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Review : Star Wars Black Series Yoda (Force Spirit) Exclusive


Yoda was first released in the Star Wars Black Series in 2014. He went on to get two further releases in 2019 - one as an update to the original in the Archive line, and this second version of Yoda as a Force Ghost. The figure was exclusive to Walmart in the US and was sold via the Fan Channel elsewhere.


I have badged this figure as a Return of the Jedi release, but this could just as easily be a Last Jedi version.

Packaging 4/5


The packaging for Yoda is the standard size and layout and predominantly black. Instead of the red figure backdrop and side spine, the Force Spirit release is an ice blue colour - the same scheme as used in 2017 for the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force Spirit. Being an exclusive there is no numbering on the figure.


The Gregory Titus artwork also uses a blue hue and for me is very much Yoda as we see him at the end of Return of the Jedi. Yoda looks a little lost in the box, with a lot of space around the figure.


The same Titus artwork is blown up on the back of the box and overlaid with a short piece of background text for Yoda, although not particularly specific to a movie or the Force Spirit that this figure represents.


"Yoda was a legendary Jedi Master and stronger than most in his connection with the Force. Small in size but wise and powerful, he trained Jedi for over 800 years playing integral roles in the Clone Wars, the instruction of Luke Skywalker, and unlocking the path to immortality"



Paint & Sculpt 3/5


Yoda shares the same sculpt as the original 2017 version (and by default the Archive version). The sculpt is excellent and this version has face print application which really brings out the eyes as well as the lines and wrinkles on Yoda's face. To achieve the Force Spirit effect the head is coloured in a glossy, pearlescent blue.


The body is covered in soft good robes. An outer see through robe - similar to what they used on Obi-Wan - and another inner lower robe with a darker finish. His upper torso is painted in another pearlescent shade somewhere between pink & purple, while the legs under this secondary robe are translucent blue as are the hands. The original necklace is tucked under the outer robe, while the belt remains in place on the outer robe to hold it in place.


You are never going to replicate a Force Spirit properly but this is not a bad effort. Compared to the 2017 Obi-Wan, Yoda is more purple in tone rather than blue and it is a shame the two are not a better match when posed together. I also wonder if Yoda would have looked a little better with the blue shaded robes as used on Obi-Wan.



Accessories 2/5


While the figure is the same as the previous results, the accessories have been reduced significantly. There is no snake and no lightsaber - which I do accept are not relevant to Yoada as a Force Spirit.

What we do get is his stick. This is cast in a purple plastic with a pearlescent finish. It fits in either hand and can be positioned for him to lean on or carry - or raised to strike someone, perhaps knocking some sense into Skywalker.


As we saw in terms of how lost Yoda is in the box without any other accessories. And we are charged the same, if not more for this release. I would argue something more innovative could have been included - perhaps a diorama stand from the Ewok Village big enough for Yoda, Obi-Wan and hopefully a future Anakin to round off the trio (which Anakin would you want?).



Articulation 3/5


Force Spirit Yoda has 14 points of articulation, not bad considering his size. The significant loss is a knee joint leaving the legs with the hips, thigh swivel and then straight down to the ankle rockers.


Head : neck ball joint

Body : waist ball joint

Arms : ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow. wrist pivot

Legs : ball joint hip, thigh swivel, ankle rockers


The head is pretty much fixed in place with no movement either side, nor up or down. In contrast the arms are very versatile and coupled with the ball joint at the waist Yoda can be bent over to a hunched back look leaning on his stick.


The legs will allow Yoda to sit, or stand - and he stands without any stability issues.



Summary


Force Spirit figures are always going to be difficult to bring to life in action figure form, particularly around the £20 price tab. You can either go down the fully blue translucent route like the Power of the Force Cinema Scene set - or down this more screen accurate look where the character retains some base colouring but given that ethereal look with pearlescent finishes.



Yoda goes down a similar route to Obi-Wan but with variant colours - which is a shame when they are posed together. The figure is also quite expensive when you consider this is a 3 inch figure with a stick for the same price as a normal Black Series release.


Force Spirit Yoda is going to divide collectors, but it does fit the bill for an Exclusive and I score it a total of 3 out of 5.




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