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The Black Series [Phase III]

Luke Skywalker - TBS [P3] - Centerpiece Figures (02)

Name: Luke Skywalker
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: 02
Scale: 6"
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: September 2017
License: Hasbro

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After Luke Skywalker's T-47 Airspeeder was downed in action during the invasion by Imperial forces on the ice planet Hoth, Luke continued to fight, battling Imperial snowtroopers and even toppling an AT-AT walker.

One of the strangest new product lines Hasbro presented at 2017’s New York Toy Fair was The Black Series Centerpiece line. Longtime collectors instantly recognized them as Unleashed 2.0 figures (for lack of a better word). The Unleashed line began in 2002 and continued through about 2008. These pre-posed and minimally articulated statues captured a moment, often somewhere off-screen, of the respective Star Wars character’s life, and the line went on to release some very powerfully executed collectibles. About the same size as 6” scaled action figures, the Unleashed line was meant to compliment the other products Hasbro produced at the time. Now with the active The Black Series [Phase III] 6” figure line, there is a direct line to interact with statuesque figures. Although the Centerpiece collection is all new figures, it’s evident that Hasbro was inspired by past Unleashed releases. In particular, it couldn’t be clearer that Luke Skywalker is a modern take at 2004’s Unleashed Luke Skywalker [Snowspeeder Pilot] figure. Hasbro decided to give Luke Skywalker a swivel neck, but the rest of figure is unable to move in any way. Again, these are intended to be static figures to flesh out a display. And they succeed at doing that. The Black Series Centerpiece line isn’t going to grab the casual collector. And the suggested MSRP will alienate a whole batch more.

Instead of being perched atop a snowy ice mound on Hoth’s tundra, Hasbro went with a much neater approach for the Centerpiece line. Luke Skywalker is leaping over the foot of an Imperial AT-AT walker. The dioramic scope of this set should impress all collectors. You even get some articulation with the “toes” of the Imperial AT-AT walker’s foot. (They are two separate pieces that snap into place and in a hinge-jointed manner move up and down when prompted.) Then, two snowy landscape pieces have been added to complete the scene. But you have to use them interchangeably. First, included is a smaller patch of snow. Second, a larger display base piece which provides footprints for other 6” figures to be displayed within them to help complete a diorama based on the Battle of Hoth. The instructions explain that pegs are included to secure the “additional figures” to the base, but our sample was, unfortunately, missing them. We are unable to show them to you in our Photo Gallery. When fully assembled, you truly have a dynamic display of gorgeous proportions. This The Black Series Centerpiece set looks absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. And there is even an electronic feature. A flame attaches to a light-up area on the base and allows the flame to look like it is burning. We’re thoroughly impressed.

So let’s talk about the issues of this set. We cannot get past the MSRP. We’d go so far to say that this should have been priced at about half the cost it is. At the very most, this set should not exceed $29.99. But instead, Hasbro and retail have set it at $49.99. Fifty bucks for a statue and a base is insulting. Doing things like this waters down “The Black Series” name too. It seems that Hasbro is slapping this label on every last item they produce anymore. Is it an advertising tool to make people think this will complete their 6” collections? Or are they just unable to come up with a better name for this line? We don’t know. It’s just too much money, and everything is starting to blend together under that banner. Also, Luke Skywalker is exquisitely sculpted and stunningly painted. If you also combine his very dramatic sculpt and his pose, he doesn’t fit well in The Black Series 6” range because he looks so much better than the super-articulated figures in that line. In our, opinion Hasbro nailed the likeness and the paint operations perfectly. Details like Luke’s pants colored in a darker color of orange than his coat is, and every aspect of his helmet detail captured show a level of unsurpassed attention to detail that we haven’t seen Hasbro employ on toys released in recent years. The Centerpiece figures, in theory, are a nice complement to The Black Series 6” line, but there is no way it is going to be a success at this price.

Collector Notes

Luke Skywalker

Status: Luke Skywalker is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 1 point (1 area of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1)

Accessory Count: 9

Accessory Details: removable helmet, lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blace, environmental display base (6 parts)

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C1555

UPC: 630509532544

Retail: $49.99 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 [Phase III]

All Products

Added: December 9, 2017
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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