Sunday, August 8, 2010

Star Wars 3.75" Vintage Collection: Bespin Luke Skywalker

Before I start on this latest review (and it is very, very late) I want to apologize to those of you who've been following this blog diligently.  I've not posted for about two weeks and with good reason: I recently got married!  Last week, I tied the knot to the most wonderful human being I know, kind and compassionate, gentle and loving.  The best part is she loves that I do all sorts of nerdy stuff like collect toys and play games.  She even checks this page daily for updates even when I don't expect her to!

She is also a real person. :P

In fact, all these Star Wars reviews I have coming up of the new Vintage 3.75" line are her doing--she woke up at the crack of dawn and stood in line for me because I was at work and couldn't make the local release.

So I dedicate this next review--the first I'm doing on this line--to my dear Melissa.

Here's to a wonderful life together!

- Your husband, Ewan

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Hasbro should've named ol' Luke-in-training here "Best-pin" Luke for being what must be one of the best figures not just in the Star Wars line, but also in 3.75-inch history!  Yeah, Bespin Luke may be my favorite Luke Skywalker of the lot not only because he's at the most important stage of character development in the Original Trilogy, but also because he's the one character they could screw up the most easily--anything less than the best for the figure would mean disappointment among fans such as myself.

Still, among all the figures in the 3.75" lines--the Marvel Universe guys and the GI Joes--it's hard to believe a Star Wars figure can really be the best.  After all, he's got to beat guys like the new Pursuit of Cobra Beachhead and the awesome-as-nuts San Diego Comic Con (not so) Exclusive WWII Ultimate Captain America.  However, I certainly think that he doesn't just give them a run for their money, but they give him a run for his money (all in Standard Imperial Credits, of course! ;D)

Can a measly Star Wars figure, especially one of a character from way back (1980), truly be that great?  Maybe he measures up aesthetically but must certainly falls short in articulation and thereby play value?  Well there's only one way to find out!

Like: The face.  Boy does it look exactly like Mark Hamill in The Empire Strikes Back.  The sculpt of the hair and the sandy blond color, the intense blue eyes, the set of his mouth.  They all really bring out the tension of the very moment that he's searching for Han, Leia, Chewie , R2 and 3PO.  That very moment when the audience knows his friends are safe and that all that's left for Luke on the cloud city of Bespin is the trap set by Darth Vader.  This is the face that eventually leads up to the climactic "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" moment.  Tension.  Gotta love it. ;)

Like: His jumpsuit.  The sculpted wrinkles and folds and the color they molded in is just perfect.  The suit has also been dry brushed with a slightly lighter khaki to bring out more detail and it works splendidly.

Like:  The working holster and utility belt ensemble.  It's a separately molded piece form the torso and holds the blaster pistol firmly, while still allowing for maximum swivel/hinge movement of his legs.  Very nice.

The little painted silver button detail of each pouch compartment is also very nice, along with the brown wash thats used to give the belt a worn but sturdy look.

Another plus for the belt is the inclusion of a small hole where you can peg the unlit Lightsaber on the front left of his belt. This is a great play/pose feature which also works with the ignited lightsaber.  Now why anyone would want to peg a lit 'saber onto their belt very near sensitive regions really beats me...Heh. ;)

Like: The unignited lightsaber.  It comes in addition to a lighted one, the very one that was once his father's.  The very one that (spoilers ahead) that he eventually loses to the depths (or heights) of Bespin when Vader slices off his hand.  There.  Now you know.  Vader slices off  (more spoilers) his own son's hand.  Yup, I just spoiled the entire movie.  The entire trilogy even.  Mwahaha.
Like: Luke holds his weapons tightly, while the trigger fingers on both hands fit nicely into the trigger guard of his blaster.

Dislike: He can't go down on one knee!  His legs, despite their excellent sideways movement, rotate forward at a 45 degree angle.  While this in itself is not a problem, combined with the lack of double hinge knees, it Luke can't balance while doing a kneeling pose because he can't form a wide enough base between his knee and his foot.  It'such a pity, especially since he's the first figure that can do forward and sideways splits!

Dislike: The ball jointed neck that's limited to a swivel.  Well, I guess he had to have a flaw somewhere.  Don't get me wrong, the head is a beautiful sculpt, but the hair on the back of his head and the full chin and neck detailing make it tough for him to have more than one expression.  Granted, all action figures have only one (sculpted) expression, but with a head tilt here and a half-turn and-tilt there you get more looks from the figure's face.  And poor ol' Luke here has the problem of only having just the one look.  It's a great one, but it could have been closer to perfect if not for the limited neck/head joint.

Dislike: His arms can't come together overhead.  This is down to the torso shoulder sculpt getting in the way, but the detail is necessary for making the figure look the part.


Aesthetics: 10/10 - The perfect Bespin Luke.  Perfect hair, perfect grim face, perfect eyes, perfect clothes, and one helluva belt/holster.  Hasbro will be hard pressed to ever come up with a better looking figure for this guy.

Poseability: 9/10 -  He can do most anything you need him to, barring the double-handed overhead chop with the 'saber.  He also does lose some points here for a swivel-only head (ball-joint), but you can see they sacrificed this to make the head as aesthetically accurate and pleasing as they could.

And the legs.

Ah, those delightful swivel/hinged hip joints that allow Luke to easily do the sideways and forward splits.  Skywalker indeed.  Pity he can't kneel due to the lack of double hinge knees.  But it's still fantastic that they used the hips on Bespin Luke.  It's even better to know that Hasbro has developed them and that we'll probably see these super flexible leg joints in the future, hopefully in more than just the Star Wars lines.

Fun: 10/10 - One word describes all the fun that will be had with this guy: "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

This is the Luke that faces off with Darth Vader despite knowing he'd be PWNED.  He also represents the last remnant of a brash young Luke that really didn't need to "go save his friends" because they escaped without his help after all.  He's the Luke who learns a secret that I can't imagine he would want to learn, then takes it upon himself like a man to bring Vader back to the light side of the Force.

In essence, this figure is super fun because he represents so many things about this character, the most important of which is the climactic moment that he becomes Jedi, despite losing his first true Jedi duel to Dad.

Value: 9.5/10 - At retail he is already well worth the money because he comes with two lightsabers--one lit and one not.  It's rare that we see figures with unignited lightsabers, so it's a real treat that one comes with Bespin Luke.

Only thing that could possibly make him a perfect 10 for me would be an X-Wing fighter.  Ok, ok, I kid.  But if Luke did come with a free one he'd be a must-buy.  Even if it were vice versa, it'd still be very high on the consideration list because he's just that awesome.  It's great thing that he's been offered as a single carded figure so we don't have to shell out for a vehicle we might not want/have one of already. :)

Overall: 9.65/10 - Like I mentioned at the beginning, Bespin Luke is likely one of the best 3.75" scale figures ever across all the brands bar none.  He's so good that in these parts he's flying off the shelves as word of his legendary hips/boyish good looks spread.  Get him quick at retail while you can still find him, because he'll be one of those figures that you'll have to pay a premium for once he disappears from the pegs of brick and mortar stores.

And I also can't imagine you'd pass up the chance to throw Vader and Bespin Luke together for that one chance to cry out, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I know I wouldn't (soon as I crack open my Vintage Vader. Heheh.) And I'd do it over and over, even if I drove the neighbours mad with my screams of mock paternal denial. :P


  1. Let me be the 1st to congratulate you on your wedding bro! Keep the cool reviews coming!

  2. Thanks dude! And congrats on the recent haul of Star Wars goodness (with some Marvel Universe thrown in)! Love your site! ;)

  3. HOLLA, congrats mate! It is good to hear you found someone you can share you enthusiasm for your hobbies. And with two weeks out you must be tired!!!

  4. Thanks Prowl! Yeah, tired but feeling great. :) Also, I have a whole stash of stuff just waiting to be busted opened, played with, and reviewed!

  5. Congrats! Definitely more important than an update. :)

  6. Yeah LJ, thanks! And great interview over at AD with Nightmare. :)

  7. Def looking forward to more Star Wars and Marvel Universe (and Iron Man) reviews.

    Is the new wave of Iron Man figures out yet? The wave that includes Comic Iron Monger?

  8. I think it is because I've seen a rare one or two in package from some specialty sellers. But I've not seen any of the new stuff in department stores. Am definitely looking forward to Comic Iron Monger was well.

    My wife also just saw the Whiplash/Mark V/Seas Drone 3 pack at TRU. Tempting, but I didn't want more Whiplash or Mark V.

    Well, thanks for reading! I have a whole buncha SW toys so stay tuned! :)

  9. Looks like an actual decent SW classic remake for a change. I haven't bought a SW figure in over 10 years (1999 Phantom Menace releases). The longest I've ever been sober from anything, alcohol or drugs included.

  10. Yeah, some of these SW figures have come a long way. I remember not getting into SW figs back then (circa 1999) because I felt they didn't look good enough/have good articulation that was worthy of such epic characters. Well, I'm glad things changed.

    They sometimes still put out SW figures that are straight up repackages with the same poor articulation, but those are rare and this one's a gem, just like most all of the brand new ones. :)

  11. Wow Ewan, the day after I read your review, I find this exact figure!

    And what a figure it is! He truly sets the bar for the next few figures in the line. Luke looks just like Mark Hamill did at this point in the film, determined, but still uncertain of what lies ahead. The articulation makes Iron Man figures look like DCIH figures (lol jk they're not that bad). He is truly able to move like a Jedi in his prime or to just bounce around Dagobah.

    Anyway, I've been waiting patiently for this figure. I distinctly remember when I was about 7 I had a Bespin Luke and he was one of my favorites and this new figure is just the latest version of my love affair with Bespin Luke.

  12. @mirrorred311 - Awesome! It's always such a great feeling when patience pays off. ;D

    Very funny about the DCIH figures...

    The best part about this new articulation model is that the Jedi Luke (in Black) that is slated for the next wave has the same leg/hip ajoints. I think we might also enjoy the face sculpt on that one. :)

  13. Ewan,
    I agree this figure is amazing...put him on the medical table in the large, deluxe, M. Falcon. I like the attention to detail on your site and the time you put into your descriptions. The graphic with white letters around his body showing all of his joints is spectacular! Thanks for your enthusiasm and going out of your way to help others appreciate the coolness in these toys.

    Chris - The 501st - Vaders' Fist

  14. Hi Chris,

    I'd first need to get myself a Millennium Falcon to do that. Maybe with your 501st connections, you might have a spare one lying around? ;)

    Thanks for the kind comments! I do so enjoy doing these reviews as a way to share with everyone my toy playing experiences! :)

    Next time I see the 501st at local Cons or events I'll be sure to come say hi!

  15. congrats on the marriage. we just gor internet here in FOB wilson, so i am back tracking on reviews. i am not a star wars collector, nor 3.75" figures, but your review and pics really tempts me to buy one, or at the least have my loving wife search for one. i cant believe how nice the sculpt is. incredible review. congrats on your blessing.

  16. Hey, thanks again, Rupert! Yeah, some of these figures are so life-like it's almost unbelievable. It's a pity they don't make all of them this way, even within the same waves of the same lines!

    Glad to hear you're able to now catch up. Glad to have you here reading and commenting. :)

  17. I totally agree, this is an amazing figure. The resemblance to Mark Hamil is so close, it is almost creepy!


  19. Yes, he looks so real, doesn't he? ;)

    @Marcos Adrian - Thanks! And May the Force be with you too! :D

  20. this figure is so incredible and your review is so spot on...i bought a second one to custom the head,to make it look as beat up as he did after the battle with vader..his hand pops off easily and you can quickly recreate the post "I am your father" scene...

  21. @jugalojedi666 - Oh wow, that custom sounds awesome. Any pics? If only they'd included a bruised and bloodied head so you can do just exactly what you suggested! ;)

  22. Does any body know where i can get a STAR WARS 3.75" BSC FIG Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 4. I've been looking everywhere and have absolutley no luck. Please help!!!!

  23. I guess your best bet would be Ebay? Sorry, I live all the way in Singapore so unless you live in the region as well, it'll be tough to tell you where else you could possibly find him. :/

  24. thank you for the review. i managed to get one on the german economy when i was out there. i love it. this review like the rest of the reviews are perfect.

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it (both the review and the figure itself). And thanks for the kind words! :)


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