It still seems surreal, but Hasbro has finally shipped the first wave of their 6-inch scale Star Wars figures. 6-inch Star Wars figures? Madness! Nonetheless, they’re here and I was mighty damn anxious to get my hands on the first batch. Well, the first batch minus Darth Maul, a character I care nothing about. The rest of the first wave consisted of R2-D2, an Imperial Sandtrooper, and the fellow we’re looking at today: Luke Skywalker as X-Wing Pilot! I know more than a few collectors questioned having X-Wing Pilot Luke as a flagship figure in the new scale, but I was very excited for this figure. To me, iconic Luke has always been him in his X-Wing gear because when I was a kid, I thought it was so freaking cool that this yokel farmboy was getting to suit up and fly a starfighter. The chief appeal of Star Wars to me has always been the blaster fights and starship dogfighting rather than the hocus-pocus Force crap. It’s only natural that Luke suited up and poised on the ladder of his X-Wing was and always has been my favorite image of him. So, when Hasbro announced the new 6-inch line, well… hell yeah, I wanted this version of the character.
The packaging here is so distinctive that I would never in a million years guess it came out of Hasbro. It is very artsy and very much not a mass-market retail action figure package. It’s not flashy and it’s not designed to draw the eyes of sugared-up kids running through the toy aisles. Nope, this is minimalist presentation at its best, which is admittedly cool, but also kind of misses a few opportunities. For example, I would have liked to see the name of the character printed on the side of the box so I can line them up on the shelf and be able to distinguish who is who. I guess you can do that with the other side facing out, but it’s not quite the same. It’s also interesting that nowhere on the package does it say that this is Luke in his X-Wing gear. It just says Luke Skywalker. We’re sure to get a few versions of the character, so it’s odd to me that distinction isn’t made. Anywho, the box is totally collector friendly, with the figure nested into a plastic tray and the accessories off to the side.
With Luke out of the box, I am immediately impressed with this figure. The quality of the plastic feels great, giving the figure a nice heft for his size. The pilot outfit is lovingly sculpted with all the little rumples and stitching and it’s even textured throughout. The ribbed white vest is sculpted as part of the outfit, on top of that is the console worn over his chest. The additional rigging is cast separately in soft plastic and is loose enough so as not to inhibit the articulation too much. Hasbro went with a glossy black for the gloves and boots, which contrasts nicely with the duller orange matte used for the suit itself. There’s a little bit of overspray evident on the white paint, but nothing too bad. Honestly, we’ve seen this suit executed extremely well by Hasbro in the smaller scale, but I’m happy to say it looks just as impressive when blown up to nearly twice that size.
The head sculpt is where Hasbro often stumbles when it comes to this character, but early photos showed promise and with the figure in hand I’m satisfied with the final result. No, it’s not perfect. I’ll concede it’s a little too soft and maybe the paint apps are a little too simple. I’ve seen better work in the Marvel Legends line, but the likeness to Mark Hammill is certainly there and it is admittedly one of the lines first figures, so I’m hoping things can only go up from here.
Luke’s articulation is superb. You get a ball joint and a hinge in the neck, which grants a wonderful range of motion for the head. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders and hinges and swivels in the elbows and wrists. I thought the lack of bicep swivels would bother me, but the elbow joints make up for the omission quite well. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots, and the ankles have hinges and rockers. There is no waist swivel, but there is a ball joint hidden under the vest. Yup, the articulation has been carefully considered and flawlessly executed on this figure. There are no weak or wobbly joints and no soft or flimsy hinges.
Luke comes with three accessories. You get a lightsaber with a detachable blade, his blaster, and his flight helmet. The helmet is a fantastic piece with great weathering, clear yellow tinted visor, and a soft plastic chin strap. It fits well on the figure’s head. The lightsaber hilt seems really oversized, which is probably the only disappointing thing about this figure for me. It is nice, however, that you can pull out the blade and hook the hilt to his belt. The blaster is just perfect and it fits great in Luke’s right hand.
If you can’t tell, I’m absolutely in love with this figure. It surprised me a lot, as these days I’m only a casual Star Wars collector at best. But the 6-inch Black line may be just the thing to get me back in full guns. It’s a refreshing to start out with a clean slate as opposed to wading through the sea of 3 ¾” figures with so many variants of so many characters. The only really questionable thing here is the price. Luke set me back about $23, which is usually a few dollars over what I’m willing to blow on a 6-inch mass market release figure. Nonetheless, I’m happy with the quality Hasbro delivered and if they keep the releases to a reasonable number, I will likely be coming back for more.