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Bespin Luke Skywalker - Star Wars
Hot Toys/Sideshow exclusive

Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys


Those of us that love Star Wars and love sixth scale action figures have always wanted the perfect 12" representations of the classic characters. Hasbro took their best shot, and considering the price point they weren't all that bad. But they still left a fair amount on the table, and both Medicom and then Sideshow stepped in to try for a higher end look. Medicom blew it (at least for me) by not creating true sixth scale figures, making them too short to fit in with figures from other companies and licenses. Sideshow has done much better, particularly with aliens (like the Gammorean Guard) and robots (like IG-88).

But the human portraits have remained elusive, even for Sideshow. When they announced last year that they'd be working with Hot Toys on the release of the new Luke Skywalker in his Bespin outfit, there was much rejoicing.

This is a Hot Toys figure - not a Sideshow figure. However, Sideshow has their own exclusive, and it's a good one. He comes with an extra accessory...the damaged Vader head with Luke's face! Not your average exclusive extra, that's for sure.

This isn't a cheap figure though, running any where from $270 - $320, depending on the retailer. The Sideshow exclusive is $300, and since it includes the extra accessory, it's really the best deal.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ****
I skipped a photo of the box this time because I wanted to get in as many as I could of the figures themselves. It's the usual DX box, with the magnetic wrap around lid. There's no Luke graphics, and almost no text, but it is completely collector friendly, and the foam trays are very high quality.

Sculpting - ***
There are two complete figures included with this release. That's two head sculpts - normal and battle damaged - and two outfits on two bodies.

This is one of those rare occasions where, at least for me, Hot Toys missed the likeness of the character. It's not way off, and it's due to one specific issue, but it's still a miss.

Remove the hair from both the regular and battle damaged portraits (you can do this since removing the hair is how you get to the PERS control stick) and you'll see a terrific Luke sculpt. Without the hair, you can see just how good the match to Hamill as Luke really is. I personally prefer the non-damaged portrait, but they are both very, very good - good enough for another half to even a whole star in this category, taken on their own.

But they aren't on their own, since Luke isn't bald. Neither hair sculpt is wowing me, but it's the tousled look that really fails. The somewhat combed look isn't bad - there's lots of nice detail, and the hair style is correct - but it's a bit thick, making it more like a hat than hair.

The disheveled hair sculpt is worse. Again, it's somewhat thick, but it's also pin headed in shape. It looks a tad goofy and throws off an otherwise great head sculpt.

The hand sculpts are all great, including the stump and severed hand. For me though, it's really all about the hair.

Paint - ****
As you've come to expect, the paint is extraordinary. Both figures look like real people, and the damage on the battle beaten head sculpt is perfect.

The eyes are spooky real as well, with the cool color glint in the pupils once again. There's some redness to the eyes on both as well, but this appears to be on purpose, and not an issue of paint bleed.

I'm not in love the the hair quite as much as the face, much like in the previous category. It's a tad too shiny on both the normal and messy versions, but it's not a deal breaker.

The battle damaged sculpt could use a bit more sweat, a bit more of a sheen, to the skin. I think that would add just the right touch to that sculpt, but it's a minor nit at best.

Articulation - ****
Underneath the outfit(s) is the slim TrueType body. The amazing articulation works extremely well here, with very little restriction from the outfit or sculpt.

There's all the usual joints, and the TrueType is one of the very best on the market for taking and holding natural, flowing human poses.

I'm including the PERS function here as well. Over time, they've improved on the build quality of the stick and mechanism, making it sturdier and smoother. The eyes aren't buggy either, nor are they too deeply set.

I like the PERS eyes, and appreciate how much adjusting the eyes, even a little, can add to any pose. It did seem like the eyes in the damaged face were a bit stiffer and difficult to adjust, but I was still able to get them into any stare I wanted.

You get to both control sticks by removing the hair, and it is held in place with a magnet. On both, one of the two magnets (one in the hair, one in the head) was loose and had to be re glued.

I'm also including the articulation of the diorama. Because there's a joint at the top, you can attach it to either a ceiling or a wall, and the rest of the antenna hangs downward. While I recommend going with the ceiling mount for the most screen accurate look, it's nice that they gave you the option.

Accessories - ****
With any DX figure, you expect a healthy dose of accessories. Luke certainly delivers.

First, there's ten different hands that can be used with either figure. Each figure comes wearing a set of hands - one in a gripping pose and one in a relaxed pose - and there are six additional hands in various poses. There's a force hand or two, a pair of fists, a gun grip right hand, etc.

Perhaps the coolest hand is the severed one. It has a bloody stump, and there's an extra right forearm that also has a bloody stump. Just in case you want to sever that hand yourself, there's a magnet in both pieces, allowing the hand to actually be held in place on the stump arm! While it's not likely that too many people will really 'play' with this figure, it's this sort of cool extra that shows how much Hot Toys loves and respects the license.

Since there are two figures, there are also two blasters, and each fits properly in their leather holster. Both figures also have complete belt setups, with various packs and hooks, including a hook for the lightsaber hilt.

There's two hilts as well, one of them connected to the blue blade. The instructions imply that this blade is removable, but it's a tight fit if it is. I just left mine be, but you might want to heat it up with a hair dryer first if you're going to attempt to pull it off.

Another extra that probably won't see much use, but is a nice addition anyway, is the medical cuff, placed on Luke's arm when he's rescued. I snapped the wrist peg trying to remove the left hand to put the cuff in place, but thankfully Hot Toys always includes a couple extra posts.

Swapping the arm stump was very tough as well, and once again, you might want to use a hair dryer briefly first, heating up the joint a bit before you try to pull off the forearm.

This figure comes with not one, not two, but three display bases. There's the basic black stand, complete with Luke's name. Then there's the gray stand, which looks like a chunk of the floor and includes a very nice silver name plate. And since that's not enough, he also has the weather vane diorama, from which Luke hung below Cloud City.

This base lights up, which I'll cover in another category. It is also incorporates metal rods rather than plastic, allowing it to hold the Luke figure easily. While it's really intended to be attached at the top to a smooth surface like a ceiling or a wall, the gray bottom is large enough that it can sit on a table and hold Luke without toppling over.

Finally, the Sideshow exclusive includes one additional accessory. He has the severed Vader head from Luke's encounter on Dagobah. The stump is bloody and rough, and the face plate is broken, showing Luke's face inside. It's a nice extra, and since the Sideshow exclusive is running about the same price as the regular at most retailers, it makes this version a bit better deal.

Outfit - ***1/2
As with many of the accessories, there's two complete outfits. They are identical, with one exception - the battle damage.

Luke comes complete with his undershirt, short jacket, pants, and boots. For one figure, there's a fairly clean set, with great pockets, snaps and stitching. The tailoring is fairly good, although the short jacket can ride up on the shoulders a bit. Also, I know someone will complain that I turned the collar down, but I prefer it that way - out of way of his chin.

The second set of clothes is worn, torn, and ripped. There's smudges of dirt, rough patches, and complete rips in various spots. It's realistic damage, and gives the figure that beaten down appearance.

Both outfits look great, and I'm very pleased with the overall quality. My only complaint with both outfits that hold them back from perfect scores are the slightly short sleeves on the jacket. In most poses, they'll show the round wrist pegs, and with just a smidge more length they'd look ten times better.

Light Feature - ****
The weather vane isn't just a cool looking diorama - it lights up! There's a small push button on one side, which activates a bright center blue light, so bright that it light the panels above, plus two blinking red lights. They batteries are included, and the lights are bright and sharp. This is one of the coolest light features I've seen in quite awhile, because it works great AND makes perfect sense in the context of the display.

Fun Factor - ****
This is a great figure all around, and with features like the magnetic severed hand, it's clear that Hot Toys remembers that this is the evolution of a toy, not just a 'collectible'. I appreciate how much fun this guy is, even if no kid will ever get the chance to play with him in my house.

Value - ***1/2
Regular readers know that a score of **1/2 here means an average value, and it has no positive or negative effect on my overall.

But how can I give an action figure that costs $300 an 'average' value score? That's a huge price tag, and you know how much I like to complain about current prices.

DX figures tend to have more accessories than usual, and they always have the cool PERS eyes. But this time you're not just getting the usual - you're getting TWO complete figures, both with accessories, both with a full costume, and both with the PERS system. Is that not enough? You also get one of the coolest diorama pieces I've seen in some time, complete with a great light feature!

Don't get me wrong - $300 is still an awful lot of money. But you are getting what you're paying for here, and you won't regret the purchase.

EDIT: I'm not wrong very often, which makes it easier to admit it on those few occasions. After some very good discussion on the price of this figure with readers, I have to say that he is a better value than I was giving him credit for. It doesn't push his overall any higher, but it's worth making the change anyway.

Things to Watch Out For -
The rods making up the vane are actual metal and threaded to screw together. The threads are fairly fine, so be sure they are properly lined up so you don't strip them.

I also had lots of trouble swapping the left forearm and hand with the bloody stump. It's a good idea to heat it up with a hair dryer first for a few seconds to contract and soften the plastic a bit.

Overall - ***1/2
Damn that hair sculpt. Had they managed to pull it off just a bit better, this would have been a four star figure.

And really, that's my only issue with this figure overall. The accessories are excellent, and I love the light up diorama. Getting two versions to display separately is a huge bonus, and I don't mind paying the extra bucks to have both bodies and both costumes.

With a way to attach the vane to the ceiling, the wall, or just use it as a stand up diorama, there's no reason not to include it in your display. I think I'll attach mine to the bottom of another shelf on the wall, and use some of that cloud paper you see behind it.

While I might not have loved this figure quite enough to give it a full score, I'm betting he shows up in one of the Best Of categories in this year's Poppies, and I can certainly understand why.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- the Sideshow exclusive is available here fr $300.

- Fanboy Collectibles has the regular for $270.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the regular release for $280.

- Urban Collector has the regular release for $350.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
There's no shortage of Star Wars sixth scale figure reviews:

- most recent was the Sideshow Boba Fett.

- before that was the very cool Droids.

- I love the big Dewback and Trooper, but it's a lot of cash.

- late last year I checked out Figrin D'an.

- speaking of Troopers, there's the Sargeant Clone Trooper.

- just before that was the dimunitive Jedi, Yoda.

- I also liked the recent Gammorean Guard.

- it was awhile before that for the previous review, Admiral Thrawn and his command chair.

- prior to that was Lando Calrissian, and the Shock Trooper.

- Darth Vader was perhaps Sideshow's best Star Wars release.

- then there's the Utapau Trooper, the Imperial Stormtrooper, and Captain Antilles.

- I wasn't as thrilled with Ki-Adi-Mundi, but Obi-Wan in Clone Armor is easily one of their best. Then there's Aayla Secura, Tatooine Luke and Han Solo.

- Sideshow had a strong year in 2008 with Commander Praji, the exceptional Palpatine/Sidous and ANH Obi-Wan, and the not quite so exceptional Ilum Padme.

- also in the sixth scale line, I've reviewed Leia and Bespin Luke, the Holo-chess set, Sideshow's Asajj, a terrific figure, Yavin Luke, 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, Emperor Palpatine and his throne, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

Discussion:
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Bespin LukeSkywalker DX07 Star Wars action figure by Hot Toys


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

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