Hasbro decided to open up the 30 (77-07) line with six general release Commemorative Tin Collection sets, one from each film, that encased four Star Wars action figures in quasi vintage Kenner packaging. Hasbro thought outside of the box quite a bit for these sets by including more than just straight repacks. Instead, they decided to refresh some of the already produced figures with some enhancements, and they repainted others. Hasbro understood the needs of the collector market strongly. By including more than just “straight repacks” would guarantee more interest than if if they had done the latter. And by retooling, or kit-bashing the figures already made, collectors could easily accept that they were getting something new with their hard earned dollars. In short, this approach guaranteed success. And the Commemorative Tin Collection multipacks were indeed successful. For $24.99, you got four Star Wars action figures, some refreshed in some fashion or another, and a collectors’ tin that housed them all together. Then Hasbro added in some retro-styled packaging (reminiscent of the clearance two-packs by Kenner in the mid eighties) which became the icing on the cake. What we’re trying to say here is that Hasbro produced quite a deal for collectors. There is value for your dollar.
The Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (5 of 6) set continues with the same approach as the others. Contained within it are something old, something new, something borrowed and even something blue, well brown in this case. Snowtrooper may be the most aggressively retooled figure in this set. Hasbro took 2003’s SW Snowtrooper (The Battle Of Hoth) (‘03 #19), retooled the torso so it could accommodate a ball-socket head joint at the neck post. And after adding, you guessed it, a clone head, Hasbro also included a removable Snowtrooper helmet for good measure. The Snowtrooper, actually a Snowtrooper Commander in this instance, has also been completely repainted. It is almost like getting an all-new figure here. Sadly, most collectors are probably looking to army the standard infantry Snowtroopers, so to get another “Snowtrooper Commander” again so soon is probably something that will be a relative letdown. Chewbacca is another figure that will interest collectors. Would you believe Hasbro has sculpted an all-new head for the fantastic 2004 VOTC Chewbacca figure to make it more Episode V specific? It is very close and similar to the VOTC head sculpt, but there are evident differences that exist between them. Chewbacca has also been give a “snowy” wash over his fur, but sadly they left most of the front of him undone.
Luke Skywalker and Han Solo may be the least interesting figures in the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (5 of 6) set. But there are few things to note. Luke Skywalker is a repaint of 2004’s SW Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) (‘04 #03) figure. The battle-damage on the face (the bloody marks) has been removed to give him a pre-Wampa attack appearance, although the embellished cracks in his face from the scars are still notably visible. The rest of the figure has also received paint job updates, but the lack of articulation really doesn’t make this figure that any more enthralling. This was a figure that was meant to interact with an environmental display stand and since that is not included here it feel like Luke Skywalker is lacking a bit. The same goes for Han Solo. He has the least amount of paint operation changes, but he is a slightly different color than the running change "brown coat" figure released as 2003’s SW Han Solo (Hoth Rescue) (‘03 #13) figure. He doesn’t come with the sensor pack, but all of the other accessories from the original release are here. In summation, the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (5 of 6) set gives us two “new” figures and two repaints. That is more than enough to satisfy our requirements for a purchase. It’s a deal. And to qualify, it’s a great deal.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Commemorative Tin Collection – 5 of 6)
Assortment Number: TBD
Retail: $24.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Insulated against: Temperature extremes
But not against: Rebel blaster fire
Almost capture: the Millennium Falcon
Emerging like invisible ghosts from the tundra, few sights chill the hearts of Rebel soldiers like a charging battalion of Imperial Snowtroopers.
Status: Snowtrooper is a retool of 2003's SW Snowtrooper (The Battle of Hoth) ('03 #19) figure. This time the torso has been retooled to interact with a ball-scoket head joint. An all-new clone head with scratch marks has been tooled for this release. The Snowtrooper has also been completely repainted.
Articulation Count: 7 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 swivel shoulders, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, ball-jointed right ankle
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: removable helmet, blaster, backpack
Date Stamp: 2003
Captured by: A Wampa
Leads: The snowspeeder assault
Lucky he carries: An ascension gun
Though he lacks little formal training in the Force, Luke's natural talent keeps him alive in the brutally cold wilds of Hoth. His strength helps him recuperate quickly enough to lead the snowspeeder counterattack against the oncoming strength of the Empire.
Status: Luke Skywalker is a repaint of 2004's SW Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) ('04 #03) figure. Most notably, this time Hasbro omitted the bloody paint operations on the face. The environmental display stand has not been included for this release as well.
Articulation Count: 8 points
Articulation Details: hinge-jointed head, swivel neck, swivel scarf, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, goggles
Date Stamp: 2003
Determined to find: Luke Skywalker
Vehicle: Millennium Falcon
Pursued into : An asteroid field
Though he is determined to return to Tatooine and finally settle up with Jabba the Hutt, Han Solo keeps getting pulled back in to the Rebellion. This time, it's Luke, missing in the freezing waste with night falling, and the Imperials on their way.
Status: Han Solo is a repaint of 2003's SW Han Solo (Hoth Rescue) [Brown] ('03 #13) figure. Although this version of Han Solo also comes with a brown parka, it is yet another shade of brown. The sensor pack included with the original basic figure has not been included here.
Articulation Count: 10 points
Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel forearms, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, blaster pistol, removable facemask
Date Stamp: 1997
Hates: The cold
Constant companion and co-pilot to Han Solo, Chewbacca is left to struggle with the repairs to the Millennium Falcon while Solo risks his life out on the tundra, searching for Luke.
Status: Chewbacca is a retool and repaint of 2004's VOTC Chewbacca figure. This time around, the figure has been given an all-new head sculpt. The figure has also been given a final "snowy" coat of paint on pretty much everywhere but the torso of the figure.
Articulation Count: 15 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, ball-jointed mid-section, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: bowcaster (2 parts)
Date Stamp: 2004