LUKE SKYWALKER in Hoth Gear
Power of the Force Collection 1 (or 2)
Item No.: Asst. 69605 No. 69619
Includes: Lightsaber, blast effect
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: January 1997
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 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 Pawlus' toy room.
Commentary: Over the years, few characters get as many releases as Luke Skywalker. In the original Kenner line way back when the movies first came out, there were 7 figures-- that's a significant chunk of the entire vintage line. In the first few years of the modern era, there were nearly 30. Today, there's even more, but let's go back to those first few dozen with the first modern Hoth Luke. With only the then-traditional six points of articulation, this action figure didn't offer a lot in the way of movement. Actually, the figure was redesigned and packed in with the Wampa and Tauntaun in 1998 because this figure was incapable of sitting, or looking like he was hanging, as the situations required. This doesn't mean that this wasn't a pretty good figure-- it's just that it was developed at a time where it apparently wasn't part of a toy designer's best interests to future-proof their product for inevitable creature and vehicle releases.
One of the first things you might have realized (if you collected the old-old Kenner line) was that this figure doesn't look much like it. The colors are completely different, the goggles are in a different place, it's almost like the Kenner engineers of 1982 never even saw The Empire Strikes Back. Even though the colors don't perfectly match the movie, this was the first step at getting a figure that was closer to the film designs. Due to the 1997 figure being released in an era where it appears Kenner still had the word "toy" in mind when designing action figures, this Luke can sit, hold his weapons, and most importantly of all, not fall apart. He's great. You should totally get one if you have a kid that wants a good toy of Luke in his Hoth gear, even though future releases would have slightly more articulation. It's still a solid release and as toys go, it's a good item even a decade later. It could be better, of course, but it seems a super-articulated Hoth Luke may be a ways off still.
Collector's Notes: This figure's body was used to create a Hoth Rebel Soldier for a Target exclusive in 2002. Also, bits of this figure were used to make several future Hoth Luke figures. The figure was common even in its own day, so don't expect to pay any real money for it. Odds are someone out there will be happy to give you one for free.
Day 766: June 10, 2008