Friday, September 1, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 118: Luke Skywalker in Trash Compactor

LUKE SKYWALKER in Trash Compactor
Power of the Force Escape the Death Star Game
Item No.:
No. 40905
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 Blasters, 3 Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: 1998
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Luke Skywalker was the son of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Naboo Senator Padme Amidala, and the older twin brother of Leia Organa Solo. A celebrated pilot and leader, Skywalker was most famous for destroying the first Death Star and prompting Darth Vader to kill Emperor Palpatine, which led to the eventual downfall of the Galactic Empire and made him the greatest hero of the Rebel Alliance. He was later promoted to general, became an influential member of the New Republic and a prominent Jedi Master. Trained in the ways of the Force by Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, Luke eventually closed the chapter in his life as a soldier and established the Jedi Praxeum to create the New Jedi Order that would serve as guardians and peacekeepers in the New Republic. He married fellow Jedi Mara Jade, with whom he had a son, Ben Skywalker, and ten years later, officially claimed the title Grand Master of the Jedi Order. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: One of the big pushes by 1998 was to get action figures with everything. Kenner realized the cash cow that was the Star Wars action figure, so figures like this Luke Skywalker were packaged with PC games, board games, vehicles, elaborate gunner stations, and more. The figure itself is a 1996 Stormtrooper Luke Skywalker figure with a newly sculpted head, but obviously, it looks a little funky (which is why we had to include the inset photo). Initial reports from Toy Fair 1998 in New York were questioning just who this was supposed to be-- we weren't entirely sure of it was meant to be Luke or someone else. Legend has it (and I never confirmed this, so take it as a load of crap) that Steve Sansweet himself said of this figure "well, we've never seen a Stormtrooper with its helmet off before." I have no idea if it's true, but given the fan reaction to this figure, it doesn't seem totally implausible.

So, it's Stormtrooper Luke with maggots on his armor and his hair slicked back. The figure doesn't include a removable helmet-- which I've always felt was a huge mistake-- and came packaged with a board game. It's a unique idea and one that, thankfully, Hasbro hasn't been too keen to revisit short of the Wookiee Scout in the Power of the Jedi days. In and of itself, this is not an exciting figure. The appeal of someone in disguise is the ability to disguise them, and without a helmet, this figure fails. As such, we give this one the "neat for collectors, not for anyone else" stamp.

Collector's Notes: This figure was never particularly sought-after and I never actually played the game myself. The entire package with the figures can be had for a very reasonable $5 in some cases, which is a stellar deal considering you get 2 figures and 6 weapons. Plus this Luke has a unique head sculpt which was never reused, and surely, that's worth something right?

Day 118: September 1, 2006

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