Despite The Vintage Collection's many frustrating roadblocks, including poor distribution and lack of many Original Trilogy characters and other toy concepts, we, as collectors, have to step up to the plate and give credit where credit is due. Sometimes Hasbro does catch us off guard and offer us some excellent products, and even if they're slightly out of price range, there is no denying what superb additions these pieces are to our collections. An example of where we need to buck up is offering praise to Hasbro for Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun, a Target exclusive and marvelous addition to The Vintage Collection. Hasbro, out of necessity, reinvented the Tauntaun's sculpt from the ground up to produce an extraordinary specimen with unprecedented articulation and authenticity beyond measure. None of us expected a Tauntaun beast that turned out this well. Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun is where you want this creature to be, and we have no problems at all calling it definitive. A mixture of an incredible sculpt, superior articulation, and a brilliant paint job all work together to drive the point home that Hasbro is no longer playing games with collectors and that they mean business when it comes to collector-grade toy quality. This creature is impressive, and while some may want to see a few more points of articulation incorporated into the mold here or there, there is no denying that this will satisfy all that purchase it. Well, the price point may serve as a deterrent, but this exclusive is worth it, Most importantly, Luke Skywalker (Hoth Outfit) (VC95) looks stunning riding it.
You'll be mesmerized when you analyze the detail captured in the Tauntaun's face. We're blown away by how perfectly Hasbro captured the likeness and expression of this beast of burden. The wariness of lurking snow creatures and other unknown enemies are visible in its eyes. And the coloring in the face is poignant but straightforward to make the point that it is rough surviving on the icy tundra known as Hoth. The sculpt and art of this toy overload the senses because all of the details are so incredibly realistic. They work together to leave the collector with a stunning toy that you'll want to carefully place on a shelf up high to display instead of leave in a toy box. Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun is more collectible than a toy as far as we're concerned. The wrinkling in the Tauntaun's face and skin and the bunching up of the fur are all here for us to enjoy. The gray color of the coat matches what we see in the film, and although the claws appear a tad too shiny, they're beautifully painted and don't look out of place. Hasbro gave the Tauntaun a ball-jointed head, and fortunately, its movement is quite generous. The Tauntaun also comes with ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed hips (the hips have inhibited movement), and ball-jointed ankles. Believe it or not, this is enough to pose the Tauntaun freely in your collection. Hasbro was quite clever with inserting the articulation points here, and it does the creature well. Interestingly, Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun comes with a "scar" on its belly. It's a plug meant for an "open-belly" Tauntaun feature that never came to pass.
This original design, of course, makes sense since Kenner offered this running change, but it doesn't look like there isn't enough space inside for a figure. For now, it's sealed tightly shut and not meant to be removable for this particular release. We are curious to see what plans Hasbro might have for this on a future release, but that day may never come. Hasbro made the saddle an entirely separate piece in a beautiful gesture, something we haven't seen since the "vintage" days. Unfortunately, the bridle is permanently attached. The reins are attached to it and wrap around behind the head. The impressively sculpted saddle fits like a glove around the Tauntaun's midsection. It's double-strapped and snaps closed with four separate plugs. There is a ton of detail in the saddle, and we're thoroughly impressed with the final production of it. The tail sticks straight back behind the animal and has no mobility. We would have liked to see articulation added to the tail, but it's fine as is because it will serve as an anchor for some of the more aggressive poses. It provides the Tauntaun with balance when needed. And last but not least, Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun comes with a signature broken left horn to differentiate it from Han Solo's Tauntaun. There isn't too much not to like here, and we think you'll be nitpicking should you decide to complain about it. This beast is a definitive update to the classic Tauntaun toy from the 1980s. The price is steep at $24.99, but you can't compare this one to previous versions. It's infinitely better. And The Vintage Collection packaging it comes in is gorgeous and a highlight of this Target exclusive release!
Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun
Status: Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun is an all-new beast.
Articulation Count: 14 points (7 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-jointed head (2), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: removable saddle
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: 36664
Retail: $24.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.