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JTA Presents: Evolutions - Lando Calrissian

Welcome to another one of our JTA Presents: Evolutions features! Let’s check out how close or far we are from having an ideal Hasbro 3.75″ Lando Calrissian 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!

Lando Calrissian

 

Why does Hasbro habitually ignore the most important Star Wars characters in the 3.75” super-articulated line? How do we not have a definitive version of Lando Calrissian as he appeared in Episode V as the Baron Administrator of Cloud City? The last attempt by Hasbro is an admirable one, but it has become obsolete thanks to terrible swivel elbows and a discoloring issue that is frustrating beyond words. Many collectors hope and pray that Lando Calrissian will be a point of focus for Hasbro in the relaunch of The Vintage Collection. Help us, Hasbro, you’re our only hope.

 

Lando Calrissian from 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back line

            

One of the most significant characters to come out of the Star Wars saga is Lando Calrissian. Kenner knew this immediately and made him part of the first wave of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK characters released in 1980’s vintage Kenner Star Wars action figure line. The figure turned out alright, but kids of that time were so happy to add another friend of Luke Skywalker’s, Han Solo’s and Princess Leia Organa’s to their collections. Kenner released a running change where they added the sclera of his eyes and added teeth. But many collectors feel that the version without the white paint added holds up best.

 

Lando Calrissian 1995’s The Power Of The Force “2” [Red] line.

            

Fifteen years exist between the first vintage Kenner Lando Calrissian figure and the first modern version. Sadly, The Power Of The Force “2” [Red] Lando Calrissian might be the bulkiest of the “he-man” figures of that era. His upper chest is WIDE, and his waist is tiny. And the musculature in his extremities gives the figure the impression that it lifts weights for a full-time job. What’s more, Kenner/Hasbro tooled a separately sculpted cape for the figure, and it weighed the figure down terribly, making it difficult to keep standing up.

 

Lando Calrissian {Bespin Escape) from 2001’s Power Of The Jedi line.

            

By the time 2001 came around, Hasbro kept working hard producing as many Original Trilogy characters they never made before, while updating some of their past failures. Thankfully, the original Lando Calrissian was on Hasbro’s radar, and the redid the figure in a “Bespin Escape” type of pose where he is partially running/moving forward in approach. The figure has a fantastic likeness, and the soft-goods cape is gorgeous (aside from that annoying collar that stays in the flipped-up position all the time) and satisfied collectors for a couple of years until a new version came along.

 

Lando Calrissian from 2004’s The Original Trilogy Collection “Vintage” line.

            

Everything changed when Hasbro announced The Original Trilogy Collection “Vintage” line. If you weren’t a collector at the time, you missed out on what was one of the most exciting announcements by Hasbro of all time. You could feel the feverish excitement in the air, and collectors around the world couldn’t wait to add them to their lives. With only four slots per Original Trilogy film available, Hasbro wisely chose Lando Calrissian as one of the Episode V picks. With a stunning sculpt and gorgeous soft-goods, on top of glorious articulation and vintage Kenner-inspired packaging, Lando Calrissian was a hallmark of the line. Sadly, the figure has not aged well. The swivel elbows and the yellowing/discoloring torso means Hasbro needs to update this figure immediately. And everyone hopes they do soon. This figure was repainted and added to the Walmart’s exclusive 2008 30 (77-07) Lando Calrissian/Stormtrooper Comic Packs two-pack and then also repainted for 2010’s The Vintage Collection’s Special Action Figure Set TARGET exclusive 9-pack.

 

Lando Calrissian Group Shot

Lando Calrissian

 

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 Lando Calrissian action figures.

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