Shmi, X wing Luke, E.W. Vader, and D.S.E. Han reviews
I picked up the new figs today so these reviews are based on having them in hand and now opened (with the except of Shmi):
Shmi - I am quite pleased with this fig. This is obviously a hold-over from the now defunct Ep I line in the fact the sculpt is very good, but not POTJ quality. The overall sculpt with the body of this fig is very good. I dig her accessory quite a bit, but since i haven't open this piece, I still have no idea what it is. The only problem lies with the head of this fig and the way it's painted. Very, very pale and not the way Shmi should look. Perhaps the sculpt for the face is there and the very light-toned paint deco is holding it back. It's kinda hard to say. As a whole I am beyond happy to finally get a Shmi figure. It took long enough, but overall was very much worth the wait. My grade: B
Luke Xwing Pilot - I am very, very, very happy with this new Luke. It's probably my favorite Luke fig Hasbro has done to date. First off, the eyes look completely normal. The one I bought, as well as all the ones I chose from had very normal looking eyes and none were looking up. The overall detail to the body is awsome: the wrinkling of the flight suit is very impressive, as is the helmet, which looks very accurate - is slighty dirty, and fits very well onto Luke's head. Now as far as the bucktooth controversy: some Lukes I saw seemed to suffer from this to some degree. It kinda looks like the ones that are more 'bucky' in appearance, didn't get quite enough white paint applied - making it look like one big tooth. The one I got looks very normal to me. If you don't like it, the tooth can be scraped off. The paint deco for the hair is way darker than what we saw at th San Diego Comicon, perhaps a little too dark here, but it seems pretty close and nothing to get worked up about. The overall pose is good - I have no real problem with the hand poses w/ this fig - just looks a little 'odd' but that's it. As a whole this Luke is 1, 000,000 times better than the POTF 2 version and comparing the two is laughable. My grade on this new Luke: A, and feel it is very worth of the POTJ line.
Han Solo: Death Star Escape - with this new Han, there seems to two kinds of collectors out there in Internet land: those who think this is a dead-on likeness of Harrison Ford as he appeared in ANH, and those that think the face is awful. I fall into the first catagory. To me, this is a wonderful likeness of H. Ford as he appeared in the first Star Wars movie. I think part of the negativity for this fig's face sculpt comes from the fact that most have only seen pics from fairly large scans taken from the various conventions. Seeing this fig up close and personal, the face seems quite good and a lot closer ( I think it's as close as we'll get) to what the actor looked like in the movie. The pose is very dynamic, which I don't like on all figs, ie Lobot - but here, it works very well. I was able to pose this piece with strong Han Solo-type poses we saw him do in the movie and that's what makes this fig alot of fun. This is, without a doubt, my fav Han Solo fig as he's seen in ANH. One thing people will want to know is that the Stormtrooper belt is a separate piece, but is fairly tight. Using a hair dryer and heating it up may allow for the belt to slip out around the waist without cutting it, but may be tough - I aint trying. Unfortunately, the holster is NOT functional and that is a bit of a bummer. I don't see why Hasbro didn't make it able to holster the gun unless the felt the extra articulation in the arms was enough. As a whole though, this is a great Han Solo figure. My grade: B+ (would've been A with a functional holster)
Darth Vader Emperor's Wrath - this is a very cool, if somewhat 'odd' looking new Vader. I really like the detail fom the chest down. You can see all kinds of wrinkles in the body suit of this fig and this level of detail along with a nice, but not overyly carried away pose, helps to really sell this Vader figure. The extra articulation is the right arm as well as the rem hand are both cool, but not overly shocking. The hands fits quite well and pegs into the wrist without it being too difficult (ie, no fear of breakage). From the chest up, and especially the head sculpt is quite cool, The empty sockey holes in the scull are quite noticeable and really gives this fig a kind of 'what the...' look. The base of the scull to the socket holes are very well detailed, but once we go below the eye holes, the mouth of the scull to the neck get a little lost from the trasparent face mask Vader has. I like the bolts that are painted onto the back of the dome on Vader's helmet, but quite frankly, we could have used a little more of the electricity detailing. Either that, or we should have gotten boomer-styled electrical bolt accessories that we could wrap around Vader's body (I will be customizing my fig with this). As a whole, this is a wild idea of a figure that has decent execution, but is still not quite as cool as Dagobah Vader . That's not to say I don't like this piece; quite the opposite, Emperor's Wrath Darth Vader is a fine addition to the ever expanding POTJ family. My grade: A-
On a side note, Shmi, Luke, Han and Vader are all totally in scale to one another, with Vader quite a bit taller than Han, etc. All were on the .04 cardbacks and according to the date stamp, Shmi was packaged prior to the Luke wave... Happy hunting!