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Luke Skywalker and Yoda
(Dagobah Training)

Coming in as two of the more interesting figures out of the mostly retread and rehashed Original Trilogy Collection, the Dagobah resculpts of Luke and Yoda were sorely needed in most collector’s opinions. Vastly superior to all previous attempts at the same figures, Yoda and Luke are sure to please most. But can they please the discerning eye of this reviewer? That’s not a simple matter to explain.

To say these figures turned out great is pretty easy, but while I am more than pleased with Yoda, I have to admit that Luke left me wanting a bit more, namely a GOOD set of arms.

I’ll leave that up to the details in the review though, so read on good viewer!

PROS

Sculpt: Easily these two figures are dead-on in likeness and detail. Hasbro’s taken their sculpting to whole new levels once again, and I would say that the individual likenesses of Luke and Yoda are the best on either character that Hasbro has ever achieved. This is logical since they’re the latest offerings of the characters, but you have to give credit for at least Luke’s likeness, as it’s one the company has had trouble with in the past.

Yoda sports tons of detail overall. Lots of folds in his robes, texture to give the green machine a realistic look, and of course the face of concentration and maybe a slight hint of disappointment at Luke’s behavior, all bring the figure to life before your eyes. Yoda’s little clawed fingers, furrowed brow, and skin texture all enhance an otherwise superb micro-sized figure.

Luke’s 2 sets of arms, and 2 separate heads both sport incredible detail, and as I mentioned earlier, I believe this to be the best Mark Hammill likeness ever (upside-down, OR rightside-up). The heads really both capture Luke at two clear points in his training, and one is nicely “neutral” while the other head is clearly “off in the clouds” (lame Star Wars pun completely intended).

The texture of Luke’s skin/muscles on his 2 sets of bare arms is actually really nicely done. Creating “nude” skin in a figure sculpt isn’t any easy task, as you have to have a knack for sculpting the human body. Whoever worked on this Luke did a really nice job though in capturing Luke’s physique from the film without making him “buff” looking like his predecessor. Kudos there!

Luke’s uniform pants and tank-top also sport lots of detail with many creases, fabric textures, and details like the straps of his boots, buckle of his pants, and the details of his pant-pockets all highlighted by the sculptor’s fine work.

Also, on Luke’s overall figure sculpt, it’s nice to see Hasbro nail his height down. They’re all over the place on Luke figures sometimes, but Dagobah seems to be the perfect height when compared to other nicely scaled figures of the line. Good eye and good job!

Accessories: This category is a little tough to judge this time around, especially for Luke, but since the extra head and arms are technically just floating around in there like extra accessories, I’m going to claim them as such. Yoda was much easier to judge.

On that note, Luke comes with:
-2 pairs of posed arms
-2 uniquely sculpted heads
-1 harness set to his blue backpack (Yoda has the other)
-1 interlocking swamp floor base (with handprints for handstand pose)

Yoda Comes with:
-1 Gimer walking stick to gnaw on
-1 blue backpack to ride in
-1 interlocking swamp floor base (with tree stump piece)

With both of these figures sporting some decent accessories, not to mention the fact that both have accessories that interact with each other and that is always cool in and of itself, then I think both are a winner in the accessory department. These are the kinds of accessories that Hasbro earns some brownie points with its fans when they make them. I definitely liked the interlocking bases, and would actually love to see a “Yoda’s Dagobah Hut Playset” in the near future that they could link onto perhaps!?! *Hint Hint Hint*

*ahem* Anyway…

Interactive Features: It’s great to see Hasbro embrace this idea, at least briefly. The fact the Yoda figure can stand alone to train Luke, sit around in the backpack while riding Luke through the Swamp being a jagoff, or whatever… That really makes the way the two figures simply “go” together as a special draw.

The bases also connect, which just puts the figures in a sort of half-hearted playset, or diorama. Again, I think a nice Dagobah Hut would be a COOL idea, especially if these bases were made to connect to the hut’s base, but at the same time the nicely detailed bases these figures come with add a lot to the display value of the figures themselves, even if they’re not mini-playsets like we’d all like.

Thumbs up for Hasbro then, for the effort, as there isn’t a unique base in the OTC line again that I see, and that’s a shame. These ones showed what a little effort can do to enhance things…. Now to just get that Dagobah Playset out of them.

Luke’s Swappable Limbs/Heads: 21st Century Toys has been a well that Hasbro toy designers have dipped in since they started their 1:18 scale military toy line some years ago, and Hasbro decided to take their idea of interchangeable limbs and apply it to the Dagobah Luke figure. For 21st though, they apply the notion that one set of arms should be poseable/articulated arms, while the second set should be a pre-posed set that you couldn’t get out of the poseable set.

Hasbro’s take on this is somewhat different, and a “CON” of mine, but the concept is sound and it’s nice to see Hasbro considering the idea of intentionally poppable limbs/heads on their Star Wars figures. They’ve done the severed appendages before, but now they’re really upping the anty with interchangeable arms/heads.

Luke’s two poses are static though. One holding the straps of his blue backpack while training with Yoda, and the other being his infamous hand-stand scenes while he learned how to float junk. Good choices, as both are pretty iconic scenes in their own way, so I applaud the thought into which arm poses to choose. Still though, my disappointment in the lack of poseable arms is there.

Yoda’s Articulation: In a surprise move, Hasbro really went all out on Yoda this go-round. Mean Joe Green here sports an impressive upper body articulation count, even for a normal sized figure, so I’m impressed. Yoda’s upper body has as many articulation points as his VOTC Counterpart even. That’s not shabby on a $5 basic figure.

Yoda sports articulation at: -2 ball/socket shoulder joints -1 ball/socket head/neck joint -2 angle-cut elbow joints -2 standard wrist joints -1 swiveling waist joint

With 8 points, that’s not a bad articulation total. It’s slightly disappointing that he didn’t have leg articulation, but then again if he did it would require soft-goods to be poseable, and with his VOTC figure shipping at almost the same time, I really can’t say I mind the uni-leg they went with. It’s appropriate and accommodates Yoda’s feature of snapping off his legs to pop him in the backpack accessory.

In the end, Yoda’s upper body articulation allows him to pinch Luke’s arm and criticize him for being a dork, or it allows him to stand there with his walking stick, or to levitate X-Wings and stuff. Can you really complain then? Well sure, but he’s still a good figure.

It’s all AOK by me then.

CONS

Paint Application/Deco: Lots of problems plague the line in this regard. Sometimes Hasbro really can “wow!” us with a paintjob and other times they really show us just how cheap they can make a figure look too.

I’d put Yoda and Luke somewhere in the middle of that area though, and that’s not good for either figure.

On Luke, I’ve gotten a couple of him for some customizing, and I’ve noticed some spotty eye paintjobs on each one. Also the intent of brown mud smudges came off looking poorly applied and “toyish” more than realistic. Almost like Luke met a kid who’d been eating some chocolate, or had a rough go of things in the toilet recently. Luke’s body/uniform really doesn’t sport a ton of detail or washes either, and maybe it could’ve used them to bring out some of the detail a bit more.

On Yoda, the main gripe I have (beyond some spotty paintjobs on the hair) is his odd skin tone, which just doesn’t seem quite right to the film. I have a tough time putting my finger on it, but it just seems too dark to me, and it does detract from the figure slightly. It’s still the best Yoda going for $5 though, but the dark skin tone seems off from the actual color of the muppet to end all muppets.

However, to Yoda’s defense, I felt that Hasbro did a pretty good job overall with washes on his robes to make him look “lived in” and realistic. The skin tone’s a real bugger though, and sticks out.

Luke’s Pre-Posed Arms: Told ya I’d get to this one… And in short, I really am disappointed that Hasbro borrowed 21st Century Toys’ design, but they didn’t follow through on the level of quality that 21st almost always was able to deliver.

Hasbro chose two pre-posed sets of arms, as opposed to one pre-posed and one poseable set. This makes the Luke figure more of a statue than a fun toy. He’s capable of few poses beyond his two the arms were intended for. I did get a weird one that looks like he’s being arrested though, and one where he’s doing a work-out routine with one arm punching and the other drawn back.

Beyond playing around though, the figure is a 2-pose wonder for the arms. Hasbro should’ve left the sharply bent arms off in my opinion, and included a set of VOTC style poseable arms.

Many-a-gripe came upon my poseable arm suggestion, namely that it wouldn’t look nice (See VOTC Luke without his shirt on), but in the end these are toys, not statues, and toys should be poseable, fun things since that’s the market trend for action figures. Save statues for Gentle Giant, Koto, Applause, and anyone else who makes pretty things to put on your shelf and admire.

Me? I wanna play with the action figure, have him swinging on vines, doing flips, etc. Luke did a LOT more on Dagobah than stand there with that little green booger on his back making snide remarks, or eating his sausages, or those silly handstand games he was messing with. He was pretty active running around that Jungle, and I’d like to pick the poses I want my figure in. /end rant

OVERALL

My end opinion is mixed. I don’t dislike either figure though, and I highly recommend getting them as a set. Yoda, to me, is the highlight figure however I think many feel that Luke is the real winner. In the end you’ll have to decide that one for yourselves.

I feel the Luke’s inadequate as a good action figure though, and as such he’s going to lose points with me there. Yoda’s about the best Dagobah Yoda going though, and I’d happily recommend him alone even if you didn’t like the Luke. My personal favorite way to display them is with Yoda on his back though, so I suggest getting both.

I will say that the Luke sculpt, should it come out again with maybe new poseable arms, would win me over big time. I’d take that figure in a heartbeat. Yup, I’d buy it all over again just for NEW arms. Hear that Hasbro? That’s $5 for like 1/4 of a figure really. Think about it.

These things are pretty easy to find as of this review. Pick a set up and display away. They really do capture some specific moments from the movies quite well. Just watch out for Yoda or he’ll steal your Jimmy Dean sausages right off your plate. Little green monkey…

 

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