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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,642: Lando Calrissian

LANDO CALRISSIAN General
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 28439
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC47
Includes: Pistol, cape, removable holster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99-$10.99
Availability: February 2011
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Fore be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Commentary: Hasbro's General Lando Calrissian figures have been a mixed bag. The first one (actually a Kenner figure) in 1998 was a little beefy-- but he looked good. The 2004 one was pretty neat, but the proportions still felt a little off. In 2011, we have probably achieved as close as we're going to get to perfection with this release. The legs are shared with Bespin Han Solo, but the rest of it is pretty much unique to Lando. The cap hangs well, or as well as can be expected for a toy of this scale, and the deco more or less works great. The hair seems a smidgen bushy for Billy Dee Williams, but you've got the costume, the cape, and the moustache-- the ingredients are basically here, but the look and feel is essentially just close enough. (It's like most Luke figures-- it's LIKE Luke, but it's not always like Mark Hamil.)

Articulation is good-- and by good, I mean it's done with your vehicles in mind. The hips have lateral movement (hence why they may look a little strange), allowing him to sit in the pilot's seat. With no holster on his hip to get in the way, it's arguably a better pilot than most Han Solo figures turned out to be, although getting him in just the right pose is still a little tricky. With just enough detail on the uniform, this is likely to be the best, and I assume last, take on this character for a while. (If history is any indication, the soonest we'll see another one is in 6-8 years.)

Collector's Notes: Rather than reproduce the original The Power of the Force cardback, Hasbro put Lando on a Return of the Jedi card-- while true to the movie, it's not how the original toy shipped. It still looks cool, and I appreciate the fact that it's something different. To date this figure has only shipping in one revision of one wave, so if you see him piling up that's just demand-- there's as many of this Lando as there are of Dagobah Luke, so far anyway.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,642: September 29, 2011

3 comments:

Schneider said...

His hair is a little bushy? But you do not mention that HUGE strap on the cape? They made a nice thin one on Vader, so they didn't need an 1/8" thick strap as thick as his belt! It looks absolutely ridiculous, and the reason I didn't buy the figure.

Adam16bit said...

Figures with removable capes tend to have elastic, while the others do not. That and you can SEE the huge strap-- what's to say about it? You can see it and it's obvious how it affects the look of the figure.

A couple of the Vaders (500th/TSC) have an elastic strap as well, but on the whole Vader figures are designed differently-- the silver "chain" is ornamental, not functional. There often is black elastic on there which you don't notice. This happens on figures with removable capes.

OTC 2004 and Evolutions Vaders don't have removable capes, so they have a different design that doesn't sport the elastic piece. It has a different function, therefore it has a different look.

On Lando, the elastic piece is functional, and the cape is not held on by being impaled on the neck peg with the head holding it on as a cap.

As a figure, Lando absolutely does need a removable cape. He doesn't wear it while piloting the Falcon. It's entirely possible a different material or design could have been used to give the figure a different feel, but it's consistent with other figures needing a removable cape in that size and Not Quite A Big Deal.

Hasbro tried a different method with plastic fasteners on a cloth cape for G.I. Joe this year on Cobra Commander and due to some plastic tolerance issues and assembly errors, it doesn't work well and doesn't look particularly good. While Lando's not perfect it's still an action figure, and as such I'm glad they opted to design it so he could wear the cape so it doesn't just fall off, and it's not more or less stuck on there like the vintage figure from nearly 25 years ago.

The figure was clearly designed with piloting the Big Falcon in mind, so I think they ultimately made the right decision. They might even be able to do a better one later, but I'd rather they not give him a non-removable cape just yet. Having said that, soft goods are probably the only area on these figures which on the whole probably peaked in 1983-1985... you just have to sacrifice functionality for looks in places.

davy said...

i think what schneider was trying to say was that the strap is a huge drawback for many collectors and that it should have been mentioned in the review, whether it was to defend it or bash it.
i kinda agree with him that it should have been brought up but obviously you feel differently and it is your blog.
for the record i tend to agree with you. i can deal with the strap it's the goofy expression on his face that bothers me. the potj bespin lando is still the best all around lando headsculpt.