Star Wars Action Figures

Yodasnews Review:  McQuarrie Concept Luke Skywalker (30th Anniversary Collection)

By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)

FIGURE SPECIFICATIONS 

SCULPT – 5 out of 5 

For a character only glimpsed from the back in shadows, Hasbro managed to create a very intricate three-dimensional rendition of Ralph McQuarrie’s conceptual vision of Luke Skywalker.  The face underneath the removable respirator is clearly modeled after Mark Hamill but with the wilder hair of the concept painting, and the expression is one of grim determination and ferocity.  This Luke is clearly ready to charge headlong into battle, a trait better associated with his father.  Like recent Skywalker figures, the face and neck are two different shades of molded plastic.  It can be irritating if you let it, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the portrait. 

The Han-style belt, while permanently secured on the figure, is a separately sculpted piece with a functional holster.  The detail is impressive with several buckles and peripheral devices sculpted directly on the belt.  There is even a clip reminiscent of Han Solo’s droid caller holder.  The function here, however, is to horizontally hold Luke’s lightsaber hilt (yes, the blade is removable…more on that later).  Another nod to Han Solo is the Corellian stripe pattern on the pants.  Clearly, many elements of the conceptual Luke illustrations found life in Han’s costume. 

The backpack with attached respirator is the standout piece of sculpting on this figure.  The pack attached to the figure via a peg, and there is details o’plenty.  First, there are four antennae of various heights and thicknesses protruding from the top.  Then, there are several sculpted details such as screw heads and what appear to be dials.  The respirator mask is connected to the pack via a ridged hose on each side.  The mask echoes many shades of Darth Vader’s eventual helmet design—particularly the triangular mouthpiece with four vertical vents.  The visor, strangely enough, immediately reminded me of the New Gobin’s visor in Spider-Man 3.  The mask fits securely on the figure and is most easily removed by taking the head off the ball joint and peeling the mask off from the bottom of the head. 

Quite a bit of detail crammed into such a small figure, I would say.

 

PAINT APPLICATION – 4.9 out of 5 

This (along with the sculpting) is a difficult category when dealing with concept figures.  With only one or a few paintings as reference, it is hard to determine how accurate Hasbro is to the source material.  Typically, it’s better to give them the benefit of the doubt unless there is some kind of glaring error. 

As such, the application on Luke is practically perfect.  With only very few millimeter-sized smears, the painting is clean and seemingly accurate to the concept sources.  The eyes are only the slightest bit wonky but are more cleanly applied than the vast majority of human Star Wars figures, and the hairline is also well defined.

 

 

ARTICULATION – 4 out of 5 

The biggest disappointment and greatest mystery here is the omission of ball-jointed elbows.  After a terrific track record on the past three humanoid concept figures (Boba Fett, Chewbacca, C-3PO), Hasbro took a gigantic step backward, reverting back to the personally much-maligned swivel cut joint.  And this is one of the worst figures to do this to because lightsaber duel poses greatly benefit from the additional range of motion allowed by ball joints.  Sadly, Hasbro will be revisiting the swivel-cut elbows in several future McQuarrie concept figures, including the next-to-be-released Darth Vader. 

Adding insult to injury, the joints on my sample are loose and result in the forearms popping off easily.  However, this could also be a symptom of the summer heat and humidity.

The rest of the articulation, though, is good.  The shoulder, neck, and waist joints are as good as expected, and the knee articulation works fairly well.  The ankle articulation, however, lacks the range of motion enjoyed by figures such as the recent Darth Vader (TAC Wave 3).  The restrictiveness is slight, but I noticed it when attempting kneeling poses. 

Overall, while still better than some other figures, this is a step in the wrong direction, especially when compared against past concept figures such as Boba Fett and C-3PO.

 

ACCESSORIES – 5 out of 5 

“Well integrated” is the first thing that comes to mind when considering Luke’s accessories.  The jewel in this category is the respirator system, which I described earlier.  Additionally, the blade on Luke’s saber is removable, a rarity nowadays.  While Hasbro really should have reversed the peg (it sticks out of the hilt rather than blade), the saber looks good unignited and snaps securely into place on the horizontal belt clip, looking very natural in that position. 

Speaking of the lightsaber hilt, this is no generic chunk of molded plastic.  One can see the genesis of Obi-Wan’s Episode IV lightsaber in the design, which includes a recessed grip, tapered regions, and several switches and buttons.  The blade resembles the bell bottom shape of Concept Stormtrooper’s lightsaber and is cast in a greenish-yellow translucent plastic.  It’s certainly one of the more unusual blade colors in the Star Wars figure line. 

The blaster pistol is another design that eventually found a slightly redesigned life as Han Solo’s personal sidearm.  The sculpting is very good when considering the scale of the piece.  The best evidence here is the series of small indentations on the silver muzzle, which resemble the dimples on a golf ball.

 

"FUN FACTOR” – 4 out of 5 

The overall design makes this an interesting figure to pose and include in mini-dioramas, but the poor choice of elbow articulation really hinders what you can do with the figure’s saber positions.  Plus, there is a very clear danger of breakage on the pegs if you’re not careful.

However, I’d probably put this closer to a five if I also had the Concept Darth Vader figure to complement Luke.  Either way, this is above average at the very least. 

OVERALL RATING – 4.58 out of 5 

The price tag, as is true with most Hasbro convention exclusives, is certainly unwarranted, but that’s sadly the nature of the beast in Star Wars collecting.  For the casual fan, the price makes this an easy pass. 

But for more serious collectors…

Poor articulation choices aside, the Concept Luke Skywalker figure is a solid addition to the McQuarrie Signature Series and stands out visually amongst its peers.  Ignore how much you’re paying for this (approximately $14.99 plus shipping) and just buy it.