Welcome to another one our JTA Presents: Evolutions features! Let’s check out how close or far we are from having an ideal Hasbro 3.75″ Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) action figure. Have we arrived at definitive status yet? Weigh in and let us know what conclusion you’ll come to by clicking through and adding your two cents in the comments!
If you were part of the neo-classic collecting community when Kenner/Hasbro re-released the Star Wars line in 1995, you know what the introduction of never-before-made action figures did for you over 20 years ago. After an inaugural wave of modern redone classic characters, Kenner/Hasbro steppe outside of their action figure comfort zone and produced figures that we’d never seen previously. Luke Skywalker in his Dagobah training outfit (the one with the tank top) was one of the first action figures that fit this description. The figure’s release in 1996 showed collectors not only what Kenner’s/Hasbro’s plans were for the future but provided collectors with a take on Luke Skywalker we always wanted in our collections but had to make do without, sadly. Thankfully, Hasbro gave us a few options of this character to consider throughout the years. This trend hasn’t stopped today, and we’re still getting characters and versions of characters that are first-time offerings for the basic figure line.
Luke Skywalker (In Dagobah Fatigues) from 1996’s The Power Of The Force “2” ]Red] line.
1996’s The Power Of The Force “2” [Red] Luke Skywalker (In Dagobah Fatigues) was a figure that everyone collecting at the time wanted. He came with a strange and awkward pose which made standing him a bit of a challenge. But his lean was intentional so that the figure could accommodate both a backpack and Yoda (also released at the same time) so that Luke could cart him around just like in the movie while maintaining balance. Sure, Luke Skywalker (In Dagobah Fatigues) was much too muscular and his head sculpt was dreadful, but things like that had little consequence to our buying decisions. We were so happy to see new action figures that we accepted the things we couldn’t change at the time.
Luke Skywalker (OTC #01) from 2004’s The Original Trilogy Collection line.
Everything changed for Star Wars collector with the release of 2004’s The Original Trilogy Collection Luke Skywalker (#01) figure. (He was subsequently re-released as 2005’s OTC Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) (’05 #9) figure also.) Not only did Hasbro up their game with an incredibly accurate body sculpt and head sculpt, but they also included a set of interchangeable arms and an alternate head sculpt so that we could recreate him doing a handstand as he did on Dagobah under Yoda’s guidance. Oh, and let’s not forget about the environmental display stand which not only aided him in remaining upright but also provided a backdrop on Dagobah when connected with other figures in the same wave. The figure still holds up remarkably well today.
Luke Skywalker from 2006’s The Saga Collection Luke Skywalker’s X-wingToys R Us exclusive.
Hasbro revisited the 2004 The Original Trilogy Collection figure to add as a pack-in figure to The Saga Collection’s Toys R us exclusive Luke Skywalker’s X-wing release. Not only did we receive a Dagobah-inspired version of Luke’s X-wing fighter, but the exclusive is also notable for the inclusion of a Dragonsnake (the beast that tried to swallow R2-D2 in the bog). While maintaining the integrity of the torso and legs, Hasbro resculpted the arms and head to give us yet another unique version of Luke Skywalker based on his training time with Yoda. It’s hard to state whether this version of Luke Skywalker is better or worse. It is probably best described as “different.” With fewer parts and a darker skin complexion, it makes it difficult to determine if the figure is an upgrade or not. Many collectors are inclined to believe he isn’t a significant update or update at all.
Luke Skywalker (#21) from 2014’s The Black Series [Phase I] line.
By the time we reached the super-articulated era of Star Wars collecting, they were eager to see how the latest version of Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) would look after the name appeared on some rumor reports first revealed by Jedi Temple Archives. Once officially announced, the prototype images for The Black Series [Phase I] Luke Skywalker (#21) figure looked glorious. But when the figure went into production, the final figure was a disappointment unlike no other. Hasbro went too far with the articulation, and Luke Skywalker’s arms looked more machine than human, twisted and evil. What’s more, the figure received one of the worse paint jobs the collecting community had ever seen throwing collectors into fits of rage. Why would Hasbro do this to a figure that collectors had waited for years to receive and then do these horrid things to it? Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Fatigues) had assuredly never looked this bad in the Hasbro line.
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Training) Group Shot
Questions for discussion:
1. In your opinion, do we have a definitive version of this figure?
2. If we don’t have a definitive version of this figure, should Hasbro tool a new figure from the ground up again, or should they tweak a current sculpt to perfect it instead?
3. If the figure ranks as definitive for you, do you want to see it repackaged in vintage Kenner packaging (The Vintage Collection) if it isn’t already?
4. Add any other points of note or interest in the comments about any of these versions of Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) action figures.
3.75" Action Figures 3.75" Super-Articulated Hasbro Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back The Black Series [Phase I] The Original Trilogy Collection The Power Of The Force "2" [Red] The Saga Collection
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