Updated: Oct 9
The Star Wars Black Series Heroes of Endor Exclusive Box Set was originally planned as a San Diego Comic Con Exclusive in 2020. With the Covid 19 pandemic the SDCC 2020 event, like all conventions, was cancelled and the exclusives from Hasbro were held back from July and then sold in September during Hasbro Pulse Con, Hasbro's online convention event. The set features four figures and a re-issued Speeder Bike, all wrapped up in an exclusive box with diorama panels.
Our review of the Heroes of Endor Set will be broken down into four reviews - one for each figure included - as well as a look at the packaging and unboxing each element.
The Heroes of Endor set is presented in rectangular black box with green Star Wars Black Series Logo on the front face, and beneath this - in a solid black stripe - is a confirmation of the film base as Return of the Jedi and then the name of the set as the HEROES OF ENDOR. It is impressive when you start to look closely at the box that there are images in the black of the box using different finishes with the trees of the Endor Forest Moon visible on one side and the Death Star looming above. This pattern continues down the right hand side panel, while the left is plain, except for some green shades towards the back.
The back of the box see's a repeat of the Black Series logo and a green fading segment coming in from one side. The movie name is repeated again in the same black stripe that runs round the full box. Under this we have the various legal and safety messages.
Our review copy is a UK/European release and we have an over sticker on the front to the side of the 4+ message blanking something out. On the back, the safety messages are also an over sticker ensuring the messages are region specific I assume.
The only window initially visible on the box is the triangular cut out on the top through which you can see the top of Paploo's head and the Speeder Bike.
Box Dimension : Closed
Width 25cm / 9.75 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
This outer packaging is a sleeve that is then lifted off to reveal the contents of the set beneath across three diorama windows. The sleeve itself is quite thin and will damage easily so needs to be handled with care.
With the sleeve section removed, the box now presents with three windows - one front, and one either side. Each panel shows a diorama from The Return of the Jedi with the accompanying figure(s).
Paploo is front and centre, named underneath the window as PAPLOO and under this, SPEEDER BIKE. The window backdrop features a speed blurred Endor Forest backdrop with Paploo sat in the centre hanging on to the Speeder Bike.
To the right hand side is Luke in his Endor Poncho and Helmet brandishing his lightsaber between two tree trunks. Again, the character name sits bottom left under the window and is simply named as LUKE SKYWALKER.
To the left we have Han Solo and Princess Leia at the door of the Imperial Bunker. Han is not wearing his Trench coat and Leia is without her helmet - screen accurate for the scene they are recreating. Han is posed with his blaster outstretched to one side, with Leia kneeling and aiming her blaster to the other side. Under the window we have the characters named again with HAN SOLO on the top line and PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA underneath.
If you go all the way to the back of the box you find the three segments combining to make up the box reverse. The right hand panel, as we look, carries the Black Series logo. And the left panel has a piece of background text which is pretty extensive vs what we normally get on the Black Series boxes.
"The Empire built the second Death Star in secret above the lush forest moon of Endor, located on the fringes of settled space in a far corner of the galaxy. To protect the station during construction, Imperial engineers placed a shield generator on the moon's surface. Scout Troopers patrolled the woods on Speeder Bikes, but the Empire dismissed Endor's native Ewoks as primitives that posed no threat.
The Ewoks, however, were not to be underestimated. They were brave warriors and quick to learn new ways. They accepted the Rebel Alliance's warriors into their tribe and decided to join the fight against the Galactic Empire, using bows and arrows, catapults and log traps to take down Stormtroopers and Scout Walkers. The Ewoks turned the tide, allowing the Rebel commandos to destroy the shield generator and leave the Death Star vulnerable to orbital assault."
The three triangular segments are designed with a hinge connecting the two side segments to the central piece. This allows the whole box to be opened up to display all three dioramas at once.
The practicality of displaying this way is that it will take up quite a bit of shelf space both in terms of its width, and in the fact the shelf needs to be deep enough to accomodate the central Paploo section. There is a part opened option where the two side panels are swept back a little which reduces the overall width, but leaves all three diorama panels visible.
Box Dimension : Open
Full Width 96m / 36.75 inches
Partial Open Width 78cm / 31 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
There is further artwork on the reverse of these opened panels with green glow added to the Forest Moon and Death Start artwork. It is truly beautiful, and a waste almost considering its on the back of a box.
The side section containing Luke is accessed via the thicker end of the wedge shaped section. You will need to cut or very carefully remove the circular seal tape and open the flap. The entire inner piece will then slide out as a single component.
The backing piece is a Forest view with Luke posed between two trees that are actually 3D and sit out from the backdrop as individual folded cardboard pieces. Luke is in the centre in a plastic tray piece posed with his lightsaber raised.
If you turn the segment round, the reverse and wedge side are plain cardboard and that on the back we have two sets of black tabs holding the tree pieces in place, and in the middle some clear tabs to hold in Luke. Once the tape is cut and the clear tabs removed, Luke is free of the background and leaves two slits only in the panel. While the Paploo piece was perhaps to big and awkwardly shaped to be useful as a diorama - the thinne wedged profile of Luke's segment is certainly something I could (and may well) use on a shelf display - maybe with a few tweaks?
Luke sits in a shaped plastic tray once removed from the backing. There is a multitude of plastic ties holding him into the pose and each one needs to be removed carefully. The easiest way is to cut them from behind. There is a tricky one on the right arm hidden by the poncho and a sneaky one that is almost invisible holding the base of the saber blade. I missed this one and nearly snapped the saber trying to get Luke free.
Paint & Sculpt 3.0
To take us through the figure in its entirety I am going to start with a look at the base figure that sits under the helmet and poncho. The head sculpt is impressive and uses the face print tech to give us one of the best Hamill likenesses to date with defined eyes, shading around the face as well as well sculpted and painted hair.
Sadly the body is less impressive. It is predominantly cast in black plastic and is not very flattering in terms of the proportions, giving Luke a very slim torso and quite bandy wide hips with legs that sit a little unnaturally around the groin piece. The boots are given a glossier black finish and the right hand - damaged on Jabba's sail barge - is also painted a varying black tone.
The body is a full re-use from the Jedi Knight Luke from 2014 which had issues back then. Without the belt the hip proportions are even more thrown out as an aesthetic and the lack of width to the chest is also noticeable. The same body was used in 2019 on Jabba's Palace Luke, although in this instance an added Tunic piece did help the look of the figure significantly. As we will see, the Endor Poncho pays a similar role here. For those wanting this to be a final battle in the Emperor's Throne Room definitive version - your wait will go on.
Luke's lightsaber is included with the set and it uses the existing sculpt for his ROTJ saber hilt. The colouring is updated with a brighter silver base. Details also include the black ridged central section and gold on the panels. The top emitter remains a weak spot, and having this snag on the tiny clear tie that is holding it in the packaging does not help.
The green translucent blade arrives nice and straight although it is slightly weaker shade of green than previous green blade sabers. The connection to the hilt is by means of a very thin insert that slots into place. This is another weak spot and mine is already showing stress lines from just a couple of change overs.
The saber hilt will fit in either hand and two handed poses are also achievable. Remember that new black painted right hand? For some reason it has a trigger finger - yet Luke does not have a blaster in the set. This does look a bit odd when he his handling his saber with his finger stuck out. They've also left the hook on the end of the saber, but there is no hook on Luke's belt to hang it either on the base figure or the belt with the Poncho.
Luke's Poncho is a soft goods piece that is camo coloured on the outside and plain tan brown in the middle. It slots over Luke's head with quite a wide collar and a stitched hood that is for show and cant be raised over Luke's head.
The Poncho is fitted by means of a soft plastic belt. The belt slots through two slits in the Poncho and then fastens at the back of Luke's body, holding the front of the Poncho in place but leaving the back loose. The fixing on this is very tight and it takes a bit of stretching to slot the fastener into place.
Like any soft goods, there will be an element of tweaking and playing to get the look you want. The material is soft enough to look OK at this scale but not too fragile that it is easily ripped or freyed.
The front looks fine once secured by the belt, while the back is the bit that runs wild. It would have been good to allow the belt to wrap the back of the Poncho if you wanted to rein it in a little, but the belt is only just big enough for the front piece. The neck piece is oversized and tends to slip around and to the side too much.
The final accessory is Luke's helmet. This is a rubberised piece with Endor Camouflage decor. It is cast in a sandy brown colour with painted green and brown sections, some silver for scratches and damage and a neat circular yellow and red insignia to the front right.
The fit over Luke's head is snug and the helmet looks perfectly fitted and not oversized or out of proportion. The chin strap disconnects from the helmet on the right hand side to allow the helmet to be taken on and off. Getting the plug back in the socket is fiddly, but it sits OK without having it fully attached.
The issue with Endor Luke being on an older body is that the articulation remains a little dated. Luke has a total of 16 points of articulation. These include the older format head joint where we have both a ball joint and a visible pivot in the neck - this is thankfully hidden when the helmet is in place.
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
Body : ball joint waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, single joint rotating knees, ankle rocker
The arms are mobile enough, but lightsaber posing would have been a lot more dynamic had Luke had the Butterfly options in the shoulders and the wider reaching elbows that we are now seeing on the newer releases.
The bandy legs on the old figure were a pain to get him to stand, impacted further by some odd ratchet positions in the ankle rockers so the feet never seemed to be flat to the floor. These exact same issues exist on the new figure and there is also a lot of looseness in the hips, an issue the Jabba's Palace Luke also suffered with.
Thankfully you can work round most of these, and the proportional issues and awkward posing is significantly disguised with the poncho and with this soft good piece in place and tucked and secured to your liking Luke is a much nicer figure.
The Heroes of Endor Set comes with a Speeder Bike, and it is good to see that Luke has sufficient articulation to ride it - if he can get Paploo out of the way. The hands grip the steering very well and the body and legs bend into a riding position. It is at this point you do realise that Hasbro have left the peg on the foot plates in the same place and these do not line up with the peg holes in Luke's feet - this is a shame as you will struggle to get the feet to sit flat with the peg keeping them at bay by not lining up
Endor Luke on the face of it is a good looking figure, although a lot of issues are hidden away behind that new soft good Poncho. The head sculpt and decor is very good and the helmet works well. The Poncho needs some tweaking to sit right on the figure, but with work it looks pretty good.
Without the Poncho, this is the same Luke Jedi body as 2016 and that brings with it some issues with both aesthetics in terms of proportions as well as articulation issues. It is not that there is insufficient articulation, it just doesn't work too well in the leg area in particular.
There is no denying Luke looks awesome on the Speeder Bike and posed in his full Endor gear, I just perhaps wanted to see Hasbro finally update that Jedi Luke body to something more in line with the quality of figures we are getting now. I had planned to double dip on Luke in his upcoming single release to have a new version for the Emperors Throne Room. I am not sure if that will still be the case.
I score Endor Luke Skywalker a score of 3.0
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars. black series, endor, exclusive, heroes of endor, return of the jedi, paploo, luke skywalker, princess leia, han solo