Thursday, October 29, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,142: Luke Skywalker (Medical Frigate)

LUKE SKYWALKER Medical Frigate
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87571
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD38
Includes: Commlink, Lightsaber, Robes, Droid Part
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2009
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Image: Adam's Millennium Falcon.

Bio: Luke is treated for injuries while on Bespin, when Darth Vader cut off the young Jedi's right hand during their lightsaber duel. On board the Rebel Alliance's medical frigate Redemption, Luke is fitted with a cybernetic hand by a medical droid. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: There are so few versions of core original trilogy characters left to do that it's something of a stunner when Hasbro cranks out something new like Luke Skywalker Medical Frigate. This release is based from a very brief scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke gets a new robotic arm, or it foreshadows a potential descent into the footsteps of his father. Take your pick. The figure itself is a modified version of the 2004 Vintage Original Trilogy Collection release, best known for being able to remove its tunic and having exceptional articulation. Hasbro also resculpted the head, legs, and right arm to make the hand into a fist and to have open panels revealing the wiring inside. It's cool stuff.

Luke now has lateral leg movement, and aside from that, qualifies as super-articulated. There are two waist joints, and the added robes do a fine job of covering up these fleshy joints. Unfortunately, the robes are a little bulky so it's entirely possible that you won't like the look and feel provided by the soft goods garment, although I can't say a plastic one would have looked any better. This version of the young Skywalker is one of the best Lukes you can buy-- the head sculpt is pretty good, the accessories are abundant, and the articulation is better than pretty much every release Hasbro has ever done. No Jedi Knight or Hoth Luke has ever received lateral leg movement, and now we've got a massive number of joints for a figure who can only sit and stand. This was done to save on tooling, of course, but one has to wonder if Hasbro already has super-ultimate versions of other Lukes down the road given some of its more recent releases were a little lacking in some areas.

One odd thing about this figure, in terms of continuity, is the lightsaber. Luke comes with the weapon he lost when his hand got sliced off, rather than the one he would go on to build in Shadows of the Empire or the deleted (and most likely unfilmed) scene from Return of the Jedi... but it does appear in the Radio Drama. Anyway, I digress-- it's weird to have the blue lightsaber. This Luke figure a pretty great addition to your toy box as it's the only medical Luke you can buy from Hasbro. Thankfully, it's so well done you probably won't ever want a better release. Kudos for getting it right the first time.

Collector's Notes: Currently, this figure is a one-timer. Due to rotten distribution since its initial release, they still trickle out at a variety of retailers. Some stores are even receiving new stock at clearance prices, so watch your scanners. A rerelease is not expected, but old stock can take a while to get out there.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,142: October 29, 2009

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