#2799: Captain Piett

CAPTAIN PIETT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Following Admiral Ozzel’s fatal mistake during the assault on Hoth, Darth Vader promoted Captain Piett to the station of Admiral. Piett remained in command of Vader’s Executor until its destruction during the Battle of Endor.”

The Empire’s most visible and most marketable troops are certainly the Stormtroopers, but they aren’t the ones that get to make all of the decisions.  That’s left to the far less marketable Imperial Officers.  During the vintage toyline, Kenner didn’t actually make any named officers, giving us just one generic one to cover things.  When it came time to fill things in for Power of the Force II, they rectified that by actually doing a few of the named officers.  This included one Firmus Piett, the longest lived ranking Imperial in the films, serving as Admiral over both Empire and Jedi.  But we’re not talking about that.  No, we’re going before that, when he was just a Captain.  For reasons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Piett was added to Power of the Force in 1998.  Though he’s billed as a Captain, it’s notable that the bio describes his whole career path in the film, and we also never got an Ozzel, so he might as well just be an Admiral.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s quite similar to the Tarkin figure.  It makes sense, what with them being in the same uniform, and having a rather similar build.  It’s notable that they’re still totally unique from each other, though; no shared parts at all, even the ones that are almost identical.  It’s a reasonable enough sculpt.  Like Tarkin, he’s a little bulked up, but not nearly as much as earlier figures in the line.  The head doesn’t really look much like Kenneth Colley, who played Piett in the film.  Colley has some rather distinctly harsh lines on his face, and they aren’t really here.  He’s also got a much stronger jawline than he should.  Ultimately, he just looks much more generic. Not enough that I think the intent was for him to initially be a generic guy, but enough that he’s not immediately recognizable as Piett.  The paint work is pretty standard, matching up with the other Imperial Officers from the line, and generally being pretty cleanly applied.  Piett is packed with the same small blaster as Tarkin and Motti, as well as a baton (for all that baton stuff he does), and a Freeze Frame of Piett on the Executor…from when he’s an Admiral...

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Piett’s a character I always had a little bit of a soft spot for, since it’s hard not to feel bad for the guy the way he winds up in his position.  I mean, he’s still a bad guy, like, through and through, but still.  Despite that, however, I never actually had this guy as a kid, nor did any of my cousins.  It’s probably because he’s not a super distinctive figure, I guess.  He’s not bad, mind you, and actually works pretty well as a rank and file Imperial.  So, if you want maybe a few of him, that’s maybe not the worst thing.

#2784: Mantis

MANTIS

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

To fill out Super Powers during its second and third years, Kenner fell back on Jack Kirby’s cast of Fourth World characters as an expansion to the otherwise heavy-hitter focused line.  Rather than adapting, say, the Legion of Doom, and continuing the first year’s Super Friends inspiration, the Justice League and their allies faced down Darkside and his forces from Apokolips, which was actually a fairly unique idea at the time (less so these days, I suppose).  In addition to bringing the characters into the line, DC and Kenner also brought in the King himself, Jack Kirby, to provide some new designs for the characters.  Some of the designs were more minor reworks, but some of them were pretty major.  On the “almost entirely different” side of things, we had Mantis, todays focus.  Let’s have a look!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mantis was added to Kenner’s Super Powers line in 1985, as part of the line’s second year.  He was one of the six Fourth World characters featured in ’85, and is probably the most minor of them, which is usually Mantis’ lot in life.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Mantis was unique in the line, gaining extra articulation at the wrists, which none of the others got.  Why he got these extra joints is anyone’s guess, but they’re cool, and I’m certainly not going to complain.  Mantis’s all-new sculpt depicted an all-new design for the time.  Rather than the spandex-clad design from his comics appearances, he got a robotic armored design, which also played up his bug-like nature a fair bit more.  It’s a more visually interesting appearance, and so drastically different from his usual look that it might as well be an all-new character (something the line would explore a bit further the following year).  Whatever the case, it’s a cool design, and it results in a pretty nifty looking figure, with a lot of really fun little design elements worked in.  He’s got a very clean, futuristic feel about him.  His paint work follows the standard for the line, with bright and bold color work.  The green and yellow’s a really appealing set-up, and it works well with the sculpt.  Mantis’s action feature is a “Power Action Pincer Thrust.”  When his legs are squeezed, his arms move opposite directions, which is kinda nifty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never had much of an attachment to Mantis in the comics, and I blame that squarely on this figure.  Why?  Because in my youth, spending time staring at all the Super Powers figures I didn’t yet own on the Super Powers Archive, I really grew to like this guy.  When I really got into reading the Fourth World stuff, I was honestly a little let-down by Mantis’s less unique design.  Mantis represents the last Super Powers figure I actively sought out in my youth, before taking a break from the line.  I got him at Baltimore Comic Con, as part of a haul that also included a Kenner Aliens Bishop, a ReSaurus Pops Racer, and a Mummies Alive Hunter Jakal.  It was a weird haul, but a very me haul.  Despite my general lack of care for Mantis himself as a character, I still really like this particular figure, and I think he’s one of the most inventive figures in the line.

#2777: Lex Luthor

LEX LUTHOR

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Lex Luthor The Sinister Scientist, Possesses Warsuit, a battle outfit designated by an ancient super-scientific alien civilization, and modified with Luthor’s own genius. Luthor is capable of designing incredible weaponry for use against Superman.”

What good are super heroes without some enemies to fight?  Generally, kind of bored, I guess.  Like, it gives them some time to catch up on their chores around the house, and such, I’d imagine.  But most kids aren’t looking to have their Superman figure sweeping up and doing his laundry.  No, they want action!  Let’s give that Superman a rich bald guy to beat up on!  Fortunately, Kenner had our backs, with resident DC rich bald guy, Lex Luthor!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lex Luthor was released in the first series of Kenner’s Super Powers line, where he was one of the four villainous characters included in the debut line-up.  Luthor had been rocking the green and purple jumpsuit look for several years up to this point, but he’d just swapped out for the powered armor Warsuit seen here a year prior to the figure’s release.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His sculpt is another unique piece, and made for a quite nice recreation of the armor as seen in the comics.  The detail work on the technical elements of the suit is pretty well-rendered, and makes him a slightly more visually interesting figure than he might be were he sporting the old jump-suit.  The upper portion of the armor is actually designed to be removed (though on my figure it’s a little too fragile for me to want to chance actually taking it off), which adds an extra level of depth, as well as an extra look for the figure, should you want a less armored version of Lex.  The paint work on Luthor follows his usual green and purple, although the purple does err a bit more on the side of magenta, perhaps to help him be a bit more distinct from the Joker figure included in the same assortment.  The paint work is, like most of the line, very bold and bright, which is always a plus.  I also quite like the little insignia on the front of his armor.  Lex’s included action feature is his “Power Action Nuclear Punch,” which, like a lot of the features for the line, translates to “when you squeeze his legs, his arms move up and down.”  It’s not quite as good for him as other features in the line, but it’s unobtrusive, so it’s not much of a complaint.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After being pretty invested in the line for a few years, I fell out of collecting Super Powers for several years, right around my late teens, going into my college years.  I was brought back to them when I went through a couple rough months early in my college career, and, after a particularly bad night, my dad dug my figures out of the box they’d been in out in the garage, and brought them to me, bringing up that collecting them was something that had made me rather happy.  So, I jumped back into picking them up, and Luthor wound up as my first purchase after my return to collecting them, largely due to him being more on the affordable side.  Ultimately, the figure itself isn’t one of my favorites or anything, but he does hold some significance at least.

#2770: Robin

ROBIN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

What good’s Batman without his trusty sidekick?  Well, classically, a very lonely, lonely hero indeed.  So, in an effort to not let him be too lonely, toy companies do tend to produce at least one Robin to go along with most Batmen.  Such was the case with Kenner’s Super Powers, which took advantage of Robin’s placement amongst the pseudo Justice League line-up of the Super Friends in order to include him early on in the line’s run, with a figure I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was part of the first series of Super Powers in 1984.  Dick Grayson had given up the mantle in the comics at this point, and with his successor Jason Todd taking up the title the prior year.  Dick even took on his Nightwing name the same year as this figure’s release.  However, all of this was still a recent enough development that Dick was still more clearly associated with the identity, hence the figure’s bio still identifying him as Dick, and him very clearly being based on a slightly later career Grayson.  The figure stands just under 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  He’s got that same articulation set-up as the other figures; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Like last week’s Flash figure, Robin marks another really noticeable change in build, being demonstrably smaller and less built up than the other heroes featured in the first series.  It actually makes him look a bit more like a teenager (albeit a very athletic one), which is definitely a plus.  The overall design for the character looks pretty decent; the face definitely follows the Super Friends look for him, which certainly works well for the character.  His outfit is nicely detailed as well, with some rather nice work on the scaled shorts in particular.  Robin’s cape is, like the rest of the line, cloth, though he’s also got the collar to his cape sculpted onto his torso.  It makes him look  a little bit goofy, I suppose, with the plastic clip in the cape sitting above it, but it’s not terrible.  Robin’s paint work is pretty straight forward for Robin.  All of the basics are covered, and he’s bright and eye-catching.  The hair and the tips of the feet are definitely the most prone to wear on this guy, but not quite as bad as, say, Flash’s nose.  Robin’s action feature is his “Power Action Karate Chop.”  Squeezing his legs brings his right arm down.  It works well with the sculpted pose on the hand, and feels pretty well-matched to the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Robin, like Flash and Superman before him, was a character who went through an upgrade in my Super Powers collection, since my first one was actually the Toy Biz release, which is probably one of the closest matches, honestly.  That one, which I got from a Balticon dealer’s table during a trip with my dad, was ultimately replaced by the proper Kenner release I reviewed here, when I fished him out of a loose figure bin at Baltimore Comic Con a few years later.  Whichever figure you’re looking at, this is really the best Dick Grayson Robin figure out there, and fits with Super Powers’ overall quintessential feel once again.

#2763: The Flash

THE FLASH

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Flash is the fastest man alive. Can run at super-speed. Can vibrate his body so quickly as to be immaterial, so that bullets pass through him, or can go through walls. Can also move so fast he becomes invisible. Can run on water.”

Despite the namesake being one of DC’s earliest heroes, and this particular iteration being the character that ushered in the Silver Age at DC, The Flash was nevertheless, rather conspicuously missing from DC’s earliest forays into the world of action figures.  He wouldn’t get his toy due until Kenner’s Super Powers, where he at least was not only finally included into toy form, but was also in the line’s inaugural year.  Way to go Kenner!  Let’s look at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Flash was included in Kenner’s first assortment of Super Powers in 1984, debuting alongside most of the rest of the core Justice League line-up.  Since Barry was still the current Flash at the time, the figure was very definitely based on him, in his look that more or less remained unchanged from his very first appearance in Showcase.  The figure was one of the shortest in the line, at a little under 4 1/2 inches tall, and he sported the standard 7 points of articulation.  Barry was typically depicted as a little bit on the shorter side compared to some of the other members of the team, so this slightly smaller stature fit the character, and also helped to keep the slightly more diverse physical characteristics of the line’s take on the heroes.  His sculpt also depicts as being much more lithe than his teammates, with notably narrower shoulders than the other male heroes.  It definitely helped to place emphasis on his legs and his build as a runner, which is very appropriate for the character.  His face has a nice, friendly smile on it; most of the heroes had a generally friendly expression, but Flash’s is very definitely a smile.  And it’s not one of Wally’s more sly grin’s, either; this is very definitely Barry’s goofy scientist type of smile.  I really like it.  Flash’s costume elements are largely sculpted, which is certainly impressive.  Perhaps the coolest little touch is the inclusion of the treads on the bottoms of his feet.  That’s an area that usually gets left smooth, but not on this guy.  It’s a very nice attention to detail.  The figure’s paint was pretty basic.  There’s not exactly a ton of details to be had, but he was, like the rest of the line, bold and colorful.  I like that.  Unfortunately, Flash is also a figure very prone to paint wear over time, specifically on his nose and chin, as can be seen on my figure.  I’ve actually had three of this guy over the years, and every one of them had the exact same wear.  Flash had no accessories, but he did include his own action feature, dubbed “Power Action Lightning Legs”.  When you squeeze his arms, his legs kick back and forth, in a sort of a reversal of the other figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

A proper Kenner Flash was actually one of the later additions to my early Super Powers figures, which is amusing, because it’s actually Flash’s fault I was introduced to Super Powers in the first place.  When I was first getting into collecting in the ’90s, Flash figures were hard to come by (the Total Justice one had just dried up at retail, and the JLA rerelease wasn’t quite out yet), so my dad bought me one online.  It was the Toy Biz DC Super Heroes one, but had be incorrectly identified as the Super Powers one.  That ultimately led to me stumbling upon the Super Powers Archive and low-key falling in love with the line, but for the first few years, my “Super Powers” Flash was actually the Toy Biz one.  It wasn’t until my dad got me a batch of various figures for Christmas one year that I actually got to upgrade to the one seen in this review.  Despite not being my first Flash, he’s still a very cool Flash, and definitely one of my favorite Flashes, and he really shows that Kenner was very committed to not phoning these figures in.

#2756: Firestorm

FIRESTORM

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Firestorm has the ability to alter the atomic structure of all things. He uses this power to fly, cause nuclear blasts, and transform objects into other things.  Firestorm is not invulnerable. He loses all his powers when he switches to his civilian identities. Firestorm is actually TWO people – teenager Robbie Raymond, and Professor Martin Stein. Firestorm was created when their two bodies were atomically fused during an explosion in a nuclear power plant.”

Super Powers‘ fixation on both Super Friends and the Satellite Era of the Justice League line-up made it a good time to be Firestorm, a member of both teams in at least some capacity.  A relatively new character, being introduced only six years prior to the line’s launch, he nevertheless found himself a home in the line, netting him his first, and for a very long time only, action figure, which I’m going to be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Firestorm was included in the 1985 line-up for Kenner’s Super Powers line, during it’s second year at retail.  He was one of the four Justice Leaguers added in the second year, and was definitely the most eclectic choice of that bunch (though, in a year that included Desaad, Mantis, & Steppenwolf, he was certainly far from the most obscure character included).  The figure stands almost 5 inches tall (thanks to that really tall bit of fire hair) and he has 7 points of articulation.  His movement scheme is pretty much the same one that the entire line sported; it’s not bad for the era, and is certainly a step up from where Kenner tended to be.  Firestorm had a totally unique sculpt (which would have seen some re-use had the planned Power Plus subline launched in 1987 as planned), patterned on Jose Garcia-Lopez’s style guide illustration for the character.  He’s based on his original Raymond/Stein fusion design, which was at this point still the only one he had, so I guess it made sense.  It’s a distinctive look, and one that certainly translates nicely into figure form.  The only slightly awkward part, I guess, is the hair, but honestly even that doesn’t look so bad here.  There’s also a really nice flow on the puffy sleeves, which could look way sillier than they ultimately do.  Firestorm’s paint work continued the line’s trend of being bright, clean, and colorful.  He actually had a little more going on than some of the other figures, and in particular they’ve made the hair look pretty good again, even if the design necessitates it being totally opaque.  Firestorm included no accessories, but he did get the requisite super power action feature.  His is a “Power Action Atomic Punch”; squeeze his legs and he moves his arms back and forth.  Wooooooo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Firestorm is another very early addition to my Super Powers collection.  I got him for my eighth birthday, as a gift from my parents.  I remember being rather excited, especially since it was literally the only Firestorm available at the time, and would stay that way for a few years.  I was still catching the occasional Super Friends reruns, and that included a few of his later series appearances, so I definitely liked the character.  This would actually remain the only Firestorm in my collection until the DCUC version was released.  He’s a pretty solid figure.  I mean, so’s the rest of the line, for the most part, but I do like this one quite a lot.

#2750: Emperor Palpatine

EMPEROR PALPATINE

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

I was going to begin this review by remarking that I’ve never actually reviewed an Emperor Palpatine figure review, but that’s…well, it’s a lie, I guess, because I have.  Clearly, I’m very invested in the character, because I keep such close tabs on him.  I mean, yeah, he’s the most pivotal single character in the whole saga, I suppose, but he’s…boring?  I mean, I guess the unlimited power gimmick is always good for a laugh.  But beyond that?  Meh.  Even his toys tend to be pretty meh.  I mean, there’s only so many ways to add something new and different to an old guy in a cloak.  This one goes for simulated unlimited power.  Go figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Emperor Palpatine was the fifth and final of the five figures in the Power F/X line-up of Power of the Force figures.  He falls more into R2’s vein, being more of his own standalone piece, rather than more interactive with the others like the three lightsaber wielders.  It feels a little bit like a missed opportunity, though, since he’s based on Palpatine’s portion of the throne room battle, which would make him a somewhat decent pair off with Luke, allowing for multiple display options if you get the whole set.  As it stands, he’s just, kind of off on his own, and not really ingrained to the crossline playability set-up.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 3 points of articulation.  Well, he’s got three joints…I hesitate to really call it articulation, because there’s hardly any actual motion to be had.  He’s pretty much just got the one pose, making him even less posable than the other figures in the set, and that was already kind of a low bar.  The figure’s sculpt is a tweaking of the prior single-card release of Palpatine, which wasn’t a terrible set-up.  It was an old guy in robes, and I guess it did that well enough.  This one’s an old guy in robes, but with his arms up this time.  He kinda looks like he’s doing the Thriller dance.  Like Vader, this guy’s sculpt does at least hide the battery pack a little better than Luke or Obi-Wan did, so he doesn’t look quite as weird.  Although, admittedly, a hunch back wouldn’t look all that out of place for this guy.  His Power F/X feature is worked into his hands, similarly to the three lightsaber wielders, but for his lightning (commonly referred to as “unlimited power” by those in the know).  The bolts slot into his hands, and the effect is, again, a fairly weak light, but I guess it’s alright.  His paint work is pretty much just on the face and hands.  It’s kind of thick, but consistent with the other PotF Palpatine figures.  At least there’s no notable slop or anything.  Palpatine gets his own stand, based on his spot in front of the window on the Death Star II.  It doesn’t work quite as well as the other three Death Star stands, I find, but it’s not a bad set piece, I suppose.  It’s got the little arm for moving him around, but it doesn’t really have the same appeal without that dueling ability the other three had, or the slightly more fun magnet gimmick from R2.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Palpatine was really just a side effect of getting the rest of this set of figures.  He was in the lot, and I wasn’t really going to turn him down, I guess.  In retrospect, Luke and Vader are really the only two I really wanted, and the others are a bit extraneous.  Palpatine really exemplifies this, because he just doesn’t really seem to fulfill the same purpose as the others.  That’s probably why he tends to be the least desired of the set.

#2743: Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi

BEN (OBI-WAN) KENOBI

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

In last week’s review of Kenner’s Power of the Force Power F/X Darth Vader, I brought up the figure’s compatibility not only with the previously reviewed Luke Skywalker, but also with Obi-Wan Kenobi, a figure I had not yet reviewed.  Can you really say you’re surprised that I’m reviewing that figure now?  I mean…I don’t think you can, but I’ve been wrong before.  Anyway, let’s just get onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (as the line was very insistent on in reference to him) was another 1997 release, the fourth of the five figure Power F/X sub-line of Power of the Force.  In contrast to Vader’s cross-film set-up, Ben is, unsurprisingly, based on his A New Hope appearance, specifically his final duel with Vader, which is sensible, since it was, at this point, his only real lightsaber battle.  That being said, it’s low key kind of a shame that they didn’t use the Power F/X set-up for some shimmering force ghosts.  I guess that’s not as inherently toyetic.  Ben stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Just like the last two, his right arm is restricted in order to facilitate the light-up feature, and the rest of his articulation’s more for just tweaking the exact nature of his stance.  His sculpt is quite similar to all of the other Kenobi’s from the line, being especially cut from the same cloth as his first figure and the one from the Cantina Cinema Scene boxed set.  He’s even got the same headsculpt as those releases, and his still removable cloak piece is almost identical to the one from the boxed version.  Beyond that, he really just follows the lead of Luke, being a somewhat awkward sculpt, including still having the hunch on his back for the batteries.  The robe does it’s best to hide this, but it doesn’t work quite as well as Luke’s cape did.  He does at least add a little more detailing to the lightsaber hilt than Luke did, but it’s still somewhat removed from the film product.  Ben’s paint work is pretty much the same as the other versions of the character, apart from one rather notable mistake: his lightsaber is the wrong color, being green, rather than the appropriate blue.  Supposedly, this change occurred because blue LEDs were more expensive than green, and Kenner couldn’t justify the cost.  Seems like a weird choice to me, but here we are.  Ben was packed with the same hallway stand piece that was included with Luke, allowing him, like Luke, to be connected with the Vader figure for a more interactive set-up.  And, while Luke came with an entire cardboard backdrop for him and Vader, Ben and Vader each got half of an A New Hope-inspired backdrop, which shows off the Millennium Falcon in the Death Star‘s hangar bay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke was the only one of these I had as a kid, but I came very close to buying Obi-Wan a few times, mostly because I no longer had my original release, and I wasn’t yet at the point of going for exact replacements for my toys.  I never really could muster the excitement to grab this one, though.  He’s alright, but admittedly a bit redundant for me, since the Luke/Vader pairing is the one that holds more nostalgia.  Perhaps I’ll snag a second Vader some day, so that I can justify having Vader face off against each of them.

#2736: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (KENNER)

If I seem uncharacteristically agitated or prone to getting frustrated during today’s review, fear not, dear reader. It isn’t you that I’m frustrated with, or even the figure I’m looking at, just know that at the core of things is a desire to seek out whomever created WordPress’s Block Editor and do something awful to them…like force them to use WordPress’s Block Editor…much as they have done to me. Feels like poetic justice if I’m entirely honest. Or something that the Spectre could really get behind. I feel like I should see what that guy’s up to….or I suppose I could write this review, and try not to focus too much on how frustrated I am by the interface I’m writing it on. Last week, I looked at the second of my Electronic Power F/X Power of the Force figures. Today, I’m looking at another, specifically Darth Vader, who’s stepping up his Power F/X game.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader was released in 1997 as part of Power of the Force‘s aforementioned “Electronic Power F/X” sub-line.  He followed the early Vader set-up of being more of a combination of all three of his film appearances, rather than being clearly based on one in particular.  This would work to Kenner’s favor in terms of this toy’s playability, as it meant that Vader could face off against either Luke or Obi-Wan, depending on your fancy.  The figure stands roughly 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Like Luke, his movement is somewhat restricted by the inner workings of the figure’s light-up feature, meaning his right arm is largely rendered inert.  He’s been sculpted with something of a walking gait, much like the Shadows of the Empire variant.  It means that, much like that figure, he has a lot of trouble staying standing.  Hence him making use of some sort of prop or stand in all of the photos, because this guy was really not cooperating.  Otherwise, the sculpt is pretty much business as usual for the early Vaders.  If you’ve messed with one Beef Cake Vader, you’ve messed with them all.  He’s certainly got an imposing silhouette.  Due to his larger size, the battery housing is at least less of an issue for this guy, so he doesn’t have the weird hump set-up like Luke did.  Like Luke, Vader’s arm has been built with lightsaber as a part of it, though it’s a lot less rudimentary than Luke’s.  This one actually vaguely detailed to match Vader’s actual hilt from the movie.  The light up feature works pretty much the same way as Luke’s, and is also not terribly bright, but it’s there.  The paint work on Vader is pretty much the same as all of the other Vaders from the line.  It gets the job done and looks pretty decent, even if it’s not terribly involved.  Vader is packed with a large base piece, which is the match for Luke’s Death Star hallway, just meant to be the other half.  It even connects to Luke’s for a more full diorama set-up, and allows for them to “duel” via the arms for moving them around.  It’s actually pretty fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I brought up last week, Luke was the only one of these I had as a kid.  That being said, I always really wanted Vader, mostly due to the whole interacting with Luke thing.  Fortunately, All Time had him and three of the others right as I was really getting serious about this PotF thing.  Vader’s not really all that new when compared to other Vaders from the line, but he goes well with Luke, and there’s no denying that this goofy, gimmicky thing really works best when you’ve got multiples from the set.

 

#2729: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Hey, remember yesterday, when I was talking about a mid-90s line’s use of light-up features in order to re-introduce some of the core characters into the market place again?  Well, as it turns out, Toy Biz’s X-Men wasn’t the only line to try that.  Kenner’s Power of the Force did it too!  Everything’s better with lights, right?  Well, Kenner certainly felt so.  While I’ve looked at the line’s one outlier, R2, already, they also covered the original trilogy’s four most action-oriented force users.  I’m kicking my dive into the line-up off with our hero, Luke Skywalker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke was released in 1997 as part of Power of the Force‘s “Electronic Power F/X” sub-line.  Luke gets more to the actual point of the line-up than R2 did, actually focusing on one of the OT’s cool fight scenes, in his case the battle between Luke and Vader on the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi….well, sort of, anyway.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  He loses the usual waist joint, and also gets severe limitations on the right shoulder, both due to the electric feature.  Beyond that, none of the other joints really give him much actual range, due to the somewhat pre-posed nature of the figure’s sculpt.  He’s…sort of, like, mid-lunge, I guess?  Like, for stabbing?  I don’t know.  The actual sculpt’s not exactly Kenner’s finest work.  The head’s distinctly different from the original PotF2 Luke head that looked nothing like Mark Hamill, but still looks nothing like Mark Hamill, so it’s a lateral move.  The light-up features have a direct impact on the quality of the sculpt on the right arm and the torso, since that’s how the feature works.  The torso’s rather bulked up, especially at the back, in order to house the batteries, which give him sort of a hump back.  Not the most flattering thing, which is why he also gets the cape, which Luke doesn’t actually wear in the scene this is replicating, in order to hide the hump a bit.  The arm has been designed with the lightsaber built into it, with his hand kind of folded around it.  It’s kind of crude, and not really hand shaped, and the hilt is really wide, short, and basic in its detailing.  It’s definitely goofy looking.  There’s also this sort of cap piece that goes over the the actual blade.  I think it’s really just meant to be part of the packaging, but it’s not coming off of mine.  The actual light-up feature’s okay, I guess.  Not terribly bright, and barely noticeable in the photos here.  It’s also a little hard to activate, due to it being behind the cape. The paint work is all pretty basic work.  It’s not bad, but the right arm’s definitely a bit fuzzy.  Otherwise, pretty standard for the line.  Luke’s packed with a large base piece, meant to look like one of the halls from the Death Star.  Like R2, there’s an arm for moving him around, though this one doesn’t do the whole magnet thing; it’s just a basic peg set-up instead.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a kid, this was actually the only of the “Power F/X” figures I had, because I was all about Luke, and I was all about a good gimmick.  Unfortunately, these figures, more than others from the line, don’t really stand up to play so well.  As such, my original Luke is in pretty rough these days.  Fortunately for me, All Time had four of the five figures in the set right as I was ramping up on filling in my PotF collection, and that gave me the opportunity to pick up this guy again, alongside the rest of the set.  This guy’s hella gimmicky, and hella goofy, but I can get behind it.