LUKE SKYWALKER Hoth Outfit
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 37499 No. 37511
Includes: Scarf with goggles, lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: April 2012
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 Force be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. No specific character information.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.
Commentary: Behold, a new Luke Skywalker in his Hoth outfit (not Hoth Battle Gear?) It's the first new mold for this character in this outfit since 2003, which is a heck of a long time in the world of toy collecting. This is Hasbro's best-ever, most-articulated Hoth Luke and to be honest, it's an alternate head away from being pretty much perfect. The accessories are perfect-- no incorrect Darth Vader lightsbabers here! The sculpt is superb-- check out the articulation! Ball-jointed hips, man. The only place the figure comes up short is the head, which has a combo goggles/scarf piece which is removable, and unfortunately the figure looks weird wearing it and weirder not wearing it.
In addition to a lightsaber which hangs perfectly on his belt and looks fantastic, the figure has the first-ever holster on a Hoth Luke figure. It's a tight fit for his blaster, but it looks superb. Seriously, it fits like a tight glove, and it's a big improvement over the previous representations of this costume. Nearly every possible aspect which bugged me from previous figures, which were great, have been addressed. The figure can sit on the Tauntaun from 2011 just fine, although getting his feet into the stirrups may take some doing. As a "vintage" figure, I was hoping the head would be sculpted similar to how the 1982 version was done, complete with a scarf hanging down the right side of his hat and goggles which are positioned so you can actually see Luke's face.
I know it must be annoying to read this and say "it's almost perfect except..." and a few of you are saying "geez Adam, can't you like anything?" but the truth is, at $10, we're just a different head or goggles or something away from this being the perfect Hoth Luke. As it stands, this isn't going to look good in the Wampa cave, which leaves the door open for Hasbro to redo and rerelease him later. (Again, he can be posed pretty much any way you want-- it's just the head that needs to be tweaked.) As new action figure releases get better and better, it stands to reason that fan expectations get higher and higher. If a figure is a first-ever release, at least from where I sit, it just needs to be acceptable and I'm pretty happy. This Hoth Luke comes after no fewer than 5 releases since 1997, each of which brought something new, different, or necessary to the table. This one manages to combine the best of all those figures and beyond, and without question is the single best Hoth Luke figure ever released by Hasbro and potentially anybody-- but is it perfect? Well, there's room for improvement. Hasbro can and probably should tweak him for a "Wampa damage" release in the next year or two, just to get another squeeze from the mold.
If you have a 2011 Tauntaun, you need this figure. Go get one. If you don't, well, are you happy with your existing figures? If so, move along. If not, go get him, you're going to have a lot of fun messing around with this one.
Collector's Notes: Late 2011 was pretty thin for Vintage, and early 2012 got off to a rocky start. Like always, wave 1 got amazing distribution and wave 2 was more than 50% old product, so that means lots of wave 1 is still out there and wave 3 figures like this figure are, at least for a while, a little tough to find. He's slated for at least 3 waves, though, which is good... he's just a little late for the Tauntaun which shipped late in 2011 and was clearanced out before his release. Hasbro's ability to put out a pilot with a vehicle/creature lately has been pretty wonky.