Cliffbee.com: Luke Skywalker (X-Wing) Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Luke Skywalker
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Rebel Alliance
Alternate Mode: X-Wing Starfighter

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me the X-Wing for this review



X-WING MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 17cm

   An off white X-Wing fighter with some grey "grime" painted on the engines, some ochre stripes on the fuselage and ochre detailing on the wings - with deliberate wear on both and some ochre scoring on the nose. The canopy is composed of colourless plastic with a grey painted on the frame. The panel behind the canopy is painted silver with an R2D2 head moulded on - and there's blue paint where appropriate. Lastly we have some yellow panels on the top of the fuselage, in front of the cockpit. The colour scheme is pretty good, understated whilst still focused. I'm not entirely sure about scoring in colour (the ochre), but otherwise the colours are thoughtful and do a good job of making this X-Wing look like those in the films.

   The shape works well for an X-Wing. The fuselage is long and tapers at the front, with angles rather than curves. The wings stretch out to either side and look like they open like scissors (forming an "X" profile from either end, hence the name!) while the engines sit at the base of the four wing panels. The wings don't really open too well, mind you - doing that reveals orange arms and the joints at the base of the wings are set up for the transformation instead. As is typical of SWTFs, the detailing is good (actually, it is excellent here), with not only R2D2 but a seat in side the cockpit (painted black), little semi-circles on the front of the wing-pins (see the picture!) and a detailed sculpt in general.

   The play value here is good in some ways, bad in others. The cockpit opens and you can place the little orange Luke Skywalker figurine inside - and sit him down, and there are three retractable legs underneath - one under the nose and one under the engines on either side. The wing-pins (I'm sure a Star Wars fan can supply me with the correct term - contact me!) are missiles, pressing on the back of them will cause them to fire, and while they fire well, the launchers don't sit very well on the wings. They wont fall off, but they flop around needlessly - to the point that I've hesitant to touch the launchers. The wings are meant to lock into each other (non-attack position) and considering that they're not really designed to move into the X position, this should be a no-brainer, but they don't clip together very well.

   It looks great, but once you start handling this jet it becomes less spectacular. I still appreciate it as a display piece - looking at this detailed X-Wing and knowing that it becomes an articulated robot, it is impressive. I just wish that the designer had paid a little more attention to the wings' play value, because the flaws in play value could be fixed with minor tweaks.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold away the legs, unclip the light sabre from underneath. Split the front to form legs, fold back the various panelling - much of the sides of the fuselage become hip-armour. Rotate the nose halves and fold out to form feet. Flip out the heelspurs, stand up and adjust the hips to widen the pelvis. Swing down the lower wings, fold up (ie back) the top wings to form a backpack. Swing out the arms from within the lower engines, slide back the wings. Fold down the panel on his chest, flip out the head and fold the panel back into place. Place the light sabre into either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19.5cm Width: 17cm

   An orange and off white humanoid, this robotic Luke Skywalker has an orange chest, orange forearms, groin, thighs and knees while the hands and lower legs are black. The waist, feet and head are off white along with the considerable kibble here. The face is silver with a transparent yellow visor over his eyes, while the white helmet is adorned in various details that befit a fighter pilot's helmet. There's also a lot of white on his kibble, which I'll come back to. The colour scheme is fairly true to the fighter pilot Luke Skywalker seen in [i]Return of the Jedi[/i], but it's hampered by all the kibble which distracts quite a bit. I am impressed by the details on his helmet, but I don't see why the essentially organic face had to be silver.

   The bodyshape here is awful. Its immediately clear that the design focus was on the vehicle mode, because the kibble is so inelegant and the legs so spindly. The legs do not look human, nor do they fit the standard Transformer leg shape, since both the thighs and boots are very thin from the front. Sure, they have to fit into the front of the jet but we would have been better served by a splitting fuselage with rotating halves (which would have also eliminated the panels hanging off the shins and waist). The wings are not dealt with well, either. The lower halves sit above the arms - well the engines _are_ the upper arms. The wings do not hide at all, which spoils the illusion somewhat. The upper wing halves hang off the back awkwardly, like the designer couldn't be bothered doing anything else with them. I guess it's credit to the colour scheme used that this still works as pilot Luke Skywalker, because the bodyshape does a lot of harm.

   The poseability is okay, although it's hampered by the weight of the wings on his back. His head turns, the elbows rotate and are double hinged while wrists rotate. The shoulders can lift up in theory, but the kibble gets in its own way - the engines hanging off his shoulders can't clear the wings at the back properly. You can still lift up the light sabre, but only via the elbow, which rules out some of the cooler light sabre wielding poses, sadly. His waist looks like it should be able to turn but is fixed while the hips are ball jointed. His knees, ankles and heelspurs are all hinged. The heelspurs aren't quite as long as I'd like - Luke can stand but the weight of the wings limits the available poses (tighter hinges would also help, although they're not loose as such). The missile launchers aren't really designed to fit in his hands, which is a glaring oversight, really. You can place them in his hands, but at a strange angle.

   While the vehicle looks great, the robot pays a price for it. The kibble isn't dealt with very well and the legs are badly shaped. The colour scheme is actually pretty good, but the basic shape it fits onto just isn't enough to make this robot mode work. The silver face looks odd, but the head itself is quite detailed. The articulation is generally good, but the limited shoulders and weight issues mean it doesn't translate into great poseability.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Well, the X-Wing mode looks really good, so if you're MOSC collector you should like this toy. But we can stop there, sadly. The X-Wing's play value is disappointing, the robot mode ungainly with some poseability issues. This was one of the earlier SWTF toys, and the teething problems do show in the robot mode - not least of which is undue focus on one mode at the expense of the other. If you really like X-Wings, buy a dedicated Star Wars toy instead - 3.5/10

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