LANDO CALRISSIAN AS SKIFF GUARD
STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
Man, the Star Wars characters sure do like disguising themselves, don’t they? At some point in the franchise, just about every main character has gone incognito (even Chewbacca). And, of course, toy companies love this, since it’s a pretty easy way of milking another variation of the main characters to make into an action figure. Lando Calrissian was actually the very first character to get such a figure (well, technically. He and Leia as Boush were released at the same time, but Lando’s date stamp is from ’82, while hers is from ’83). That’s not actually the figure I’m looking at today, though. It seems Lando’s disguised look is more enduring than some of the others, seeing as it makes up roughly a third of all of his figures. Today, I’m looking at Kenner’s second stab at this particular look.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Lando was released in the first assortment of the 1997 series of Kenner’s Staw Wars: Power of the Force II. It was the second version of Lando in the line and his fifth figure overall. As touched on in the intro, this figure is based on Lando’s Skiff Guard disguise from the opening of Return of the Jedi. Honestly, even as a disguised look, this is the most action-oriented design we saw Lando in, and I think that’s where a lot of its appeal comes from. The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. Lando comes from later in the POTF2 line, which was after the sculpts has calmed down a bit and worked out some of the ‘90s over-stylization. He’s still a fair bit more jacked than Billy Dee Williams ever was, but that was on par with the rest of the line. His head sculpt was the same one used for the Bespin version of Lando (and later the General version as well). It’s not a spot-on Billy Dee Williams, but it’s still closer than most of the likenesses at the time. And at least it was consistent, right? The body sculpt was all-new to this figure. Apart from the aforementioned “jacked” nature of the build, it’s a decent enough translation of the onscreen design. He also ditches a lot of the pre-posing from earlier in the line, instead getting a more natural pose, and thereby offering a bit more versatility. Lando’s paintwork is generally pretty solid. Nothing spectacular, or particularly noteworthy, but it’s certainly well-done. The colors are all well matched to the costume from the movie, and all the application is pretty clean. There are some slight mismatches between some of the paint and molded elements, but nothing super awful. Lando originally included a removable mask and vibro-axe, but my figure hasn’t had either in well over a decade.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This is my very first Lando action figure, though he didn’t technically start out as mine. He was one of a handful of Star Wars figures that I helped my Grandmother pick out at KB Toys back in the day so that my cousin Patrick and I would both have some figures at her house to play with (since we spent at least one day of the week there). Eventually, Patrick grew out of his Star Wars phase and neither of us was spending as much time there, so Lando and the others eventually came home with me. He’s the only one that made it through all of my various collection purges, mostly due to being the only Lando figure I owned for a good long while. He’s actually not a bad figure, and he’s probably aged better than most of the others in this line.