Star Wars Toys & Collectibles Review: ‘Star Wars The Black Series Luke Skywalker (Hoth) Action Figure (Archive /Lucasfilm Ltd. 50th Anniversary Collection)’

Image Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

There’s a meteorite that hit the ground near here. I want to check it out. It won’t take long. – Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Luke Skywalker (Hoth) – Star Wars The Black Series Archive/Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Collection Action Figure

Image Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

On January 20, 2021, Hasbro released a 6-inch scale Luke Skywalker (Hoth) action figure as part of its Star Wars The Black Series Archive collection.  Like other figures in the Archive subcollection, this rendition of Luke Skywalker clad in Rebel-issue arctic clothing is ensconced in a cardback blister pack similar to Hasbro’s 40th Anniversary “Kenner” packaging – but with a twist.

In 2021, Lucasfilm Ltd. – the company founded by George Lucas in 1971 after leaving Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope to make a mark as an independent filmmaker free from the restrictions of Hollywood’s studio system – celebrated its 50th Anniversary. In honor of this occasion, Hasbro re-issued some of its Star Wars The Black Series figures in special Lucasfilm Ltd. packaging, including fan favorites such Luke Skywalker (Hoth) and Han Solo (Hoth).

Image Credt: Hasbro. (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Luke Skywalker (Hoth)

While on patrol, Luke and his tauntaun are attacked by a vicious wampa. The creature hangs Luke upside-down in its cave, but Luke uses the Force to escape. –  Hasbro packaging blurb

Based on the character played by Mark Hamill in 1980’s Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is a Star Wars The Black Series (6-inch scale) action figure that is larger, more photo-realistic, and more articulated than its 1980 era Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 3.75-inch forerunner from Kenner Toys.

As in the various action figures (in both 3.75-inch and 6-inch scale) released by Kenner and its eventual corporate owner/successor Hasbro over the past 42 years, Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is a depiction of the Rebel hero/Jedi Knight-in-training in his Rebel Alliance-issued cold weather combat gear.

THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION: Epic figures from the Star Wars The Black Series return with the Black Series Archive 6-inch-scale action figures, featuring photoreal deco and premium design. – Product description, Hasbro website

Like the similarly-attired Star Wars The Black Series Rebel Soldier (Hoth) from 2020, Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is clad from head to toe in an insulated and padded winter warfare uniform that is suited for operations on the remote ice world of Hoth. The figure’s Rebel-issue outfit includes a cap with a cap warmer attached, a hood that protects Luke’s ears and the back of his head from the bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures near Echo Base, a gray-white jacket paired with a tan padded vest with Commander rank insignia on the left breast, a black belt with several pouches and attachment points (including a hook for Luke’s “Skywalker lightsaber”), a holster for a Merr-Sonn Model 57 blaster identical to Han Solo’s DL-44 blaster pistol, gray snow trousers, and beige padded snow boots, tightly bound to Luke’s legs with specially-designed bindings.

(Note: The cap and hood are permanently molded onto the figure and are not removable.)

CHARACTER-INSPIRED ACCESSORIES: This Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with 2 Luke Skywalker (Hoth)-inspired accessories that make great additions to any Star Wars collection. – Product description, Hasbro website

Luke with “activated” lightsaber and holstered Model 57 blaster pistol. Image Credit and (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

As I said earlier, Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is equipped with two accessories that can be used to pose the 6-inch figure in action stances. They are:

  • The Skywalker lightsaber, which comes with a detachable translucent plastic blue “energy blade”
  • A Merr-Sonn Model 57 blaster pistol that, like Han Solo’s iconic BlasTech DL-44 blaster, is based on a German Mauser C96 pistol
Look at the detailing! And, yes! You can hook Luke’s Skywalker Lightsaber to his belt. Image Credit and (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Take

I have been collecting Star Wars action figures for 44 years. I started this hobby when my former neighbors from Westchester, Chuck and Sheila Blanchard, gave me the original Kenner Toys Landspeeder vehicle and  my first 3.75-inch scale figures (Artoo Detoo and See Threepio) for my 15th birthday in March of 1978. Consequently, I have acquired various figures – from several Kenner/Hasbro product lines – based on Luke Skywalker as he appears in the opening scenes of The Empire Strikes Back. Most of them are in the 3.75-inch scale and include the original Luke Skywalker (Hoth Battle Gear) from 1981 and a 2004 Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) figure.

Image Credit: Hasbro (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

This Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary commemorative figure is the first Star Wars The Black Series 6-inch figure I own of Hoth-geared Luke. (I have a 2020 “Kenner” 40th Anniversary cardback Star Wars The Black Series figure of Luke in his snowspeeder pilot gear, but that’s a variant of his X-wing pilot outfit, so they are different uniforms with vastly different functions.)

Unlike the 3.75-inch Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) figure from Hasbro’s Star Wars[1] 2004 wave, this variant of Luke Skywalker (Hoth) does not have any visible facial injuries from the vicious attack by a wampa (an event seen in the opening scene on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back). Instead, Luke is shown unhurt but determined, ready to wield his father Anakin’s lightsaber or his Rebel-issue blaster pistol in the service of the Alliance in its life-or-death struggle against the evil Galactic Empire.

Evildoers, beware. Luke Skywalker brandishes his father’s lightsaber! Image Credit and (C) 2021 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.


The 6-inch-scale Black Series figure is detailed to look like Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, featuring premium detail and multiple points of articulation. –
Product description, Hasbro website

As with most of Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series action figures, Luke Skywalker (Hoth) comes with multiple points of articulation (POAs) that allow Star Wars fans and collectors of all ages to pose him in dynamic and life-like stances. As much as I treasure the original Kenner figures from my adolescence, they did not have as many POAs, so displaying them in “realistic” poses was next to impossible. Only a few of the 3.75-inch figures were designed to hold weapons in two hands, and even those were restricted to a few believable poses that did not look, well, toylike!

Another feature that I like about Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is that the figure’s facial details resemble those of (then) 27-year-old Mark Hamill. The sculpt and paint job (aka deco) give the figure, especially in the face, a striking resemblance to Hamill as he appears in Empire’s first scenes – at least before he gets swatted in the face by the clawed paw of a hungry wampa.

Although this Star Wars The Black Series figure comes in a cardback Archive package, this one is different because it is a Lucasfilm Ltd. 50th Anniversary issue. The cardback is designed to look like earlier Star Wars The Black Series Archive reissues, but the color scheme is different and Lucasfilm Ltd.’s logo features prominently on the upper left corner of the cardback.

On the reverse side of the cardback, there’s a nicely-done illustration of Luke in Hoth gear and this character description (in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese): While on patrol, Luke and his tauntaun are attacked by a vicious wampa. The creature hangs Luke upside-down in its cave, but Luke uses the Force to escape.

The Lucasfilm Ltd. 50 motif recurs with the Golden Anniversary logo underneath the character portrait/blurb, and there’s a simplified Star Wars-centric timeline that traces the history of the franchise from 1971 to 2021, with the logos from various iterations of Star Wars (including Legends!) from the company’s first half-century.

The packaging also bears this tagline in five languages:

Commemorate the first 50 years of Lucasfilm with figures inspired by the original Star Wars trilogy!

Luke Skywalker (Hoth) is a fine addition to my Star Wars The Black Series collection despite the fact that the figure represents a “before the main action of the movie begins” version of Luke Skywalker from The Empire Strikes Back. Kids can pretend that Commander Luke Skywalker has a few adventures on Hoth before the events in the movie; he is unharmed (and unscarred) for only part of the opening sequence of Empire, during his escape from the wampa’s ice cave Luke has some rather nasty-looking claw marks on his face, claw marks that are not present on Luke Skywalker (Hoth).

On the plus side, the two weapon-type accessories included with the figure are cool. There is some nice detailing on both the blaster and Luke’s lightsaber, and both can be stowed (the Model 57 blaster fits in the functional blaster on Luke’s right hip, while the deactivated lightsaber’s hilt can be attached to the hook on the belt. (Hopefully, you will have some kind of bin to store loose accessories – such as the “blade” of the Skywalker lightsaber) – when you’re not using it for action poses.

Well, this wraps up another review of a Star Wars The Black Series Archive figure from the  Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary collection. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and remember: the Force will be with you…always.


[1] Per Rebelscum.com: “Despite Hasbro’s intentions, collectors never accepted the simple Star Wars name, but took to calling this line “Saga”, despite the word not appearing at all on the packaging. This has caused much confusion ever since with subsequent lines also using similar names.”

Sources:

http://www.rebelscum.com/saga.asp

https://shop.hasbro.com/en-us/product/star-wars-the-black-series-archive-luke-skywalker-hoth-toy-6-inch-scale-star-wars-the-empire-strikes-back-figure:B0DC1E63-16F4-4DEA-A4A3-58CA3C430518

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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