Thursday, December 1, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,687: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER Jedi Training on Dagobah
30th Anniversary Collection Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87503 No. 87214
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, blaster, 4 other figures
Action Feature: Push button for lightsaber swinging action
Retail: $19.99-$24.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Young and brave, Luke Skywalker was a fast and eager learner, but his own impatience and latent anger proved to be his greatest enemies. Despite the guidance of both Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was on his own for much of his Jedi training. It was his deep native connection to the Force that allowed him to eventually control his own emotions. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's couch.

Commentary: I've got a lot of Luke Skywalker figures. I haven't actually sat down and counted them for a while, but I do remember at one point I had something close to 30 of them when the line size hadn't yet hit 300, if memory serves. This was in part because Kenner kept tweaking and rereleasing figures, be it with new heads, different arms, or a new torso with a hole for an accessory which was never made. This particular Luke is based on the then-exceptional 2002 release, minus the accessories that made it so fantastic. Even though the 2010 Vintage Bespin Luke (not the 2007 one, that one sucked) is the best Bespin Luke, I still strongly suggest buying the 2002 release just for his gear. But how does this one rate?

It's OK-- I like the brown color better for his outfit, and I appreciate that Hasbro made him look less harried than the Cloud City-specific ones in 2002 and 2004. Luke is less sweaty and bloody, with fewer bruises and richer overall coloring. I like how he looks a lot, but without the antenna, bacta tourniquet, or other junk, it's just another Luke. Mind you, it's a good Luke-- the lightsaber swinging action at the waist was a really nice touch, even though Hasbro quickly phased out the button-activated features. The metal lightsaber grip looks great, and the blaster fits right into his holster. As toys go, this is a good piece and it wouldn't stun me to see Hasbro alter it slightly and rerelease it in its Movie Heroes line later. It looks a little dated by our current standards, but remember, back when this sculpt first came into the world it was dynamite.

With 12 points of articulation and a removable right hand, this figure simply did more and did it better than its siblings. It also had a holster sculpted as part of the leg, a minor detail but as a toy fan this is a huge deal. The separate rubber belt/holster hinders articulation slightly, while this one can actually sit with minimal problems. In short, it's a real toy, and as such it's really fun. If you're feeling up to it, go ahead and get this gift set.

Collector's Notes: There are two versions of this gift set. The 2007 release with 30th Anniversary Packaging has a different mold used for Darth Vader than the 2008 version, which should piss off a fair amount of completeists. (I just buy both and hate myself for the next week while I eat PB&Js to make up the difference in my wasted money.) The 2008 Legacy version seems to be the rarer one, with the 2007 one selling for as little as ten bucks on eBay. For ten bucks, the Yoda, Vader, Luke, R2-D2, and Obi-Wan Kenobi grouping is fantastic and even boxed, it's a nice display piece. If you can, get this set-- heck, get three or four so you can have all the versions around, you crazy person you.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,687: December 1, 2011

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