#2876: Jedi Spirits

ANAKIN, YODA, & OBI-WAN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda — three individuals with lives intricately intertwined. Before Obi-Wan Kenobi was forced into a life of hiding, before Anakin Skywalker gave in to the dark side and became Darth Vader, even before Yoda was known as the last Jedi Master, a young Anakin was presented to the Jedi Council for permission to train the boy in the ways of the Force. Many years later, the Galactic Republic crumbled and the evil Empire rose in its place. Only after the defeat of the Empire, at the hands of Anakin’s son Luke Skywalker, would the three great Jedi be reunited after death as spiritual guides for Luke and the New Republic.”

First hinted at during A New Hope’s climactic battle, when Luke hears the voice of the recently killed Obi-Wan during his run on the Death Star, the force ghost concept fully appears during Empire, when Obi-Wan fully manifests in spirit form.  He shows up again during Return of the Jedi, and is ultimately joined by both Yoda and Anakin in the film’s final moments.  They don’t really do much other than stand there, but it’s a distinctive visual, and one that stuck with fans.  So, toys, of course.  The first one we got was an Anakin, during the original Power of the Force run, though it was handled slightly differently than now.  A more conventional take on the concept in toy form hit the ’90s line as a mail-away figure, the Spirit of Obi-Wan.  Not content to let Obi-Wan have all the fun, Kenner put him out again, this time alongside the other two, as one of their Cinema Scenes, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedi Spirits set was part of the 1998 Cinema Scenes line-up for Power of the Force II.  They were one of two Jedi sets released that year, as the line began to be more focused on the final film.  They included a stand, based on the edge of one of the Ewok structures from Endor, where they are seen in the film.  Interestingly, they were all three screwed into the base in addition to the usual foot pegs.  Not entirely sure why that was the case; maybe there was some concern about potentially damaging them by twisty tying them in like the others?

ANAKIN

He’s been subsequently replaced by Hayden Christian in more recent editions of the film, but the original version of Jedi gave us a look at an Anakin from a potential version of events where he never fell to the dark side to become Darth Vader.  It’s honestly sort of sensible, since it also means he would, you know, look vaguely like the guy whose face Luke actually saw earlier that day, so he might be able to know it was his father, and all.  But that’s probably all very silly, I suppose.  The elder Anakin got a sort of force ghost-y figure in the vintage line, designed to sort of be the best of both worlds.  Power of the Force II split it into two figures, with this being the more overt ghost one.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches all and he has three points of articulation…technically.  The neck definitely moves…a little.  The arms also move, but as you can see from the photo, they tend to just fall out of the socket more often than not.  Not sure why, but that’s how it is.  He was an all new sculpt, based on Sebastian Shaw’s brief appearance as Anakin from the movie.  It’s distinctly different from Obi-Wan, so that’s certainly a nice touch.  There’s some nice texture work going on as well.  While the mail-away Obi-Wan was just translucent blue with no paint, they mixed things up a little bit for this set, adding some dry brushed white, to give him a little more depth.

YODA

Yoda was totally without any force ghost figures at this point, so him finally getting one was certainly an accomplishment.  While there were a few Yoda molds to chose from, this one was a new one entirely.  He stands about 2 1/4 inches tall.  You can sort of get some motion at the neck and shoulders, but nothing much, and it feels like it doesn’t want to really move.  Beyond that, it’s a nice enough sculpt.  It’s good for just standing there, which is all he really needs to do.  It’s more accurate than other molds from the same line, and the stance in particular is a little closer to the actual puppet, since he doesn’t have to contend with needing to move.  Also, the arms stay on him, so that’s a plus over Anakin.  Good for him.  His paint works pretty much the same way, although it’s not quite as intense in its application.

OBI-WAN

Obi-Wan is, of course, the figure in this set that was the least new, especially at the time of his release, with the prior version having hit just the previous year at the time.  That being said, Kenner did at least make him a little different, even if it was just for the sake of being different.  The figure is 3 3/4 inches tall.  He’s sort of got the same articulation as Yoda, where it’s *technically* there, but very limited and not really ideal for any proper use.  His sculpt is largely the same as the mail-away version, but he changes out the right arm for one with a different pose.  So there’s that, I guess.  It’s not a bad sculpt, so I can get behind it, especially without the one arm just kind of sticking out like on the prior version.  His paint matches the other two in the set, which looks a fair bit better than the unpainted version.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had none of the Cinema Scenes sets as a kid, so obviously that’s not where this one came from.  It is, however, one of the earlier ones I picked up once I actually started doing such things.  I snagged this one when it was traded into All Time, almost exactly two years ago, at this point.  I know, I’ve got quite a PotF2 backlog, don’t I?  It’s not a terribly playable set, but at the same time, it really seems to get the feel of Cinema Scenes down the best, because it’s a distinct visual, and these figures are always gonna be a tough sell by themselves.

#2862: Jabba’s Dancers

RYSTALL, GREEATA, & LYN ME

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Deep within the dimly lit halls of Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, the musical combo, the Max Rebo Band, entertains some of the galaxy’s most notorious smugglers, mercenaries, and bounty hunters. Besides offering great music, the multispecies band has three of the galaxy’s best back-up singers and dancers. Greeata, a Rodian who is also a capable kloo horn player, joined the band at the same time as its lead singer, Sy Snootles. Rystáll, an exotic near-human raised by a pair of Ortolan musicians, was a slave under the crime lord Xizor until Lando Calrissian won her by defeating the lord in a sabacc tournament. Lando freed her and Rystáll’s travels eventually brought her to Tatooine. The third singer is a Twi’lek named Lyn Me, recognized by her people as the greatest dancer out of all the Twi’lek clans. Together the trio of singers/dancers helped the band secure a lucrative, extended contract playing in Jabba’s court until a visit from the Jedi Luke Skywalker cause the Hutt’s criminal empire to come crashing down.”

As I discussed last week, in its second year, the “Cinema Scenes” Power of the Force II sub-line shifted from purely scene-accurate recreations to a way to get out three figures that otherwise might not see release.  In light of the release of the Original Trilogy’s special editions in theaters, Kenner added a handful of the newly added characters to the line.  Included in that second year were Rystall, Greeata, and Lyn Me, three dancers from the extended musical number in Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi‘s special edition release.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“Jabba’s Dancers” was one of the Cinema Scenes sets added to Power of the Force in 1998.  It was one of two Jedi-themed sets from that year, and the only explicitly special edition-based set in the line.  Like the rest of the line, this set featured a display base for the three figures, though for some reason, this one places all three of them at the far end, which makes them look quite off balance.

RYSTALL

Rystáll Sant, as is her full name, is a human-Theelin hybrid.  What’s a Theelin?  Apparently a race that got a fair bit of use in animation, it would seem.  How about that?  Anyway, Rystáll stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is more on the pre-posed side, since she’s in the midst of a dance, though it’s admittedly a more reserved sort of a dance.  Mostly, it’s just the shoulders that really have that sort of strut to them.  It’s not ideal for a lot of variety in actual posing, but it looks decent enough when compared to the shot of her from the film.  In general, it’s a pretty nice sculpt.  It’s fairly basic, but all of the important details are present.  She also stands alright on her own, which is always a plus.  Her paint work is also rather basic.  There’s some slight shifting of colors from piece to piece, which is a little distracting, but otherwise, things work.

GREEATA

Greeata Jendowanian is a female Rodian (aka the race of Greedos), who’s fairly distinctive, so that’s going for her.  Yay, more Rodians.  The figure is the same height as Rystáll, and keeps effectively the same articulation scheme.  Her legs are a touch more restricted, thanks to that skirt piece, but overall, you get okay poses out of her.  She’s also posed mid-dance, and it’s again very much carried in the shoulders.  In her case, the posing winds up making her a little more off-balance, so she tends to topple quite a bit.  But, if you can keep her standing, she does look pretty nice.  The detail work on the texturing of the skin in particular is quite impressive.  Greeta’s paint work is slightly more involved, but generally works out a little better than Rystáll’s.  There are no drastic shifts in color between pieces, and there are a few spots of accenting that work quite nicely.

LYN ME

Not to be confused with Oola, Lyn Me is the *other* Twi’lek dancer from Jabba’s palace.  See, she’s not green, she’s white.  But, you know, actually white.  Chalky white.  Alabaster.  Real pale.  That’s her.  Apparently, she’s an even better dancer than Oola?  That feels a bit ret-con-y to me, but that’s kind of Lyn Me in a nutshell.  Lyn Me is yet another unique sculpt.  Like the others, she’s also in a dance pose, though hers is a little more intense than the other two.  Not incredibly so, but she’s still a little more pre-posed.  It works out okay, though, and I think makes her look a bit more interesting on her own than the other two.  Generally, it’s a pretty nice sculpt, and probably the best of the three included here.  Her paintwork is decent enough, though some of her black wrappings are a little messy on the application front.  Overall, though, not a terrible piece of work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this pack up from All Time at the same time as the Cantina Aliens set last summer.  I wasn’t quite as immediately familiar with this set, at least as a kid.  I became aware of it later, but I don’t really remember seeing like I did the others.  Whatever the case, I picked it up mostly for completion’s sake, but I do ultimately like the three of them a fair bit, even if they are Special Edition characters.  They add some nice variety to the Jabba’s palace display, and there really are worse things.

#2813: Emperor’s Royal Guard

EMPEROR’S ROYAL GUARD

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Only the most promising soldiers are chosen to serve as Emperor Palpatine’s personal guards. Experts in many forms of combat, both armed and unarmed, they are conditioned to automatically react to the Emperor’s will.”

Introduced in Return of the Jedi, the Emperor’s Royal Guards don’t really do much of anything on the screen.  The just stand there.  They look cool and all while doing it, but still, it’s just standing.  Then they reappeared in Revenge of the Sith, and did some more standing.  Also got force thrown around by Yoda a bit, which is something, I suppose.  But mostly still with the standing.  The toys, at least early ones, kind of go along with this, being built mostly for said standing.  Behold, a figure that stands!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Emperor’s Royal Guard was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1997.  This marked the second figure of the design, following up on the vintage release from 1983.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has a whopping two points of articulation.  Okay, technically three, I suppose, because the neck is sort of jointed.  Doesn’t really move, but they tried.  The Royal Guard was the type of figure referred to as a “salt shaker” by the fanbase, due to his skirted design meaning that his torso was all one immobile piece, much like a common table salt shaker.  While the original figure had placed a whole body beneath the figure’s cloth cape, the cloth pieces weren’t really a thing at this point in the line, and so Kenner just made the underlying body one solid block.  The red cloak is still a separate piece, so you can lift it up and see that they’re nothing impressive beneath it, if you so choose, but it hardly seems worth it.  At the very least, the helmet’s pretty cool.  It’s nice and sharply defined, and just looks pretty clean.  The arms, on the other hand, look kind of chunky for some reason.  Odd choice there.  The paint is virtually non-existent on this figure, apart from the black on his visor.  That was it, with nothing more.  I mean, I guess it works, but it’s not terribly exciting.  The Guard is packed with his little poking stick, and, if you were lucky, a Freeze Frame slide.  I was not lucky.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as they only really stand there, I never had much attachment to the Royal Guards.  They look cool, but that’s it.  And, when it came to this figure, that really was it.  There’s virtually no play value at all here.  He stands real good, because, well, there’s not actual legs, so it would be hard for him to fall over, now wouldn’t it.  This figure wound up coming to me through a trade I did with Max a couple of years ago.  Mostly I got it because I’m getting all of the Power of the Force figures, and I kind have to get this one, now don’t I?  Honestly the sturdiness is nice from a display standpoint.  If you just want an army of them to stand behind Palpatine at attention, as in the movie, this is honestly your best bet.  So, maybe he’s not without value.  But he’s still not a great toy on his own.

#2792: Ishi Tib

ISHI TIB

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Ishi Tib characters come from the planet Tibrin, where they live in the cities built atop coral reefs. Ardent freedom lovers, several Ishi Tibs offered their talents in service to the Rebel Alliance.”

Ah, good, the bio pretty much answers any questions I had.  Well, that sure is convenient.  That’ll do, bio.  That’ll do.  Now, when you look at a character like this, a wonky looking alien, if you will, from the Star Wars universe, most assumptions go to it being from one of two places.  Either it’s a patron of the Mos Eisly Cantina, or one of the hangers on from Jabba’s palace.  This one is, shockingly, from neither of those.  Nope, this one’s instead from the Rebel briefing from Return of the Jedi, which looked to amend the overly human representation of the first two films by adding an assortment of its own wonky looking aliens.  And boom, here’s the Ishi Tib, who are, in fact, a race, and not just one guy.  Obviously.  Ishi Tib’s clearly not a name, you guys.  Why would you think that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ishi Tib was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1998.  It was a good year for characters from Jedi‘s Rebel briefing, so the Tibs fit in well with that.  The figure is just shy of 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The movement on this figure is somewhat restricted by its design, with the head’s shape limiting what can be done with the neck joint, and the robe piece limiting the arms and legs.  The robe is designed so that it could be removed in theory, I suppose, with slits up the side, and a fully detailed sculpt beneath it.  However, the shaping of the head kind of keeps it stuck in place, unless you want to risk mutilating it.  It’s honestly a pretty nice sculpt, overall, though.  The head in particular holds up, and feels on par with more recent offerings.  I suppose it could use some extra texturing, but ultimately I think all the necessary details are covered.  The paint work on the figure is subtle, but well handled.  The base work is all cleanly applied, and there’s even some slight accenting on the head, which is pretty cool.  The Ishi Tib is packed with a somewhat goofy looking blaster rifle, as well as a Freeze Frame showing a shot of the Rebels all being briefed.  I don’t believe any of the Ishi Tib are actually visible in the shot, but it’s admittedly hard to tell.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t really familiar with the Ishi Tib prior to acquiring this figure.  I mean, I knew the general design of them, and all, but I certainly wouldn’t have guessed this wasn’t just one guy named Ishi Tib prior to reading the figure’s bio.  This one is one I wound up grabbing during one of my big PotF pushes, in the fall of 2018, alongside a whole bunch of other figures.  I mostly grabbed this one at the time because I liked the more unique alien look.  It’s admittedly pretty cool, so I can get behind it.  It’s just a nice, fun figure.

#2779: Boba Fett

BOBA FETT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“During Luke Skywalker’s daring rescue of Han Solo above the Sarlacc, Boba Fett was sent careening into the side of Jabba’s sail barge before tumbling into the man-eating pit.”

Oh, man, Ethan’s reviewing a Boba Fett figure.  There’s always bound to be trouble with these posts.  Probably because I do like occasionally poking the bear that is Boba Fett fans.  I mean, it’s just so much fun.  Almost as much fun as making fun of Boba Fett, and how ineffective he is.  Okay, I actually have to retract that: Boba Fett is no longer useless, because after 40 years of existence, Boba finally got stuff the do in The Mandalorian last year.  And good for him.  I’m sure his fans are all universally happy about him actually getting to be a bad-ass, right on the screen and everything.  Oh?  They’re still conflicted and angry?  Sounds about right, I guess.  Well, whatever the case, I’m looking at another Boba Fett figure, and I feel like I should just get down to business on it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boba Fett is a deluxe-sized offering, as part of Phase IV of Hasbro’s Black Series.  After seven years of re-releases of the Series 2 figure’s Empire-based sculpt, we have officially moved on, and are now, finally, getting Fett based on his adjusted appearance from Return of the Jedi.  I’m okay with this, because I actually kind of like the Jedi armor a little bit more than the Empire look.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  One of the biggest change-ups between this figure and the last (beyond just the differing source material, of course) is how the articulation works.  Hasbro’s gotten a fair bit better at implementing the articulation on their Black Series offerings, and Boba showcases this, in much the same way as the recent updated troopers we’ve gotten.  His range of motion on his elbows, knees, and neck is much improved, while also being better worked into the sculpt aesthetically.  Additionally, there have been some adjustments made to how some of the armor and hook ups work, so, for instance, his arm tubes are now far less at risk for breakage from regular posing.  Lastly, he also addresses the one notably missing joint from the last release: the range finder.  It can now be adjusted for proper use the way he never really does in the movies, but you always wished he would.  In terms of actual sculpt quality, this release is pretty top-notch.  Like the recent Troopers, his helmet is a separate piece, placed atop an actual sculpted head under neath.  Said head is unpainted, but fully detailed.  Likely future-proofing for the inevitable Mandalorian variant of the character.  The helmet came out of the box looking a touch misshapen, but after a few days, it’s taken its proper shape all on its own.  The torso armor is also a separately sculpted element, distinct from the underlying torso, again likely as part of a plan to re-use elsewhere.  This also helps to give Boba a little more depth to the detailing on the sculpt, which works in his favor.  While the last Boba had a cloth half-cape thing, this one’s got a sculpted done.  It’s a little stubborn, but does wind up looking a little bit better, at least comparing my two figures.  Boba’s paint work is up to modern Black Series standards, which is to say a bit better than the original.  The work on the silver weathering looks well-lived-in, and his small little insignias also look nice and crisp.  In order to justify him being a deluxe, Boba has been given a decent helping of accessories.  He gets his rocket-pack, now with a removable top-rocket, as well as articulated thrusters on the bottom.  He also gets two versions of his blaster rifle, standard, and split from after Luke slashes it with his lightsaber, as well as a flamethrower effect piece, two thrust effects for his rocket pack,  and a clip-on grapple line.  Ultimately, the grapple piece is a little goofy, and is limited in its application, but the rest of the parts are all definitely fun extras, and help to make him feel more worth the heftier price point.  It gets more back to Black Series’s original one-and-done philosophy on these designs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Joking about the character aside, I do like me a good Boba Fett toy, and as much as I like the original Black Series release of the character, I definitely was starting to see the sculpt’s flaws more and more, especially as other main characters got properly updated releases as the line progressed.  Fortunately, we had this secondary design in the pocket, making him an easy addition to the line.  I definitely liked how this one looked in the renders, and was eager to get it in hand.  My initial reaction was a little bit let-down, but after I opened him up and actually started messing around with him, I really found myself liking the figure.  Definitely Hasbro’s best take on the character, and I look forward to seeing them tackle his Mandalorian look.

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.

#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.

#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.

#2643: Han Solo – Endor

HAN SOLO — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Han Solo volunteered to lead the mission to destroy teh new Death Star’s shield generator. He and his strike team landed on the forest moon of Endor, where they encountered Scout Troopers and Ewoks.”

While Luke and Leia got drastically re-designed looks for Return of the Jedi, Han wound up with an appearance that was generally pretty re-tread-y of his first movie attire.  It doesn’t make for thrillingly different figures, and that’s probably why when we do get Jedi-inspired Hans, they’re almost always from the Endor segment, which does at least throw a trench coat over his main look, just to mix things up a bit, I suppose.  That’s the look that finally got him in on the RotJ bandwagon for The Black Series, and that’s the figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo (Endor) is another piece of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series.  He joins the similarly themed Luke and Leia figures from the same set, and is figure #5 in the RotJ sub-set.  Like the last two, he was also available in the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set earlier last year.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, a lot of this figure is shared with the Bespin Han figure from 2018.  I was overall pretty fond of that figure and his sculpt, so you’d think the re-use wouldn’t bug me…but it kinda does.  Mostly, it’s because they keep some of the stuff I didn’t like about it, and don’t really fix the handful of issues that were present.  The head proper is very similar to the last piece, but to my eyes it looks like the jaw’s a touch more prominent on this one.  I don’t know if that’s intentional or just mold variation, but it doesn’t really help the issues of the prior figure looking kind of narrow-shouldered for Han.  Nor does the new hair sculpt, which is just generally a bit poofier than the prior piece, again making the head look larger compared to the shoulders.  Additionally, the jacket piece has been swapped for a vest, which doesn’t have the same high-sitting collar as the jacket, which makes the neck look longer and thinner, which just makes the head look larger and thereby makes the shoulders look again smaller by comparison.  He also gets a new set of arms, which wind up looking rather on the scrawny side themselves; given how thin they are, but yet how baggy the sleeves are, Han must really not have any muscle mass to speak of under those sleeves.  The whole thing is topped off with the trench coat, which is a cloth piece to match Luke and Leia’s ponchos.  Trouble is, the coat just exacerbates the issues with the body, honestly, because it’s clearly tailored for a figure *slightly* bigger than this one.  This results in it dragging at his feet and hanging down over his hands, making it look not unlike Han is a small child who has stolen his father’s coat.  It’s not a very imposing or impressive look, and ultimately just adds to his gooniness.  It honestly looks a bit better when placed on the Bespin Han, if I’m honest. Of course, even then, the jacket is also missing the pockets on either side, and the pattern generally seems a bit too dark for what Han wears in the movie, so it’s always a bit of a compromise.  Even Han’s paintwork ends up a little rougher than previous entries, with some rather sloppy application on the shirt and belt, even going down to the strap for the holster.  The face also feels like it has a bit too much color going into it, making it look like Han is a bit flushed.  Han’s only accessory is his usual blaster pistol.  It’s the same piece as the Empire version, but this time with the proper color scheme.  It’s too bad they couldn’t also give him a few of the detonators or something, just to make the package a little more exciting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Han’s Endor look has never been one of my favorites.  Even in the films, after the coolness of the Bespin look, this one seemed like a bit of a step down, at least to me.  It doesn’t help that it always seems to have rotten luck with figures.  This figure is, unfortunately, not an exception, either.  There’s no real smoking gun as to why this figure doesn’t work compared to the other two; it’s just a lot of small stuff that ultimately adds up to a figure that’s just not so great.  It’s a shame, because this one feels like one that could have really shined, but it’s instead the weakest in its respective series.  Oh well.  At least it’s another Han Solo for people to buy.

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.

#2642: Princess Leia Organa – Endor

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa rendezvoused with the Rebel fleet and helped organize a plan to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star: they would head to Endor and knock out the space station’s shield generator.”

Princess Leia’s sure gotten a lot of toy coverage courtesy of Hasbro’s The Black Series, so it’s kind of amusing to think there was actually a pretty sizable gap between her earliest releases.  It mostly had to do with Hasbro’s rather poor choice of costume for the line’s first Leia, the somewhat ill-advised Slave Outfit Leia from Series 2 of the line. It wasn’t the greatest figure, and it wasn’t really an essential look, so fans held off, and that in turn scared retailers off of the character for a bit.  Fortunately, things have more or less re-oriented, and we’re more or less getting her at a yearly pace these days.  Leia’s got four prominent looks in Return of the Jedi, which looks like it will be getting most of the 2021 love.  We’ve already gotten her two looks from Jabba’s Palace, so now we’re doing a somewhat linear progression forward, and getting an Endor appearance to match her brother’s figure from yesterday!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Black Series.  She’s #3 in the RotJ line-up, and like Luke, she was also available earlier last year as part of the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set.  Leia is likewise in her combat gear from the Endor mission, which actually makes her a more prominent variant for the character than for Luke, since she hangs onto this gear through the film’s climax.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and she’s got 30 points of articulation.  In terms of movement, she more or less has the same movement scheme as the Hoth and Bespin Leias, which is to say she’s got a pretty darn solid movement scheme, which both poses well and hides the articulation decently while doing it.  The sculpt’s an all-new one, and a pretty darn good one at that.  In terms of build and size, it matches with all of the post-40th ANH Leias. The head sculpt is a rather respectable likeness of Carrie Fisher.  I don’t think it’s quite as spot on as the Bespin Leia, which is still my favorite to date, but it’s certainly not a bad one.  And, unlike Luke, there’s actually not too much compromising with the hair in order to let the helmet fit, which is nice to see.  The poncho is cloth, much like Lukes, but actually has a slightly different pattern, like it does in the film.  There’s a fully detailed version of her Rebel command uniform beneath the poncho piece, allowing for this figure to pull double duty as Leia late in the film.  I can definitely appreciate Hasbro’s willingness to not milk us for yet another version of the figure, since that’s tended to be how they’ve handled things in the past.  Ultimately, the scaling of various pieces looks a bit better with the poncho in place, but having the option is still nice. The helmet piece looks to be the same one used for Luke, which is sensible.  It works fine for this figure too, although I do prefer this one without the helmet.  The paint work on Leia is all pretty solid.  There’s the face printing again, of course, as well as a slightly more involved paint scheme under the poncho than we saw with Luke.  Leia’s only real accessory is a blaster pistol, which does feel a touch light.  But, with the sort of double nature of this figure thanks to the helmet and poncho being removable, it doesn’t feel quite as bad as it could have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hoth Leia is really my default version of the character, but the Endor attire is a pretty close second.  It does add something of a commanding presence to the character, which I can really get behind.  I was hoping for both her and Luke in this style, so getting them both in one fell swoop works out even better than I’d hoped, really.  This figure ends up being the best of the three Endor variants, if I’m honest, and that’s probably for the best, because it’s also the one that feels the most one and done from this set.

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.

#2641: Luke Skywalker – Endor

LUKE SKYWALKER — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Utilizing stolen schematics, the Rebel Alliance formulated a plan to destroy the new Death Star. Luke Skywalker joined his friends for this mission to Endor.”

Last year was the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, which translated to a lot of toy coverage for that particular movie.  Though it’s not an anniversary year, this year looks to be shifting to its follow-up film, Return of the Jedi.  Right out of the gate, we’re getting proper coverage for the film’s versions of the three main characters.  No stranger to Jedi-based figures in The Black Series, Luke has gotten yet another one, which I’m going to be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series, officially slated for an early 2021 release, but it hit some places a little earlier.  Luke is part of the RotJ-sub-set of the line, and is figure #4 in that set.  The same figure was also previously available as part of the “Heroes of Endor” set that Hasbro released as an online “con” exclusive mid last year.  As the name denotes, he’s based on the attire Luke wears during the mission to the forest moon of Endor.  In Luke’s case, it means he’s wearing a poncho and helmet atop his standard Jedi attire from the movie.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s made out of pieces re-used from the first Jedi Luke figure.  From the neck down, he’s the same as that figure, although, like last year’s Jabba’s Palace variant, he’s only got the standard flap attached to the front of the chest, and it’s glued in place.  Like that figure, he also ditches the belt piece from the first figure.  In an effort to fully differentiate the various releases, this one gets a new head, helmet, belt, and a cloth poncho.  The head’s not a bad piece.  It’s our third attempt at a Jedi Luke in this scale, and aside from the hair being a little bit matted down in order to fit the helmet (which is admittedly pretty minor and not too far off of his on-screen appearance), and the face in particular seems pretty good for a Hamill likeness of this era.  The helmet piece is just a touch rounder than it was in the film, but it’s not terribly far off, and the detailing is pretty sharp.  It fits nicely over the head sculpt and stays pretty securely in place.  The poncho piece is a cloth piece, and that’s honestly the best way to handle it.  The tailoring is pretty decent, and the belt helps to keep everything in place and looking pretty good.  The paint work on this guy is largely pretty basic.  It’s just molded plastic for most of the underlying body, but he gets the printing for his face.  It’s slightly misaligned on my figure, but isn’t terribly far off, and honestly looks okay from most angles.  The helmet also gets some extra detail work, with some scarring and weathering in place.  In addition to the removable helmet and poncho, Luke also gets his lightsaber.  It’s a shame didn’t also throw in his standard belt to allow for a full final duel Luke set-up, but the belt for the poncho still works in a pinch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite like the Endor Luke set-up, and I’ve been hoping to get him since early on in this line.  I’m actually a little bit surprised that it took quite this long to finally get him, but he’s a nice way of getting another Jedi Luke figure out there.  The Endor parts are all nicely put together, and the underlying figure’s not bad either.  Of course, I’m kind of expecting to see another variant on Jedi Luke sooner than later for…reasons.  Until then, this one will do well for all those people suddenly looking for a Jedi Luke for…reasons.

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.