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Review of Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise
Star Wars Exclusive Sixth Scale Action Figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

I finally - yes, waiting two days seems like a 'finally' - got to see The Force Awakens last night in all its glorious IMAX 3D goodness. No spoilers of course, but I truly enjoyed it, and while there is much that seems like a remake of Episode IV, it has enough to give it a flavor all its own as well. The new characters are wonderful, and the acting blows away anything we've seen in a Star Wars flick before...seriously.

Since I'm in such a Star Wars kind of mood, I thought it appropriate to do ANOTHER sixth scale Original Trilogy figure review tonight. I know, I know - I just looked at a Trooper on Thursday night, and here I am almost repeating myself. Hey, maybe Abrams is rubbing off on me a little...I kid, I kid!

This time it's the iconic Luke Skywalker in his Stormtrooper disguise. This is another Hot Toys release, and was one of their 2015 'Toy Fair' exclusives. What that means is he was available internationally at a number of toy shows that Hot Toys attends, and U.S. customers were able to order him through Sideshow.

He's just started shipping over the last couple weeks in America, and he'll run you around $230.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
Same old same old, particularly for Hot Toys. Rather than go with something unusual or unique, their Star Wars line comes in standard shoe box style packages with a single interior plastic tray to hold the figure and accessories. There is a cardboard slip cover inside with some nice artwork, but otherwise this is about as basic as you can get.

Its all collector friendly though, and it's pretty amazing that they were able to find space in a single tray for all the accessories. You will have some plastic wrap on the armor itself that you'll probably toss after you remove it, but the overall presentation still qualifies as collector friendly to me.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
Yep, it's official - this is the best Mark Hamill/Luke Skywalker we've gotten. Here's a screen shot of him in his Stormtrooper gear, and here's another for comparison.

I'm still not completely sold on the eyes, but considering how difficult it has been to get even this close to his look, I'm going to give them a pass.  The shape of the face and jawline, the nose, the hairstyle - they nailed 90% of the overall portrait.

Of course, that's just the accuracy, but you know they have the realism down as well.  I love the hair, and the level of detail in the stranding, not to mention the work on the feathering on the sides, is really impressive. The skin texture is excellent as well, with just enough here to make him look real, but not old.

Even the life-like, emotive nature of the expression is solid. There's a slight squint to the eyes, giving him a resolved look, while the lips are slightly parted. There's also a slight tenseness to the appearance of the musculature under the skin, particularly around the eyes. This avoids that slack look that a mannequin has, and elevates the overall impression of the work.

Since all his hands are gloved, he avoids the over sized oven mitts syndrome of most Hot Toys figures, and the work on the armor is just as good as we've seen with their previous Trooper releases. In fact, I'd argue the final appearance here is better, with less gaping between the pieces, particularly at the thighs.

As you'd assume, Luke is a little short for a Stormtrooper, and they've wisely matched that look here. He comes in at 11 1/2 inches tall, just a little below the average.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***
I waffled around a bit in this category, because I think there's some very, very good aspects of the paint application...and a couple that are surprisingly not so good.

Let's start with the good. Again, the work on the hair is excellent, with a slight shine to it and subtle variation.  It makes the sculpt pop, and adds to the realism of the portrait.

Likewise, the coloration of the skin is near perfect, with some very subtle freckling and sun damage. Hot Toys has skin tone down to a science at this point.

But what could be bad?  The most obvious problem right out of the box and in hand is the dark lips.  No need for a macro photo to show the lipstick look, and in fact, photos tend to highlight it less than in hand. It's pretty glaring, and was out of character for a figure from Hot Toys.

The other issue is with the slightly shiny skin. Again, right out of the box I was surprised at the glossy effect on his face. It's nothing extreme mind you, but it is shinier than we've seen with most Hot Toys figures.  I'm not sure if they were trying for a sweaty look and just missed the mark, or if it was a miscalculation on the final finish, but combined with the dark lips, it caused them to lose a star in this category.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
Underneath the armor is another terrific TrueType, one of the best base bodies on the market. The joints are tight and smooth, very easy to work with and very easy to get into flowing, natural poses.

Of course, the armor can be somewhat restrictive, but not as much as you might expect, even on this shorter body.

While the head and neck are separate pieces, they've done a nice job hiding any seam. This also means you get a terrific range of movement out of the ball joint, allowing you to add lots of personality to any pose.

The ankles are also a highlight, and he can keep both feet flat on the ground in deep stances. The hands can be a bit tough to swap - the harder rubber is the cause - but I didn't have any problems with post breakage.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ****
While I'm not thrilled with the current price point for most Hot Toys figures, at least we're getting some serious extras with these Trooper variations.

First, there's the hands. There are four sets in total, including the relaxed grip pair he comes wearing. There's also a set of fists, a set of blaster grips, and a set with a splayed left and gripping right. This final right is perfect to use with the small communicator, or with a lightsaber, should you wish to add one in.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

There is no saber with this figure - wouldn't make screen sense - but there is a classic blaster with the folding stock. We've seen this weapon before, and will see it many, many more times in the future, but that makes getting the sculpt and paint right all the more important. It looks terrific, and the folding stock works cleanly without fear of breakage.

I mentioned the tiny communicator which snaps into a metal clamp on his belt, but there is also the thermal detonator that slips onto the belt in back via two metal hangers.  And just in case you need to haul Chewie to the brig, he has a set of the brass colored cuffs, which will fit great on the Wookie.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

One of the coolest extras here is the small grappling hook that attaches to his belt the same way as the detonator. The hook slips out of the holder, and the prongs can open up.  It is attached to the base via a long string. What makes this particularly neat is that the string can be retracted into the base by turning a small dial on the bottom. They really went all out with this item, and I appreciate the attention to detail.  It is worth nothing that on mine the string wasn't attached to the hook right out of the box, but I simply tied it on.

Tied with the hook as the coolest accessory - and I'm calling it an 'accessory' because he can't really wear it - is the helmet. When I say wear it, I mean he can't put it on over his head. Instead, you pop the head off, pop on a foam covered adapter, and pop the helmet in place.

Why a foam covered adapter?  The other Trooper helmets just snap right to the ball jointed neck...ah, but those helmets aren't filled with realistic detailing and padding! This helmet looks amazing inside and out, and is another surprisingly cool addition.

Let's not forget that there is a display stand, which has a removable name plate and can be used in conjunction with the other similar grate style bases.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit consists of the armor of course, which is a re-use from the other Troopers.  If you've seen one, you've seen them all, but the high quality work and clean, white finish are exceptional.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the fit is actually better here too, especially around the hips. There's less of a gap, and less of the underlying black body suit shows.  This body suit is made from the stretchy cloth material, and doesn't adversely affect the articulation.

I put the helmet in with the Accessories, so that leaves just the belt.  It looks great, and includes a very nice blaster holster. The blaster fits snugly but cleanly inside, and you'll have no trouble putting the strap in place. A magnet will keep it there as well, and working with the holster was frustration free.

The metal clip for the communicator works well, holding it tightly. That might mean being careful when removing or inserting it to avoid scraping, it also means that it won't fall off and get lost while handling the figure.

The belt closes cleanly in back with Velcro, and you can cover this with the detonator, making for a pretty seamless appearance.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
You'll have plenty of fun posing and re-posing this guy, particularly when we finally get the inevitable Han.  In fact, this might be a good time to snag a second Chewbacca before the price goes insane, in preparation for putting the trio on display together.

Value - **1/2
I hate to say that $230 is an average value, but considering the exclusivity of the figure AND the nice assortment of well made accessories, you're actually getting what you're paying for this time around. Regular readers know that a score of **1/2 here means the price will have no effect - positive or negative - on my final rating.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. If you do put the helmet in place - as in the photo near the end - be sure to take some care. Even with the soft foam neck piece you could cause rubs and damage to the interior of the helmet, and it's just too damn cool to do that.

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
When it comes to the Hot Toys Toy Fair Exclusives, it's a pretty mixed bag. While they are always well done, more often than not they aren't necessary to the collection.  But this time, they've produced an exceptional Luke, and added in some very, very cool accessories that just might make it worth your time to track him down. With the addition of the detailed helmet and the cool grappling hook, they've made him more than just another Trooper.

It's also great to see this head sculpt, since it should translate into an excellent release of their Tatooine Luke, coming soon to a review right here. While I'm all in for the new characters now after seeing Force Awakens, I'm quite happy that Hot Toys doesn't appear to be ignoring the OT. Trying to keep up with both will mean a lot of cash in a short period though, making it hard for most collectors. They are going to be selective in what they pick up, which could mean this guy sells slowly, and might even end up cheaper...at least initially.  If that's the case, you should seriously consider snagging him, since prices could rise drastically on the aftermarket when (and you know they will) they announce the companion Han.

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

Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has this exclusive for $230.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Just last week I looked at Hot Toys Sandtrooper. Hot Toys has also released 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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Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figure by Hot Toys

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

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