A New Hope – Figure Review of the 6″ S.H.Figuarts Farm Boy Luke Skywalker from Bandai

Its Bandai’s version of everyone’s favourite blue milk drinking, power converter fetching, carbon scoring removing, womprat murdering Tattooine farm boy, but is he really worth the £60+ price tag attached. Lets take a closer look (spoiler alert – this figure is awesome!)

As with all the S.H.F Star Wars 6″ figures, the craftsmanship in Luke’s face is what stands this figure apart from others of the same scale. The likeness is not only comparable to Hot Toys and other 1/6th scale 12″ figures, but to Mark Hamil himself circa 1977.

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The weapon of a Jedi Knight: The detail on the figure’s face lends itself perfectly to close up macro shots.

Boxed, Luke sports his regular ‘resting’/’serious’ face, but the figure does include a second, more jovial face. Again this face looks great with incredible attention to detail, but I have to say I was given the choice of a second face for the figure (going on use in photography alone) I would have preferred a more aggressive, shouty face – think “Nooo!” when he sees Ben kick the bucket on the Death Star (Spoiler alert for a movie which came out 40 years ago and that you’ve seen 500 times) However this shiny, happy Luke does have his uses in shots, although thinking back to the movie I can’t think of a single time he looks this happy, he’s got nothing to be happy about – not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest, or teleport him off this rock.

The figure’s articulation is excellent. All the expected joints are present: Neck twist at the body and head, ball jointed shoulders, elbow, hips, wrists, and ankles, knee joints, ab crunch and hip twist. The hands are connected via small pegs and the figure comes with three sets for different uses – open palms, gripping with a whole for his Lightsaber and closes fists. These can be quite tricking to get on and I have on a few occasions come close to snapping these tiny pegs so be carful when swapping those mits over!

Notice I’ve been saying second ‘face’, rather than head. When I bought the figure and before I got him out of the box id assumed this smiley mug was on a whole separate head. However the head is actually in three pieces at any one time: the change the face the front half of the hair is removed, the face popped out and replaced onto the hair piece and the two put back onto the back of the head which was never removed from the figure’s neck. it may sound long winded or even daunting, but once you’ve done it once its surprisingly easy to perform. One issue here though is that the hair needs a little encouragement to go far enough down Luke’s forehead to ensure he looks 19 and not 59.

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Blast Shield Helmet and Smiley, Happy Luke face without those golden locks attached.

Another great accessory while we’re on the subject of heads, is the inclusion of the Blast Shield helmet as seen in the training seen on board the Millennium Falcon. The detail on this is great, the helmet appears worn and scorched. Once again this has to be split in two, the serious face inserted (for some reason the smily face doesn’t fit) and the helmet put back together and popped onto the neck joint. Now I know what you’re thinking, with the blast shield down he can’t even see, hows he supposed to fight? Well of course along with the blast shield comes the Training Remote, ready to be deflected by his Father’s trusty Lightsaber. The remote is attached to a laser bolt and blast point which simply clips onto the Saber’s blade for a really cool action pose. The Lightsaber itself comes apart and the hilt can be clipped onto Luke’s belt with a small peg.

When this figure was released last July, I knew immediately that it was a must have. We had been presented with Hasbro’s version of the original recipe Luke Skywalker back in April of the same year which I’m sorry to say left a lot of us – me included – wanting, particularly in the face department. Im a huge fan of Hasbro’s Black Series line; their ‘helmeted’ characters are in my opinion second to non when you consider the price. They have a fantastic build quality and screen likeness on all their various Stormtrooper incarnations along with their creatures and other non-human characters. Unfortunately though, their attention to detail appears to have slipped slightly in recent lines of the figures. Where as the earlier figures (think Pilot Luke and Original Trilogy Han) the head sculpt, although not necessarily 100% screen accurate, had great detail as had the paint finish on the face. In the recent lines (The force Awakens onwards) this attention just isn’t present. I have seen some really great repaints by some really talented customisers and artists on these figures so the sculpt is there underneath the subpar paint job. As I mentioned, their non-human faced figures are fantastic, but I’m afraid if its quality in the face department and you’re willing to pay twice as much for a figure, then S.H.Figuarts is definitely worth your attention.

This figure is incredible for the scale. The articulation is great and the joints themselves smooth. The detail on Luke’s face and robes are superb for photography purposes as are the accessories. In short, this is a brilliant figure and a must for any Star Wars toy photographer. He’s getting a little scarce now, so grab him while you can and before he finishes his chores and goes to Tosche Station to pick up those power converters!

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“Run Luke, Run!” Shot in front of the laser cut walls I have talked about here and holding an E11 Stormtrooper Blaster from the Black Series line. 

Do you have this figure? Have you found any problems with our young moisture farmer/Jedi in training? Let me know in the comments section below and watch the blog for future reviews from various toy lines.

Keep photographing and having fun! – Mark

 

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