Cliffbee.com: Luke Skywalker (Snow Speeder) Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Luke Skywalker
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Rebel Alliance
Alternate Mode: Snow Speeder



SNOW SPEEDER MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 13cm

   A compact off white flying vehicle, the Snow Speeder is effectively a flying wing. There are red stripes running along the back and one on the concave nose section while the single pilot cockpit has colourless windows. The red stripes have some intentional wear and there are some dull grey battle damage in random locations. The battle damage actually looks like battle damage, thankfully. The jet at the back is painted a lead colour, rounding out a thoughtful if not especially exciting colour scheme. The colours are quite sedated, which fits into the no frills nature of the Rebel Alliance, so I can deal fairly dull colours.

   The Snow Speeder itself is fairly sleek with angular, downwards sloping, wings and a long blaster mounted on each wing. There's a small, backwards facing, gun behind the cockpit (which you'd expect a rear gunner to man, although this is a single-pilot vehicle). The canopy lifts up to reveal a single seat, for the included orange Luke Skywalker pilot figure to ride in. This figure is very similar to that included with the X-Wing, although with some minor differences.

   Aside from the opening canopy, the weapons provide some play value. The blasters are actually missile launchers - the front halves are the missiles. Pressing on buttons at the back of the blasters will fire the missiles around a metre. The gun at the back, which is composed of a softish plastic so it doesn't snap off too easily, rotates through 360. There's a foot underneath the cockpit which folds down - and needs to be there otherwise the vehicle will dip forward. Unusually for a SWTF, there are no rear feet - the back of the Snow Speeder rests on the wing edges.

   Unlike many of the earlier Star Wars Transformers based around an organic character, this vehicle holds together well. The attention to detail here is good - which is normal for this line. I really like the way the battle damage is implemented - it really conveys the "Used Future" George Lucas emphasised in the original Star Wars trilogy. While it's not a spectacular vehicle in itself, as Transformers go this is a really focused vehicle mode. The play value is slightly below the high standards of the SWTF line, but overall this is a great vehicle mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As with many SWTFs, it's essentially about unfolding panels to reveal the limbs and head. The engine folds onto the back revealing the head, the wings fold back to reveal the legs which swing down and extend (with some force). The arms unfold from underneath the stripes on the wings, which become shoulderpads. The cockpit stays in place, becoming the torso.

   The blasters become handheld weapons - similar to on the X-Wing. The blue light sabre is added rather than revealed - there's no official place to stow it in vehicle mode, although it easily fits inside either wing.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 12cm

   An off white, grey and orange robot which looks more like a robot than a human. The torso and shoulderpads are off white, along with the substantial backpack. The upper arms, thighs and knees are orange while the boots and forearms are grey. The collar and fists are white, along with the helmet. The face is silver with a cyborg-like face. There's a transparent orange eyevisor and complex paintmask of red stripes and various other details on and around the head.

   The bodyshape is good, and this figure is an improvement over many of the earlier organic character Star Wars Transformers. The hips sit lower than they should and the legs are slightly shorter than they should be, but the torso isn't a barrel as on the Jedi Starfighter mould, despite the fact that the cockpit still forms the basis of the torso. The backpack is detracting - and while it folds up fairly well, it's still quite prominent. Note that I have used Hasbro's incorrectly transformed robot mode picture (for now), which hasn't folded the backpack away properly - it also fails to extend the legs. Thanks to Terrorcon Blot for pointing out that the legs extend.

   The detailing on the robot mode parts is good, with a lot of sculpted details on the collar and helmet. There are a series of black hoses around the place, and this theme is well executed. Aside from hoses supplying the helmet on the edges of the collar there are hoses sculpted on the insides of the thighs. More impressive are the separate pieces of black plastic on the butts of the missile launchers and either side of the waist. These are composed of a soft plastic.

   The poseability is fairly limited, and not just by the backpack. The head turns while the waist is fixed - since the cockpit is the torso. The shoulderpads swing while the shoulders themselves rotate and lift out to the sides. The arms cannot swing down to the sides completely - at best they'll sit on an angle of about 30. The elbows are double hinges while the wrists rotate, and while the shoulder movement is limited, the joints are strong enough to support the fairly bulky missile launchers. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged and there are rotators above the knees. The ankles are hinged and there are short heelspurs. This figure is fairly stable considering how much backpack there is relative to the small heelspurs. The range of dynamic posing is limited, but it'll stand in a few poses, and finding a stable pose isn't a problem.

   The light sabre can stow inside the wings on the backpack and the missile launchers can also stay attached to the wings if you prefer - although this will impact on the stability due to their weight - I find myself leaving the light sabre stowed.

   While this is the weaker mode, this Luke Skywalker robot mode is better than most of the organic characters preceding in the same line. There's more kibble on the backpack than usual, but the robot itself is fairly well implemented - without the awkward barrel torso of earlier figures. The paint job and sculpt are detailed and the weapons useful - even if it can't wield all three at once.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An improvement over many earlier Star Wars Transformers based on organic characters, even if there's a huge dose of shellforming here. The vehicle mode is great - it's solid with excellent detailing and a great paint job. The robot mode is good, and while the backpack is substantial it still makes for a decent display piece. Poseability is disappointing, partly due to the backpack's weight issues. While it's by no means the best Stars Wars Transformer, the Snow Speeder is an improvement over earlier figures and it's obvious that a lot of effort and focus went into this figure. Recommended if you like the Star Wars Transformers line - 7.5/10

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