Thursday, June 18, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,700: Lando Calrissian (The Retro Collection)

LANDO CALRISSIAN The Original, Reproduced
The Retro Collection Walmart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. E9646  No. E9656
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Black pistol, grey cape
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.86
Availability: April 2020
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Landonis Balthazar Calrissian, simply known as "Lando," was a human male smuggler, gambler, and card player who became Baron Administrator of Cloud City and, later, a general in the Rebel Alliance. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab. 

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary: After the original Kenner line ended, one of my first goals - when I was like six - was to go to flea markets and garage sales, hoping to find Lando Calrissian.  He was one of my favorite characters as a kid, and lucky me, I did indeed find a carded one for about fifty cents, which stayed carded for about fifty seconds.  (Star Wars was completely worthless in the mid 1980s, you see.)   That's not the one in the picture - this is one I got out of another collection in the 1990s, mine was the "bright smile" variant.   Hasbro elected to go with the first release, which lacks the white paint on the face.  When you're doing heads the size of a peanut, you sometimes have to exaggerate features for contrast - here, Lando's dark skin and black painted eyes and facial hair can be hard to see. Especially if you have bad eyes.

The 1980s original has sharper features, which are very apparent on the torso.  You can see the original wrinkles on the shirt and belt buckle pop, with the new 2020 figure looking like a copy of a copy.  Nowhere is the generation loss more apparent than on the face - Lando's smiling face and enlarged cheeks are completely smoothed out, while the 2020 head is also a different shape.   The head sort of skews into the neck this time, with Lando's sculpted teeth being smoothed out completely.  The hair is also a bit lumpier, but it could be my imagination.

Smoothed out features on the 2020 figure aren't the only big change, you'll also notice the 2020 cape is a much lighter grey and the blaster is not only bigger, but blacker.   It's unlikely anyone would mistake the 2020 figure for the 1980 original, loose samples of which are a paltry $20 these days.  While the new 2020 one is fine - if you're just going to mount him on a wall and leave him on the card, the excellent execution of his 5 points of articulation or the slightly-off features of the figure won't matter as much as the cardback - I would nudge you to go to eBay and buy the genuine article.  Or contact the people at Toy Anxiety in Phoenix, very nice folks, they could use the business.

I very much appreciate the different accessories on Lando. Reproductions are a sketchy thing, but if I can look at them and see that they're both good and different I'm all smiles.

While Hasbro's 2020 reissues of Bespin Luke and Hoth Han are softer and different, they're still pretty good.  Lando didn't turn out as nicely, but it's probably good enough given you may be able to find it while hunting COVID supplies in your masks and it's only $10.   I appreciate Hasbro and Lucasfilm getting religion about these kinds of figures, but the bulk of them just aren't the originals.  They're good, but the new releases are literally beyond comparison.  After all, Snowspeeder Luke and Grand Moff Tarkin have no real peers from 40 years ago.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Walmart through my pal Scott "ToyGuru" Neitlich!  Did you see his new Spector Creative YouTube channel yet? Click here.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,700: June 18, 2020

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