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George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise)

Star Wars
by yo go re

Normally in Old Toys Month, we can justify any Star Wars reviews by virtue of it taking place "a long time ago." This one, however, is a figure that came out years ago, using a mold that had been out years before that, and it represents someone who hasn't looked this way in decades.

Celebrate the legendary Star Wars films that changed the universe forever, with The Saga Collection. This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and transported us to a galaxy far, far away.

To commemorate these landmark films, we are honoring their creator, George Lucas. We pay homage to both his remarkable accomplishments in film as well as the legions of Star Wars fans that he inspired by presenting a likeness of the director himself, clad in one of the saga's most iconic designs - the distinctive armor of an Imperial stormtrooper. May the Force be with you!

The "Vintage Saga Collection" was Hasbro's 2006 crack at putting new-fangled figures on old-fashioned cards. Oh, and charging 100% more for them, can't forget that: standard figures cost five dollars, while the vintage ones cost ten. Thanks for nothing, marketing department. Anyway, if you spent $50 to buy all five worthless, craptacular Vintage figures, you could spend another $5 to get Georgie-boy, here. The cards are direct updates of the originals, and appropriately enough, this one has the same graphics as the original 1978 Stormtrooper, even going so far as to include the Kenner logo, not Hasbro.

The 2004 "Vintage Original Trilogy Collection" introduced a new, super-articulated Stormtrooper body - you'll recognize it as the one used for pretty much every Stormtrooper released today. That's why it's so weird that this 2006 instead uses a 1999 Stormtrooper body. Yes, it was very impressive when it was first released, back in the day of CommTech chips, but it was already at least two years out-of-date by the time this figure came out. The sculpt is good (enough), but there's definitely room for improvement. Improvement that was made two years before on the VOTC figure!

Similarly, the articulation was nice in '99, but lame by the time this exclusive was released. He has a swivel/hinge neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel elbows, swivel waist, swivel hips and hinged knees. By 2006 he should have had hinges added to the elbows, swivels added to the knees, and at least some sort of wrist joints, if not ankles. The only way this is excusable is if Hasbro was counting on everyone leaving him carded, since he's an exclusive. His only accessories are a blaster and the removable helmet: the original release of this mold at least came with a new weapons rack and a long blaster rifle.

This isn't the first George Lucas toy released - and no, we're not talking about the blue-skinned guy, because that's a character. There's Jorg Sacul, of course, but way back in '96, the Micro Machines Action Fleet TIE Interceptor came with a pilot who had a removable helmet - take the helmet off and there was a beardy little head inside. Other directors have been made into action figures, but George Lucas did it first.

The likeness on this version is much more detailed than the TIE Pilot, but that's to be expected since it's 400% larger. Just like the Elvis stamp debate, there's a clear difference between the young George Lucas and the old George Lucas: this figure depicts him in his younger days, with curly black hair and a full beard - perfect for creating your own George Lucas in Love toys!

Getting this figure would have originally cost you upwards of $60 - far too much for a simple curiosity of this sort, especially since the figures you had to buy to get him were all so... useless. They lacked the appeal of the original VOTC figures, which is probably why Hasbro felt they needed to sweeten the deal by offering this exclusive. Prices have dropped on the secondary market, though, so you might be able to get a George Lucas at a price you like.

-- 02/20/11

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