costume from Return of the Jedi and shrunk it, the Gamorrean Guard from 2010 represents one of Hasbro’s crowning achievements in sculpting, articulation, and deco. The green-pig guards from Jabba’s Palace never looked so drooly or awesome.
The figure, part of the Vintage Collection, was so popular with collectors that it was reissued last year. It remains a best-seller and an all-time favorite, especially now that the guards have a big, giant super-expensive Sail Barge to defend from those pesky rebels.
2 Stormtrooper (Rogue One)
If there’s one thing Star Wars collectors love more than weird aliens, it’s troopers. Lots and lots of troopers. The absolute best of them all has to be this recent iteration of the Stormtrooper. Based on the updated armor from Rogue One (and now The Mandalorian), this figure looks like he walked out of the movie. With nearly thirty points of articulation, this figure appeared in The Vintage Collection in 2019. Hasbro has quickly capitalized on the mold (something they excel at), producing an all-black Shadow Stromtrooper and dirty Imperial Remnant version from The Mandalorian.
1 Ephant Mon
Here he is. The big one. Ephant Mon weighs so much in plastic Hasbro lost money on him when he won a Fan’s Choice Poll in 2001. True to their word, Hasbro brought him out in the Saga line celebrating the release of Attack of the Clones in 2002. This massive figure stressed glue to its breaking point on the back of a cardboard blister used to supporting figures a third his size (or less!). Another amazing background alien from Jabba’s Palace, Ephant Mon remains the hallmark in modern Star Wars figures for his audacious size and obscurity. Plus, he’s just so cute.
Figures were a huge part of what made the original Star Wars trilogy so financially successful. Years later, they're still going strong.