Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Action Figure Review: X-34 Landspeeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  I've been sitting on this review for a couple of weeks as I had quite a few other things to review and, boy, have I been itching to get to this one. It's the SDCC 2017 exclusive X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker from Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series. The Landspeeder was my first Star Wars vehicle, although mine was from the Power of the Force II line. It's always been a vehicle that absolutely represents Star Wars to me, probably even more so than the Millennium Falcon. I'm not saying I like it more or think it's more iconic; there's just something about it that perfectly captures the "lived in" Star Wars feel. This year Hasbro had three Black Series exclusive items (this, Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Rey and Luke 2-pack. Heck, four if you count the Toys 'R Us exclusive Gree.) and I have to say that this is the one I was most looking forward to. While Hasbro is going to be releasing this vehicle later this year, the SDCC exclusive has some differences such as higher quality paint applications, a spinning engine turbine, a "premium" tunic, and a deluxe display box. I'm a Black Series sucker and I had to have the best version of the Landspeeder, so here it is! Since this is a pretty big release, I'm going to skip the usual "Positives & Negatives" format and go through the set piece by piece. Let's take a closer look at the Landspeeder and Luke Skywalker after the break...



The Facts:

Height: 5 3/4 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Tunic, belt, lightsaber hilt with removable blade, macrobinouclars, poncho, hat, and rifle.

 X-34 Landspeeder

Length: 12 1/2 inches

Accessories: Removable windshield and hovering stand.

Non-Scalper Price: $90 dollars (but good luck finding it for that price)


* First we'll take a look at Luke Skywalker. This version of Luke is an upgraded version of the standard Black Series and 40th Anniversary release with a new headsculpt, a better quality tunic, slightly different paint applications on the legs, and more accessories. Other than the headsculpt, the base body is pretty similar, so you might want to check out my review of the original figure. The articulation is still pretty impressive and definitely makes me wish more Star Wars figures has double jointed elbows.

 * One negative is that there is some weird scuffing or paint rub on Luke's stomach. I'm not sure where it came from, but it's there. I mean, since he's usually wearing a tunic it's not a big deal, but if you're wanting to recreate the classic Star Wars poster you might be disappointed.



* Here's a look at Luke's new tunic. It's tough to see from a picture but the tunic material is a different and seemingly higher quality material than that of the standard release. It really looks pretty nice.

* Luke features a new headsculpt and it's....OK. Mark Hamill just has a face that everyone seems to have difficulty replicating. There are some parts that look good, but the composition of the face overall just seems off. There's also a weird mottled paint job on the face that might be Hasbro's attempt to make the face look like it's covered in dust and grime, but it looks off.


* Luke's hair does look really good, though. Hasbro did a nice job here with the texture and the color.


 * Luke includes two of the same accessories as the standard Luke Skywalker release: A pair of macrobinoculars and a lightsaber. They feature the same details as the previous releases: A belt clip on the binoculars and a removable blade on the lightsaber.

 * Luke comes with some new accessories that allow us to have a fully fleshed out Tatooine Luke Skywalker. The first is his 6-2Aug2 hunting rifle that he carries into the Jundland Wastes in A New Hope. It has a simple paintjob, but the sculpt is nice and quite accurate. This thing is really long, too!

* The second new accessory is Luke's floppy hat with goggles. The goggles are not removable (they're just sculpted on). The hat fits Luke nicely and looks really good on the figure. It definitely helps to give him a very unique appearance that sets him apart from the standard figure. I've always loved this floppy hat and I'm so thrilled to have it in the Black Series.


* Last, and certainly not least, of Luke's new accessories is his poncho. Luke doesn't wear it long in A New Hope but I feel it's a pretty iconic outfit when couples with the hat. It's a very simple poncho, really. It looks OK, but I wish the fit were a bit better. The material feels like it flows out too much. Maybe there's something I could do to make it fit better?
 * Now, let's get to talking about the Landspeeder! First of all, I want to address the size. I've seen a few comments about the Landspeeder being too small. It might be a bit too narrow, but I definitely think it's long enough. An X-34 Landspeeder is supposed to be 3.4 meters long so, converted to 1/6th scale in inches, that about 11.15 inches. Factor in the length of the top turbine and you're looking at just shy of 12 inches, which seems very accurate.
 * Is the speeder a bit cramped? Maybe, but that seems to be part of the design. If you look at pictures from A New Hope it definitely seems like the actual Landspeeder prop was pretty cramped, too. Of course, an action figure doesn't have the ability to contort as much as an actual human body, so their stiffness can be noticed. Still, I think it looks pretty awesome with Luke and C-3PO in it. I'm not at all disappointed by the size here.

* What I am disappointed is that there really isn't a way to get Obi-Wan Kenobi in here. of course, that's more of a problem with Obi-Wan's hard plastic tunic than with the Landspeeder itself. Still, seems worth pointing out. I've seen folks post pictures of him riding in the seat, so I'm assuming that someone cut off or trimmed the bottom of the robe to make it work. I almost think Hasbro should have released a redone Obi-Wan with this set to compensate for this issue rather than Luke.

* The droids can ride, too. While C-3PO can sit on the back with his legs down in the storage well, R2-D2 just lays flat across the back. We all know that the Black Series R2 is too small but I'm not sure how a larger one would fit as this guy seems to want to fall off. There is a hole where the plug on the back of R2-D2's dome can plug in but it doesn't work all that well.


 * Time to talk about some good stuff now, right? First I'm going to admire just how nice this looks. It's very worn and weathered with a nice mixture of painted and sculpted detail. The velocity sensor (the light brown scope) can rotate while the power booster circuits visible on the hood are nicely painted.



 * There's also a clip to hold Luke's rifle on the driver's side (which, is on the right).



* Here's another view of the front of the Landspeeder, this time from the left.


 * Here's a view of a massive dent on the front of the Landspeeder. I wonder what Luke hit? Maybe this is why Wioslea didn't give Luke full Blue Book price for his X-34, huh?



* Because the vintage and POTF2 Landspeeders featured opening hoods, I would except no less from Hasbro's Black Series release. Underneath this thing is really impressive. There's just so much junk and wiring and dirt and whatnot. I love it. This is just such a fun feature!

* The SDCC exclusive Landspeeder also features a spinning turbine. Press the silver button (middle right in the picture) and the turbine spins a bit. It's not a very strong spin, but I like it. It's not intrusive and it adds a bit of cool factor.


* Here's a view of the vents on the side. They're not made of metal, but they really look like they are due to the paintwork. Very impressive!


* Let's move back and check out the cockpit. The windshield is easily removable which makes putting figures in and taking them out so much easier.


* The interior is fairly accurate although it does seem a bit "toyish" in spots. The floor just looks too plain and flat. I love the middle display, but I wish the too side displays had some sort of detail as well.


* What kind of leather do you think these seats are supposed to be? Nerf leather? I think it's definitely nerf leather.

 * Here's a view of the storage well I mentioned earlier. It gives passengers riding on the back (like C-3PO) the ability to tuck their legs in and ride on the back. It also provides a handy place to store Luke's poncho and hat. Or a bunch of blasters. Make Luke Skywalker run guns and spice across the deserts of Tatooine in your own crazy version of Star Wars: Infinities.


* Here's some more damage across the back rear. The damage looks great (nice job Hasbro) but it definitely reminds us that Luke is essentially driving around a beater. Still, it's cooler than any car I've ever driven.


* The back right features an opening hatch. I love little storage areas like this as they add so much fun to a toy. I remember how cool I thought the opening hood was on the POTF2 Landspeeder was, so I can imagine how much fun I would have had with this as a kid.


* On the left side is another opening hatch, this time filled with the repulsor-field generator.


 * This exposed turbine looks awesome. The detail is not only painted well but it has a three dimensional effect thanks to the use of multiple lairs of parts on top of one another.

 * How do you keep the Landspeeder on display? By using this handy flight stand of course! It's a clear plastic flight stand that plugs in to the bottom of the Landspeeder and keeps it hovering comfortably above ground. Much cooler than pop out wheels.

* Another difference that you may or may not care about is the box. The SDCC exclusive includes this deluxe box that looks really nice on display. I rarely keep anything in the box long but I did make sure to snap a picture before opening this one up. Surprisingly, it's very collector freindly; the top can be opened by only removing two pieces of tape.


 * The box is very heavy and is built to last (it reminds me of the material from a high end 1/6th scale figure). It's also covered with nice graphics showing off the schematics of an X-34 Landspeeder.

* Is the box truly collector friendly? Not really, but you can use it like a display case. I really like this feature and I need to find a way to implement it in my display. It's certainly not perfectly easy to open (there is cardboard, plastic, and ties holding the speeder and accessories in place) but this is a box that does feel like an actual accessory and not just pretty packaging.
  I love this Landspeeder. It very well might be my favorite SDCC exclusive this year. It's not perfect, although it's tough to say that it has a fatal flaw, either. It's more of a "is this $90 version of what will later be a $60" release?" type of issue. The Luke figure, despite having extra cool accessories, isn't really an improvement from the first release. In fact, the base figure and headsculpt might be a bit weaker. The Landspeeder itself is pretty impressive, though. Overall, I think this is a Great set, but it absolutely is overprice. Unless you're an absolute hardcore Black Series collector, I think you can safely skip the SDCC release and wait for the standard version that will hit on Force Friday. There's some cool stuff here, but it's not going to be worth unless you want the exclusivity. This isn't at all like Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose accessories make the figure. Oh, and don't worry: I'll be getting around to reviewing him, too!

Looking for more Landspeeder and Luke Skywalker reviews? You're in luck! A few months back I reviewed the Funko POP! Luke Skywalker with Landspeeder! I've also reviewed micro versions of Luke from the Galoob Micro Machines Classic Characters (2nd Edition) set and the Hasbro Endor Forest Battle, multiple Black Series Lukes including (Bespin Outfit), (X-Wing Pilot), (Jedi Knight) , (Stormtrooper Disguise), in Hoth Disguise with Wampa, and the standard classic Luke Skywalker, and the Hero Mashers Luke Skywalker and Luke Skywalker Vs. Darth Vader.

If you're looking for more Black Series: Phase III figures, why not check these out?

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
C-3PO
C-3PO (Resistance Base)
Captain Phasma
Chewbacca
Chirrut Imwe 
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Director Krennic
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo 
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard
Jango Fett
K-2SO
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Lando Calrissian
Luke Skywalker 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia Organa 
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Snowtrooper 
Tusken Raider 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! Are you going to review the Luke and Rey set too?

    ReplyDelete

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