Star Wars Action Figures Review: SSC Luke Skywalker (Regular Edition) 

By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)



Well, folks, here it is…the inaugural piece of Sideshow Collectibles’ new Star Wars 1/6 Scale figure line: Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight).



After 11 years in this hobby, I’ve come to the conclusion that whenever a new line begins, regardless of whether it is an action figure line or a die-cast miniature vehicle line, the first waves or releases are typically the weakest links in the line.  The company is still getting their feet wet with the products, and it shows.  Look at the earliest Power of the Force 2 action figures (“He-Man” Luke and Vader) and then look at the last waves (Admiral Motti, Commtech Stormtrooper, etc.).  There is a clear, positive evolution in the overall quality.  The recent Saga Collection demonstrates even more improvement in the quality of the basic action figure line.



Now, what does this have to do with Sideshow Collectibles and the new 1/6 scale line?  Simple.  If Luke ends up being the weakest link, then we are going to have our minds absolutely, totally blown away by the time Qui-Gon Jinn arrives on our doorsteps!



Quite simply, this is the definitive 1/6 scale Luke Skywalker figure, the best ever produced.



 Packaging:  5 out of 5  



Since this is my first Sideshow purchase, I have no way of comparing Sideshow’s unique Star Wars packaging design to those of 12 inch figures past.  Therefore, I will critique this upon its own merits.



I’ll address the negatives first because there is only one.  I am disappointed that the accessory tray does not include slots for the hands that are already attached to the figure.  While at first glance it doesn’t appear to be an issue, the fact is that there is no place to neatly store the original hands when you swap them out.  For example, I detached the Force gesture hand that is attached to the figure in the factory and put the saber grip hand on Luke.  There is nowhere to put that Force gesture hand.  Sideshow didn’t include a space for it, so it’s rattling around the place where the vest was packaged.



Now, the positives:



1)  The magnetic “clasp” is a remarkable concept.  Unless you feel around and reflect light off the glossy finish of the box, you can’t see where the magnets are concealed.  They hold the box together very well, and the only possible flaw would be if they ever wore out from being opened and closed.



2)  The removable trays are very user-friendly and accommodating for collectors who want to keep the figure boxed but also want to play with it from time to time.  The only way to tell if the figure has truly been removed is the absence of tape on the tray.  Other than that, you can keep it looking factory fresh very easily.



Sculpt:  4.5 out of 5 



Without a doubt, this figure looks like a miniaturized version of Mark Hamill circa ROTJ.  Think Honey, I Shrunk the Kids in a plastic medium.  The face is accurate and detailed down to the notch in the chin and the few flesh-colored moles on the face.  The hair sculpt is very accurate as well, and each of the human hands are exceptional as well with particular attention paid to the figure nails and bone structure.



The only flaw in the facial sculpt is the choice of expression.  While it is a faithful interpretation of Luke’s expression in the Death Star when his thoughts betray Leia’s identity, it is much too scene-specific for a figure that is meant to represent the character as a whole entity.  As a result, the figure doesn’t look quite right when posed in an action pose because the face looks dazed and confused



It’s a catch-22.  Sculptor Mat Falls did such an excellent job that it ended up hurting the final product because it was TOO GOOD.



Lastly, the arms on this body are slightly too long, and it is noticeable if posed with the arms straight at the sides.  Once the arms are bent at the elbows and posed, it becomes virtually unnoticeable.








 Paint Application:  5 out of 5 



This is the figure’s strongest aspect because it is in the paint application that this figure comes alive.  It augments the already impressive sculpt by providing the figure with naturalistic and accurate skin and hair tones.  It brings the hands to life (so to speak).  Lastly, it brings such a depth and realism to the eyes that you feel as though it is staring straight into you.  In my experience, only Gentle Giant’s Count Dooku bust has matched the realism of a character’s eyes.  Definitely a top-notch job here.







Costuming:  4 out of 5 



The greatest flaw with the costuming is that the jumpsuit is too fitted to the body.  Therefore, the articulation is hampered as in the above mentioned overhead saber grip pose.  The best way to describe it is to imagine wearing a suit jacket or blouse that’s a size too small and then imagine trying to fully extend your arms.  Difficult, isn’t it?  That’s the biggest problem for this figure.  There’s not enough give to the clothing.  However, it’s likely that this won’t be an issue with the later Jedi figures because their clothes are loose-fitting.



The only other negative aspect (and this is something even the Premium Format Obi-Wan figure suffers from) is the lack of hemming on the cloak.  The bottom of the cloak is not hemmed and therefore has frayed strands.  While it’s not too intrusive, the question is whether or not the fraying will permanently and extensively damage the cloak a year or two down the road.  Pictures of the upcoming Jedi show that their cloaks have this same problem as well.



With those two negatives out of the way, the detailing of the costume is very impressive.  The cloak hood and jumpsuit flap both have a thin wire inside them that allows poseability.  You can shape the hood, and you can keep the jumpsuit flap open without the need for clasps or Velcro.  The belt is well made too.



Finally, the texture is sufficiently varied.  Each piece is clearly made from a different fabric or material, and it adds a further realism to the figure’s appearance.






Articulation:  4.5 out of 5



Much has been made of how Sideshow’s articulation stacks up against that of the Medicom Luke Skywalker.  I won’t be addressing that simply because I’ve never handled the Medicom version and wouldn’t know what to say.  Therefore, like the packaging, I’ll judge it on its own merits and what my expectations would be for its articulation.




Simply put, the articulation is impressive, and the figure can be put into a variety of different poses.  It maintains its balance more than I expected without resorting to the use of the included display stand.  There is a slight issue with the hands popping off easily when you’re posing them, but it’s not unbearable.  You just need to have care and patience…not too much to ask for considering this is a $50 collectible.




However, some poses are more difficult than others.  For example, posing him with a double-handed saber grip over his head (a la Luke’s final strike against Darth Vader) is extremely difficult to get into position.  However, this may have less to do with the articulation and more to do with the costuming, which I’ll discuss now.





Accessories:  4.5 out of 5 



Again, the negatives first.  The D-ring on the lightsaber hilts are made of an extremely thin and therefore fragile metal wire.  Several collectors (myself included) have already reported the D-rings falling off or bending significantly.  Also, the placement of the ring is such that the saber doesn’t rest against the figure’s leg…it juts outward on an angle.



That aside, the accessories are superb.  The detail and weathering on the lightsaber hilts are very realistic, almost to the point of looking like super-miniaturized versions of the MR scaled lightsaber.  The blade is sculpted to more closely resemble a spear-like shape.  Essentially, it looks more like a sword blade than a rounded off dowel rod.



The Rancor Pit bone has such intricate paint detail and weathering that it looks like a real bone, and the hands are done just as well.



Here’s what you get with the Regular Edition of Luke Skywalker aside from the hooded cloak:










“Fun Factor”:  5 out of 5 



I’ll admit it.  I’m 24 years old, and I couldn’t stop grinning for days whenever I’d swap out accessories or pose the figure into different scenes from Return of the Jedi.  I can’t think of the last time I had so much fun playing with a Star Wars collectible.  That right there says it all in terms of its “fun factor”.








 Overall Rating:  4.6 out of 5 



In every aspect, one word can best describe this figure: “realism”.  Everything from the clothing to the articulation to the accessories screams realism.  Despite any of its flaws, the bottom line is that you practically have Luke Skywalker himself on your shelf or in your display case.  This is what truly separates Sideshow from Hasbro, and that is the reason why this 1/6 scale line is truly worth your time, patience, and money.



I, for one, am glad that I decided to jump on this bandwagon from the very beginning, and I don’t regret giving up the vast majority of Hasbro’s offering to focus in on this line.



I guess the best way to compliment this figure and end this review is to simply say this:



Anakin Skywalker cannot arrive at my doorstep soon enough.  It’s only going to get better from here !!