Figure of the Day: Day 677
3/13/2008 7:27:16 PM | Reported by Adam

LUKE SKYWALKER Bespin Fatigues
30th Anniversary Collection Vintage Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87295 No. 87306
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a legendary Jedi Master who helped defeat the Galactic Empire and found the New Republic. Born in 19 BBY, the son of the prolific Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, he was raised on Tatooine in solitude to hide from Emperor Palpatine and his father. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's toy shelves.

Commentary: Be careful what you ask for, many say. You just might get it. This Luke Skywalker figure was a highly requested release by fans-- after all, we as a group demanded a super-articulated Bespin Luke figure ever since we got the very, very good 2002 release with a huge antenna accessory and a bacta tourniquet in addition to the obligatory gun and lightsaber. It also had a spiffy action feature, top-notch articulation for his day, a working holster, and a magnetic cut-away hand. That was in 2002. By 2007, five years later, we didn't see much advancement. This new Bespin Luke has only two accessories and no fancy features like a magnet or anything like that. The head sculpt in 2002 wasn't perfect, but you could basically tell it was meant to be Luke during his duel with Darth Vader as the young Skywalker looked pretty beat up. This 2007 release, and you regular readers know I don't throw comments like this around often, is pretty bad. The head looks a lot like Haley Joel Osment, at least in the hair department. It's not like Hasbro is incapable of making a decent Luke sculpt, even if the likeness isn't too close to Mark Hamill it still looks like Luke. This one doesn't really look like either. The costume looks good enough, but geez, the head.

For me, as soon as the head sucks, the rest of the figure is basically a wash. Hasbro did an adequate job with the figure's articulation, as it has 14 points of articulation including a well-placed waist joint for decent movement. Problem is, by 2007, we expected more for ten bucks. Where is the lateral hip movement? Where's the place on the belt to hang a lightsaber? Hasbro had that figured out back in 1999, after all. And why did they lose the magnet and that oh-so-awesome bloody stump of an arm? If anything, the vintage Bespin Luke was a huge step back from 2002. I'm a little biased because for 2002, that release was simply stunning and this one really doesn't do much to advance the legacy. The packaging is neat, though, and if articulation is your focus this remains the best of the Bespin Luke figures made by Hasbro, Kenner, or any other company in this size. It's just a little disappointing because it, like most of the 2007 Vintage Collection, proved that Hasbro's basic line was so good that a premium $10 figure was more or less a waste of three extra dollars.

Collector's Notes: While not a hugely popular line, the 2007 Vintage line did OK and Luke was one of the faster sellers in some markets. (And in others, not so much.) As of yet the figure doesn't seem to be returning to retail in any form, which is interesting because most of his assortment mates are getting revised and returned to duty in new forms in 2008. (I don't think anything stings quite so much as Endor Poncho Leia getting put out in a comic pack during the summer of 2008 with a second figure and a comic for the same price as a single vintage figure in 2007.) This is a figure that a lot of collectors are going to buy based on its legacy-- it's a significant character, the "vintage" brand holds a lot of weight, and it has the best packaging you could hope for. But it's still a pretty iffy figure and if you're a picky fan, I fully expect you to have a polarized response to this guy. I'm not saying positive or negative because I don't know you, but I know I wasn't impressed.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 677: March 13, 2008

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