On the remote swamp planet Dagobah, Jedi Master Yoda teaches young Luke Skywalker the ways of the Jedi and the power of the Force.
"My ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
The second phase of The Black Series line is in full swing. With early Walgreen store reports boasting that the exclusive Prototype Boba Fett and the complementary Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Sandtrooper figures are being found (not by everyone by the way), generally speaking, collectors everywhere are becoming very eager once again.... because stuff is, well arriving at the brick and mortar level after struggling for so long. The Black Series 6” line has had some resistance and experienced a somewhat uphill battle, but it’s being firmly embraced more and more by the collecting community as Hasbro indirectly dedicates the line to longtime collectors by focusing a tremendous part of it to characters from the Original Trilogy. In fact, only a small portion of the figures have been sourced to the Prequel Trilogy. Ever willing to try all formats of characters in this scale, Hasbro hasn’t shied away from super tall characters like Chewbacca to the ever so demure and beloved Yoda. And we're happy to report that the small figures have turned out as well as the larger ones. The Black Series 6” Yoda is a great figure. We should state that right away so it's clear to you. It is not perfect however so we’re stuck on how to properly score it. There is no doubt that Hasbro designed a spectacular sculpt here. So many of his details are perfect, but the deco at times prevents the stunning sculpt from shining through like it should. Yoda’s expression is completely flawless and his proportions have been absolutely perfected. The details in his hands, feet and the outfit under the soft-goods honestly couldn’t be sculpted any better than they have. So what’s the problem then? Well, we don’t want to sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s the paint operations. And we’re not necessarily referring to the fine details like the paint utilized for eyes and mouths. It’s the overall color palette that has us struggling for complete satisfaction.
There is still enough greatness with this Yoda release. Specifically, collectors who grew up with the Kenner line are going to go crazy with extras like the snake accessory as well as how his costume is made up. (Think 1981's Yoda figure in every way!) It’s a pure joy and nod to the legacy Kenner left us from a long time ago. Granted, there were many differing shades of light and shadow throughout The Empire Strikes Back. But we’re still not convinced that Yoda was this shade of darker green. Even Kenner wasn't completely sure of Yoda's coloring and released two differently colored figures of their own. Despite the disappointing lack of articulation on 2014’s TBS [P1] Yoda (#22) 3.75” scaled figure, we feel that the shade of green on that figure much more closely resembles the actual shade of Yoda’s skin in the film. Others may be on the fence about this. Maybe you feel that this shade of green is almost exact. And maybe you’re right. But we are more inclined to feel that when it comes down to an interpretation of a Star Wars character in action figure form, a key trait can’t be off in the slightest. And for us, the skin immediately grabs us as if something is “off “ about it. Plus, in a premium (and expensive) collectors’ line, we think that we should hold Hasbro to a higher level of exactness. The color of this Yoda’s skin is close, but not completely perfect. Interestingly, all of the other details on the figure as well as the accessories seem to possess the perfect coloring. So, we’re not sure what happened where the skin of Yoda appears to dark. We are a little bit on the fence with the finer painted details for the eyes, but just a little bit. Yoda appears ever so slightly “deer in headlights” to us. His wide-eyed expression is particularly accentuated because the whites of his eyes are “full” in the eye socket area. It’s not exaggerated, but we still think it is noticeable. Thankfully the whites of his eyes are not leaking onto the outside perimeter of the eyes. More importantly, we can see a clear delineation between Yoda’s iris and pupil in each eye and these applications are applied extremely well, so we’re quite satiated with how these paint operations came out.
Yoda’s articulation is quite good. We have noticed that Hasbro has backed off from using ball-jointed articulation in the torso and hips and they instead use the simpler ball-socket type of articulation instead. This definitely interrupts the full range of motion a ball-jointed point of articulation possesses, so that is minor disappointment for us (but not a total deal-breaker). We also wonder if it helps them save a few pennies costing the figure out. Yoda has a ball-socket neck (like most other figures in this line too), but it absolutely does not give enough range of motion either. We would have loved to have been able to pose Yoda looking up (or down for that matter) just as he did in Episode V, but you get the most movement rocking his head left and right much more than you can up and down, which is slightly disappointing. We are also a little bit on the fence about his double hinge-jointed elbows. We know what controversy this type of articulation caused in the 3.75" scaled line, but we wonder how collectors will feel about it with Yoda in the 6" line. Yoda can scratch his ears thanks to this "enhanced" articulation, but this type of joint prevent any horizontal movement (or left to right) arm motion. The elbow articulation is a bittersweet addition obviously. It seems to work better for bigger characters. We also would have loved to see ball-jointed knees added here, but between the rest of the premium articulation and the excellent sculpt, we honestly are quite taken with this figure despite its few flaws. Yoda comes with a wide range of accessories and all of his Original Trilogy key pieces have been included here. But we wonder if Hasbro needed to include a lightsaber hilt and lightsaber blade based on the Prequel Trilogy version of Yoda, especially when this particular release is definitely an Episode V Yoda. Maybe they could have tooled a new head sculpt and made an Episode I through Episode III version of him just to keep things as pure as possible. Again, Yoda may not be perfect, but he is good and borders on excellent. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons yourself to see if this is a must-have figure for you, which in our own estimation it clearly is.
About this figure: The Research Droids Review and the Visual Guide for The Black Series [P2] Yoda (#06) figure is a coordinated effort between Jedi Temple Archives and Big Kev's Geek Stuff (http://bkgeekstuff.com/) and would not have been possible without the assistance of our good friend Kevin Schwoebel. Big Kev's Geek Stuff will also be reviewing this figure at the aforementioned web address. JTA sincerely appreciates all who were involved to help us secure this sample for our site.
Status: Yoda is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 22 points (16 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-socket waist (1), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 7
Accessory Details: soft-goods cloak, removable belt, flute, cane, lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade, snake
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: A9011/A4301
Retail: $19.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.