#1460: Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear

LUKE SKYWALKER in X-WING FIGHTER PILOT GEAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

” Growing up on the twin-sun planet of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker had always looked tot he stars. He had been told that his father was a great star pilot, and it was clear that the young Luke had inherited some of his skills. In the arid deserts of the Jundland Wastes, Luke and his best friend Biggs Darklighter, would race their T-16 skyhoppers. Tagging womprats in Beggar’s Canyon or threading the Stone needle, Luke and Biggs were the best of friends, and daring pilots. Unfortunately, they were separated when Biggs went to the Academy, and Luke was forced to stay behind.”

Luke Skywalker figures are a hot commodity these days, due to his almost total absence from the main Star Wars toy lines for the better part of two years.  For a good portion of the franchise’s run, it was hard to go anywhere without tripping over a whole pile of Luke Skywalkers. There were a dozen Lukes in the Power of the Force II line alone, and I’ll be looking  at another one of that particular subset today, with Luke in his X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke was released in Power of the Force II‘s first year, as a later addition to the assortment.  He was the second Luke in the line, and the second figure of Luke in this particular gear in general.  Despite the claims on the package that this is Luke in his “X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear,” which is a little bit misleading.  The figure’s actually wearing his cold-weather flight gear that he puts on to pilot his Snowspeeder during the Hoth Battle from Empire.  He does eventually wear it while flying his X-Wing later, but it’s still more commonly viewed as his Snowspeeder gear.  Not that the two designs are that dissimilar, of course.  The figure is about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The sculpt was unique to this guy at the time of his release, however the body ended up getting re-used later down the line for both Wedge and Dak.  Until around 2010 or so, this was actually the only Hoth flight-suited sculpt Hasbro had on hand.  Just like the rest of these early figure’s, it’s a rather dated sculpt.  He’s got the usual exaggerated proportions, albeit masked a little bit by the more padded nature of the design.  He’s still got the insane bulging muscles, and the crazy thin waist, of course.  On the plus side, the detailing on the costume is pretty decent; the ridges on the arms are pretty cool, and the helmet, while a bit on the tiny side, is quite accurate to the source material.  Said helmet is permanently attached to the head, and missing the visor, but removable helmets were still a ways off at this point, so this isn’t bad.  His face is a slightly different likeness than the other Luke’s from this line.  It’s still a bit off, looking more like Ron Howard than Mark Hammil, but that’s a step in the right direction at least.  The paint work on this figure is on par with the rest of this line’s offerings.  It’s pretty clean overall, apart from a few fuzzy lines on the edge of the vest.  Luke is packed with his lightsaber and a small blaster pistol.  The lightsaber is a lot shorter than the initial Luke saber, but I choose not to judge him for that; Hoth is very cold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure when he was relatively new.  I had gotten the PotF2 X-Wing Fighter as a gift, and didn’t yet have the proper Luke to fly it, so I obviously had to buy this guy.  Along the way, my original was lost, more than likely sold during one of my “purges” over the years.  The one reviewed here is a replacement, picked up at Farpoint a few years back.  He’s hardly the best pilot Luke figure out there, and he certainly shows the line’s flaws quite overtly, but he was my first pilot Luke, and he still holds an important spot in my collection.

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#1241: Wedge Antilles

WEDGE ANTILLES

STAR WARS: COMIC PACKS (HASBRO)

When it comes to characters in fiction, I’m sort of odd about my favorites.  Main characters are great and all, but my favorite characters, the ones that really stick with me, tend to be the ones just slightly out of focus.  Most of my favorite Marvel characters aren’t going to be headlining their own movies any time soon, and my all-time favorite DC character is Elongated Man, who 90% of people have probably never heard of.  So, it follows that my favorite character from the original Star Wars Trilogy isn’t one of the mains, but is instead X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles.  In Wedge’s defense, he’s one of the only background characters to show up and have dialogue in all three movies, and he participates in three major battles without dying, which is actually pretty impressive for a generally normal dude.  He’s also been a rather prominent player in the Expanded Universe, which is how he got the figure I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wedge Antilles was released as part of the Comic Packs sub-line of Hasbro’s Star Wars: 30th Anniversary line.  He was packaged with Borsk Fey’lya, as well as a copy of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #35.  They were set 14 in the line.  Wedge stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  Wedge is seen here not in his usual pilot garb from the films, but instead in what appears to be a dress uniform, presumably from Rogue Squadron.  It’s certainly a unique design, even if its not one I’m immediately familiar with.  Wedge uses the legs and hands of the 2007 Training Fatigues Clone Trooper, along with a new head, torso, and arms.  The end result is perhaps not the greatest sculpt that the Star Wars line ever put out, with arms that feel a little over-sized, and a slightly awkward bend to the legs.  That being said, it’s not awful, and is certainly better than some of this figure’s contemporaries.  The likeness presents a decent halfway point between Dennis Lawson and the comic depictions of Wedge, resulting in a pretty good likeness of the character, if maybe not the actor.  Still, if you know who it is, you can see some of Lawson peeking through.  Paint work on Wedge is pretty solid, if not amazing.  The colors match up with what I’ve been able to find of the source material, and he’s a different enough palette of colors to stand out pretty well on the shelf.  Some of the application is a little sloppy, but nothing incredibly bad.  Wedge was packed with a rather basic rebel blaster, which he can hold or stow in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve honestly been meaning to buy this figure since it was first released.  I don’t really know the material he’s based on, but I like Wedge, so why not?  I ended up picking him up from Yesterday’s Fun over the holidays.  He was loose, which is why I didn’t also get his pack-mate.  He’s a decent enough figure, and probably the best version of Wedge I own, even if he’s not from the movies.

#1220: Baron Soontir Fel & Hobbie Klivian

BARON SOONTIR FEL & HOBBIE KLIVIAN

STAR WARS: COMIC PACKS (HASBRO)

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On top of the usual movie faire, a lot of the success of Star Wars is due to its continued presence in other media during the periods between films.  Star Wars has had pretty much a consistent comics presence ever since Marvel first adapted the first film.  Dark Horse Comics took over in the ‘90s and had a rather lengthy and very successful run with the license.  There were lots of different series over the years, but one of the most popular by far was X-Wing Rogue Squadron, which followed several of the X-Wing pilots we met throughout the Original Trilogy.  When Hasbro renewed the Star Wars license following Revenge of the Sith, one of the ways they kept things fresh was with comic-based figures, and a number of them were based on Rogue Squadron, including the pair I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Baron Soontir Fel and Hobbie Klivian were pack 12 in Hasbro’s Star Wars: Comic Packs, and they were officially part of the 30th Anniversary line as well.  The two included figures are based on their appearance in issue #24 of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron, which was included in the set with them.

BARON SOONTIR FEL

baronhobbie2Baron Soontir Fel.  Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in quite some time.  No, wait, scratch that, that’s a name I’ve heard never.  Yeah, I got no clue who this guy is.  Going by the gear, he’s a TIE Fighter pilot, so that’s cool.  Obviously, he plays a part in Rogue Squadron, so…yeah.  Anyway, the figure stands a little over 4 inches tall (he actually seems  a little out of scale), and he has 16 points, which was really good for the time.  The sculpt for this figure is actually pretty strong, but it’s also a little odd, because it feels less like a Star Wars sculpt and more like one of the GI Joe: 25th Anniversary figures.  That’s not really a knock against the figure himself, since I quite liked a lot of the 25th Anniversary line, but it does make him stand out quite a bit from the rest of his peers.  It may have to do with his pack-mate being a bit older in style (more on that in a bit).  In terms of his sculpt, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on.  His jumpsuit has some awesome texture work, and all of the various parts of his uniform are quite sharply detailed.  His helmet and chest apparatus are removable, revealing his head and the rest of his uniform beneath.  The head sculpt is sufficiently smug and Imeperial, so that’s cool.  I also like that the helmet is pretty decently scaled to the body, and is probably one of the best trooper helmets I’ve seen at this scale.  As far as paint goes, the Baron is pretty solid.  He’s mostly grey and black, but all of the application is nice and clean, and he looks decent enough.  In addition to the removable helmet and chest piece, the Baron is packed with a small blaster pistol, which is the same style as the Biker Scout.  It’s a cool piece, and it can be stowed in his holster.

HOBBIE KLIVIAN

baronhobbie3Okay, I kinda know Hobbie.  I think.  I recognize the name.  He’s not really distinctive enough that I could point him out to you in the movies, but I know he’s in there, so that’s good, I guess.  The figure stands just under 4 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  He’s a lot stiffer than the Baron, which is a little sad.  A lot of that has to do with being built on the body of the 2004 Dutch Vander figure.  The line made a lot of leaps and bounds between Vander’s release and Hobbie’s, which made Hobbie feel a little out of place at the time.  He’s not really helped by being packed with Baron Fel, who was rather ahead of his time.  Nevertheless, Hobbie’s certainly not a bad figure on his own merits.  He’s got all the basic X-Wing pilot gear, and the sculpt is really sharply rendered.  I love the amount of detail they were able to get into all of the folds and wrinkles on the jumpsuit.  Also, he comes from an era when Star Wars figures were really good at hiding articulation, so his sculpt is at the very least very aesthetically pleasing.  His only truly new piece is his head, which is rather on the generic side.  He’s sporting a cap under his helmet, which aids in the generic-ness.  Honestly, this feels like the closest you can get to a straight up generic X-Wing pilot.  In terms of paint, Hobbie is once again pretty solid.  The colors all match up to what you’d expect from an X-Wing pilot.  In particular, I rather like the custom details on the helmet.  The figure includes his removable helmet, as well as a later pistol.  No holster for this guy, but his arm’s in a permanent gun-holding pose anyway, so I can’t really see many people posing him without it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were a gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  She got them for me last summer during a visit to Yesterday’s Fun.  Honestly, they’re the sort of set I might have overlooked on my own.  And that would have been too bad.  They’re not going to blow anyone out of the water, but they’re certainly a fun little pair, and a worthy addition to my collection!

#0947: Resistance X-Wing Fighter (w/ Poe Dameron)

RESISTANCE X-WING FIGHTER (W/ POE DAMERON)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

ResistanceXWing1

In the current climate of toymaking, where the costs of plastic are trending fairly consistently upward, pretty much every new mold produced needs to justify the cost of its production. In the years past, most items had large enough initial production runs to offset the tooling costs in pretty much one fell swoop. Sadly, as public interest has moved towards more technologically advanced entertainment, the market for toys has shrunk. Initial production runs are smaller, and so to make sure they tooling costs are covered, companies do their best to get multiple uses out of the same pieces, which tends to mean repaints. Today, I’ll be looking at one of these repaints: the Resistance X-Wing Fighter!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

ResistanceXWing2The Resistance X-Wing Fighter was released as part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens line, released right at the tail end of 2015. It was available exclusively at Walmart. The Resistance X-Wing uses the same mold as Poe’s X-Wing (reviewed here). Like that set, the vehicle requires a tiny bit of assembly when it’s first taken out of the box: the nose and wing cannons need to be attached and there are a few small decals meant to be applied to the interior of the cockpit. When assembled, the fighter is 15 ½ inches long and has a wingspan of 13 inches, just like Poe’s version. Poe’s X-Wing had a pretty nice sculpt, and it’s still nice here. It remains a little undersized, but, given the re-use, that’s not a shock. It’s also slightly less of an issue this time, since the included figure sits a little lower. The nose is still made from a softer rubber (which honesty didn’t bug me with Poe’s X-Wing, but it did turn a few people off). One noticeable change is the quality of the wing cannons. The actual sculpt hasn’t changed, but the manner in which they were packaged has, so they came out of the box far less warped than the prior set, which greatly improves the overall look of the vehicle. The paint is the most noticeable deviation from the prior X-Wing. In place of the dark grey and orange of Poe’s personalized vehicle, this one gets the off-white and blue palette of the basic Resistance fighter. It looks really clean, works very well on the fighter. The application is all pretty solid too, with no major slop or the like. BB-8 is still a little under painted on the body, but consistency I guess. The action features on this fighter are the same as those on Poe’s fighter. The wing feature seems a little tighter this time around, but the missile launcher appears to be identical.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ResistanceXWing4Included with the Resistance X-Wing Fighter is another figure of ace pilot Poe Dameron. He’s based on his look from the film’s opening, which is appropriate, since that’s when Poe is seen using this style of fighter. The figure uses the body of the Armor-Up Poe, along with the head of the single release pilot Poe. While it’s not a combination that really plays up the Oscar Isaac likeness, it’s not a terrible set of pieces. The body is solidly sculpted and has a lot of really cool detail work, so I don’t mind seeing it again. The head isn’t a bad sculpt, but it is a touch generic, especially with the opaqueness of the visor.  Still, it’s a decent representation of the helmet design from the movie, and the details are all pretty well realized. From the neck down, the paint is identical to the Armor-Up figure, which is fine, since that was pretty good. The head is slightly different, since it’s replicating Poe’s more unique helmet from the beginning. The paint is nice and sharp, so that’s good. The opaque visor is a little frustratingly cartoony, but that’s more the fault of the sculpt. Though he’s sort of an accessory himself, Poe does get one accessory: his blaster rifle. It’s the same piece seen with the Armor-Up Poe, but it’s another scene specific piece. I only wish there were somewhere for him to keep it while piloting so that it wasn’t rattling around in the cockpit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite loving the normal release X-Wing and loving the Resistance color scheme, I’ve passed this set up more than a few times in the last few months, due mostly to the $50 price tag. It’s not unreasonable, but it makes me need redundant pieces a bit less. Last week, I managed to find this set at a nearby Walmart on clearance. At 50% of its original value, the set felt way more worth it. If I’m honest, I think the main fighter is superior to the Poe version. The blaster issue has been fixed, and the tension on the wing feature works a bit better. The included Poe isn’t quite as fun as the other version, but his generic-ness makes him a pretty decent unnamed Resistance Pilot. Ultimately, I’m not sure this set is quite as necessary as the first, but for half its original price, it’s way worth picking up.

ResistanceXWing3

#0808: Poe’s X-Wing Fighter

POE’S X-WING FIGHTER (w/ POE DAMERON)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

PoeXwing1

For day 7 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews, I’ll be venturing back into that galaxy far, far away. However, this time I’ll actually be looking at something from the new movie.

Back when Kenner had just gotten the Star Wars license, and they were deciding on scale, George Lucas was adamant that the figures be small enough that in-scale ships were still a possibility, which led to the decision to use the 3 ¾ inch scale, and ultimately had an undying impact on the action figure industry as a whole. See, the ships were a key piece of the story, since you can’t very have those titular “Star Wars” without them. One of the more distinctive ships was the X-Wing fighter, the main ship of all our favorite Rebel pilots. The X-Wings have made a triumphant return in The Force Awakens, and a triumphant return to the toy aisles with today’s focus, Poe’s X-Wing Fighter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PoeXwing2Seeing as the name of this set is “Poe’s X-Wing Fighter,” it’s not really a huge shock that the included pilot is Poe Dameron. The figure is 3 ¾ inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as all the other 3 ¾ inch Force Awakens figures. Poe’s body looks to be the same one that was used on the single release Poe, though I don’t actually have one to compare. It’s a decent enough sculpt. The jumpsuit has a reasonable amount of texturing and there’s some nice layering to the sculpt. The vest seems a little soft in some areas, but not terribly so. The head sculpt is shared with the “Armor Up” version of the character. I liked it well enough when I reviewed that figure, and I like it well enough here. It’s not a perfect match for Oscar Isaac, but it isn’t terrible either. At the very least, it’s got a slightly better paint job (though the skin tone is definitely too pale). The rest of the paint is passable, but nothing tremendous. There’s a fair bit of bleed over in several areas, and the edges of the vest are fairly fuzzy. Poe includes a helmet and a small blaster. The helmet is actually really cool, if perhaps slightly oversized, and the gun looks to be the same piece included with Goss Toowers.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Let’s be honest here, nobody was really buying this set for the figure, were they? No, the selling point is the awesome X-Wing fighter he’s meant to fly! Out of the box, there’s a tiny bit of required assembly. The cannons and the nose of the fighter are packed separately from the main vehicle, so they have to be attached, and there are also a few small decals to be placed inside the cockpit. Once assembled, the main body of the vehicle is 15 ½ inches  in length and it has a 13 inch wingspan. The X-Wing has 2 points of “articulation” for the cockpit and the landing gear. The cockpit could stand to open just a bit more, but other than that, the basic movement is pretty smooth. The X-Wing fighters in The Force Awakens got an all-new design (officially dubbed the T-70), inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept drawings from the first movie. It’s a slightly more svelte, less cobbled together look than the prior T-65. The toy gets a new sculpt designed to replicate the design from the film. Some changes have definitely been made for the sake of a slightly easier to produce toy. Chief among them is the decision to scale the whole thing down just a bit. It’s really not that evident, except for poor Poe having to do some serious slouching to fit in the cockpit with the top shut. In addition, some of the more intricate details of the craft have been made less intricate, which gives the whole thing a slightly more simplified look. Given that this ship is designed to go with the 5 POA 3 ¾ inch figures, these changes are reasonable, and make it so the ship fits in with the rest of those offerings.

PoeXwing3

The ship has a non-removable BB-8 built in, much like the R2-D2s built into the X-Wing toys of old. I was happy to see he got a fully detailed sculpt, which matches up pretty well to the single release figure. The construction of the X-Wing isn’t without its issues, though. The most glaring ones are pretty much all related to the parts that were separate in the box. The first, and by far the most minor issue for me, is the softer rubber material used for the nose. This is clearly a safety standards thing, so I can understand why it was done. It really doesn’t look that bad, and my only real concern is how it will hold up over time. The big issue is the level of warping present on the wing cannons. They come like that out of the box, and look a bit on the silly side. Fortunately, there are a few fixes that can be applied, or, if you don’t want to fix them yourself, you can just shoot Hasbro an email and they’ll send you a replacement set for free. Other than that, all the other nits are fairly minor. There are a few exposed screws, but they’re all in fairly out of the way places. The general construction of this ship really isn’t horrible. Paint is something of a key piece on this one, since it’s the color scheme that denotes the fighter as Poe’s. The grey/orange scheme is pretty striking here, and it works nicely with the mold. The actual paint is fairly basic, with just solid color work. There are some areas with some slightly uneven coverage, but the overall look is quite good. BB-8’s head gets some nice work, but his body is left completely unpainted, which is just a tad jarring. The X-Wing has two action features. The main one is the wing feature. When BB-8 is pressed, the wings pop open into the signature X formation. When the button behind him is pushed, they go back to their normal positioning. The mechanism isn’t particularly strong, so the wings won’t stay open if you set the ship down, which is a tiny bit of a letdown (and it also made taking pictures rather hard). The other feature is a more simple missile launching one. Pressing a button on the underside of the fighter launches the included missile. It’s actually surprisingly powerful, so try not to shoot your eye out.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Poe’s X-Wing Fighter was another Christmas gift from my incredibly supportive parents. It’s not a perfect item. I can make a list of the issues, I can say it’s a step back after the more advanced X-Wings we’ve gotten in the past. It’s under-sized, and the cannons are warped, and maybe the paint could be better. But when I opened this thing up and put it together? Pure joy. I think it might just be my favorite item I received for Christmas. Seriously, I was so excited that I may or may not have run through the house with it making flying sounds…

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