I’m patiently awaiting the arrival of new 6-inch Star Wars Black figures, so in the meantime I thought I’d deal with some unfinished business with one of the older Deluxe sets. The Luke and Wampa two-pack has been sitting around here waiting to be opened for months now and with all the pictures of snow lately, it seemed like an appropriate time to take a look! Oh, but don’t expect any pictures of these guys in the snow. I live in Florida and lately my idea of chilly weather is when it plunges into the low 60’s. Brrrr. Seriously, I don’t even own a jacket.
The package is similar to what we saw with the Hoth Deluxe set. It’s a boring black box with a huge window that offers a great look at the toys inside. They were kind of going for a diorama display what with Luke hanging upside down in the box, but it really doesn’t work for me. It’s collector friendly, but I can’t see any reason to keep it so it’s going into the bin. Let’s start with The Wampa!
I’ve owned several of these snow beasts before, including the original Kenner version, The Saga Collection release, and the 30th Anniversary Collection version, but they were all scaled to the 3 3/4-inch range. This guy is obviously a lot bigger and overall he looks pretty good. Every inch of this guy is covered in sculpted fur and I really dig the way the articulation cuts are sculpted in a jagged fashion to accentuate the fur. He’s got huge hands perfect for swatting Jedi off their Tauntauns and big, powerful feet to help stabilize him in various poses. The fur is a mix between white, yellowed, and a little grey. It looks OK, but it isn’t an exceptional paint job, especially not for a figure that’s this big.
The beastly portrait is passable, but again nothing to get excited about. This guy scared the living shit out of 10-year old me when I first saw him in The Empire Strikes Back and I think they did a decent job sculpting his ugly mug here. I do kinda wish they made the mouth an actual hole like with the Kenner version. For some reason that aspect of the toy really creeped me out. I used to try to make him eat the figures’ guns. As with the rest of the figure, the paintwork here doesn’t add a lot. The blood around the chin and teeth is weak and the yellow and gray paint around the eyes and nose doesn’t hold up. The Wampa may impress with his size and heft, and I think this figure could have been something special with a really good paint job, but as it is, it’s pretty average at best.
Another gripe I have against the Wampa is that Hasbro opted to make his right arm removable, which in itself is not a bad idea, but they did it in a way that limits the shoulder articulation in that arm. Instead of a ball joint, you just get a rotation. This is a case of the gimmick not really being worth the sacrifice of articulation, at least not to me. Besides, which, there’s really no reason they couldn’t have made the arm removable and kept the ball joint. Hasbro does it for Marvel Legends Build-A-Figures all the time.
With that having been said, the articulation here is still overall excellent. The other shoulder features a rotating hinge and the same in both elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. There are swivel cuts in the thighs and lateral rockers in the ankles. There are two ball joints in the torso and another in the neck. When you get down to it, the Wampa is capable of doing just about any pose I would want him to do. Alright, enough about this snowy beast, let’s take a look at Luke…
With four versions in the 6-inch Black line, Luke Skywalker has had his ups and downs. I think the X-Wing Luke was fantastic, the Jedi Knight Luke was disappointing, and Bespin Luke fell somewhere in between. This one lands somewhere between Bespin and Jedi Knight. It’s passable in almost every way, but it doesn’t do anything to make it stand out. The outfit is reproduced with the quilted pattern on the vest and knees, the insignia on the chest and shoulder, and some overall nice rumpling and detail. His belt features not only a working holster for his blaster (complete with retaining strap), but also a hook for his lightsaber hilt. Those two features always go a long way in my book. But are we getting anything here that Hasbro hasn’t done at least as well (if not better) in the 3 3/4-inch scale? I don’t think so.
And then there’s the portrait. It’s a shame to say it, but I’ve reached a point where I really temper my expectations from the likenesses on these figures. This one depicts Luke with his face all messed up from The Wampa attack with some blood and bruising. This is a head sculpt that I would have been far more forgiving of if it were on a smaller scale figure. Here, it’s just not that great. And once again, the paint quality just isn’t there either, particularly with respect to the eyes. But, oh look! Softgoods! Sure, it’s just a strip of cloth coming off the helmet, but at least they still work it into the line every once and a while. There are no goggles, but I’ll point out that you can take Hoth Han’s goggles and put them on Luke’s hat.
Articulation here includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, but sadly only swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts at the thighs, double hinges at the knees, and have hinges and lateral rockers at the ankles. There’s a ball joint at the waist and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. I can get some decent poses out of Luke and the joints all feel good and solid. I’ll also point out here that Luke has an extra pair of pegholes on his feet to help him ride the Tauntaun that came with Han.
Luke comes with both is blaster pistol and his lightsaber. The blade can be removed. We’ve seen these accessories before. Unfortunately the lightsaber hilt doesn’t have the same nice silvery paint as the hilts included with X-Wing and Bespin Luke. It’s just flat gray. The blade can still be removed.
It probably sounds like I don’t much care for these figures, but that’s not really the case. It’s a fun set and I don’t think either one is terrible, but at the same time I think these figures illustrate how frustrated I am sometimes with the 6-inch Black line. Neither really show the true potential of the larger scale figures. I’d say the Wampa is mostly let down by the mediocre paintwork and well-intentioned gimmick. Luke, on the other hand, perhaps by the fact that Hasbro has done this figure at least as well in the smaller scale Vintage Collection line. I’m not sorry I picked up this set, it’s a nice companion to the Deluxe Han and Tauntaun, I just wish Hasbro would invest a little more work into this line to make it as great as it could be.