Celebration IV Exclusive
12" Yavin Luke

Celebration IV, the official Star Wars convention, just wrapped last week. Tens of thousands of the devote come to L.A. to worship at the Lucas temple, and I'd be right with them if I could make the trip. Lots of companies come along too, selling their Star Wars collectibles.

Sideshow had several exclusives this year, and tonight I'm looking at their Yavin Luke Skywalker 12" figure. Technically, Sideshow called this figure the "Luke Skywalker - Rebel Hero: Yavin IV - 30th Anniversary Exclusive", but Yavin Luke is just so much easier.

They made 6000 of these guys, and sold them both for attendees and non-attendees. You can still get on the wait list for the non-attendee, and the price is $60.

Packaging - ***1/2
If you've been enjoying the Star Wars packaging from Sideshow, then you'll continue to enjoy it here. All the things we love about this particular package style are here again: the magnetic closures, the detailed background text, the collector friendliness, the protective coverings for the painted areas, the 'exclusive' sticker on the front.

My only complaint is that mine came crushed, because this isn't one where they used the new larger shipping boxes and styrofoam end caps. I hope we eventually see that being used across the board, since it's a pity to have such a fantastic package only to have it ruined before it gets to you.

Sculpting - ***
Here was a score that I really debated. I'm considering the head and the hands here, just in case you were wondering, and there are issues in both places.

The head sculpt is intended to represent a much younger Luke than the Jedi Luke produced by Sideshow a couple years ago. Mat Falls did that work, and I have always thought he did an excellent job...except for the expression. Had they just gone with a closed mouth, I would have been thrilled.

This time, I'm not so happy. Yes, Luke is younger (and hasn't been in a car wreck yet), but there are basic facial structure issues. The nose is longer and thinner, more like a blade, and the eyes are set high on the face and wider apart. There's less sculpted lid, leaving a wide eyed expression, and there's far less detail in the hair. It's not a terrible sculpt (we're not talking Hasbro quality here), and we do have to recognize that we're getting more and more spoiled on actor likenesses these days. But it's certainly not as good as the Jedi Luke, and it's fairly average when you compare it to the work from other companies.

When comparing this sculpt to the previous one, something that jumped out at me was the lack of detail on the lips. On the previous version, you could see the small lines that are normal in the lips of actual humans. On this version, there are none, and he has completely smooth lips. This kind of detail (or lack thereof) is what pulls a sculpt down from realistic to mannequin.

The other area that effects this score is the hands. While I applaud Sideshow for continuing to give us sculpted and painted hands, these are oversized once again. The fisted hands aren't too bad, but the open 'force' gesturing hand looks like a bear paw.

The work wasn't overall wasn't quite bad enough to drop another half star (largely because I think several of the issues are really paint related again), but there's enough wrong here to illicit a fairly 'meh' feeling.

Paint - **1/2
I'm of the belief that had the production paint job been a tad better, it could have helped elevate the mediocre sculpt. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything to come to its aid.

The hair color is off a bit to my eye, not really brown, not really blonde...well, not really any real hair color. Add to that a lot of gloss and a bit of slop around the hairline, and you get a disappointing result.

The skin tone is a little dark, but I can live with that because at least across the face. I did find that some hands were lighter than others, which makes putting some combinations together difficult, but the difference wasn't huge.

The big issue for me is the eyes. Along with the wide eye sculpt, we get a wide eye paint job. This zombie stare lacks any life, and is the single biggest distraction for me.

Articulation - ***
The Sideshow body has seen some improvements, and they're evident here. While Luke is on the smaller size body, he doesn't have the same monkey-arm issue that the original Jedi Luke does. That's not because they've made the hands any smaller, so you know it's actually improvements in the basic arm length. The body also stands a bit more naturally, although the God awful boots will hurt your ability to really take much advantage of that.

Luke also has the ball jointed neck, something EVERY 12" figure should have. It holds position pretty well too, but in general I did find that some of the joints were still looser and less able to hold tight positions than I'd like. The body is improving, but it's still got a way to go.

Accessories - ***1/2
The accessory score is being largely driven by the blaster, with the other items merely adding some filler.

The blaster looks excellent, with a very detailed sculpt and excellent scale. Not only does it fit well in his hand, it fits perfectly in the holster, and looks great either drawn or on his hip. Sideshow is really doing a nice job on all their weapons these days, even if they aren't always absolutely screen accurate.

The other main accessory is the medal he was awarded for bravery. It's also well scaled, and I do like the material they used for the strap. It looks good on him, and was obviously necessary for this particular variant, but it won't be getting any squeals of glee out of you.

He also comes with two additional hands: one to hold the blaster properly, and one in a gesturing pose. These are well sculpted, but too large, a common problem. I also had a Hell of a time getting the hands on and off the small posts, and you'll want to take extra care to avoid snapping the wrists.

And let's not forget the display stand, which is easy for me to do since I rarely use them. This one has the new 30th Anniversary logo on it, and is the first to sport the update.

Outfit - ***
This outfit is disappointing not because it's all bad, but because 90% of it is great, and one little detail screws up the whole score.

Let's start with the good - the outer jacket. I love this thing. I love the color, I love the material, I love the stitching, I love the fit. It's one of the best single pieces of an outfit I've seen in awhile, and had the entire uniform been of the same quality, it would have been an easy four stars for this category.

The other outstanding piece of the uniform is the belt/holster. The buckle works great, and the holster has better stitching and material than some past attempts. The blaster looks great in it, and scale isn't an issue at all.

The shirt is a little less impressive, not because of the quality, but because of the reuse from the Jedi Luke. If memory serves, this isn't the shirt he was wearing in that scene, so it loses a bit for inaccuracy. Oh, I'm sure it was cheaper, but at $60, we're hoping for accuracy too.

The pants match Han's, but I don't think they're identical. Han's were too high on him - they'd be up to Luke's chin. Luke's are lower on his waist, with a much better fit.

The boots are a different story. I suspect these ARE Han's boots, and they're too big for Luke, especially in diameter. On top of that, something happened with mine, probably in the production process. The boot top does not go up straight from the heel, but instead leans back a hair. This means that when the foot is flat on the ground, the calf has to be tipped back, making it difficult to get good looking natural stances. For people that use the display stands, it won't be a huge deal, but I like my figures to actually be able to stand well on their own. This boot problem was very frustrating, and resulted in the largest deduction for this category.

Fun Factor - ***
The only really fragile item here is the holster, and even that is sturdier than some past attempts.  Sure, he's not really designed as a toy (and I wouldn't recommend dropping $60 on an action figure for your six year old), but he' got enough of the right characteristics to make him still a cool toy.

Value - ** 
At $60, you're paying a premium for this figure. The majority of the regular releases are in the $50 - $55 range these days, and that's direct from Sideshow. If you buy them from an online retailer, you can often save another ten bucks.

Here, your hands are tied since it's an exclusive. Unlike other Sideshow exclusive versions, there's no additional goodies, and the edition size is not as small as the usual Sideshow exclusive. In fact, the edition size is much more in line with the regular release of their Jedi Luke! Considering the general quality of the item and the small number of accessories, you are going to feel the pinch this time around.

To be completely fair, if you attended Celebration, he only cost $55. But even at that price, he doesn't quite measure up in terms of value with other releases in the series.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Those hands! Take your time putting them on AND removing them, because the fit on the posts is very tight. It is possible to snap one of these posts (just ask my one handed Connor), so you might even want to use a little hot water on the hands the first time or two.

Overall - ***
I waffled around awhile between **1/2 and *** stars for an overall. One of the big driving points was the price, since $60 is getting you pretty mediocre figure, when it should be getting you one of their better efforts. The head sculpt didn't do a lot to help, but while it's not a fantastic Luke likeness, that score alone wouldn't have been enough to drag down the overall.

If you're not a completist in this line, you should look long and hard at perhaps skipping this one. It looks fine on the shelf, and the jacket adds some nice pop to the line up, but there's nothing here that makes it a must have.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt -  ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value -  **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You can still get on the Wait List at Sideshow for the non-attendee version (), but your only sure bet at this point is Ebay.

Related Links -
Other Sideshow Star Wars products include:

- in the premium format line, I've reviewed Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo.

- in the sixth scale line, I've reviewed the Endor Troops, Jabba the Hutt and his throne, Bib Fortuna, Jedi Luke, Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, Bespin Han Solo, regular Anakin Skywalker and Kit Fisto

- I also have guest reviews of the SDCC Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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