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JediTricks
12-22-2003, 06:32 AM
Part of the basic Hoth wave, this is the 5th modern version of Luke Hoth and is a little reminiscent of the 2 versions from the POTF2 beast packs (Tauntaun & Wampa). This time around, Luke comes with a stand that attaches to the base that comes with the Ultra Wampa to create the part of the cave where Luke hangs upside-down. So how does Luke stack up? Let's find out.

I'm going to try something a little different, number ratings for the individual elements and a letter grade for the overall result. Oh, and I'm going to try to be brief for once.


Packaging: 3.5/5
The 3rd pass on Saga packaging is this gold-border stuff, and it does seem a little classier with that border telling you the name of the movie it came from and the back of the packaging being light blue to contrast the dark blue on the front; the back even shows off the combined Luke and Wampa sets. I'm still not in love with the saber hands, but the ray-explosion is better than Saga v1's or the aurora of v2. The bubble inserts are on cheaper stock lately. The figure being rubber-banded onto the tray isn't especially annoying, but I don't have to like it either.

Sculpting: 4.5/5
Luke's face sculpt is an unusually good ESB likeness of Mark Hamill that holds up well in profile and other angles. TThe outfit's details are very nice, even little things like the rank insignia, commlink, and fabric textures pop out in ways most figures from a few years ago didn't hope to achieve. Even the belt on the "skirt" has a separate holster with gun-strap despite it not being a working holster and having no gun in the set. Even the tops of the universal shoulder joints are sculpted to match the shoulders.

A place where this figure takes a hit is the neck joint, which is a hinged tounge-in-groove number that looks like a column from the back or when the figure is looking upwards. Also, with no post-shoulder joints, the right arm is ultra-straight with a very specific pose, not terrible but could be better. And just above each elbow is a small cut that looks like articulation but isn't, it's an itty bitty strangeness that keeps catching my eye.

Pose: 4/5
Luke has a fairly neutral stance, though the legs are in a slight "walking forward" position which makes it hard to stand up alone - with his base though, he's a standing champ since it does all the work. The other reason this one is only a four is that dead right arm which looks great when the figure is upside-down with the hand reaching out to the saber, but just seems like a dead limb in normal standing.

Upside-down in the ice, this figure's pose is really good, he really looks like he's hanging there and reaching for his saber. The "cutting the feet free" pose suffers though, but that's an action pose, so use your imagination there I guess.

Paint: 4/5
At first, this figure seemed really sloppy, but the more I looked at it, the less sloppy it became. In the small areas, like the straps at the boots, there is trouble going over the borders, or the belt buckle and the dots to its left straying slightly; but then you have the commlink, rank insignia, and tiny buttons on some of the belt pouches that are small yet nearly perfect. The face's base color could have gone astray as well but survived and remain natural unlike other painted face figures like CTC Leia. The bleeding red gashes are well-matched to the sculpting, but seem a little redder than they should, though this is open to personal interpretation.

Mine has trouble at the eyes, with the left eye being a little darker and thicker than the right eye - it could be chalked up to that right one being mangled by the Wampa's attack, but it's the eye that looks normal so that doesn't entirely work. The sculpted part of the scarf doesn't entirely match the separate piece's color. However, it's the white of the arms that really hurts here, the paint is thick and gloppy almost like white-out; not so major that it sinks the figure, but noticable.

Articulation: 4/5
This was a toughy because of that ugly-but-useful joint in the neck, it could have easily been 3.5 but since the joint does something incredibly vital for the figure, it squeezes by. Yes, Luke can look up at about 45 degrees, perfect for seeing his saber laying in the ice below; and since his scarf is attached at a rotation point, it can suit the scene by hanging down from his head. There's also a standard neck joint at the shoulders. The shoulders are universal joints which look pretty good and are always welcome additions.

The rest of the articulation is standard waist and hips, but this figure should have had elbow or wrist articulation to help make the arms a little better suited to the task of using the saber. Also, because the "skirt" is kinda rigid, the figure can't bend up far enough at the waist to cut himself free from the ice.

Accessories: 4/5 (ice base, saber hilt); 1.5/5 (goggles, saber blade)
It's unfair to gauge half of these accessories in with the rest, so I simply didn't. The ice cave base is nicely sculpted both top and bottom, it makes a very nice stand and also a good base to hang Luke from, though in that regard there should be a flat spot at the feet yet instead a melty lump; and I do prefer the prototype's lighter blue color. As for the saber hilt, this is a retool of the one that came with POTJ old Ben Kenobi, and as such, the details aren't quite as crisp but still pretty nice. The oddity here is a peg sticking out the handle which has no corresponding hole on Luke's belt, there really should be either a hole or no peg.

What was Hasbro thinking with the saber blade and goggles? The blade is one of those flared jobs from last year, sculpted to fit around Anakin's metal saber I think but it doesn't fit the shape here properly, leaving flats and gaps at the emitter - a nitpick for sure, but they could have done it right. Then there's the goggles, oh those goggles! POTJ Weldin' Chewie's goggles to be specific, and that means they're made for a wookiee, not a lukee. Cast in clear green, sloppily painted white, two sizes too large, and sculpted to be held, not worn. I cast thee out, cruddy accessories!!!

Overall Grade: A-
It's easy to overlook the dead right arm and the squared neck joint since this figure is nice in a lot of other areas, even if he is basically a scene-specific figure (unless you plan to have a bloodied Luke going on lots of adventures). The stand makes a nice large base and the goggles can be thrown in the bag of forgotten toys; the interconnection with the Wampa set is a good touch. A major improvement over the POTF2 Wampa set version, Luke Skywalker: Hoth Attack is a winner.

RussUAE
12-22-2003, 06:38 AM
Wow, good review.

I think the peg on the lightsaber is to stop it being pushed all the way into the ice base to the point where you can't get it out again.

JediTricks
12-23-2003, 02:06 AM
Glad you liked the review, was it pleasantly shorter than my previous full reviews for you? (yes, I actually worried about that ;))

Perhaps that's Hasbro's justification, I won't know for sure till I get the Wampa set, but I think it's simply carry-over from the POTJ Obi-Wan accessory which has it there to peg into his belt.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-24-2003, 12:17 PM
Christmas came early yesterday as I picked up Luke, Kren, Achk, and Hoth Trooper at Kay-Bee yesterday. Kind of like when I got Jedi Council Yoda, Massiff Tusken, and Geonosis Destroyer Droid Christmas Eve last year.

Anyway, I really like this Luke. The goggles suck, but he doesn't wear them in the Wampa Cave so it's not that big of a deal. The saber hilt was sculpted in transparent stuff, so the paint kind of comes off and makes it look like poo. I can't wait to get the Wampa and complete this set!

AmanaMatt
12-26-2003, 08:47 AM
I agree with the review - I like the packaging better than that - but as for the fig, my only real beef is the neck joint - if he was able to sit on a Tauntaun that would be cool, but I like the molded skirt and the neutral pose, so this ability would have hindered that, ala the new Hoth Han with the wide pose. The face sculpt is quite nice; with this and the decent looking Jedi Luke, Hasbro is on a Luke roll.

No problem with the review lenght, I like crazy detailed comments, so bring em on, I say.

JediTricks
12-27-2003, 03:21 AM
The saber hilt was sculpted in transparent stuff, so the paint kind of comes off and makes it look like poo. Weird, mine is painted so well that until you mentioned it, I had no idea until I held it up to the light, and even then saw nothing and was about to dismiss your comment ;) when I turned it to seam-side and saw a tiny bit of light coming through. I wonder why they bothered casting it clear when everything else in the set uses tinted translucents.


Matt, thanks for the feedback. :) It's sad, it took me longer to self-edit the review above than most of my much longer reviews. :crazed: I personally dislike reviewing the packaging at all because I open everything and so it's mostly junked anyway, but there seems to be no other way to review the twisties and rubber bands, plus it helps give a complete overview. This was the first time I had reviewed any 2003 Saga v2 packaging, so I mentioned the graphics stuff mainly to get it out of the way. ;)

AmanaMatt
12-27-2003, 01:21 PM
I know what you mean on the packaging, truth be told, I just like the thinner bubbles for packaging reasons.


Really thinking about this new Luke, I think he is a great companion piece to the Wampa - I love stuff like this - the Bacta Luke and Fx-7 combo is still my all time fav, but this is second; the only thing on the Hoth Luke set I do not like is when you set his cave piece on top of the Wampa one, the bottom (that then faces up when placed onto the Wampa's cave) was not sculpted to match the cave look, so it kinda sticks out like a sore thumb.

Aside from this, if we never got another Hoth Luke (and I am sure we will someday) I would be happy.

plasticfetish
12-28-2003, 03:41 AM
Nice review JT!

I ended up finding him the day after you posted, and got all excited. Mostly because I'd had the Wampa and wanted to see how it all came together. I think you're right about it... it's a very scene specific figure, but a good one. My only minor beef is with the paint on his arms. Looks like it's done with white-out, it's easy to chip off and feels weird. In all though, the Wampa/Luke combo seems well worth the $15 I spent.

Kidhuman
12-28-2003, 03:50 AM
I love this figure. I got him today and he is awesome. I love the wounds on his face, andI love that he attatches to the Wampa cave. I give it an A.

Silent Chazz
12-28-2003, 12:55 PM
I went to my Walmart yesterday expecting to find nothing, when the Hoth Wave came out and slapped me in the face. I am usually a Loose collector (Heck, I've been collecting SW figures since late '96 and throught the time now with Hoth Attack luke, I only have 6 Unopened Figures), but something clicked inside me that said 'Buy TWO of this figure and leave one unopened!' and so I did.
This figure rocks! I love his ball-jointed shoulders. The figure's face IS Mark Hamill. His Wampa wound is very detailed. The way they did his neck so that he can look down at his saber when suspended upsidedown in the ice is great. Best detail I've ever seen in a Rebel's Hoth uniform (Haven't found Hoth Han at all yet).
I do have a few beefs with this figure but I tend to not think too much in them. His goggles remind me of those large Novelty Sunglasses that you either get in a Novelty store or at the Carnival. I've manuevered the goggles to where they rest atop on his hat. They look big, BUT they actually look pretty good only in this spot on the figure. His Ice base is another beef I have. Theres clearly two holes in the foot areas where a peg IS supposed to be, but apparently on both figures, they are missing (just an indenture into the plastic where they are supposed to be. This only leaves me having to slide his feet into the slot that has a whole inside the feet area. My last beef is that the hole where they drilled into the Anakin's Lightsaber (from the POTJ Old Ben Figure) is too big. The blue lightsaber blade keeps wanting to fall out.
For the exception of the flaws I listed, this figure is AWESOME!! Good job Hasbro. Hasbro, now where's my Endor Luke with removable helmet and soft goods poncho? lol

My grade for this figure? A

JediTricks
12-29-2003, 01:49 AM
Matt, not sure exactly what you mean about the cave pieces, I think the piece here looks pretty good on the underside, I can't think of a way to make it look like it's more part of a cave though. If you mean how they interconnect, my plan on this was that since this piece was so nice by itself and only $5, I'd blame any flaws between the 2 on the more expensive Wampa set when I review it.

I personally could stand one more non-wounded Luke Hoth, but only if it were as good as this one and not scene-specific.


PF, I know what you mean about that arm paint. On mine, when investigating the swivel articulation that isn't actually there, I bent the arm enough that the paint micro-cracked, but it was soft enough that when I let it go back to normal the paint sealed up so well that I couldn't see where it had cracked.


Chazz, I see what you mean about the indentations at the feet area of the base, but I think if they had added pegs here, they might have broken off during normal display. Also, since peg holes are rarely drilled with that much precision on these figures (they can drift a few millimeters forward or back on the heel), I think that would have made lining up the feet with the pegs more difficult, especially if they always intended to do the "base over the foot" thing.

Sorry to hear about your saber being too loose, mine is the opposite, almost too tight.

InsaneJediGirl
01-02-2004, 08:35 AM
Picked up Luke a few days ago and I really like the figure.The base is somewhat of a disapoint,but I dont have the Wampa yet so it might turn out better.The goggles are odd,looks like they would fit Chewbacaa,but he wont be using those anytime soon.Nice face application too

A-

jedibear
01-03-2004, 09:47 PM
...this makes a pretty good set.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I would have never taken the blade out of the saber (mine was in there REALLY tight and I was afraid to force it...no pun intended).

The detailing on these sculpts is getting better and better. It makes picking up a new version of a figure not such a bad thing when it's actually IMPROVED over the previous version.

I know this is a Luke review thread, but I'll just quickly comment on the Wampa...MUCH better than the toy-like version of a few years back. The multi-layered, multi-sectioned body looks and works really well.

I wouldn't mind if the folks at Hasbro want to come up with a few more of these kinds of figures...ones that when "assembled" or placed together make great display pieces.

Turambar
01-04-2004, 10:23 AM
Really nice figure. I just picked one up. Those goggles are the ones that came with the Chewbacca with his welding tool back in POTJ, so that would explain the ill fit.