While training with Yoda on Dagobah, Luke Skywalker faces a chilling test in the Cave of Evil, fighting a Lightsaber duel with a spectral Darth Vader whose helmet conceals Luke's own face.
Sigh. Why can’t Hasbro get back to basics and release the final few Special Action Figure Sets from the vintage Kenner line instead of making up their own concepts that ultimately fail despite their good intentions to make them work? That’s about where we’re at with the Special Action Figure Set (Cave Of Evil) TARGET exclusive three-pack. Look, we’re happy to have an upgraded Yoda based on the character’s appearance from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, but every angle of this Special Action Figure Set is at best lazy, and at worst, an offense to the Hasbro Star Wars line. There’s a lot wrong with the Special Action Figure Set (Cave Of Evil) above and beyond the action figures. Hasbro has made the executive decision that all future Special Action Figure Sets, no matter the source, will feature the generic STAR WARS logo from here on out. We will no longer see The Empire Strikes Back emblazoned on the packaging for these three-packs any longer. How egregious is that? The new approach to include all the languages on the packaging has taken up too much room for the Episode V logo. As you’d expect, the Cave Of Evil Special Action Figure Set also features a plain Star Wars logo, even though the figures are from a scene in The Empire Strikes Back. (Huge sigh.)
Hasbro knows how much collectors HATE The Black Series [Phase I] Luke Skywalker (#21) (the one with the robotic arms) figure, yet they still believe that adding a “dorky” new head sculpt will make all things right with this figure. No, collectors will not let these atrocities slide. Why couldn’t the new tooling have been expended on new arms instead of a new head sculpt? As far as we’re concerned, Hasbro could have utilized any of the fabulous new Luke Skywalker head sculpts they already designed and have in their parts catalog and reserved a portion of the new tooling budget for normal-looking arms. No, that’s not what happened here. We got stuck with the same awful arms and a new head sculpt (that didn’t turn out too well, unfortunately). The new portrait for Luke Skywalker utilizes Photo Real, but something is lost in translation because it looks nothing like the onscreen character. Thankfully, Luke Skywalker comes with a ton of accessories, including interchangeable open hands, a lightsaber hilt, a fully lit lightsaber, a blaster, and a removable belt/holster combination piece. Perhaps the greatest travesty here is that Luke Skywalker is wearing the “wrong” outfit for the scene that inspired this set. Luke wore the complete “Bespin Fatigues” outfit in this scene.
It’s most obvious that the Yoda figure in this set is the reason to purchase it. We also finally know the mystery behind how Hasbro made this figure. Instead of giving us an all-new figure (like we feel we deserve for this pivotal Star Wars character), Hasbro dusted off 2011’s TVC Yoda (VC20) figure. Then they repainted it, tooled a new portrait, and then took the soft-goods and accessories from 2014’s TBS [P1] Yoda (#22) figure and completed it. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Yoda still has “swelbows” which can only be described as the egregious answer to lazily articulating elbows. Hasbro should be ashamed that they didn’t take this opportunity to update Yoda’s elbows. What is the issue here? Hasbro did graciously repaint the figure in a brighter green that we see on the character in The Empire Strikes Back, and the new head sculpt fits the neck post like a glove. It’s one of the nicest likenesses of Yoda the 3.75” basic figure line has seen to date, so we’re thankful for that. Still, if Hasbro updated the elbows on Yoda, we would have an unequivocal definitive Modern update of the character. Now, thanks to their shortcuts, we still need a perfected version of Yoda in the future. It’s so incredibly frustrating that we’re almost tired of complaining about this anymore. Ultimately, Yoda is the best modern definitive update to 1980’s ESB Yoda figure that we have now.
It’s quite surprising for us, but do you believe that Hasbro employed Photo Real technology on Darth Vader too? The figure looks slightly better, but most collectors who have been in this hobby for decades will still likely default to the gorgeous 2000 Power Of The Jedi Darth Vader (Dagobah) figure because that figure is still the best. Darth Vader (with Luke Skywalker's face) was originally released in The Black Series [Phase II] 3.75” line, and it’s the figure that’s received the fewest amount of updates of all three figures in this set. Admittedly, when displayed on and in the Kenner Dagobah playset from the vintage Kenner line, the figures look fantastic together. We created a gallery of sixteen images that walk Luke Skywalker through his introduction to Yoda to his Jedi training in the Dagobah swamps, to his encounter with the apparition of Darth Vader, revealed to be himself. Be sure to check it out. Overpriced, unfortunately, over-recycled, screen-inaccurate, and labeled incorrectly (that Star Wars logo thing), the Cave of Evil Special Action Figure Set is marred by too many negative things. We’d still like to know when Hasbro will ever finish off the remaining original Kenner Special Action Figures Sets we’re desperate to add to our collection, because that’s what longtime collectors want to see the most.
Special Action Figure Set (Cave Of Evil)
Assortment Number: E7204
Retail: $39.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Luke Skywalker is a retool and repaint of 2014's TBS [P1] Luke Skywalker (#21) figure. This time the figure has been given an all-new portrait and has been repainted. Unfortunately, the figure still comes with robotic arms.
Articulation Count: 28 points (16 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-hinged left shoulder (2), ball-hinged right shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), swivel right bicep (1), hinge-jointed left elbow (2), hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), swivel waist (1), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 6
Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, DL-44 blaster pistol, 2 interchangeable hands, removable holster/belt combination
Date Stamp: 2014
Status: Yoda is a retool and repaint of 2011's TVC Yoda (VC20) figure. This time the figure has an all-new head sculpt and has been completely repainted. Yoda comes with the soft-goods and accessories from 2014's TBS [P1] Yoda (#22) figure too.
Articulation Count: 18 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left wrist, (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-socket left foot (1), ball-socket right foot (1)
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: removable soft-goods robe, removable belt, flute, gimer stick, soft-goods Force training backpack
Date Stamp: 2014
Status: Darth Vader is a repaint of 2015's TBS [P2] Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) (#07) figure. This time the helmet dome is glued in place.
Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable battle-damaged face mask section, removable soft-goods cape
Date Stamp: 2005