Review : Luke Skywalker (Return of the Jedi)
Star Wars 6-Inch Hero Series
Wave/Series : Aldi Exclusive (UK)
Released : December 2016
Price : £6.99
Hasbro's 6 inch hero series is a scaled down version of their larger 12" figures. The aim of the figures appears to be to get a Star Wars presence into the discount stores of the US, UK and beyond. In 2015 the first 5 figures were sold in the UK exclusive to Aldi, you can read our overview HERE.
In 2016, Aldi have repeated the offer - bringing in stocks of the first five releases, and then five new releases we have not seen before in the UK.
Each figure is packed in an economically sized box. This follows the design of the standard Star Wars line from Hasbro. The box starts at the base with a red glow, and fades to a black background through the rest of the packaging. The front is dominated by the window, through which the figure is visible on a Black Series style red insert card. A white Star Wars logo is planted underneath the window, while the character name sits very bottom left along with the recommended 4+ age. The Disney and Hasbro logo's sit side by side bottom right.
While the right hand spine of the box carries the logo and then a bunch of legal small print, the left is a glorious artwork of the figure - reminiscent of how Diamond present their Select figures, albeit on a smaller scale. Anyone wanting to keep these in the box will be torn between displaying the front and the figure, or these wonderful art panels.
Round the back is another Star Wars logo, and under this sits the name of the film from which the figure is based. There is then a brief couple of lines of red text about the character, this is repeated in several other languages. The rest of the rear is taken up with safety notifications in various languages.
Once opened, via either the top or bottom flap, an inner tray slides out into which the figure is tied. This inner tray is four sided, not fully enclosed like the Black Series. It also carries some background detail rather than being a solid red, although it isn't clear what this is intended to be.
Luke Skywalker arrives with his lightsaber hilt sculpted into his right gloved hand and the blade tucked to the side. He stands 5 3/4" tall and, unlike a lot of the other 6" Hero figures, this puts him bang in scale with both his Black Series counterpart and the rest of the 1/12 Black Series.
Luke is arguably the best sculpt to date on these budget figures. It may be cast in a shiny flesh tone, but the sculptor has done a better job capturing Mark Hamill in this range than they did with the Black Series Jedi version. The hair is also nicely done and nicely coloured, although a wash wouldn't go amiss. The only other real complaint over the head is the thick blonde eyebrows. The eyes on the other hand, which have been done in black on many other figures, are very neat with a white eyeball and blue then black over the pupils.
The outfit is black from collar to boots, and is in a glossy finish. The outfit has creases and rolls in the fabric, but with such a dark finish and with the light reflecting off the gloss these are lost. With just the one dominating colour there is not much risk of any paint errors. The central belt is a gunmetal silver and neatly painted. My only gripe was a splash of this same silver on Luke's gloved hand.
Articulation is 4 points. Luke employs the neck joint where the whole head and neck is jointed into the torso and turns at one. There are then single joint rotating shoulders and a final waist swivel. There are no joints in the legs.
Luke's lightsaber, molded straight into his hand, is really well done. It captures the key details of Luke's saber with the wider emitter and the ribbed handle. There are more paint apps on this saber than elsewhere on the figure with three distinct colours from a silver emiter, to bronze and down to black handle - ending in the silver again.
The lightsaber blade is a translucent green that slots into the hilt and locks pretty tightly. The see through plastic is not as slim as the Black Series blades, but the colour looks accurate and not washed out like we have had on other sabers.
I am going to be careful not to get too carried away with this Luke. While he stands up really well against his Black Series counterpart - that says more about that figure than this one. I suspect a talented painter could make this figure look fantastic, and even taking away the gloss to a more flat tone would have helped. That all being said, Luke is one of the better figures in this budget scale. Considering he is cheaper than a 3.75" figure and with the facial sculpt and light saber detail I am going to give him a 4 out of 5.