TOY REVIEW: Luke Skywalker Rogue Group Snowspeeder Pilot 1/6th Scale Figure From Sideshow Collectibles
Is Luke Skywalker the best Jedi that ever lived? That’s a question that inspires endless debates and one that will not be answered here. But just for the record, he did go from orphan farmer boy to galaxy-saving Jedi in just three movies. Took down the Death Star with his eyes closed. Turned his evil dad good again. Oh, and he gives awesome piggy back rides. We’re here today to not talk about Luke the Jedi, but Luke the pilot. Now, we wouldn’t be so bold to say one is cooler/better than the other but in terms of what his actions as a pilot meant for the Rebels and, well, the galaxy pilot Luke is pretty dope.
While it’s a far cry from sniping Womp rats in a T-16 you can now have Luke decked out in full pilot gear in your home. Technically, there have been lots of Rebel Pilot Luke toys made over the years (lots!), but none quite like this 1/6th figure from Sideshow Collectibles.
Sideshow Collectibles are, of course, one of the most collectible types of high-end figurines (right on par with Hot Toys). They are scale models of characters from a huge range of franchises ranging from comic book superheroes to pop culture icons like Batman, Terminator, and Robocop. They’re museum quality stuff with their amazing toy engineering and stunning detailing plus ultra realistic paint jobs. The crème de la crème is their most impressive Star Wars line. All of your favorite characters from the entire saga including Darth Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Princess Leia and Stormtroopers have found themselves under the meticulous craftsmanship of Sideshow Collectibles. In that mix, and the topic of today’s showcase, is Luke Skywalker Rogue Group Snow Speeder Pilot from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Sideshow’s Star Wars releases have all had the same general style guide for all sixth scale releases; a matte black box with some art on the front, around, and inside the box. The no frills window box features the figure in three heroic poses in front, back and inside flap. The portraits of Luke are, sans the Star Wars logo beneath them, surrounded by nothing but blackness. Dark. Sleek. Simple. This is like Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series packaging before Star Wars Black Series was cool. Nothing noisy. No assault on the eyes. It doesn’t do simple for simplicity sake. It’s just a wonderful case (excuse the pun) of doing more with less. Minimalism, ain’t it grand?
Very much like all of Hot Toys sixth scale releases, the packaging is collector friendly, with the figure nestled in a basic plastic clam shell tray inside – accessories on the top tray and the display bases and other larger accessories beneath. That means you can access the figure and its contents and not feel like you’re gutting a Tauntaun.
Right away, the presence of this figure is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s as if you were immediately transported to that scene where Luke takes down the AT-AT 0n Hoth, but there he is, in front of you in full regalia, and looking more life-like than one would ever expect a toy/figure to look.
Standing at 12 inches tall, the figure comes with two head sculpts, one with a helmet and one without. Mark Hamill has proven very difficult for sculptors to nail the likeness, yet in this case, the portraits on both helmeted and un-helmeted heads are the best of Hamill to date. The resemblance is phenomenal! The minor details like the moles and chin dimple are captured well to further seal the likeness.
Out of the two heads, the helmeted Luke is the preferred choice. The base color of the helmet is white, and it is then decorated with dark red trim down the ridge and two rebel red squadron symbols to either side. There is then some yellow trim and additional symbols to each side and the black circle logo. The colors are vibrant and lined in black and the helmet has been washed and weathered. The helmet is rounded out with a (non movable) chin strap, comm link, and a translucent visor which you can actually push it up into the helmet to reveal his face.
Luke’s alternative head nicely fulfills the realistic aspect of Hamill’s kisser, with the 70’s hero hairdo and all. While the inclusion of secondary heads is never a bad thing, its less likely to be used. The helmeted option is simply the cooler choice to have on display. Period.
Luke is geared up in that oh so familiar orange Rebel flight suit, with a cold weather jacket to protect him against the frigid Hoth temperatures. Sideshows’ handling of the iconic outfit is about what you’d expect by now — flawlessly executed. These duds are consistent with the on-screen coloring and the padded flight suit and flak jacket has folds, wrinkles, and creases to mimic the real costume. The tailoring is undeniable (it’s damn near dumbfounding how the crafters at Sideshow are able to get the material and stitching so precise). It’s been dirtied with a brown/dirt wash in spots and weathered in others. The overall appearance has a very lived-in look to it, that he has been outside fighting the Empire.
His outfit is ornamented with plenty of detail and tiny accessories. The signal flair belt around his left calf, as well as the electronics on his costume, including the wonderfully tooled life-support chest box with straps. Even the utility belt around his waist has functional pouches and gun holster that enclose via tiny magnets, as well as a saber clip. Sideshow was sure include correctly colored tan/gray thermal gloves and boots instead of the generic black X-wing pilot gloves. The paint application is so convincing that one could easily mistake them as real leather.
The underlying body allows for some good posing, albeit the flight harness restricts at the thighs. The flight jacket does hinder full rotation in the arms as well. But otherwise, this is quite the limber figure getting almost full use of its 30+ points of articulation.
Luke is fully equipped with lit and unlit lightsabers, his trusty blaster, and signal flares, The blaster is a DL-44 heavy blaster pistol which he carries with him on Dagobah. The detail of the gun is fair but the bulk of the gun is unpainted black plastic and doesn’t look that much more impressive that in a Hasbro toy. The lightsaber is the blue bladed model given to Luke by Obi-Wan Kenobi that originally belonged to Anakin. The blade and hilt easily detach, and the saber hilt itself is fantastic. Every details of the hilt corresponds with pictures of the film prop. It even has the loop to hang it on Luke’s belt clip. Unfortunately, it does not light up.
Luke also comes with set of 9 interchangeable hands in various grips and gestures. Pair of relaxed hands, closed fists, a pair to hold the blaster, his lightsaber, and a saluting/force using hand. The last accessory is a figurine base, which is about as basic as a figurine stand could be.
CRITICISM (THE NOT SO GOOD STUFF)
Sans then non light-up saber, this figures biggest omission? No magnetic grappling gun. Key moment in the movie is Luke ascending an ATAT and taking out the mechanized monster with a lightsaber strike and a well thrown grenade. Having this one extra accessory would have made for a complete figure and warranted the steep price-point. If not the grappling hook, then at least a snowy diorama base, something other than the plain and rather insulting excuse for a figurine stand (Personally, I’m not one that even cares for stands but this stand is so boringly generic!).
At $270 the asking price might be a bit steep for some (its expensive even by Hot Toy standards.) The flight suit and helmet are amazing! And the head sculpts are near perfect likeness to Mark Hamill, perhaps Sideshows’ best attempt yet. With everything you’re getting with the figure from the various display options and quality execution, Snowspeeder Luke has earned its value.
Luke has so many costumes throughout the Star Wars saga (dude seriously goes through more costume changes than Lady Gaga!) and has so many heroic moments. It’s hard to choose one over another but there is something uniquely distinctive about his pilot gear. Taking on the Empire, come space or snowy ice planets, no outfit in the entire saga stands out or is as recognizable as Luke the Rebel Pilot.
Where to get it? The only place is Sideshows website: sideshowtoy.com. As of this review, Luke is no longer available but potential buyers can join a “wait list” and get there names in for the second more figures are released. Go ahead and toss your name in and show your commitment to the Rebel Alliance.