12" Luke and Yoda

About two years ago, my wife said "you're buying too many of those Star Wars figures!".  Considering how many other figures I also buy, I thought perhaps she had something there.  "They cost too much and they take up too much space!".  So I did the logical thing - I stopped buying most of the 3 3/4" figures, but kept buying the 12".  Made perfect sense to me.

And so I've been watching Wal-marts, waiting for this latest exclusive to hit.  It's the Luke and Yoda, doing the aerobic exercise routine.  They cost $30 at Wal-mart, although there are some on-line stores selling them as well.

Packaging - ***
This is a new box for the 12" figures.  The front is curved, rather than the usual flat box.  The graphics are very nice, and the box is fairly sturdy.

The best part - it's collector friendly!  At least for Hasbro it is.  There are still 8 or 9 twisty ties, but you can remove them and the figures without tearing anything up.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Yoda is the reason this set is getting such high marks.  This sculpt, both head and body, is a huge improvement over the previous Yoda in the 12" scale.

He actually has legs, although I never realized how skinny they'd actually be.  The head sculpt is incredible, especially when you compare it to the first.

Luke's head sculpt isn't a perfect Mark Hamill, but it's not bad compared to previous versions.  They're certainly closer than they have been before.

Both figures hand sculpts are good, although they won't be able to hold too many accessories.

Paint - *1/2
Luke's face paint is fine, and the handful of accessories all look good. But Yoda's paint wash is awful.  There's too much of it, and rather than highlighting his face, it makes it appear as though he's been rolling in the mud a little too much.

On the good side, Yoda's eyes are well done, and he doesn't have those awful looking finger nails this time.

Articulation - **1/2
This is a pretty good score for Hasbro articulation.  Luke has cut biceps, and the ball jointed hips and clicky knees seem to be improved over past figures.  That might just be my imagination though.  It's been a long day.

Yoda has neck, shoulder and hip articulation, so he can actually sit down.  Both figures stand fine on their own, and Luke can stand with a little effort and hold up Yoda on his back.

Accessories - ***
I'm counting several items as accessories here.  The back pack itself is really sharp, with solid straps and quality construction.  It's a soft rubber, rather than cloth, and the sculpt is great.  Yoda fits in it just fine, not too tight and not too loose.

Yoda has his cane, and his amulet do-hickey.  Both look great, although his hand sculpts aren't particularly conducive to holding the cane.

However, there were plenty of other accessory opportunities here, and at this price I would have expected a couple more items for Luke.

Uniforms - **1/2
The uniform isn't too complicated, but it's decent all around.  Luke's boot sculpt isn't bad, and the pants and shirt are well stitched.  

Yoda has a little mini-skirt, plus his robe.  Both are decent, although I like the dirtier look of the original robe.

Value - **1/2
The average 12" Star Wars figure starts out at $20.  Considering you're getting two, the $28 plus change I paid at Wal-mart for this set is a decent deal.  I hear a ton of them are hitting stores though, so this may be one you eventually see on clearance.

Overall - **1/2
If I were reviewing Luke on his own, he'd probably only end up with *1/2 stars, but if I were reviewing Yoda on his own, he'd end up with ***1/2 stars, so as a set they even each other out.

If you missed the first Yoda, you'll want this just for that figure.  Heck, if you have the first Yoda you'll still want to pick this improved version up.  If they hadn't given him such a lousy face wash, he would have been almost perfect, or as close to perfect as I can imagine Hasbro ever getting.

Where to Buy -
The obvious choice is Wal-mart, since this is supposed to be an exclusive.  They are about $28 not including tax.  There are some on-line stores that have them as well, but you'll end up paying quite a premium.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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