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JTA Presents: Evolutions - Lobot

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″ Lobot 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!

Lobot

 

Lobot is a beloved character from The Empire Strikes Back. Kenner got him out for The Empire Strikes Back toy line in 1981, and carried him forward into the Return Of The Jedi line. Sadly, Lobot didn’t perform well as an action figure. But young kids, adult collectors always welcomed him warmly into their collections throughout the years. Disappointingly, Hasbro doesn’t make him often, and the last version we have is from a decade and a half ago.

Interestingly, I have personally seen an unreleased version of Lobot (tooled around 2012) that was planned for release somewhere within The Vintage Collection line, like the TARGET exclusive Special Action Figure Sets for example. Devastatingly, that version has never been released, and longtime collectors are waiting desperately for Hasbro to give us our definitive update in the relaunched The Vintage Collection.

 

Lobot from 1981’s The Empire Strikes Back line

            

1981’s THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK figure is pretty good. The likeness is admirable, and Kenner included a blue Bespin blaster to outfit the human-cyborg. As Lando Calrissian’s right-hand man, Lobot functioned beautifully for young kids in the original Kenner era, serving as background fodder for the Cloud City playset, and carbon-freezing Han Solo. Lobot didn’t offer much more than that, but something about him always keeps him on collectors’ wish lists time and again.

 

Lobot 1998’s The Power Of The Force “2” [Green/Freeze Frame] line.

            

Who can forget getting the disco version of Lobot in The Power Of The Force “2” Freeze Frame line? Collectors were so happy for an update that they overlooked his danceable pose and weird posture and added him to their collections unconditionally. But as time moved forward, most Star Wars collectors realized this figure was far from perfect. It’s a bit sad that this figure didn’t turn out better because the head sculpt holds up well even by today’s standards.

 

Lobot (#20) from 2004’s The Original Trilogy Collection line.

            

Hasbro made significant strides with The Original Trilogy Collection Lobot (OTC #20) figure. It was one of seven “all-new” figures for the 2004 phase of the line and came with some brilliant accessories like a console of obviously linked to Bespin city’s central computer. The figure is lacking in articulation, but the sculpt and paint operations hold up well, and the accessories included are wonderful. The removable computer “ear muffs” were an odd addition, but added some extra play value. But the figure doesn’t meet definitive status by any measure. Hopefully, Hasbro will make Lobot a priority for The Vintage Collection (part II).

 

Lobot Group Shot

Lobot

 

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 Lobot action figures.

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