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The Black Series [Phase I]

Luke Skywalker - TBS [P1] - Six Inch Figures (#01)

Name: Luke Skywalker
Collection: The Black Series
Number: #01
Scale: 6"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: August 2013
License: Hasbro

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Luke Skywalker uses the power of the Force and his piloting skills to destroy the Death Star.

"It'll be just like Beggar's Canyon back home."

It’s not often that you’ll find an entry in our Research Droids Reviews written in the first person singular. Don’t ask me why, but once I started writing in the first person plural it just sort of stuck and I haven’t gone back. So you’re probably wondering what necessitates this review to be written from my own truly personal perspective. Well, I want you to know where The Black Series 6” line personally stands with me and and I want to be wholly accountable for the way I talk about it. The Black Series is a great deal to take in as a collector. But therein exactly lies the problem this heightened scale line of figures will face. I clearly remember when Gentle Giant Ltd. announced the Jumbo Kenner Vintage Figures line. I remember immediately embracing the line, not even acknowledging a care that these 12” figures were going to cost me around $80 each at launch. I should have balked at that but I didn’t. But when Hasbro announced The Black Series 6” line I caught myself rolling my eyes at it. Why should Hasbro “assault” collectors with an all-new scale? I have spent nearly two decades fervently scooping up every last 3.75” figure they made. I am certainly entitled to have them continue making those size action figures for me, right? Therein lies another problem. I am not a wise man, but I do hold on to some good pieces of advice I encounter throughout life. I will always remember the oxymoron-ish lyrics to a song that go “when we don't get what we deserve.... that's a real good thing, a real good thing.... when we get what we don't deserve.... that's a real good thing, a real good thing.” These lyrics are deep and poignant at the same time. But they sort of sum up The Black Series 6” line for me perfectly. Hasbro has to change any angles to the way they approach collector items. That’s undeniable. So maybe getting something that we didn’t expect could be the best thing for us. Before you hang me, let me offer up some quantitative and qualitative evidence. Not ever figure may impress me like Luke Skywalker did, but as far as I am concerned, the line is off to an incredible start.

This review is getting published in the middle of August of 2013, but I have owned the 6" figures for a while now. Contrary to what you might think, the 6” The Black Series line is one I wanted to digest in my hands and take in every last detail and nuance before jotting my thoughts on the web for all to read. I am aware that some of my peers (close and otherwise) have already shot images for and reviewed the first wave. But you should know that I have not read their thoughts or studied their images yet. I wanted to tackle a review without any adulterated viewpoints or jaded opinions. And even if other opinions were glowing and ecstatic, I really didn’t want to be swayed by another’s elation for the line either. So here I present to you my honest thoughts and opinions about the very first figure in The Black Series 6” line: Luke Skywalker (#01). Let me begin by saying that the 6” line has exceeded my expectations. I was annoyingly resistant to it. And I looked for any chance I could to dig at it with front page news posts and reports from JTA readers overseas. But what I found instead when I cracked open Luke Skywalker’s packaging was a brilliantly constructed (and bigger) action figure interpretation of Luke Skywalker in his X-wing pilot gear uniform. Preconceived notions about the approach of the figure were squelched and worries about deco were immediately relieved. I honestly looked for things to hold against it, but came up empty. The detail etched into the figure is incomprehensible. The orange flight-suit has “shading” only because of the inordinate amount of detail added into the sculpt. The amount of folds added, the bunching-up of the material as it naturally happens and the ornamentation that dresses up the main shell of his uniform, like the chest box and flight straps add to what is already a stellar work of art. I would be lying if I said the paint job is perfect. It clearly isn’t. But it’s more than evident that Hasbro ensured at the factory production level that lines were clean and that applications were richly applied. Luke’s clothing has a “lived in” look, which is hard to apply to figures of this scale.

Luke Skywalker, unequivocally, can attain any position you want to display him. He is loaded with ball-jointed articulation and the “life-saving” rocker ankles (or double ball-jointed ankles if that makes more sense to you) are unbelievably functional and may work the hardest to give Luke Skywalker the free range of motion he rightfully deserves. Playing with this larger-sized action figure hands is such a powerful experience that you’re going to feel a bit melancholy inside that Hasbro “cut corners” on nearly all of the action figures in the 3.75" line. Even the action figures in The Vintage Collection are relative statues when compared to how many points of articulation The Black Series 6” line has. Is Luke Skywalker entirely perfect? We would have to say that isn’t the case. But he is pretty darn close. The holes created by the double hinge-jointed knees are slightly disappointing, but Hasbro did what they could to make them “feel” seamless on the action figure. Aesthetically, Luke Skywalker couldn’t really look any better. The straps hanging around his legs and the the hose coming from his chest box look phenomenal. Even the maps on his left upper arm look fantastic. Luke Skywalker is properly accessorized. He comes with his unique X-wing pilot helmet. It fits perfectly over his head and rest exactly as his nose. You can turn his head multiple ways and the helmet looks great no matter at what angle you ogle it. He also comes with a blaster pistol. It fits very nicely in his right hand. His left hand has been molded in a way so that he can hold his lightsaber. The lightsaber has been designed to come apart so that you can hang the hilt on his belt by itself, or more preferably have him holding a fully lit lightsaber with the blade ignited in a vast array of action poses. We love the lightsaber accessory. Lengthwise it’s perfect, but its thickness seems off to the point of being almost as thin as the lightsaber blades for the 3.75” line. It’s a very small complaint and perhaps Hasbro has to go through a learning curve before mastering this type of accessory. All in all, The Black Series has publicly humiliated me. I wish I could take back what I said. This is a very exciting line, and I can’t wait to see what else comes of it.

Collector Notes

Luke Skywalker

Status: Luke Skywalker is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 23 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, hinge-jointed neck, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 ball-jointed wrists, ball-jointed torso, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 swivel thighs, 2 left hinge-jointed knees, 2 right hinge-jointed knees, 2 swivel boots, 2 double ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: removable helmet, blaster pistol, lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade

Date Stamp: 2013

Assortment Number: A4302/A4301

UPC: 653569864868

Retail: $19.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.


The Black Series (6") Wave 1
Luke Skywalker (#01)
Darth Maul (#02)
Sandtrooper (#03)
R2-D2 (#04)

Added: August 14, 2013
Category: Black Series [Phase I], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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