Yoda, Bespin Duel Luke, Bespin Duel Vader 

Seems like folks can't get enough of these Attack of the Clone figures.  Here's three though that aren't really just Attack of the Clones - actually, two of them aren't from Episode 2 at all.  Yoda certainly has a major part in AOTC (some would argue the best part), but Luke and Vader (technically) aren't any where to be seen.

Okay, so the new figures aren't really just AOTC, but are called the Star Wars Saga line. The Bespin Duel Luke and Vader really go together, re-enacting their big battle at the end of ESB.  Yoda is based on the newest version, and has the "are you lookin' at me" expression.  They are showing up in force at Wal-marts and Toys R Us right now, and prices have dropped to $5.99 at many retailers.

Packaging - ***
This newer packaging looks fairly good, and I like the text and bios on the back.  It's not stupendously eye catching artwork, but it's certainly better than average.

Sculpting - ***1/2
All three of these figures have an excellent sculpt job.  Yoda is particularly well done, and matches up with the new film nicely.  Vader is also well done, even with the rather odd action pose.  Luke's sculpt, at least in terms of his face, is the weakest of the three, but they've always had trouble capturing Hamill's look.  He's pretty beat up here, as he should be, and the sculpting on his uniform shows excellent detail.

Paint - ****
I was surprised on how good the paint ops are on these three.  Hasbro is usually decent, but all three of these have a lot of details, and all the paint work looks fantastic.  The bruising on Luke's face is of particular note, along with the wash paint on his uniform.  These are details that Hasbro has been known to screw up in the past, but this time they look great. 

Articulation - Yoda ***1/2, Vader **1/2,  Luke ***1/2
Yoda is always going to have a rough time getting much articulation.  While he may have proved once and for all that size doesn't matter in the film, when you have a little figure like this there's only so many joints you can add.

He has waist, neck, and ball jointed shoulders.  While there aren't as many joints, these all work well and give him quite a bit of poseability.

Vader has neck, shoulders, cut joint forearms, hips and waist.  The waist is actually the action feature - push the button on his back and his torso twists.

Luke has the similar waist articulation, with the twisting action feature (in the opposite direction from Vader!), along with neck, shoulders, cut joint elbows, wrists, hips and knees.  This is one of the best articulated SW figures so far, and it's certainly the best articulated Luke.  The only problem is that the legs are so spread out that even with the knee articulation he ends up looking pretty funny in most standing poses.  He's really designed to hang from the 'weather vane', and that's what he needs the knee articulation for.

Accessories - ****
These three figures are an excellent example of how great the accessories you could get every time.

Yoda has a base to sit on, similar to the films, but this one has an action feature - he can 'levitate'.  He also comes with his required cane, his light saber (with metal hilt), and one of those silly Jedi energy bolts.

Luke comes with the three piece weather vane, which can attach to a smooth surface with the suction cup, his light saber (with metal hilt), blaster and a Bacta tourniquet to be placed on his arm when you remove the hand.

Speaking of Luke's hand, the one I have opened and photographed is the non-blood version, with the metal shaft in the hand.  It seemed to hold well, and I didn't have any trouble with it.  I also included a photo of the 'bloody' version at the bottom.  There's a third version that I haven't seen yet with a plastic peg on the hand rather than the metal peg.

Vader has a section of the set from the final duel to place in the background, along with a removable cape, and light saber with metal hilt.  His set piece actually comes in three pieces, and looks terrific.

The only issue I had with any of these accessories was Luke's blaster - it doesn't fit well at all into his holster.  But other than that, all the accessories are fantastic, and considering that we used to be lucky to get a light saber for $8, this is definitely a major improvement.

Value - ****
This is the highest ranking I've ever given a Star Wars toy on value.  But these really do deserve it.  With terrific accessories, and good sculpting and articulation, all for six bucks at most stores right now, you can't go wrong.

Overall - Vader ***, Luke ***1/2, Yoda ****
I could have just given the whole set of these three a score of ***1/2 stars.  But I separated them slightly, just because there are some simple differences.  The lack of leg articulation hurts vader a bit, and the action features on both him and Luke detract from otherwise good sculpts.

Yoda is the winner of these three for me, but after seeing the movie I have a new respect for the little guy.

Where to Buy
There are on-line options of course, but right now these are showing up at Toys R Us, Wal-mart and Target stores all over.  Prices have dropped as well right now, and it really doesn't make sense to go the on-line route without giving it the old college try at your local stores first. 

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour