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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Luke Skywalker - Star Wars A New Hope
Sideshow Exclusive Sixth Scale Action Figure

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-01-03
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

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Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Introduction

Hot Toys has been doing the OT up right, giving us some exceptional figures for critical characters - Obi-Wan, Vader, Han, Chewbacca - right out of the gate.  Last week I checked out the Toy Fairs exclusive version of Luke in his Stormtrooper Disguise, and I'm following it up this week with a look at the regular ANH version, albeit the Sideshow exclusive that includes a couple extra accessories.

This figure is shipping from a number of retailers right now, and the exclusive through Sideshow will run you around $230. You can shave a few bucks off by skipping the exclusive and going for the regular release, which can be had for $215 - $220, depending on the seller.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
It's the same dull shoe box design we've seen for the license from Hot Toys, a step down from the Sideshow fifth panel boxes. While Disney has some say in this, all you need to do is look at other Star Wars packaging - like the 6" Black series from Hasbro - to see that companies do have some latitude to get creative within the confines set forth by the mouse.

It is collector friendly though, just as you'd expect, and it does have the double plastic trays to hold the myriad of extras covered by an artwork insert. This version is the exclusive with the extra accessories, so it also sports the Sideshow Exclusive sticker on the front.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
If you think you've seen this head sculpt before, you'd be right.  I just reviewed the Stormtrooper Disguise Luke, who uses the same head. Whether this one is a re-use of that one or vice-versa depends on which you received first, as they are both shipping at about the same time.

It's no surprise that he gets the full four stars this time around as well. I'm still not completely sold on the eyes, but the nose, lips, and facial structure are an excellent match to the character and actor from the first film.

The detailing in the strands of hair remains amazing, and it's in the hair that there is one change - this time, it's swappable. He comes with the normal hair sculpt, complete with feathered sides, but there is also a second 'hat head' version. Each of these are held in place with magnets, and both sport the same amazing detail.

While the accuracy and realism categories are home runs, those eyes do give him a little bit of a stoned look, not quite mannequin but not quite alive either. Just a little more of an expression, just a bit more tenseness in the muscles, and it would be a perfect hit in the life-like category as well. Even with this minor nit, it's still the best Luke head sculpt we've ever seen, and for that he deserves full marks.

Luke is a slightly shorter character on screen, and this smaller body matches that with an 11 1/2" height.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is excellent once again, particularly in the bronze-like highlights of the hair and the perfect sun damaged skin tone.  The lips and eyebrows are also extremely well done, but those eyes still bug me, with more bleed and redness than I think looks appropriate.

Something worth noting is that the slightly freckled skin tone continues down onto the solid neck. The neck and upper torso is usually covered in a soft, rubbery skin to hide the lower ball joint, but not this time. Instead it's a solid, sculpted piece with no lower articulation, and they've continued the skin coloration to create a more consistent look. That's a plus for the Paint category, but he'll take a hit in the Articulation section.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying thin TrueType matches up with the character's size and physique from ANH pretty well, and has a ton of useful articulation. The boots are done in two pieces, allowing the terrific ankle articulation to be fully available, and all the joints are tight and solid. Swapping hands was easy, and the outfit restricted nothing.

However, there is that neck issue I mentioned in the earlier category. While the upper ball joint does allow for some great tilt and lean action in the head, losing the lower neck joint, even one that is covered, creates a slightly stiffer appearance in most poses. I'm not sure why they've gone this way rather than the skin covering - cost savings perhaps - but I'm not a fan.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Accessories - ****
Here's one area where I can't complain, even if there is a ton of re-use between this figure and the Stormtrooper Disguise version.

There are eight hands in total - five right and three left.  There is a set of fists, a set of gripping hands, a set of relaxed grip hands, and the additional gun grip right and splayed pose right. There's a couple extra wrist pegs as well, just in case.

The regular Luke also includes several key items from his time on the farm: the droid caller (which can attach to his belt in a couple different places), the binoculars (which includes two different cap pieces, one open, one closed), his long rifle, a pancho, a hat, and his goggles.

The pancho includes a wire around the entire rectangular edge to assist in posing. The instructions recommend removing the head, but all you need to remove is the puffy hair to put the clothing in place.  You'll need to do that anyway to slip on the hat hair, which with its flattened sides allows the Gilligan hat to fit.

With the hat and hair on, you can slip the goggles over the forehead. Unfortunately, this does not work particularly well. The goggles are a little too big, and the elastic a little too tight, causing them to pop off easily. Even when you get them to stay in place, they don't look quite as perfect as I'd like.

I've already mentioned the second hair piece a couple times, and you also need to have it on him to use the training droid and training helmet. The helmet slips over the flatter hair, but it's a tight fit.  The small droid can be suspended on a clear plastic rod attached to a small black base. This base can sit on its own, or it can snap into place on the grate of the larger display base.

Luke has the same cool light up feature that we saw with Obi-Wan, with the working saber permanently attached to a second forearm.  I'll discuss this more in the Light Up Feature section, but it is easy enough to swap arms, and the single blade can be used in either this or the stand alone hilt that he comes with. The separate hilt can also be worn on his belt.

The last item with the regular release is the aforementioned grate style display base, which can be used with the other characters to form a larger grate floor.

The exclusive adds in the Stormtrooper belt and blaster, as well as the small communicator and grappling hook. Both of these latter items attach to the trooper belt. You'll remember that we saw this exact grappling hook and launcher with the Stormtrooper Disguise version of Luke, but there's a critical difference - this time the 'rope' does NOT extend out and back into the device. The small wheel is still on the bottom, but does not turn.  You can take the hook out of the holder and fold out the prongs, but the string does not extend or retract.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Light Feature - ****
Like Obi-Wan, Luke includes a second lower right arm, hand and lightsaber hilt that are all one piece. The small batteries come already installed (you pull the plastic tab to activate), and the switch is hidden on the inside of the forearm. The light is quite bright, and does a fantastic job of lighting up the entire length of the plastic blade even in room lighting. The arms swap easily enough, although I am a little worried that regularly exchanging them could wear the posts down, making them loose over time.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Outfit - ****
The outfit isn't super complicated - a wrap around shirt, belt, pants and boots. But the tailoring is excellent, and everything looks great but remains easy to work with.

The shirt is tacked at the top and bottom edge of the front flap to keep it in place, and this is actually preferable to snaps or Velcro. It keeps the fit tight and thin, with no bulge from another fastener.

The belt has a number of bags and pouches permanently attached, with a couple spots to hang other items. The belt is made from a thick, sturdy material, and the hangers are held in place with metal rivets.

The pants are stuffed into the plastic sculpted leg wrappings, which are separate from the foot. While the sculpt and paint make these 'boots' look like one piece, the two piece construction allows the ankles full range of movement.

While this is a simple costume, it's extremely well executed.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
With plenty of posability and a TON of accessories, you should have hours of enjoyment finding just the right look for your display, and then changing it all up again. There's very little here to break or damage through normal handling, and the iconic look is critical for every collection.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Value - **1/2
The exclusive will run you $230 from Sideshow, same as the regular release at full retail. However, if you can skip the blaster, Trooper belt, hook and communicator that come with the exclusive, you can get the regular for $15 or so cheaper.

If you already have the Trooper Disguise version, the need for the exclusive drops off considerably.  You can save a few bucks and buy the regular version, since all the extras are also included with the Toy Fairs exclusive.

And while I'm not jumping up and down with joy over paying $230 for a figure, I have to admit that with this many useful additional items you're getting what you're paying for.

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not much with the regular release, but if you picked up this exclusive, pay attention to that tiny communicator. With the earlier release it came as a separate item in the tray, but this time it's already in place in the metal clamp on the belt. It would be quite easy to overlook and lose.

Overall - ****
I didn't quite go the full four stars for the Trooper Disguise release, but with a look as iconic as this one, it was a slam dunk.  The excellent head sculpt tops off a well executed simple outfit, and they added in a metric ton of useful, sensible accessories.  Throw in an easy to use, great looking light feature, and you have a winner on almost every front.

My new Vader is sitting here - and yes, I'll get around to his review soon as well - leaving only Leia to complete my New Hope set. I have my fingers crossed that she'll be a 2016 contender for best female figure of the year.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Light Feature - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Star Wars New Hope Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure by hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow is the place to pick up the exclusive for $230.

- has the regular at a low $215.

- has the regular release at just $219.

- has the regular at $230.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Just last week I checked out the other Hot Toys Luke in his Stormtrooper Disguise. Before that we had Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han and Chewbacca from the Original Trilogy. If you'd like a bit more of a regular Stormtrooper, they've done him as well, along with a Blackhole version. Sidseshow has helped out this year as well, with their Hoth Han, Hoth Luke, Tauntaun, Speederbike, and Scout Trooper.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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