Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 816: McQuarrie Concept Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER McQuarrie Concept
30th Anniversary Collection Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 87384
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, backpack, breathing mask, blaster, coin (stand not included)
Action Feature: Removable gear, lightsaber clips to belt
Retail: $14.99
Availability: May 2008
Appearances: n/a

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Bio: In the painting depicted on the front [of the package], Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader duel. Wearing an oxygen tank and breathing mask, Luke looks eerily like his father. Although crouched before Vader, his stance vibrates with intenisty. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: One figure fans were begging for when McQuarrie Concept figures came around was that of this figure, which Hasbro called Luke Skywalker. (Some argue he should actually be Deak Starkiller based on the story as it was at the time of the painting.) Luke is great. Period. The indigo shirt, the blaster, the two-piece lightsaber, everything about it is fantastic. Even the face is good, and since there was no real reference for a face based on this painting, it seems Hasbro got to make one up based on a variety of sources. The figure itself has 14 points of articulation, with the only non-awesome joints being swivel elbows. Everything else is superb. It's rare that a design is so unique, especially given that this purple/indigo color is rarely (if ever) used to make a Star Wars action figure. The yellow lightsaber was a cute touch, even if it wasn't exactly a match for the original artwork on which this design was based.

As far as accessories go, this one had an extensive array of goodies. His lightsaber blade could separate from the hilt, allowing you to clip the silver handle to his belt. His newly sculpted blaster fits neatly in its holder, which was handy as nobody wants to lose an accessory. The backpack is pegged to the figure's back, but to get the attached mask off you'll have to employ some gymnastics. Hasbro has determined that it's OK that you remove a figure's head as part of a play feature, so you actually need to pop Luke's head off at the neck and slide the mask down in order to remove it from his head. It's weird, but it works. I guess the same can be said about the figure as a whole. His hair is flailing around in space, and he has a breathing mask on, but skin is exposed. Shouldn't he explode or something?

Collector's Notes: This one was surprisingly popular. Selling at conventions and online, fans gobbled this one up and weren't nearly as interested in the companion set featuring concept versions of R2-D2 and C-3PO. If you were not already aware, this design is not based on any movie costume but rather a conceptual painting by artist Ralph McQuarrie. Collectors are quite enamored with his works and in 2007, Hasbro made several action figures based on his designs.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 816: July 30, 2008

No comments: