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
* * * * * * * * *
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.
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.
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!"
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