Sunday, March 4, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 302: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER with Blaster Rifle and Electrobinoculars
Power of the Force Flashback Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 69680 No. 84036
Number: n/a
Includes: Flashback Photo, rifle, hat, binoculars
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: December 1998
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Bored with the mundane life of a moisture farmer on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker dreamed of being a great pilot. He targeted womp rats while racing his T-16 skyhopper through the steep and narrow walls of Beggar's Canyon. Many years earlier, Luke's father also raced over the surface of Tatooine in his podracer. Anakin evntually turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader but was finally redeemed by his son Luke. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: Few figures are punch lines, but this Luke Skywalker was a bit of a joke. Released at the end of 1998, there were already "new sculpt" Luke Skywalker figures from the original film with a blast shield helmet, a Purchase of the Droids 3-pack, and a Millennium Falcon gunner station. But this one, in the out-of-context yet completely appropriate words of one Waylon Smithers, "but this one has a new hat!" Fans immediately made the connection and, of course, we all had a good laugh about how stupid this figure was because really, all it had to offer was "a new hat." We all bought one anyway.

Overall, it's a good figure. Not great, but good. The figure had added neck articulation, and could rock his head back to look up (or into his binoculars.) He had wrist and elbow articulation, a first for a Luke figure from the original film. He could even wear his binoculars on his belt, so you wouldn't lose them. If this figure included a Blast Shield Helmet and a lightsaber, fans would probably have declared it one of the best ever-- it even had some dirt on Luke's shirt. The basic sculpt was the same (more or less) that was being offered in the three aforementioned figures, but enhanced articulation and additional accessories do go a long way. Plus, this figure was made from a deleted scene-- a real novelty for a 1998 action figure line based on a movie from 1977. The figure's one mark against it, in my opinion, was the plastic used to make the head was weak and the eye paint was also weak across the board. Were his face just a little bit stronger, this may have gone down as being the finest non-superposeable Luke figure ever. Instead, it's going to go down as Luke "with the new hat."

Collector's Notes: The sculpt was slightly modified and slightly redecorated in 2002, when it was packaged with an all-new sculpt Landspeeder which was sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. The 2002 deco was better, but this one has the better accessories. Oh which one will you choose?

Day 302: March 4, 2007

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