I know, I know, its been awhile since my last post! My hats off to all those who manage to keep consistent! Anyway, I'm alive and so is the retro toy scene. With Toys"R"Us just days away from officially being a collection of empty buildings, I managed to grab a few more items before its total demise. In celebration of the best of the Star Wars film produced, The Empire Strikes, of course, I just had to grab these two highly treasured sets from Hasbro's 2018 line. The Imperial Probe Droid w/ Darth Vader and the Hoth Wampa w/ Luke Skywalker.
As customary, I like to look over the packaging. There's not a whole lot to say as I've never been a fan of the white schemed box art. I realize youngsters are more familiar with newer characters like Rey and Finn, so the fact they have to be on just about every piece of merchandise is expected. I realize this is not the Vintage Collection line, but would it hurt to at least pay homage to the Empire Strikes Back by some visual reference? Otherwise, the art is eye-catching and the window revealing the figures is very welcomed!
Let's take a look at the Imperial probe droid. I have to say this is a very impressive display piece and is an excellent update. I know this guy has been released several times before starting with the original Kenner line, but I don't remember him looking this good! Paint detail is incredible. Deep dark grey paint along with chipped edges give this droid an astonishing display presence. Movement is good, but would like to have seen more arm articulation. Each arm averages 2-points of articulation but visually look to have three. Head spins, and there is a tiny molded sensor that also swivels. No exploding feature but he does include rocket firing projectile. Love, this piece and so glad Hasbro included a translucent stand to display him with!
Darth Vader, the included figure is also nicely sculpted. Nothing really out of the ordinary as the figure follows the more cost-effective molds Hasbro puts out for the kids. No shoulder/elbow movement here. Other than the swivel ability at the waist, Vader moves just as stiff as the original Kenner figs from back in the day. Honestly, I don't mind that either. With fewer articulation points, the sculpting detail looks much more uniform. Vader has a removable rubber cape and a separate lightsaber. Again, a great display piece but for play, there will be limitations.
Moving on to the Hoth Wampa, he too is no stranger to the action figure world. This won't be a comparison review, so I won't comment on if this is a better version than older releases. I can tell you he looks great! Features include removable left limb and 17 pints of articulation! Not bad at all! Getting the Wampa to stand is very easy even with legs bent in more extreme positions. The detail on face and body are all top notch.
Luke included, is accessorized with a blaster and lightsaber. Like Vader, Luke has very limited articulation. However unlike Vader, no waist swivel. I will say they captured a very good likeness of Mark Hamill down to the cuts on his face.
All figures feature the Force Link gimmick that allows specific movie sounds of the character to be heard through a wrist device sold separately. I don't personally have one of these but if you're curious, do a search on Google to get an understanding of how it works. Overall both of these sets are an excellent addition to any Star Wars collection. If I had to pick one, I would have to choose the Imperial Probe Droid. Looking back on other releases of this cool character, I have to say that this one beats them all, by a wide margin. I cant say the same for the Wampa. Although he displays nice and looks to have great playability, I feel that other releases may have had an advantage in the realm of articulation. Either way, it's nice to see Empire Strikes Back characters still hitting store shelves.