Star Wars The Black Series Archive Luke Skywalker (Hoth)
By Hervé St-Louis
July 19, 2021 - 09:07
While stationed on planet Hoth and performing a patrol on the icy planet’s surface, Luke Skywalker was attacked by a wampa, a gigantic humanoid snow beast. Summoning the power of the force, he escaped but was badly hurt in the process. This action figure celebrates the famous appearance of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Strkes Back
There have been many, many Hoth Luke Skywalker action figures and statues in the past. The scene where he was able to summon his lightsaber is iconic and it was part of his hero’s journey. The Black Series Archive Luke Skywalker (Hoth) action figure is a re-release of the 2015 action figure released by Hasbro with a few improvements such as a new 3D face paint and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lucas Film.
The figure attempts to recreate the look Luke Skywalker had in that part of the movie and it does so better than in the past with accurate colours used for the plastic and the uniform. It avoids some of the worst design parts such as the high shoulder pads that are annoying in previous releases at other scale.
While the figure does look like actor Mark Hamill, it looks plain and is not the best for the character. The face sculpt does not work for me. There are signs on the face where scratch marks and scars were on the 2015 release which Hasbro has decided not to paint. A major omission is a pair of goggles for Luke Skywalker. Both the Hoth Han Solo and the Hoth rebel troopers have some great snow goggles but not Skywalker. Hasbro could have reused the one from Han Solo for this re-release.
One major flaw is that the right leg is slightly longer than the left, causing the figure to always rest on the left leg. Also, by default, the right leg expands outward. While it gives a somewhat natural look to the character, it also feels like a highly posed action figure. It would have been good if parts of the newer Hoth rebel troopers had been used for the legs and the arms instead of the original Hoth Skywalker sculpt which looks dated in 2021.
Another element that I disliked is the hanging head scarf made of clothe. Hasbro used clothe so that it can wrap around his Skywalker’s face, like in the movie but it does not hang there. It would look better if there were and scarf piece at the base of his neck like the Hoth rebel troopers where the hanging clothe could connect to. Some of the clothe part of his suit has some nice fabric textures.
The skirt part of his parka is one piece sitting above the waist’s ball joint. The gun holster is attached to the same part. Be careful, the glued in antenna on his balaclava is fragile and break off easily.
There are some paint applications in the face, some of the detailing on the hat and the balaclava, details on the torso, the shoulder pads, his forearms, his belt, and his boots. The balaclava is painted on top of a base skin tone. While the face paining in the version of the toy is much better than the original, the character look more like the Joker (pardon the pun) than Luke Skywalker. It’s not at the quality level of other recent Star Wars Black Series action figures, or toys from other lines. It’s like he’s wearing makeup. Without any shading the figure looks bland.
This cation figure is shorter than other Star Wars characters like Hans Solo but is one of the tallest Luke Skywalker action figures around. Nevertheless, he looks great in ensemble shots with other Star Wars characters.
At first, Luke Skywalker’s articulations were stiff and thus it affected how I could pivot his ankles and feet to stabilize him. But with the hot weather, his plastic has gotten softer, and he is more flexible now. He can stand up and not fall as often as the Hoth Han Solo but do watch out for him. His extended right leg makes him prone to lose his balance. He can fall on his back easily.
He has articulations at the neck with a ball jointed head sitting on top of his neck. There is not much rocking side to side possible. The neck can bend up and right but not very far. The shoulders are amazing and almost feel like he has butterfly joints, but he does not. They are quite flexible and can extend up easily. Like all Star Wars Black Series, he has no bicep curls but can rotate his elbows 360 degrees and bend at a 90 degrees angle. Watch out for not flipping the front and the back of the forearms as that can happen easily with this figure. He will still be able to bend his elbows even if the joint is inverted.
Annoyingly, he has curls at the forearms instead of the wrists. That means that he cannot bend his wrist up or down or sideways. This is not great for a pistol-carrier and a sword bearer. He has a flexible ball joint at the waist that has limited motion. His legs are a bit more flexible his hips can move up and sideways well. He has thigh curls and double knee articulations. He has no shin/calf curls and unlike the Hoth Han Solo, the shins are one single piece of plastic. His ankles have good ranges when pivoting them. He can bend them up and down. His ankles have less range when bent up.
The plastic is feels like PVC all over with some rubber-like plastic for the parka’s skirt and the holster. Again, the head scarf is in clothe. It feels like nylon.
Luke Skywalker sports his Model 57 blaster pistol and a lightsaber. The rod of the lightsaber can detach from the shaft. The shaft can attach to his tunic. The pistol fits inside the holster.
Luke Skywalker came on an anniversary card back package celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm. There is a short multilingual biography on the card’s back and an short infographic of the studio’s timeline.
Hasbro released this toy for $19.99 USD. It can be found for a few dollars more everywhere and for around $32.99 CAD. I have seen this figure for much less in both Canada and the United States.
This figure is not perfect at all as it is a re-release of an older sculpt. Hasbro wanted to reuse this to save cost and did not do any changes to the sculpt of the action figure. There are so many better Hoth Luke Skywalker action figures in multiple scales from other vendors. It feels like a peg warmer.
Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15