Hall of Fame Assortment
Released February, 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on Feburary 18, 2004
Despite our not having pictures yet, we decided it would be a good thing to give you all a look at the recently released Hall of Fame assortment, as a lot of general changes have happened here that packaged collectors will definitely want to note, and we assume most fans who open their toys will want to know as well as they did make a few changes.
The first big change is the packaging.
- The year/number designation has been removed from the packaging
- All bubbles are the new, less bulky variety with less wasted space
- All figures come on the new, dark blue with gold stripe packaging
- Many of the figures have been renamed
The toys themselves are mostly the same. There have been some general improvements to the look of the figures, and I have to say, it's nice to see there's a small sub-line so you could collect an entire set of carded figures, have it be complete, and that set would not go above 100.
The goal here was for Hasbro to get more main characters out to the fans they sorely need, which would be the kids. Seeing as it's difficult to go to the store and find the likes of Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, or Darth Vader, this is a most welcome move.
Anakin Skywalker (Geonosis Hangar Duel)
Originally offered in 2002, this figure was then simply named Anakin Skywalker (Hangar Duel). We're told this figure is of the later release, where the "secret battle damage" featre has been removed. We should note, however, that we did not open our sample of this figure to check.
No stand was included and the contents of the package are seemingly identical to those released two years back. It should be noted that the paint lines do seem to be improved on this release.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2002 Anakin Skywalker [Hangar Duel] action figure.)
C-3PO (Death Star Rescue)
Considered to be the best C-3PO of all time by most fans, Hasbro finally repackaged this figure for widespread consumption. Initially released in 1998 as a Toys "R" Us exclusive Millennium Mint Coin edition, this is the first time this figure has been-- in theory-- made available to the world. The MMC release was shipped alongside an Emperor Palpatine figure, and depending on the region, these were often very hard to find.
Every bright, shiny detail remains in this release right down to the very bright silver leg. It was great then, and it's still great now. Kudos to Hasbro for bringing him back to the public.
The figure includes the same clear stand used with most/all Hasbro rereleases since 2003. The photo on the front of the package shows C-3PO in the corridors of the Tantive IV, and it was generally assumed that this super-clean version of the prissy protocol droid was meant to represent the Yavin IV Medal Ceremony from the end of A New Hope despite its name here.
Chewbacca (Escape from Hoth)
Originally a bit of a pegwarmer, this figure was released in 2001 as Chewbacca (Millennium Falcon Mechanic). The figure seems to be the exact same as the 2001 version, as no stand was included and no significant changes to the decoration of the figure were made.
Our sample has a questionable paint job on his blue eyes, but this is most likely isolated to the figure.
Darth Maul (Theed Hangar Duel)
This figure was originally packaged with Darth Vader as part of a Masters of the Dark Side two pack that became famous for its fairly limited distribution during Power of the Jedi. The face seems to be painted slightly differently than previous releases, as it's definitely pinker and seems to be significantly sharper. The weapon looks to be pretty much the same.
The Masters of the Dark Side set is no longer present, but the same clear base that was used in the 2003 repackaged figures remains.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2003 Darth Maul [Theed Hangar Duel] action figure.)
Darth Vader (Death Star Clash)
This figure was originally packaged with Darth Maul as part of a Masters of the Dark Side two pack that became famous for its fairly limited distribution during Power of the Jedi. The figure seems to be identical to both previous releases, but the packaging has changed. The bubble takes up a lot less space and this is a welcome move.
Obviously, the large stand from the Masters of the Dark Side set is no longer present, but the same clear base that was used in the 2003 repackaged figures is still present.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2003 Darth Vader [Death Star Clash] action figure.)
Han Solo (Fight to Alderaan)
Another figure from the fantastic CommTech Power of the Force collection. This was originally a Cantina version of Han Solo back in 1998, and in 2003, it was rereleased on this new packaging with the stand. As one of the first figures to incorporate a working holster for his gun, he created quite a stir and is still a popular release.
As far as can be told, no significant changes were made to the figure. The CommTech Chip/Stand is no longer included, and it is nearly identical to the 2003 release of this figure under the same name.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2003 Han Solo [Fight to Alderaan] action figure.)
Luke Skywalker (Tatooine Encounter)
The figure was originally part of the CommTech Power of the Force collection, but his Saga releases changed his accessories. The CommTech release included a tool and a model of the T-16 Skyhopper vehicle, as well as a CommTech chip. Both this release and the 2003 version dropped those extras in favor of a generic clear plastic base and a lightsaber. The lightsaber is nearly identical to the ones used since 1995, with an all-silver grip and a short blade.
Of note: the packaging shows a lightsaber with a mostly silver grip with some painted black markings where appropriate. The actual saber does not have these markings.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2003 Luke Skywalker [Tatooine Encounter] action figure.)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Coruscant Chase)
Of all the figures released in Hall of Fame, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Coruscant Chase) seems the oddest choice. Having been widely available in 2002 and then reissued in a part of a gift set in late 2003, this figure is one of the easiest to find, but it does bring him out at a widely available and nicely reduced price point.
No major changes were made to this release, no stand was added, and it appears only the packaging has been altered.
Princess Leia Organa (Death Star Captive)
Originally released way back in 1998 as the "All New Likeness" Leia to boast the fact that Hasbro realized the earlier head sculpt wasn't up to snuff. This figure was repackaged under the Death Star Captive name in 2003 in pretty much this exact configuration.
Since then, Hasbro changed the packaging so Leia's gun would not bend, which is a common complaint with the initial 2003 releases. The 2003 release also included a stand, which once again apears here.
(Note: the above photo is of the unpackaged 2003 Princess Leia Organa [Death Star Captive] action figure.)
R2-D2 (Tatooine Mission)
Originally released as the first R2-D2 in the first batch of Power of the Jedi in 2001. At the time, he was R2-D2 (Naboo Escape) and featured some blast marks and what may still be one of the best sculpts this character has ever seen. The new releases uses that same mold and exquisite paint job, but drops the dirt marks to give you a nice, clean, and I daresay perfect plain R2-D2 action figure. He has wheels on his feet on which he can roll, and articulation at the dome and two side legs. He has a third, non-retractable third leg and no holes in his feet.
For reasons unknown, Hasbro opted to include a stand with R2-D2. I assume they just did so to give you a stand for another figure, as he isn't compatible with it.
Stormtrooper (Death Star Chase)
For most fans, this will be the star of the batch. This figure in this configuration was technically never released before. The included gun rack and rifle were included with the CommTech Stormtrooper in the CommTech series of the Power of the Force collection in late 1999 which most fans never got to see in decent numbers. The figure is the same one issued with the Troop Builder Set from the Fan Club earlier.
While no stand is included, this is a fairly significantly new release. As it's a Stormtrooper, and there has been no way to buy a basic carded Stormtrooper action figure since the big clearances of 2000 ended, this is a release that fans will probably hope stays in circulation for quite some time.
The sample I have in front of me as of this review appears to be missing the "blast damage" of the POTF2 release, and it also appears to be slightly dirty due to the kind of white plastic used.
Yoda (Battle of Geonosis)
Originally released in 2002 as the very first Attack of the Clones Yoda as Yoda (Jedi Master). The weapons and accessories are identical to the first release, right down to the metal grip lightsaber.
As with the bulk of the Saga figures that were later repackaged, no new stand was included with this release. The paint job seems a little bit sharper, though, and overall this seems to be an improvement. For the discerning complete collection, though, it most likely will not be missed.
As of this review, I have not spotted nor have I heard of these figures in this packaging hitting stores in the United States.
In this first version of the Hall of Fame assortment, it appears Hasbro has found a great many nails to hit on the head. It's been a while since many of these characters were in stores outside an exclusive set.
The greatest thing about this idea is that the lack of numbering makes it easy to reship the figures when necessary, and the assortment is wide open for new directions. For example, at some point, Hasbro may want to re-ship the basic super-posable Clone Wars Clone Trooper, and a case like this would make it easy to do so. Hasbro has created some truly wonderful figures over the years that just faded away, and this sort of case will make it easy to put them out when needed.
All in all, a good showing by Hasbro. On the whole, it seems to be just what the doctor ordered to get kids and new blood into the line, because who in their right mind would want to start a Star Wars collection without Vader and the droids? Hasbro, if you're reading, I would like to see more of these kinds of assortments in the future, especially around the holidays. As far as classic trilogy goes, the lineup is most excellent and covers the major bases from the first film.
Our initial Hall of Fame figures were obtained from Entertainment Earth in February 2004.