2012's second wave of action figures in Hasbro's The Vintage Collection includes 5 figures from the Blu-ray deleted scenes from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. While we have gotten most these characters before, this new themed wave is quite exciting as there is a lot of "new and improved" elements added to each figure.
Return of the Jedi Blu-ray In case you didn't know, the entire Star Wars saga was released on Blu-ray last fall, complete with all-new deleted scenes. Several of these scenes from Return of the Jedi are now the basis for this wave of action figures. While we have seen Commemorative sets released around the same time as the Blu-ray sets, these were nearly all 100% repacks. These figures are new versions of characters featured in the deleted scenes.
Wave Schedule Changes As we have seen several times in this line, there has been a number of shifts in release dates. So, while this might have been a great wave to have gotten back in the fall, it just wasn't ready yet. Whatever the release date,
Darth Maul contest This wave also includes the official 2012 contest entry form for a life-sized Darth Maul statue, singed by George Lucas himself! Much like the two previous Boba Fett figure offers, the sticker can be removed without harming the front of the cards.
Anyway, onto the reviews!
VC87: Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction):
Kicking off the wave is a Luke Skywalker figure that was inevitable once we were shown the deleted scene of Luke building his lightsaber at Celebration V. We immediately just KNEW that Hasbro would get to him, didn't we? The scene showed Luke finishing construction on his weapon of choice in a cave on Tatooine. But readers of Shadows of the Empire know that Luke paid a visit to Ben Kenobi's old homestead during the course of that tale. I'll get back to this in a moment...
The base of this figure is the 2010 Luke Skywalker (Endor Capture), which was originally released as "(Jedi Knight Outfit)" with the classic cardback. Since that wasn't technically correct, Hasbro quickly witched it out, and they've found various ways to modify that cardback ever since. There was supposed to be a proper Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit) from Jabba's Palace, but this figure's release changed those plans (here's hoping they eventually find a way to get that one out!) For this release, they have a new torso, skirt, and head sculpt.
Ah, the head sculpt...it completely wrong. Luke had much shorter hair in the movie, and it was parted on the other side. Since Hasbro has access to numerous reference photos, I can't imagine this type of detail was overlooked. Not to say it's a bad sculpt. On the contrary, it's a decent likeness really. But, it's inaccurate.
Then there's the accessories...the lighstaber(s) are great, and the tool that helps construct it is decent. Nothing major here. The addition of Luke's "utility belt" is also a really nice touch...a first for this scale. The hilt cannot be plugged into the belt, which is okay in this case, because this figure is not based on a scene from Endor.
Now for the elephant in the room....or at least the big poofy, brown Jedi robe. Luke Skywalker did not wear a brown Jedi robe! He wore a brown sleeveless cloak. While this has been brought to Hasbro's attention several times, it was never corrected.
Which leads me to think this figure is based on the scene described in Shadows of the Empire where Luke was in Ben Kenobi's hut, and perhaps he raided his closet a little.
VC88: Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit):
Back in 2008, Hasbro released a trio of figures depicting a deleted Sandstorm scene: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca got things started, but where were the rest of the group? Well, they are finally here with this new wave.
For Princess Leia, we have another release of Princess Leia (Jabba's Slave) figure, now minus the chain around the neck, and now wrapped with a combination of soft goods and plastic and wearing snap-on goggles.
While it IS well-done it's not the most exciting figure in the wave.
VC89: Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit):
On the other hand, we have the final figure in the Sandstorm scene...Lando Calrissian. This one is a fantastic upgrade to a figure that is long overdue. Not only do we get a cool "Sandstorm" Lando figure, with similar soft goods & plastic wrapping and goggles (which appear to be at least similar to the ones that came with Luke), but you also get a definitive upgrade to the "Skiff Guard Disguise" Lando to boot!
The detailed sculpting matches Tamtel Skreej's outfit perfectly, complete with a removable helmet. There's also an improved working holster, blaster, force pike, and a tracking device. Lando does appear to be a "little short for a skiff guard", however...which is interesting.
The deco is also not quite accurate. Firs toff, the skin tone is too light. Especially when compared to other Lando figures over the years. That's strange. And of course, as usual, there's the color of the hinges in the ankles. It's not as noticeable with this figure because of the overlapping boots, but it is cast in the same color as the pants, which therefore makes it stand out when it shouldn't.
VC90: Colonel Cracken (Millennium Falcon Crew):
We've actualy seen a figure of Colonel Cracken before....sort of. Back in 2006, Hasbro released a running change to the Rebel Trooper SAGA-046 that was based on this character from the film, which included a headset and Endor Commando gear. In fact, those same legs are here for this figure. But where that figure was a generic trooper, this one is properly identified.
The super-articulated body is well-done of course, as is the deco for the most part. However, there is an interesting switch in the inner hinges. I just mentioned the lighter color of Lando's ankles...well, Cracken here has the same problem in the shoulders. Yet, interesting enough, the ankles are the correct color! Crazy.
Colonel Cracken comes with a blaster, working holster, and a big cannon that looks like it may attach to the interior of the Millennium Falcon. I'll have to dig out my BMF over the weekend and see where it fits.
VC91: Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari):
Here's an all-new, never-been-done before character...a Mon Calamari A-Wing Pilot. using the legs from the B-Wing Pilot first seen in the Evolutions - Rebel Pilot Legacy I set, this generic character can be seen flying an A-Wing Fighter during the Battle of Endor.
The entire upper body appears to be new, complete with a removable helmet for the character. Kudos to Hasbro for not recycling existing parts to construct this character, but instead going eh extra mile and sculpting new parts.
The deco is great (still have the mismatched ankle hinges, however), and the accessories are cool, although it's just a blaster and a removable helmet. But for those looking to expand their pilot rankings, this is one figure not to miss!
Stay tuned for future Photo Archive updates featuring the eleventh wave from The Vintage Collection!