Vintage Original Trilogy Collection
Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan


Sean Teeter is back with another great Star Wars review.  This time it's the new 'vintage' Original Trilogy Collection figures - it's all yours, Sean!

I know it’s been a while, but I’ve finally managed to find some new Star Wars figures to review!

In celebration of the original trilogy being released on DVD this fall, Hasbro has been focusing almost completely on the older movies with their latest Saga figures. Now there’s a new wave starting to pop up: the Original Trilogy Collection. Packaged in retro black and silver, the majority of these figures are all previous releases (including a few ringers from the POTF2 line), except for two or three new ones to sucker in the buyers.

In addition to the new wave, Hasbro is also marketing a special collectors series of vintage-styled figures. These figures are pretty much all-new designs of the staple characters from the classic series. They’re being released on cards that mimic the design and feel of the figures released in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. Hasbro has announced the production of four figures for each film: A New Hope has Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. The Empire Strikes Back will have Yoda, Darth Vader, C-3PO, and Lando Calrissian. Finally, Return of the Jedi will contain Chewbacca, R2-D2, Boba Fett, and a Stormtrooper. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the choices in these releases, I do look forward to each of them.

Tonight I’ve managed to snag three out of four figures from the New Hope wave: Obi-Wan, Leia, and Han. Luke is missing in action since he doesn’t appear to be shipping out with the first case assortments for some reason.

Are these truly worth the hype surrounding them? Let’s find out . . .

Packaging - ****
There’s no denying it: Hasbro has struck gold with collectors here. The overall card design mimics the vintage cards to a tee. The peg hole is die-cut but not punched through and the bubble has been downsized to approximate the vintage “coffin blister” look.

The graphics on the front are directly reprinted from the first wave of Star Wars figures, complete with silver header, bars, full photo art, and the Kenner logo. The back shows the original carded figure and previews of the release wave.

To ensure the card stays mint, Hasbro has packaged the whole set in a resalable clamshell with the OTC logo across the bottom and embossed Rebel and Imperial symbols at the top. It is truly an eye-catching piece of work.

Sculpting - Leia: ***; Obi-Wan: *** ½; Han: ****
The sculpting is pretty good across the board here.

Obi-Wan is solid from the waist up. He probably has the thinnest frame of any Obi-Wan figure out there and it works –accenting the age of the character quite well. The head sculpt is also probably the strongest older Obi-Wan I’ve seen. The lines under the eyes and down the cheekbones are excellent. While it’s not 100% Alec Guinness, it’s awful damn close. Even better, Hasbro paid attention to the hands. The wrinkle lines and fingers are definitely those of an older character and really add a nice touch.

Obi-Wan’s bottom skirt is made from cloth as opposed to being sculpted. While this works out all right, it leaves the sculptors a little dilemma: what do old Ben’s legs look like? Well, Obi-Wan’s got some pretty stout legs for and old man. I’m not sure I dig the riding boots either. I get the feeling that these may be modified legs from another Jedi figure, possible one of the younger Obi-Wan’s.

Leia has the weakest sculpt of this trio. While she’s certainly a relatively decent female sculpt, there are other Leia’s out there that bare a better resemblance to Carrie Fisher. This version looks too generic to be identifiable if it wasn’t for the costume. The torso also seems to be a little too blocky and the hood seems to dangle too far down on the back –a common problem found on almost every New Hope version of Leia out there. The cloth skirt works really well on this figure however, and the leg sculpts are nice and thin. The one problem with this is that Hasbro neglected to provide her with peg holes, and unless she’s standing in a relatively neutral position, she’ll fall over.
Despite the problems with her top half, I feel this is probably the figure closest in costume to the screen version. In the end she looks pretty good as a female sculpt, (something Hasbro has lots of trouble with) just not that close to the source material.

Hasbro does not need to sculpt another New Hope version of Han Solo, ever. As always there are complaints to be had, but they are truly nitpicks. His limbs appear a tad too lanky and his expression is a bit blank, but hell –that’s a very young Harrison Ford looking at you, complete with the part down the middle of his hair. He even has a nice natural slouching stance to capture the laid-back part of Han’s personality.
The outfit is simply perfect. The vest, shirt, boots and pants are all sculpted with appropriate creases and wrinkles. The gun belt is a separate piece but permanently affixed to the back –allowing the rest of it some give for hip articulation. The holster is a tad bulky but works well enough. It hangs loose as opposed to being strapped to his leg, but that’s groovy with me.

Scale-wise, all of these figures are pretty good. Leia is tiny, and the two guys are about the same height. I mention that Han’s face seemed a little too neutral to me. Well, it’s the same across the board: every one of these figures have somewhat blank faces.

Paint - Obi-Wan, Leia: ***; Han: *** ½
There ain’t much to paint when it comes to figures like Kenobi and Leia, but what’s there is done well. 

Leia’s silver belt buckles are clean, as are her face ops. However, I think the rosy cheeks go a little too far and make her look more like a Kewpie doll in the end.
Obi-Wan’s hair and eyes are perfectly done with no slop. The browns used on his belt and inner robe are nice and clean as well.

Han has a little more color to his outfit. The black vest, blue slacks, and off-white shirt are all perfectly copied from the source material, right down to the stripe running up the sides of his legs. The gun belt has some nice silver highlights including a little sculpted droid caller. The face is relatively plain, but clean. The hairline has a little bit of bleeding here and there, but it’s hardly noticeable.

Articulation - Ob-Wan: ***; Leia: *** ½, Han: ****
Hasbro has always had problems with articulation and I have never ceased to rant about their inconsistencies. My main complaint has been the lack of ball-jointed figures in the Star Wars line. We’ve had a few, with ball shoulders, knees, and necks, but Hasbro seems to stubbornly cling to cut joints.

Obi-Wan is definitely the closest to standard Hasbro tinkering. He comes with ten points of articulation: neck, ball-jointed shoulders, and cuts at the elbows, wrists, waist, and hips. The lack of articulation below the waist is pretty pitiful. The shoulders are the best part of this figure, obviously, but ball-jointed or swivel elbows are sorely missing. At least he can hold his lightsaber in a good two-handed grip.

Leia scores much better with her twelve points: ball-jointed head and shoulders, cuts at the elbows, wrists, waist, and hips, as well as bend and swivel knees.
The elbow cuts work a little better on her than they did with Obi-Wan, and there are a few poses in which they work straightened out. The leg articulation is the best of any Leia figure hands down, and the ball-joints are always welcome.
Han is simply perfect with fourteen points. Hell, he’s Mr. Ball-Joint. Solo has a Ball-jointed head, shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles, and cut joints at the waist, wrists and hips. This is what we mean when we say “poseable” boys and girls. There are tons of positions this guy can be put in. Frankly, this figure should be Hasbro’s new standard in the Star Wars line. I know it’s now mine. 

Accessories - Obi-Wan: ** ½; Han; Leia: **
While I know the majority of the higher price tag is directly associated with the packaging, I would have expected some new accessories. 

Working solely from A New Hope, I will admit there’re are certain limitations as to what could have been thrown in, but that’s no excuse for Hasbro to slack off.

Leia comes with an Imperial blaster –the same blaster that’s been standard Imperial issue since the Power of the Jedi line. Unlike the recent TIE Pilot, this blaster is at least made from sturdy plastic. I would have rather seen a retooled version of her sporting blaster from the opening scenes of the movie –or for that matter, both guns—but this is all we get, and it seems pretty cheap.

At least Han got his personal blaster to sling. I’m sure it’s not a completely redone blaster, as it shares characteristics with previous releases. At least the grip is nice and thick.

Obi-Wan Kenobi may have the most accessories out of these three, but there’s nothing new here. The cloak is from the Jedi Starfighter Pilot Obi-Wan figure and the saber is the same one from both the POTJ Ben Kenobi and the recent Jabba’s palace Luke Skywalker (as well as the holographic version). The cloak is simply way too big and bulky for this figure, especially the hood. A new saber design would have also been welcomed after this one has been around the block. I also would have preferred a regular hilt in addition to the fully ignited saber, like we’re getting with the future Darth Vader release.

Durability/Quality: ***
These guys are pretty solid all around. No problems here.

Value - **
Most of the price is attached to the special packaging of this figure. For those who want to keep their figures on the card for display, the price isn’t as bad, but for those of us who like to display them loose as well, the average pricing on these figures is pretty damn high. So far the cheapest I’ve even heard this particular line going for is $9.99 in store. Look around at Targets and TRU’s. They might not show up for a little bit though due to Hasbro’s horrible distribution. is probably the cheapest and most easy way to go online. All three of these figures are currently in for $10.99 each. Luke should be popping up towards the end of July, so keep checking back.

Cloud City has Han and Obi-Wan in stock for $16.99 each (C-9 cards). Leia is currently out of stock at $19.99, and Luke is on preorder also for $19.99.

Action-HQ has Ob-Wan and Han in for $13.95, Leia for $18.95, and Luke for $15.95.

As always there’s also Ebay, who should be paying me a percentage for the amount of times I’ve shilled for them in the past. 

Overall - Obi-Wan, Leia: ***; Han: ****
You can get most Star Wars figures for under five bucks at your local Target or K-Mart these days –or even less at the few Kay-Bee’s still holding the same “Going Out of Business Sale” they’ve held for months. What makes these figures so special that they demand a $10 plus price tag? Well, nothing really. As far as the figures themselves go, these are all keepers but not worth the extra bills. However, this is a series aimed directly at collectors, which you can see in the packaging style. While I will definitely be picking up all of these figures (twice over, since I like to display both open and sealed figures), I don’t appreciate the extra hit on my wallet. Sure, I’d be willing to pay a little more for these guys than five bucks, but the retro design and protective case don’t warrant a 100% increase in the bill. If I wanted to buy a Protech Star Case to hold the card itself in, I can get them online for 99 cents apiece in wholesale lots. Eight bucks at most seems much more reasonable.

There could also be a lot more done on the actual figures themselves. Obi-Wan should have had some sort of knee articulation and the lack of ball-jointed or swivel elbows on both Kenobi and Leia are kind of cheap. That being said, these two figures are probably the best representation of the characters from their ANH incarnation, but there’s room for improvement, especially with the accessories. 

As for Han Solo, I unreservedly give this figure the highest rating I’ve ever given to a Star Wars figure. Hasbro has outdone their selves with this figure; out of the three in current release he’s sure to be the crowd-pleaser.

I don’t know why the fourth figure, Luke Skywalker, hasn’t been shipped in the same case assortments as these other figures –it just doesn’t make sense. From the photos I’ve seen however, he’s sure to be worthy of purchase, but still not as good as Han in the poseability department.

I really like the idea behind these special figures, but I don’t agree with which ones Hasbro has chosen to represent from each movie. While I certainly look forward to completely brand-new figures of Vader, Lando, Yoda, and Boba Fett, I feel that the droids and Chewbacca are unnecessary, as there are already numerous versions of these characters in production that are as good as they’re going to get. Do we really need another R2-D2? Hell no. Even though I welcome the new Stormtrooper coming from the ROTJ figure wave, I would have preferred a completely retooled Biker Scout instead.
I’d also like to see Hasbro do something similar for the prequels as well in the future. I think it’d be cool to do some retro photo-art cards with completely retooled, well-sculpted and articulated figures. First suggestion: how about a Padme that actually looks like Natalie Portman? 

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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