After a short honeymoon the luster of a six-inch Star Wars line is really fading on me. Hasbro really seemed to want to bring it with that first wave; packing out alternate heads, decent paint applications, and loads of accessories. Even the second wave was fairly strong, I picked up Greedo and Han. While the human heads have never been terrible, they have all been soft for the most part which isn’t unusual for Hasbro. Actor likeness has never been a strength for the Hasbro six-inch division.
Unfortunately the troubles I have with this latest Star Wars Black six-inch wave go a lot deeper than likeness. This wave just feels lazy. Bespin Luke looks “fine” but comes with practically nothing; just a lightsaber and pistol. For belonging to such a pivotal scene in the movie you would think they’d add a few more accessories. A removable hand would be great, and for the stump they could throw in the medical cuff to cover it up. Just adding those two features would go a long way in making this “the ultimate collector line” it claims to be.
* – When did Luke have orange hair? How did I miss this the first time around?
The other issue is the head. While it’s certainly a better sculpt than the original X-Wing Luke, it has no expression whatsoever. It’s like they managed to catch Luke at the point he was waking up from a coma and had zero thoughts in his head. An alternate head would have gone a long way with this set. It’s already the second Luke variant in a three wave series, so why not make it worth the customer’s while? An angry “oh my god you are my father!” face, or a battle damaged one, or really just anything beyond the derp we ended up getting would be great!
The articulation is pretty standard for the entire line. They were either going for uniformity, or they just didn’t want to try harder. Luke gets into a pretty physical lightsaber fight in this outfit, so he certainly could have benefitted from additional articulation points. An ab crunch would have been great along with shoulder balls and double jointed elbows. Everything else seems fine. The legs have a great range of movement, it just drops off from the waist up.
* – This shot really illustrates how the face they gave us makes it look like Luke is still mourning the death of his beloved Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
One of the exciting prospects of getting a Bespin version of Luke was to recreate his appearance on The Muppet Show. Why else would I have held on to my Palisades figures and playsets for so long? Well unfortunately I didn’t realize how gigantic the Muppets actually were in the toy series because they make six-inch Luke look like a dwarf. Luke fits in decently in the “Pigs In Space” playset, but Link Hogthrob makes him look tiny. So the attempt to reenact the Mark Hamill Muppet show appearance probably won’t happen until they do a 10″ version of the character.
When I was pulling the Pigs in Space Playset out of the box I also noticed how much I paid for it almost ten years ago. It had a nice little EB Games (RIP) sticker with a retail price of $19.99. A full-sized playset with accessories and a pack-in figure cost me as much as one six-inch scale figure today. The early part of this century was such a great time for toys!
I’ve gotten two figures from the third Star Wars Black wave, and I can only hope when (or if) I find the Stormtrooper he cheers me up. Luke is a decent enough stand-in for a main character, but he really feels like a missed opportunity. Hasbro is already shilling a Luke variant in the third wave, the least they could do is give the collector some incentive beyond “Bespin Luke.” But they didn’t. Instead they made a pretty lazy variant and put it out. There is also a Luke variant in the next wave.
I suppose I can take solace in the Darth Vader coming out. They actually look to have put some effort into him.
* – My ragtag collection of Star Wars Black … Sandtrooper is missing because my son stole him.