LUKE SKYWALKER — HOTH
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES ARCHIVE (HASBRO)
“While on patrol, Luke and his tauntaun are attacked by a vicious wampa. The creature hangs Luke upside-down in its cave, but Luke uses the Force to escape.”
Luke has been no stranger to variants in Star Wars: The Black Series. As a rather major character in the franchise, I guess that’s pretty fitting. His major variants largely hit earlier in the line’s run, generally a good deal before the rest of the others in their matching attire. That has a tendency to drive the prices of said matching looks up a bit. Fortunately, with the introduction of the Archive sub-line, Hasbro’s got an okay way of getting them back out on the market. One of the more notable looks that gone without a follow-up was Luke’s cold weather gear from Hoth, which is the Luke variant for the latest round of Archive figures.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Luke is from the third assortment of The Black Series Archive, re-releasing a figure that was originally put out in 2015, packaged alongside the Wampa in the deluxe portion of the Blue Line iteration of the brand. The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. Luke’s articulation scheme is rather on the archaic side compared to newer offerings. The range on a lot of the joints is far more restricted, and they tend to break up the sculpt a lot more than on recent figures. The arms in particular suffer from both a lack of proper elbow movement, and from a curious lack of anything beyond cut joints for the wrists, which is just unheard of for the line. A lot of this is due to the figure’s nature, beign built out of parts that are over five years old at this point. Moreover, Luke is unfortunately from the line when it was kind of at is lowest, before Hasbro really found their footing again. It’s rough to say the least. The actual sculpting work’s not awful, at least. Luke’s seen here post-wampa attach, so his goggles are missing, and he’s got some sculpted scarring on his face. The face has a pretty decent likeness of Hamill, especially for earlier in the line. The detail work on the gear is passable, though a touch softer than more recent releases tend to be. His head scarf is a cloth piece this way, which works better from a posing stand point, though it does wind up looking a bit flat and devoid of detail. Luke’s paint work is generally pretty basic. It could probably stand to have a little extra accent work, to bring out some of the sculpted details a little better, bit everything important is there. There’s some slop on the edges of a few spots. The belt buckle’s slightly misaligned and the skin tone of the the neck doesn’t quite cover the whole area it’s supposed to. Luke gets the face print set-up in place of the original paint scheme, which is in some ways better, but not quite as hefty an improvement as it usually is. Notably, it misses out on the blood detailing for the scarring, which was on the prior release. Additionally, the eyes just don’t look quite right. At first, I thought I just got a misaligned copy, but all of the ones I looked at were the same, so it looks to be line-wide. It looks alright from a distance, but up close it looks weird. In terms of pack-ins, Luke is obviously without the Wampa he was originally packed with, but he gets the lightsaber and blaster from the prior release. The blaster’s pretty decent, but the lightsaber is of a notably lower quality than other versions; the hilt is molded in silver rather than painted, and the whole thing is a softer plastic than usual, causing the blade to pop out a lot easier.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Luke’s original release marked the period when the line was hardest to fine and generally at its lowest quality, which made it rather hard to stay invested at the time. That, coupled with the higher Deluxe price point had me steer clear of this guy the first time around. With all of the other Hoth figures as of late, I’d been hoping for an update or something. Here’s an “or something”, I guess. Given the era of the line this sculpt comes from, it’s about what I’d expected. The articulation’s not ideal, and the sculpt could probably stand to be a little sharper. In general, he just feels sort of half-formed. The new paint does a little bit to dress him up, but ultimately, it feels out of place in the modern line.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.