25th Anniversary Star Wars

Tomorrow is the start of 2002, which just so happens to be the 25th anniversary for the original Star Wars.  Hasbro has released three new special edition two packs, very similar to the special edition Boba Fett earlier this year, to commemorate the anniversary.

These three two packs highlight crucial scenes from the original films.  Leia and Luke are together in the set titled 'Swing to Freedom', as they prepare to swing across to safety.  Han and Chewie are back to back in the set titled 'Death Star Escape', blasting their way to the Falcon.  And Vader and Obi-Wan battle it out to the death in 'Final Duel'.

I haven't came across the Final Duel set yet, so I'm not sure if it's shipping yet.  These were $16 at Target, but should be around $15 at Wal-mart.

Packaging - ***1/2
If you're going to sell a figure in a box that's not really intended to be opened, than this is the way to do it.

The graphics are great, and the style of box is designed to look like a glass display case.  It works, and these will look terrific on the shelf.  The small stand and paper back drop complete the overall package appeal.

The only negative is that they don't appear to be too sturdy, and shelf wear at the store is likely to be a problem.

Sculpting - ***
You can see that they are going for figures that are similar on quality to the special Boba Fett released earlier this year.  In some regards, they succeed, but in others they fall short.

Chewie is the finest figure of the four pictured here.  His sculpt is excellent, and he's by far the nicest version done up to this point, sculpt-wise.

Leia, Luke and Han all have very well sculpted, detailed bodies.  A lot of attention was paid to the little things, and it shows on these figures.

Unfortunately, their head sculpts aren't quite as good.  They're better than some of the previous versions, but certainly no better than several of the newer versions of these characters.

Paint - ***1/2
Hasbro often has trouble with consistency when it comes to paint ops, and these sets seem to follow that pattern.

Han and Chewie have excellent paint ops, particularly on the faces.  Actually, all the face details were very good on these figures.  Some of the wash details on Luke were so-so, and the white plastics used on Leia's various body parts doesn't quite match - some is shiny, while other pieces are dull.

Be careful when picking out your set - some will look distinctly better than others.

Articulation - **
One very notable difference between these figures and Fett - articulation.  Fett had several hidden points, making him more articulated than you'd expect.

Here, there doesn't appear to be any of that hidden articulation.  Unless of course, it's hiding from me.

Leia has neck, shoulders, hips and waist.  Luke has neck, shoulders, waist and hips as well.  Han and Chewie have the same, although Chewie's neck articulation isn't going to do much for you.

Accessories - ***1/2
Each character has one accessory.  Leia and Han have standard blasters, while Chewbacca has his bowcaster and Luke has his grappling hook.  Chewie also has his bag, but it's part of his lower body and not actually an accessory.

The high rating here comes from really one thing.  It isn't really part of the accessories, but rather the display of those accessories.  All the blasters are banded to their hands, but in very good positions.

But the best part is the placement of Luke's grappling hook.  The hook is wrapped around the top of the inside lid, really adding to the overall look of this set.

Value - ***
Pretend you paid $15 for these - that's a pretty good deal.  $16 is a little steep, but considering that you get two figures, both have a good accessory, a stand, backdrop and terrific packaging, and you are getting quite a bit more than you usually get buying two regular $7-$8 figures.

Overall - ***
I almost gave these ***1/2 stars.  The quality is there, but the articulation pulls them down a bit.  There is also the intangible effect of character overload - we already have many versions of all six of these figures.  No matter how good, do you really need another?

Where to Buy -
As I mentioned earlier, both Target and Wal-mart have these now for around $15-$16.  That would be my first choice, but if you have trouble finding them, they are also available on-line.  However, most places are charging $20 or more, and none had them in stock supposedly.  I checked about 10 on-line stores.

- Aisle Sniper has them available for $17.99 plus shipping, but that's a 'pre-order'.

- Entertainment Earth has them listed, but not in stock, for $40 for two, plus shipping.  However, if you can find two other folks to go in with you, you can buy a case of 6 (3 of each of these two sets) for $99.99, which is about $17 each.  (MROTW affiliate)

I'm always looking for other, good on-line stores to check.  Drop me a line if you have a suggestion!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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