Power of the Force Collection, Target Exclusive
Item No.: Asst. 26457 No. 26458
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 1999
Appearances: Primarily Return of the Jedi
Bio: Over the arid Western Dune Sea on Tatooine, Jabba the Hutt sentences his victims to be cast into the maw of the mighty Sarlacc, much to the raucous amusement of his palace minions. In the final attempt to escape from the clutches of the vile crime lord, the Rebel heroes launch a surprise attack. And so... the daring confrontation aboard the Tatooine skiff ignites! (Taken from the box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: In 1999, Hasbro cranked out its first "trilogy" vehicles without the Kenner name and one of the pack-in figures was this Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, based on the popular 1999 redesign that was used and adapted with the Rancor, Complete Galaxy Tatooine, and to a lesser extent the Final Jedi Duel Luke. This figure was, at the time, seen as a pretty lousy improvement-- they managed to age Luke's hair, but his face was still fairly wide-eyed and the figure itself, with a then-whopping 9 points of articulation, didn't do a lot for fans. Jointed knees and wrists, at the time, were a bit of a novelty still. Today, the figure's appeal is pretty limited as the 2004 version of the costume is, by and large, much better assuming you got one with a good paint job. As a pack-in figure with the Skiff, it's a nice toy-- but nearly seven years later, it's a bit old-timey. It is, however, especially notable for the "blast mark" on Luke's hand where he got shot by one of Jabba's thugs on the Sail Barge.
Collector's Notes: Fun fact: the Skiff with Luke set was one of many items to be announced to everyone, even solicited with pricing, and pulled at the last minute to be an exclusive. (This happened again just last year with Plo Koon's Jedi Starfighter, also a Target only item.) Along with the Y-Wing, these were to comprise a brand new vehicle assortment. Sadly, Hasbro opted to give it to Target for whatever reason making these particularly tough to find. Upon their release, I remember seeing the Skiff exactly once and the Y-wing twice, which is a bit of a shame. Also, this was one of the first classic vehicles to come in a nifty window box. At the time of its release, fans were complaining a blue streak-- not just because it was hard to find, but because it came with "yet another" Luke figure and not a new member of Jabba's entourage. As an added shocker, this toy was immediately put on sale for, if I recall, $12.88 the week after most fans found it-- so to add insult to injury, not only couldn't you get it, but it was a damn good deal.
Day 76: July 21, 2006