Thursday, June 29, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 54: Luke Skywalker with Blast Shield Helmet

LUKE SKYWALKER with Blast Shield Helmet
Power of the Force Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 69570 No. 69881
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Blast Shield Helmet
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: Summer 1998
Appearances: Primarily Star Wars: A New Hope

Bio: Aboard the Milllennium Falcon, Luke Skywalker is instructed by Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the art of lightsaber battle and the ways of the Force. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Luke takes a moment away from being a hero for a photo shoot on Adam Pawlus' stairs.

Commentary: In 1995, all the figures were big and muscular, and Kenner started to move away from this in the years that followed. In 1998, they made a few "all-new likeness" figures like this Luke Skywalker, which had Luke slimmed down, but he still had a slightly goofy expression (not shown), the same six points of articulation, and some great new accessories. OK, one new accessory-- the lightsaber was nothing new, but this was the first-ever blast shield helmet, an accessory that leaves fans begging for a training remote to this day. (A non-removable one is in a chest that comes with the 2006 Luke, but I digress.) The helmet fits nicely on Luke's head, and the figure became the "standard" sculpt. As such, your desire to buy this figure should basically come down to if you want a blast shield helmet or not. If you do, buy it. If you don't, this Luke is no better or worse than any Tatooine Luke released since (and in) 1998. I like this figure a lot, so you should consider it.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro liked this sculpt so much, they made three "new" Lukes in 1998 alone-- one with a stormtrooper belt and headset came with the Millennium Falcon Gunner Station, and one with a smushed-in nose came in Purchase of the Droids. Since then, variations on this sculpt have been used for no less than six "new" figures, often being limb swaps or an old figure with new accessories and other minor changes. Aside from the "Vintage" Luke in 2004, all Tatooine Lukes since 1998 have been based on this design.

A fun fact: due to the "smushed" nose on Purchase of the Droids Luke, which came in a three-pack with C-3PO and Uncle Owen, can slip the helmet on very easily and is actually a better head for use of this helmet. (Even if it looks awful without the helmet.)

Day 54: June 29, 2006

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