Updated: Nov 24, 2018
Review : Luke Skywalker and Wampa Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Deluxe Release 2015 (Phase 2) Released : Summer 2015
Price : £39.99 - £44.99
The second wave of Black Series Deluxe figures hit in Summery 2015. Initially the wave included the Tauntaun and a repack of the Biker Scout from 2014. Later into the Summer the Bike was swapped out to the new Luke & Wampa pack. What this meant was the Hoth packs, and the Wampa one in particular, were very sporadic in terms of distribution and prices are starting to creep upwards on these at the time of review (March 2016).
The Wampa pack arrives in the blue trimmed phase 2 box, decorated as usual with the grayscale artwork with a particularly impressive grayscale rendering of the Hoth scene on the back - where the Wampa drags off an unconscious Luke.
You can't blame Hasbro for trying something creative by packing Luke upside down in the box to represent his precarious position in the Wampa's cave when he wakes up. Sadly this doesn't work for me in light of there is no context in the box itself such as a cave background. The upside down position also has a real impact on the Luke figures headwear which we will discuss a little later.
Out of the box you get the Wampa and Luke figures. And Luke comes complete with his lightsaber and blaster. It is nice to see that the light-sabre remains a two part affair with the blade being able to slot into the hilt, a feature since lost (at least for now) on the Kylo Ren figures within the Force Awakens phase 3 figures.
Let us look at Luke first, and he stands 5 3/4 inches high which puts him shorter than Han in any Hoth display, which is of course accurate to the movie. The head sculpt is new, and is sculpted so that the head and headgear are all one piece with the cap piece then slotting on top and the radio aerial stuck to Luke's left ear. The facial features are recognisable as Mark Hamill, but still the search goes on for Hasbro to nail Luke in a sculpt - the closest they have got being the original X-Wing figure.
Decoration is pretty crisp, with some quite delicate application to reflect the facial scratches from the Wampa attack - perhaps an alternative head before the attack may have been a nice touch but it seems that Hasbro are moving backwards vs the benchmarks they set with the 2013 launch of this range. The big issue with the whole head is the soft goods head scarf which looks a bit like that crepe bandaging you often get. It is stitched into the head to hang down when the figure is upside down, but once the figure stands the right way the scarf just flops around and looks completely wrong - so much so I think many collectors may be tempted to cut it off.
The rest of the figure is a very good effort with a quilted texture to the jacket arms and trousers and plenty of detail such as rank insignia on the chest and belt with lightsaber hook and down to the boots with their tied shin straps. All of this is painted crisply with particular attention to detail in the chest insignia which alone boasts 5 different colours. There is a lack of weathering, the same as Han, and that may frustrate some collectors who would imagine these Hoth figures with a thick frost application and dirtied boots.
Articulation is the standard approach with the elbows downgraded to one joint and a swivel. All of this works well enough but there is no real action pose available and the hands don't line up well to achieve a two handed lightsaber pose. Articulation is as good as that of Han, so if you are thinking of it Luke can ride the Tauntaun if you find yourself with two for your Hoth display.
Accessories are the light-sabre, two part as I mentioned. So the hilt can be hung from the belt if you wish. The blaster can be held in either hand, or in the holster on the right thigh.
Over to the Wampa now, and I must admit at this point that when I saw the two Hoth packs initially I was really looking forward to the Tauntaun and was underwhelmed by the Wampa. Those who have read my Tauntaun review will know I was really really disappointed with that hollow piece of plastic and was expecting the same from the Wampa. Boy was I wrong...
The Wampa is an impressive lump of plastic, with loads of weight and feels real good quality. It stands a touch higher than Chewbacca at 8 1/4 inch high. Sculpt is not a perfect representation of the movie Wampa, but it is a good attempt and certainly captures the essence of the beast. Like Chewbacca the fur is all sculpted and layered down the body.
This fur is painted in a base coat that is off white but with a graduation through to a bone colour in the lower extremities like arms and legs, and also on the stomach area. This all gives a decent depth to the fur, but an extra wash to dirty him up and bring out some more sculpt may have really made him pop. The eyes are recessed into the head and high gloss black. The horns are flat grey and may have benefited from a bit more attention. The mouth is a flat back with sculpted teeth into the aperture.
The blood effects round the mouth have always been controversial and aren't the best looking and I think in hindsight I would have preferred a Wampa before his meal rather than after. Claws on both hands and feet are the same flat grey as the horns and despite Wampa being a messy eater there is no repeat of the blood on his hands.
Articulation starts at the head which can rotate to either side, although doing so misaligns the blood splatter and if you go too far it starts to look disjointed to the body and will eventually pop off its ball joint.
The left arm is ball jointed so can be rotated fully and out to the side. Elbows are then joined as are the arms. I specifically said left arm here as the right is a simple peg. The reason is that it is meant to represent the Wampa's arm being chopped off by Luke. The idea is sound, but the execution isn't great. Not only do you lose the ball joint on the right and therefore a degree of articulation, but the arm itself isn't particularly realistic as it pops off and leaves a hole in the body. The severed arm has a painted red gore stump, but out of this sticks the white peg for the arm joint and it all just looks wrong - more of a play feature not a collectors range feature.
There is a torso joint under the fur which moves the top half of the body a good way either side and back and forth. This joint feels a bit loose on my figure and with the weight of the Wampa may be a weak spot going forward. Legs are ball jointed at the hip, have a thigh swivel, knee and ankle joint and allow Wampa to be planted securely and once he is posed he won't be going anywhere.
This is a much more superior set to its companion the Tauntaun. Luke is a great figure - if you ignore that piece of sticking plaster that is stuck the wrong way on his head. Wampa has weight and bulk and the only criticism is the severed arm which doesn't work.
I scored the Tauntaun and Han a 3 out of 5, and Wampa beats this no problem. The scarf and other niggles stops it being a perfect 5 - so I score Luke and Wampa 4 out of 5.