Thursday, August 31, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,060: Luke Skywalker (and Grogu, The Black Series)

& Grogu

The Black Series The Book of Boba Fett Deluxe Figure
Item No.:
No. F8345
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #07
Includes: Yoda hilt, Yoda lightsaber, Luke lightsaber, backpack, frog, wrapped gift, box, clear stands, bolt stand, rock formation, training remote
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $44.99
Availability: July 2023
Appearances: The Book of Boba Fett

Bio: To help him hone his skills and understand the ways of the Force, Grogu trains with a new Jedi Master: Luke Skywalker . (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Click here to buy it at Walmart now!

There are times that Hasbro can make a good product but miss the landing, like this Luke Skywalker & Grogu set. Before I wrote this review, I felt it was a good set - but expensive. Then I was out at a Walmart and heard some guy pick it up and tell his lady friend about how ridiculous the pricing was and how he won't buy it until it hits half price... and which point I check Amazon and find it's already $10 off and it's still only a month or so old. Hasbro/Disney/Lucasfilm apparently treats these as items where collectors are not concerned about value - the price increases were hard to swallow, but this is a $25 "basic" figure with a $20 upcharge for the tiny Grogu and a couple of extra accessories. There's no doubt that there's more in the box, but you're being charged for two figures and getting one figure with a few accessories.

From a product development perspective, this is a pretty good Luke. It looks like he'll share parts with the upcoming Return of the Jedi remake, but he also has a lot of unique parts. The tunic is specific to The Book of Boba Fett, as are his black boots with their many wrappings. He has a gloved hand, a great hairstyle, an acceptable face, and very little paint. If anything, this seems like a figure that was cheap to make. It doesn't appear they spent a lot of time refining him - he keeps falling over, thanks to the rounded bottoms of his feet. When I type, he just eventually flops forward over and over. Price aside, it's just not a great consumer product if he can't stand without assistance.

Once again Hasbro used a separate plastic wig for this figure, which I assume adds to the cost - they saved money on body paint but didn't pass that along to you. The portrait is pretty good, looking convincingly like "Luke Skywalker" but not quite like "Mark Hamill," if that makes sense. At the right angle, with the right lighting, the sculpt looks perfect. This tells me that the painting process could use some refinement, and maybe we'll get something even better down the road. It's certainly pretty good, and on the happy end of what we've seen in this line, but it hasn't been perfected.

Like many other figures, he has a lightsaber. It looks great, but it can't hang on his belt. He has a lot of other gear for you to lose, including a plug for a backpack, a training backpack, a clear Remote stand, a rocky based with a blast effect, a clear "swoosh," a frog, a Mando Beskar shirt package, Yoda's lightsabers, and some other stuff. It feels like the $45 price point came first, and they kept putting in gear to add value to it until it hit some sort of a point where the budget worked out. If you were buying these as 3-D printed upgrades from some fan, this set would be a decent deal. But $45 doesn't add up here. If you look at Super7's Ultimates! 7-inch action figures, which are $55, you get a heck of a lot more for the money. 2-3 heads, sidekick buddy figures, alternate hands galore, tons of big weapons, and so forth. There's no value here. Heck, the box is mostly empty - all this stuff would fit in a "basic figure" box with room to spare, so people seeing this item at the store are probably going to feel more than a little mislead.

The Black Series increasingly makes impressive-looking figures that just don't show why they're worth the asking price some of the time. Maybe it's the closed packaging, maybe it's the last few years of price increases. $25 felt like it was about as high as you could have a basic figure go before people turn their noses up. The nearly instant markdown of this set on Amazon serves as the free market speaking - this is not a good value. The prices need to be reigned in - even if it means fewer accessories - if this line is to stay off of markdown. Something like Luke and Grogu should be a sure thing, and here it is on sale already. Luke's slightly-off Mark Hamill likeness fits the show, the costume is dead-on, and Grogu (with accessories) is pretty good. We'll review the little guy later, but I can tell you at sale prices this is a worthwhile set to pick up. $35 or so under is worth it.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,060: August 31, 2023

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