Lando Calrissian is a guy that hasn’t gotten a whole lot of focus from Hasbro. His blue disco outfit in particular isn’t really the most popular it seems, and it took Hasbro quite a while to resculpt the monstrosity that was Disco Lando with his pimpin’ bell-bottom pants and chiseled physique. Finally in the POTJ line they did resculpt him, but in classic Hasbro fashion they made sure to make a figure you couldn’t pose in the slightest beyond the sculpting running pose Hasbro decided you were going to get. That sucked for people really hoping for a decent Lando figure. He had a nice cape though, that’s cool.
Flash forward to the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection and Lando gets a spot amongst the Empire Strikes Back wave. Obviously Hasbro could improve on the last attempt, and boy did they! They even managed to show that the POTJ figure’s cape was pretty lame, and that they can deliver us a pretty ultimate Lando Calrissian, and with that the peasants did much rejoicing.
So where’s Lando rate for a $10 VOTC figure though? Well he’s not the best the line offered but I was pretty well pleased short of a few gripes here and there… Little stuff always crops up with every figure though. So read up on him and see what’s up as I have all the details you’d want to know.
-Sculpt: I’m a big fan of the likeness of this figure, but the sculpt overall offers a lot to like really, and this figure really is pretty definitive for this figure in this outfit. Likeness fans aren’t raving that this is the best Billy Dee Williams likeness in history but at the same time they’re not really complaining either that I’ve read. I think the OTC Lando Skiff Guard will go down as superior, but not by enough of a margin that people dislike VOTC Lando by any means.
Calrissian’s costume is beautifully sculpted and embodies the quality the VOTC line promised to deliver. The billowy sculpt of the shirt really improved upon the precedent that the POTJ Lando figure had set, and showed that a little more depth can be added by just a slightly sharper effort on the part of the sculptor. There are plenty of folds, wrinkles, and “poofiness” to make the outfit look very realistic. It’s a smoother sculpt too giving the effect of a “fine” material like silk or some such. In contrast there’s a vertical texturing sculpted into Calrissians bell-bottomed pants that’s very light, but is noticeable, and implies a heavier type of fabric than the shirt.
Little details sculpted into the costume are appreciated as well, like the cuffs on the shirt standing out as having some depth, as well as the shirt’s open collar which is actually a separately sculpted piece that is glued to the torso and helps to hold the cape down on the figure somewhat. This is a blessing and a curse though depending on if you want a removable cape with the figure (I did unfortunately). And of course there’s other little details in the sculpt like how the flared out pant legs cover the ankle articulation perfectly, the ornate decoration sculpted into the figure’s belt, and the attention to detail paid to Lando’s fancy space footwear, which have a higher heel than other character’s shoes and such. It’s a costume with style, and the Hasbro sculptors seemingly caught all the details well.
The likeness, as I said, is pretty good, and for some reason Hasbro has done a fair job at capturing Billy Dee Williams in plastic, so it’s good that they didn’t drop the ball here. The hair has lots of texture and detail sculpted into it and the face looks pretty spot-on to me, so I’m happy here. Lando Skiff is perhaps better, but I’m totally happy with this figure anyway.
-Articulation: Articulation is what makes an action figure, and when your action figure costs $10 minimum you’d better be getting one poseable figure! Hasbro’s VOTC line is delivering a lot of definitive figures for articulation, and while Lando’s not perfect he’s far from the worst this line offers. He’s actually close to the best, just shy of Han Solo due to the style of articulation at his elbows. Still, despite this minor flaw I’m pretty happy with how Lando turned out as his arm articulation still offers a lot of good neutral and action poses.
VOTC Lando Calrissian has articulation at:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 2 ankle-cut elbow joints
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 standard hip joints
- 2 ball/socket knee joints
- 2 ball/socket ankle joints
- 1 ball/socket neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint
That’s a total of 14 points of articulation, and as noted the elbow joints are the only real thing holding this figure back from super articulation. Well, that and the ball/socket torso but I figure that’s just gravy when you get it with any figure, so we’ll just cite the elbow joints as slightly disappointing.
Still though, this Lando is about as definitive as it gets. The irony is that Lando didn’t do a whole lot of action with his cape on. He took it off for the escape, so technically that’s the really super poseable figure you want, or for this figure to just have a removable cape in the first place. I have him mostly standing with Vader and Boba Fett as he’s currently displayed in my collection but I like knowing I have him to throw in any diorama I want in most any pose I want… Hasbro won me with this figure’s articulation and I’m glad we have probably as good a Lando as we’ll ever need. Yay.
-Paint Aps/Deco: While not terribly complex or varied in color, the VOTC Lando figure really has nice paint applications where he required them. Little things like his eyes, hair, and mustache make the nice headsculpt stand out as even better. The eyes feature the 3-layer paint application that’s a Hasbro standard, and make them pop out as extra realistic. It’s also neat to note how they gloss the eye just a bit so it appears “moist” like a real eyeball. Yeah, this is a little detail, but it’s the kind of thing I think people forget when they’re looking at their toy. That’s cool detail and Hasbro tends to catch that kind of stuff routinely throughout the line.
Little costume paint applications are rare on this outfit… I mean, Lando basically just wears a blue shirt, dark blue pants and black shoes. That said, Lando has black cuffs and collar on his shirt that “shine” with a gloss coat, and Lando’s belt is also gloss black. The way they’re painted makes them pop out on the rest of the costume as the kind of flashy look Calrissian was used to sporting. It’s very little paint aps for Hasbro to do, but they look good, and my sample has even paint with no random paint straying onto the figure where it doesn’t belong. Quality work all around once more.
-Beautiful Soft Goods Cape: Hasbro cranks out a real mix of quality when they get into using cloth or “Softgoods” accessories/features on any Star Wars figure. One year you get Obi-Wan Pilot with a cloak so bulky and thick that there’s no way it can be made look natural on the figure in this scale. The next year you get almost a whole line of secondary Jedi characters with gorgeous softgoods skirts that so clearly match the costumes they just blend seamlessly. Hasbro’s just not consistent with cloth features and quality.
The VOTC line has suffered the same fate really, as the Obi-Wan Kenobi figure had pretty weak efforts with cloth gear, and then you come to Lando Calrissian and his elaborate pimp cape is just simply stunning in the level of detail it features. From the shiney blue outer material to the intricate paisley pattern on the lining, the cape is just a great feature on this already cool figure.
The interior lining is what really catches your eye though as I’m sure some will not be happy with the weighty feeling of the cape, and its thicker feel. The lining is worth it though, as there’s intricate gold and blue paisley designs that match the 3.75” figure’s scale just beautifully. I’m the first to admit plastic generally looks more realistic in this scale, but the way this cape turned out is really nice and I’m glad Hasbro went with another softgoods cape, improving on the POTJ figure’s cape, instead of trying a sculpted one. I think it’s perfect and really enhances the value of the toy.
-Packaging: The packaging on the VOTC figures is probably the most ornate and eye-catching package for a Star Wars figure to-date. While the basic OTC line that shipped alongside the VOTC figures was nice, the VOTC definitely drew your attention as being something special.
A downside to the dazzling packaging was the cost, which like other features I’ll touch on that shortly in the “Cons” portion, however it was a cost a lot of people were willing to bite for “ultimate” versions of various figures.
The packaging is a recreation of the original vintage Kenner action figure cardbacks from the 1970’s and 1980’s. If you were like me, and can recall these figures adorning your local toy store (Ah, Children’s Palace… The days when a trip to the toy store meant something), then you no doubt have a feeling of nostalgia, just as Hasbro intended. The old style cardbacks are nice to see on the pegs, and they really do catch the eye like no modern packaging has been able to.
While Hasbro went to great lengths to recreate the front of the packaging, the back of the packaging was a modern style displaying 3 other figures from a specific wave. The waves were broken down into a Star Wars wave with the original Star Wars style card, an Empire Strikes back wave styled accordingly, and then a Return of the Jedi wave.
Hasbro’s work to recreate the cardbacks was nicely done, and appreciated. This has so far been the only packaging I’ve wanted to save really. And Hasbro made saving the packaging easy if you were careful in getting the figure off the bubble, as they included a reseal-able protective clamshell over the figure’s card/bubble. Just perfect for keeping everything minty fresh, aside from that X-Acto knife slice along the bubble to get the figure out.
The end result is some nicely displayed toy on the pegs. A full set of the 12 VOTC cardbacks looks really nice displayed amongst your figure collection.
-Accessories: A gripe with the VOTC line overall, at least for me, has been that not a lot of figures have come with a lot of stuff. Sure they’re articulated, and there’s pretty liberal use of the more expensive fabric in the figure’s design, but for the price of two basic figures it would have sort of been nice had most of these figures come with a 2nd blaster, or a random “extra” piece.
Lando, like a number of others, comes with one lone blaster. In this case an Imperial Stormtrooper Blaster which is accurate to the figure for his escape sequence, but at the same time I think Hasbro could have snuck a comlink accessory or some such in with Lando just to add value. The other option though, would have been making the cape removable and truly an accessory instead of something designed INTO the figure. This really would have been enough to have satisfied me on the accessory issue; however that’s just not how it turned out.
-Slightly Short Sculpt: I’m a bit of a scale nitpicker with anything Star Wars. I pick apart the scale of Star Wars ships relentlessly, and needless to say Hasbro disappoints me a lot when it comes to vehicles in this line, but figures too have their flaws. Hasbro’s done fairly well about making sure their line has a fairly uniform scale. It’s got its ups and downs though, and it seems to depend on who’s sculpting what figure at what point, but you would think the sculptors would compare figures they’re working on with older sculpts to keep things in balance.
VOTC Lando fell prey to a slight height issue though… He appears a bit “vertically challenged” as they say, though not terribly so. It’s just enough that Lando’s height is noticeably short when he’s next to an average or tall character. Namely, Lando appears short next to Han Solo who really seems like the ideal average height for a figure in this scale.
It’s really a minor gripe of mine about this figure though. I’m not put off by this figure’s shortcomings by any means though, as it really isn’t terribly noticeable. It’s more a nuisance to my obsessive eyes that catch something that’s off-scale without even measuring it half the time. Lando’s pretty high quality in every other aspect though, so the slight height variance isn’t bugging me enough to have this sway my opinion.
-Non-Removable Cape: So with the last issue covered, that brings me to the cape in particular. I’m very disappointed the cape isn’t removable and a truly separate accessory with the figure, as Lando really didn’t run around with the cape on all the time. This is probably my biggest complaint with the figure overall actually, as it really limits the figure’s versatility as being the “ultimate” Lando in this outfit. Sure you can buy a 2nd Lando and hack the cape off, but is that what you really want to do for $10?
Being a cloth cape I think Hasbro could have designed the figure to have the removable cape though, and while it maybe won’t affect others as much as it did me, it’s bothersome since it’s such a little extra effort to make the removable cape a reality but I guess they just didn’t consider that over at Hasbro when creating VOTC Lando.
-Retail Cost: Without a doubt, and probably the worst aspect of the VOTC line, is the cost that came with each figure. Some have been lucky to have bought their VOTC sets on clearance, however most people paid the retail price which came to approximately $10 per figure or so. Not the cheapest price to pay for a single figure.
The cost of the figure can be blamed on a number of reasons. The VOTC line was touted for its “limited” nature, for instance, driving up costs due to lower production runs. The packaging was ornate, recreated by hand, and it required a lot of extra work for it to be done appropriately. The coffin blisters on the packaging even, to recreate the vintage look, were also “special” and added very slightly to the packaging costs. The special protective case surrounding the figure also would’ve been a noticeable increase in overall costs in producing these figures also. And that’s really only starting on where increases in costs could be hiding with the VOTC figures over basic modern figures.
I personally feel the VOTC figures are not any more intricate or complex in their design than a basic figure is, as far as costs go. If you put VOTC on basic cardbacks, and at basic production numbers, you’d see a figure that would sell profitably at a basic figure’s price. But with the packaging, you have something that, unless it becomes the line’s standard, it definitely inflates the production costs of the figures.
The cost seemed to noticeably hurt the VOTC line as well, as it also has hurt the Ultra/Deluxe lines over the years. $10 is a lot to pay for a figure, and it showed at stores that ordered the VOTC line heavily like Wal-Mart who couldn’t move the later waves out quickly. I love the VOTC concept though, and think that either a better price or case ratios would have alleviated all issues with product movement.
So there we have it, the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection Lando Calrissian is in the books and my opinion is pretty good. The figure’s accurate in most every way, at least for when the character wears his cape. The height thing didn’t bug me much, nor did the lack of accessories for the figure. Sure I’d like a removable cape but at the same time if I want it bad enough I’ll customize it I think.
The poseability on the figure is pretty nice, and I love that. The sculpt and paint look great. This Lando is really the definitive version of this character, or at least as definitive as we’re likely to see in this costume. Hat’s off to Hasbro for a winner in the second wave of VOTC figures, and the first major hit since Han from the A New Hope wave as far as I’m concerned. The way Lando turned out I can’t help but suggest that buying one or two for your dioramas or displays is well worth it. At least one anyway, but seriously I think two is warranted. A great pose I just put mine in is kissing OTC Bespin Leia’s hand with Han and Chewbacca looking on hopelessly… This guy’s even charming as an action figure people!
So go out and buy him, you’ll be happy you did folks. Last I looked there was an army of him at Toys R Us for you to pick up too, so finding him shouldn’t be a big problem either, and clearing out pegwarmers helps everyone.