#1446: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Once known as Anakin Skywalker, expert pilot and hero, Vader studied the ways of the Force under young Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. His impatience with the Jedi training made him susceptible to the dark side, which corrupted him as he gave in to his anger and aggression. Vader was almost killed in a confrontation with Kenobi, and was forced to adopt his current life support systems and fearsome body armor.”

You know, it’s been two weeks since I reviewed a Star Wars figure. That’s a long time.  I could go into withdrawal.  Or worse yet, I could get a huge backlog of Star Wars figures to review!  Oh…right…too late.  Well, let’s take another stab at getting through that backlog, shall we?  Let’s have a look at my man Vader here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader was part of the very first series of the Power of the Force II line.  Believe it or not, this was only the second small-scale Vader ever released.  That’s kind of crazy in this day and age where you can’t go anywhere without tripping over like 50 of this guy.  This was long before the trend of 100% movie accuracy, so this figure ends up as a rather indeterminate version of Vader.  I suppose he’s technically an Empire/Jedi Vader, since his robes go under his shoulder armor.  Of course, even the original Vader, who was released to coincide with the first movie, had the robes under the armor, so I think it’s less an accuracy thing and more a “they just never really noticed” thing.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Vader’s not only taller than his compatriots, he’s also just generally larger.  This is Vader if Star Wars had been made in the ‘90s and he’d been played by Jeep Swenson…the ‘90s were a strange time.  Apart from the overall Swenson-ness, the sculpt isn’t terrible.  The quilted pattern on his undersuit is nice, and most of the important details are there.  The helmet’s a little off, but it was a marked improvement on the vintage version, and it’s not like anyone would ever confuse it for anything but Darth Vader’s helmet. The one notable omission on this guy is his lack of the bottom section of his robe.  However, as with the handling of the shoulder armor, this is something consistent with the vintage release, so maybe Kenner/Hasbro just hadn’t learned yet.  The figure’s topped off with a plastic cape, which makes the already bulky Vader even bulkier.  It’s not a bad piece, but it definitely has a flair for the dramatic.   Vader’s paint is fairly straightforward stuff.  Mostly, he’s just molded in black, with a few little spots of detail work.  Nothing spectacular, but it’s fair enough fore the time.  Vader’s one accessory was his lightsaber, which, like all of the early figures, came in short and long variants.  Mine no longer has his, but I’m fairly certain it was one of the short ones, given the basic time period of when I would have gotten this.  

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t know 100% how this guy came into my collection.  I know how he *didn’t* come into my collection.  Let me ‘splain: the first time I saw this figure, it was just after seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the theatre.  After the movie, my parents took me to the KB Toys in the same mall so I could get one figure.  It came down to this guy or Phoebus from Hunchback.  Having just seen the movie, it was Phoebus, and not Vader, who went home with me that day.  I know that Vader was given to me by my parents shortly after.  Now, if I had to guess, using my much more fully-formed and adult investigative skills, I’d say my parents more than likely bought me both of these figures that day and just gave me Vader a little later.  I can’t know for certain, of course, but that’s certainly the type of thing they’re prone to do.

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#1432: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“R2-D2 is a tripodal computer repair and information retrieval robot, or astromech droid. As an R2 unit, he is equipped with navigational starfighter interfaces, plus extensive sensor packages and numerous devices to facilitate in-flight repairs: laser arc welder, circular saw, grasper arm, and fire extinguisher. He communicates through information-dense chips, beeps and whistles and seems to take pleasure in causing anxiety for his neurotic companion, the protocol droid C-3PO.”

More Star Wars?  Really?  Listen hypothetical reader, I have a lot of Star Wars figures, and I can’t just stop reviewing them for three months every year just because there’s a big explosion of new product.  That would be insane.  Almost as insane as writing an action figure review every single day for the rest of my life.  Moving on.  One major player absent from all of the new stuff I reviewed was astromech droid R2-D2, who for the second time in a row has been left out of the initial product launch for a Star Wars film.  Fortunately, I have a whole back catalogue to fall back on.  So, here’s an R2 figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1995.  While later R2s in the line would go for more scene-specific looks, this one is just a standard R2; no special bells or whistles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 3-ish points of articulation.  I say “3-ish” because in addition to joints at his head and the tops of his legs, R2 also has an extending middle leg, which I guess is *sort of* articulation.  This was the first time an R2 figure got the extending leg.  It’s still sort of in a prototype stage, and isn’t as cleverly designed as later models, but it works well enough.  R2’s sculpt was new to him, and it’s not bad.  Most of the important details are there, and they’re nicely defined.  He does end up a little skinnier than he’s usually depicted, but with all the wonky proportions that were going on in this line, I think it’s safe to say that R2 got off pretty easy.  R2’s paint is passable, though not without a few flaws.  Let’s start with the head: the vac metalizing, though inaccurate to the film, is certainly a cool feature, and helps him stand out.  Of course, as is usually the case on vac metalized pieces, some of the overlying paint has had a fair bit of chipping.  The body was mostly molded in white plastic, and, as you can probably see from the photos, it was pretty prone to yellowing.  The overlying paint is fairly decent overall, though it’s important to note that the’ve left off one of the blue stripes that makes up R2’s “face.”  I only just noticed that while writing this review, actually.  Now I’ll never be able to un-see it; the sacrifices I make for these reviews.  R2 included no accessories, but he does have a pretty nifty light-piping feature in his head, which illuminates his eye when you get the light just right.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

R2 was a gift from my parents, I believe on a Valentine’s Day?  Since I was never much for lots of candy, they tended to get me a small figure of some sort instead, and that was R2.  This was my first R2 (and I believe one of my earlier Star Wars figures in general), and he’s really the only one I had until well into the 2000s.  Like the rest of the line, he shows his age, but he’s a fun figure, and certainly not bad for the time.

#1404: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Knight

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI KNIGHT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Under the tutelage of Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke Skywalker learned the ways of the Force and became a Jedi Knight.Using his newly-developed powers, Luke successfully led a campaign to rescue Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. After Yoda confirmed what Luke feared most – that Darth Vader was his father – he decided to confront Vader, not to do battle, but to reach whatever good remained in the man once known as Anakin Skywalker. The diabolical Emperor Palpatine wanted Luke’s power under his tutelage, but the young Jedi was strong and resisted the potent allure of the dark side – though it nearly cost him his life. When the Emperor rose to annihilate Luke Skywalker, Vader hurled Palpatine to his death, sacrificing himself for his son.”

Wow, spoilers much?  Not only do we know that Darth Vader’s Luke’s dad, but also that he kills Palpatine *and* sacrifices himself?  This is a lot to process, you guys.  Or it would be if I hadn’t seen the movies, I guess.  But then, what are the odds of me buying an action figure of Luke Skywalker?  I’d say slim.  But I have and I did, so now onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jedi Knight Luke was released during the second year of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  He was the fourth version of the character in the line, and the second that year.  He’s based on his Return of the Jedi appearance.  He’s sort of an amalgamation  of the looks from that movie; for the most part, he’s from Luke’s introductory scene, hence the vest and the cloak.  However, he’s also got the glove covering his damaged right hand, which he starts wearing after the scenes on Tattooine.  He’s a horrible monster mash!  Who could ever love him!?!  Nah, it’s not really that big a deal.  Anyway, the figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt is actually pretty tame for this line.  Sure, he’s still got the same head sculpt that never looked much like Hamill, and sure he still looks like his pecs are about to burst out of his shirt, but all things considered, he’s really not bad.  The proportions aren’t terrible, and he’s just in a fairly basic standing pose.  The paint work on this guy is largely very basic.  Mostly, it’s just black plastic, with a little bit of paint for the hand and some work on the face.  There’s a tiny bit of glossier finish on the boots, which is a cool touch.  The earliest samples of this figure actually had a tan/grey color for the vest, which made it stand out more, but this was eventually replaced with what’s seen on the figure in this review.  The second figure is a little blander, but is also the more accurate look, so that’s fair.  This figure was packed with his trusty green lightsaber, as well as a rubber cloak piece.  Both pieces are fairly decent for the time, but do look slightly goofy by modern standards.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jedi Luke was the third version of Luke I got, after the Dagobah and Tattooine versions.  I recall making a special trip to the local Toys R Us with my mom and dad, sitting in the middle seat of their Ford Ranger pickup truck.  I also recall the figure’s distinctive smell wafting through the car on the ride home.  Not long after I acquired this figure, it served as the inspiration for my Jedi Luke Halloween costume, which has the notoriety of being one of my favorite Halloween costumes pretty much ever.  A lot of good memories are attached to this figure is kind of what I’m getting at here.

#1390: Princess Leia Organa as Boushh

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA AS BOUSHH

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“After Han Solo was captured by Boba Fett, several attempts were made on Luke Skywalker’s life which threatened the future of the Rebellion. Princess Leia Organa and Chewbacca sought to protect the young Jedi, and traveled to Coruscant to follow up leads surrounding these attempts. They hoped to draw from the extreme intelligence gathering network of the Black Sun, a criminal organization whose operations extended to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Because Coruscant is the homeworld of the Empire- a dangerous place for any member of the Rebel Alliance- Leia disguised herself as the renowned Ubesian bounty hunter Boushh. Boushh’s helmet concealed her entire face while a built-in voxscrambler altered her voice to resemble that of an Ubesian; a false I.D. and code taken from Black Sun completed her disguise and provided a safe level of anonymity. Little did she know that Prince Xizor, Underlord of Black Sun, was behind the murder attempts on Skywalker, and had his sights set on Leia as well.”

Long bio there.  How do you follow that, amirite?  Um, so, yeah, today’s another Star Wars review. Yaaaay.  This time around I’m taking a look at another Princess Leia figure, specifically the one from that time she pretended to be a bounty hunter.  Everybody loves bounty hunters!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leia in Boushh disguise was released not as part of the main Power of the Force II line, but instead as part of the basic assortment of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (she would later see a re-release on a standard PotF2 green card, though).  She has the notoriety of being the only movie-based figure in the line-up.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  As with the PotF2 Slave Leia figure, this Leia is a bit on the tall side.  This was a recurring issue early into this line; at least they were consistent, right?  Leia sports a unique sculpt. It’s fairly decent for the time, being only slightly pre-posed and generally pretty decently proportioned.  It captures the look from the movie pretty well, and only makes minor stylistic adjustments.  The thermal detonator in her left hand is permanently attached, which removes a little bit of versatility from the figure, but given how integral that piece is to her intro in Jedi, I’m willing to give them a pass.  The head doesn’t exactly look like Carrie Fisher, but it also doesn’t look like a chimpanzee, which puts it ahead of most of the Leias of the time.  The paintwork on Leia is generally pretty solid.  The colors match well enough with what we see on-screen, and the application is all pretty clean.  Leia was packed with a removable helmet and half-cape to complete her Boushh look, as well as the usual staff, which according to the packaging is actually a blaster rifle.  Who knew?  I certainly didn’t.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This wasn’t my first Leia (that was the monkey-faced ANH version), but this figure has the distinction of being my go-to Leia for most of my childhood.  I actually don’t 100% recall where this figure came from.  She was probably a gift, likely for my birthday, but that’s really just me making an educated guess.  Nevertheless, this was my favorite Leia for a good long while, and is the strongest of the ’90s Leia figures.  This figure is pretty much single-handedly responsible for my love of Leia as Boushh.

#1376: TIE Fighter Pilot

TIE FIGHTER PILOT

POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“With its vast space fleet, the Imperial Navy is a model of military efficiency. The best pilots in its ranks are rigorously trained to useto use highly maneuverable and heavily armed Twin Ion Engine (TIE) fighters. The small ships are used to both attack – and defend against – Rebel forces.”

Do I have to turn in my nerd card if I admit that until I read that bio in preparation for this review, I actually had no clue what TIE stood for?  I kinda thought it was because they looked like bow ties.  Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!  Wait, wrong 3 3/4-inch-based franchise!  Without further ado, let’s look at one of these Twin Ion Engine fighter pilots!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The TIE Fighter Pilot was released in 1996, during Power of the Force II’s second year.  This marks the second time this design had been seen in plastic, following the vintage figure.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation, which was standard for the line.  The figure’s sculpt was unique to him, and does a fairly decent job of capturing the TIE design from the movies.  He’s surprisingly tame in his stylization and his pre-posing, and also helped by not having a likeness to really worry about.  The lack of pre-pose is likely owed to his intended use with the actual TIE Fighter vehicle (which, fun fact, arrived on store shelves a year before this guy’s release), since too much of a pose would have made seating him in the ship rather difficult.  I appreciate that the figure’s been designed in such a way as to keep his neck movement, by way of attaching the tubes and box to his head.  It can look a little weird when turned to certain angles, but is by-and-large a well-worked out concept.  The paint on this guy could have been rather lazy and un-inspired, but Kenner went the extra mile and added differing sheens to the various black tones, as well as making sure he has all of the proper insignias.  It’s really quite remarkable work.  This figure was packed with two different blasters, one large, and one small.  Neither really seems to go with the figure, and mine has been without both for a little while.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, in addition to grandchild-specific gifts, both sets of grandparents would tend to go out and buy one smaller item in bulk, to give everyone that one same item.  The TIE Fighter was one such gift, given to all of the grandkids on my Dad’s side one year for Christmas.  We were all pretty into Star Wars at the time, so it was pretty sensible.  While I’ve never really had a particular attachment to the TIE Fighter pilot, I do still really like this guy, and he’s always been a steady fixture of my collection.

#1362: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Raised by his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru on their Tatooine moisture farm, young Luke dreamed of being a pilot for the Rebel Alliance. He realized his destiny after being saved from the Tusken Raiders by the mysterious Obi-Wan Kenobi, who told him of his past and began to teach the boy the ways of the Force. When the Empire killed Luke’s family, he and Kenobi set off to find Princess Leia, whose message hidden inside the droid R2-D2 beckoned them to join the Rebellion.”

Hey-o, it’s another Star Wars review.  Alright, let’s do this.  As I’ve noted a few times before, my main introduction to Star Wars toys was the 1990s revival line.  I came into it during the second year, meaning I generally missed out on the “main” versions of a lot of the characters.  Main versions inevitably found their way into my collection, of course, which is how I can look at this figure I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke was released in the very first series of Kenner’s Star Wars: Power of the Force II line.  He was the first Luke in the line, and is based on his farm boy look from A New Hope.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  As one of the earliest figures in the line, Luke falls victim to just about all of the oddities that plagued the line in its early days.  The pre-posing isn’t the worst, but he’s definitely got the odd proportions, especially those rippling pecs beneath his shirt, and those super tight clinging sleeves.  It’s Star Wars if Star Wars had been a harlequin romance, or an ‘80s action film starring Dolph Lungdreon.  Look, if your in a loose fitting shirt, your muscles shouldn’t be showing through as they please.  The head sculpt is kind of so-so.  None of the likenesses on these early figures were particularly close, but I’ve always found Luke’s to be one of the weakest.  It’s the same head they used on several of the earliest Luke figures, but it never really looked right.  It’s not a bad sculpt in and of itself, I guess.  The paint work on Luke is mostly pretty passable.  Everything’s pretty cleanly applied and all.  The color choices are a little off, mostly on the legs, which have an odd green tone to them.  Luke was packed with his lightsaber and a grappling hook thingy.  There were two versions of the saber available, depending on which run of the figure you got.  Earlier runs had the long saber (seen here) which is laughably long, to the point of being taller than the figure proper.  Later figures fixed this, replacing it with a more reasonably sized model.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Dagobah Training Luke was my first Luke Skywalker figure.  This one was my second, picked up for me by my maternal grandmother from a convention dealer’s room.  I settled for him because the look I really wanted (Bespin Luke) wasn’t yet available.  I can’t really say he’s ever been a favorite of mine.  This particular look just doesn’t work as well in the “x-treme” stylings of the PotF2 line.  Ultimately, he’s about par for the course for this line, which is at the very least entertaining.

#1348: Dash Rendar

DASH RENDAR

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“In all the galaxy there are few who can fly and shoot like Dash Rendar. Many years ago, as a cadet at the Imperial Acadmey, he continually impressed his superiors with the ability to push vessels beyond their usual limits, executing maneuvers his ships were never meant to perform. He held great promise as a future Imperial officer until a freight vessel piloted by his brother malfunctioned and crashed on Coruscant, destroying a private museum that housed many of the Emperor’s treasures. Though the mishap was not the pilot’s fault, the Emperor banished Rendar’s family and had Dash expelled from the academy. Given his bold disregard for regulation and arrogant confidence, it is doubtful that Dash would have fit in well within the ranks of the Empire anyway. He never hesitates to boast of his skills as an expert pilot and gunner. After his dismissal from the academy, he began a career as a thief and gambler, but soon discovered that his exceptional flying skills were a great asset in the smuggling business. He quickly became very successful, making his services expensive but guaranteed for the right price.”

That is a lot of bio right there.  And it’s especially long for a character who could best be summed up as “Han Solo for that one story where they needed Han Solo, but he was all frozen and stuff.”  That’s my official bio for him, anyway.  Dash is one of the earliest examples of a wholly Expanded Universe character appearing in a Star Wars toyline (he and Prince Xizor, from the same story, appeared at the same time), which is actually pretty nifty.  Sadly, that’s the only time he’s ever gotten a figure, but at least he got the one, meaning that I can review it here today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dash Rendar was released in the first and only series of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, a spin-off of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Dash has a unique sculpt, which was based on a number of Dash’s various designs.  Yes, as a totally non-film character, Dash didn’t have one particular design, just more of a general set of generally consistent elements.  He’s got the armor and the padded jumpsuit, which showed up just about everywhere.  He’s also got long sleeves, which kind of look to be unique to this figure; most depictions of him were bare-armed.  To be fair, the sleeves make him fit in a little better with the rest of the Star Wars characters.  In general, Dash’s design really is Han Solo if Han Solo had been designed by a comic book artist in the ‘90s, which is to say he’s a little ridiculous and over-designed.  On the plus side, the slightly exaggerated proportions and pose that most of the PotF2 figures had is right at home with Dash’s uber ‘90s design, which does make him a little more consistent as a whole.  In general, there’s some pretty solid work on Dash’s sculpt.  There’s a lot of fine detail work that you didn’t usually see on figures of this vintage.  Dash’s paint work is pretty decent as well.  The colors are slightly garish, but that fits the character, and at the very least the application’s all really sharp.  The figure was packed with two blasters, one large and one small.  There’s also a back pack, with a little arm that can attach to the larger blaster.  You know, for….reasons.  I don’t know *what* reasons, but I’m sure there are some.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this Dash figure growing up (though I *did* have his Micro Machine), but I always kind of wanted one.  Of course, since he was the only truly unique figure in the set, he was a little more scarce than the other figures.  I’ve been on the look out for him for a little while, and I ended up finding him at Pop Culture Exchange in Omaha, while on my way back home from Seattle.  Sure, he’s super, super ‘90s, but that’s kind of the best thing about him.  Guess I’m gonna have to get the Outrider for him to pilot now.  Oh darn.

#1334: R5-D4

R5-D4

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II

Hey guys! I’m not feeling too hot tonight so Super Awesome Girlfriend is helping me write this review. Isn’t she super awesome?

We’re looking at Star Wars stuff again. Something something something, droid info here-wait Ethan is actually reading this over my shoulder, so I should write something real…

Everybody knows C-3PO and R2-D2, but not many people know about R5-D4. Why? Because he blows up early on in the movie. It’s okay though, because he shares a lot of the same parts as R2 so he gets plenty of toys! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Today, we’ll be looking at one of those toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R5-D4 comes from the second year of Kenner’s Star Wars: Power of the Force II line. The figure is about 3 inches tall and depending on how you count articulation, he has 1 or 3 points (this will make sense later…so he says). So umm, surprisingly enough he and R2 don’t star any parts.

The sculpt is pretty accurate, overall, but it has a few inaccuracies. To start with, there’s the weird bar thingy running between the two back feet (roller things). The R2 figure didn’t have this, so why this one does is beyond Ethan’s congested mind. It just looks weird. Beyond that, there’s the weird silver thingies attached to his legs. Why are they there? Nobody knooooooows. Maybe they’re guns? Ehhhh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The sculpt is also hindered by the action feature. Remember how I mentioned that he explodes in the movie? Well Kenner tried to replicate that…sort of. The top of the figure, the dome, splits in half when you press the special yellow button at the base of the body. There’s also this missile that gets launched because why not? It kind of holds the figure back, because you can’t move the head around due to the missile stored there, which is kind of annoying really. But they tried…I guess. Okay, paint. This figure has paint. Let’s talk paint. It’s sandy looking, which is good because you know Tatooine has lots of sand. You know who hates sand? Anakin hates it, because it gets eeveeeeeeeeeerywhere! Including on this guy! Good work team, go team go. Ethan will probably edit this one later, you know, when his head isn’t full of mucus.

You know what the droid’s head is full of? Missiles…nah, just one, which is his only accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This lovely addition to the collection came from the Farpoint charity auction. Ethan has always had a soft spot for R5, which isn’t surprising because he has a soft spot for every robot, droid character. The figure is okay, he’s a bit held back by all the explodey stuff Kenner tried emulating with the figure. They could’ve done a lot worse, so he isn’t bad, just sandy. I honestly have no attachment to the droid, so there’s not much for me to say about it. I guess that’s it? Oh, Ethan just burrowed into the blankets…aaaaaaaaaaand he’s gone. I’m terribly sorry.

#1327: Princess Leia Organa – Jabba’s Prisoner

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — JABBA’S PRISONER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, Leia infiltrated Jabba’s palace as part of a small rescue team to free Han Solo, Leia was captured and forced to endure the status of Jabba’s slave until the opportunity to escape presented itself.”

My very first Princess Leia figure I reviewed for this site was the one from the second series of Black Series figures.  While I was generally nice to that figure in its proper review (I hadn’t yet become jaded and cynical), I’ve always had some issues with the decision to go with the Slave Leia design, seeing as it was the inaugural Leia in that scale.  I don’t have a huge issue with the costume overall, but I feel it’s not the character’s primary look.  Regardless, the design’s a popular one with the fanbase, which translates to toys.  Interestingly, the look wasn’t a part of the vintage line; it’s first release was in 1997, more than a decade after it appeared on screen.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa as Jabba’s Prisoner was released in the third year of Kenner’s Star Wars: Power of the Force II line.  She was the third single-release of Leia in the line (there were also four Leias in the Princess Leia Collection and another packed with the Endor Speeder Bike, all released the same year as this one; 1997 was a good year for Leia).  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall (which was rather tall for a Leia figure; later figures would go shorter) and has 6 points of articulation.  This is one of those figures where lessened articulation is a plus, since her design is kind of hindered by being broken up for lots of articulation.  Here, she’s got the simplest assortment of articulation, which allows her to avoid having unsightly lines all over her skin.  In addition, since she’s from later in the line’s run, she’s spared a lot of the crazy proportions that plagued earlier POTF2 figures.  Generally speaking, her sculpt is pretty decent; the details are all pretty true the film’s design, and the proportions are among the best we’ve seen on a Slave Leia figure.  The face doesn’t look much like Carrie Fisher, but it’s far from the worst Leia sculpt from this line, and it’s not a terrible sculpt.  The skirt piece is plastic on this figure, which I think looks for a better overall look when compared the cloth used for just about every other Slave Leia figure; it actually allows for a bit of dynamic flow and is unlikely to fray over time, which are both definite plusses.  The paint work on this Leia is pretty decent.  She’s about on par with the rest of the line; the application is clean and the colors match up with the source material.  The gold actually adds a nice bit of vibrance to the figure, and is one of the better gold paints I’ve seen on an action figure.  Leia’s only accessory is a removable collar with a chain attached.  It’s a bit bulky and doesn’t ever seem to sit right, but it’s easily removed of you so desire.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the Bespin Han Solo, while I didn’t own this figure for myself growing up, it was one of the ones my Grandmother had at her house for my cousin Patrick to play with.  Like that Han figure, she went missing somewhere along the way, so when those figures were absorbed into my collection, she wasn’t one of them.  I finally added this figure to my collection  early this year, picking her up from the Farpoint charity auction alongside several other POTF2 figures.  She’s not my favorite version of Leia or anything, but she’s a decent enough figure, I suppose.

#1320: Yoda

YODA

STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“For over 800 years, the diminutive Jedi Master known as Yoda trained the most committed students in the ways of the Force, guiding them into their roles as Jedi Knights, protectors of peace in the galaxy.”

Yoda.  Talks funny, he does.  That’s all I got.

Okay, I’ve probably got more.  The Star Wars prequels are bad for a whole lot of reasons, but if I had to pick one thing I hated the most, it’d be how badly they mucked up the Jedi Knights, Yoda most of all.  For me, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith cement the little green guy as possibly one of the worst people in the whole galaxy far, far away, having him not only be the guy who essentially establishes the Empire, but also making largely responsible for Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, by way of spending the majority of Episode III’s first act poking the bear with a stick.  But that’s enough of that.  Let’s go back to when Yoda wasn’t totally the worst!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yoda was released in Power of the Force II’s second assortment of figures.  This was Yoda’s second action figure, following the original vintage figure.  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  He’s not particularly posable, but I honestly can’t think of a Yoda figure that has been, so it’s hard to hold that against this guy.  In terms of sculpt, as a largely inhuman sort of character, he didn’t fall victim to the same problems that plagued most of the other figures from this line.  With that being said, he’s still rather stylized, and not exactly a pitch-perfect recreation of his on-screen counter part.  The head’s definitely a bit big, and the hands are just sort of goofy looking.  Admittedly, he looks more like his real-life counterpart than most of his compatriots, so that’s a plus.  The articulation really isn’t worked into the sculpt, which is most evident around the hips, where the robes he’s wearing just randomly break their flow.  I’m also not entirely sure what’s going on with how the sleeves of the robe are hanging; it doesn’t seem to lend itself to any particular pose.  In terms of paint, he’s relatively passable.  Basic application seems to be pretty solid, though he’s a little bug-eyed.  They added some slight shading as you get further down the robe, which makes it look like it’s been slowly picking up grime over the years.  Overall, the paint’s fine, but all of his colors seem to sort of blend together, which looks a little bland.  Yoda includes his cane (which he has a little trouble holding), as well as a back-carrier.  The second piece goes with the Dagobah Training version of Luke from this same line, allowing Yoda to be carried on that figure’s back (please excuse the photo; I didn’t have Luke handy, so I just went with the blonde hero kid I had on hand).  It’s actually a pretty nice way of adding some extra value to a figure that would otherwise be half the size of his compatriots.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this Yoda growing up.  In fact, I don’t believe I had any Yodas growing up.  I got this guy at the same time as most of the PotF2 figures I’ve reviewed as of late; he came from the Farpoint Charity auction.  This is actually figure I’ve been meaning to track down for some time, since the complimentary Luke was my very first Star Wars figure.  He’s a bit on the goofy side, but I’m pretty pleased to finally have him!