Review: Star Wars Stocking Stuffers: Luke, Yoda, and R2-D2
In terms of pure cuteness, there are few toy lines that can compete with Hasbro's lines of miniaturized 'heroes', be they Transformers, Marvel Superheroes, or, as we're discussing today, the Galactic Heroes. I've got a "healthy" number of these guys, all told, though today I'm reviewing an unusual version. And yes, I mean unusual even for this line.
Galactic Heroes Stocking Stuffers are a not-so-subtle attempt to suggest that these might make good Christmas presents.
Basically, they've repackaged several existing figurines with added accessories to make them more appropriate for the season. Each pack contains three figures, all decked out for the Yuletide. I almost bought a pack of these myself, but held off since I was already buying a lot around Christmas. Fortunately, the holidays are a forgiving time, and I wound up receiving a pack as a gift.
So, even though Christmas and Hanukkah and Life Day have passed, the holiday spirit stays with us. If it stays with us much longer, these guys might just wind up on clearance - so keep your eyes open.
Appearance: 6 out of 10:
As is often the case with a multipack, the score is really an average. If I were scoring these individually, Yoda would be lower and R2 would be higher.
The main problem with Luke and Yoda is the design. Frankly, neither is all that interesting to look at - and that's a problem. Yoda, in particular, is disappointing: why Hasbro insists on shoving a lit lightsaber into the hand of every Jedi and Sith is beyond me. Yoda never once used a lightsaber in the original films (and I, for one, see no point in dignifying the prequels). What's more, they've got Yoda holding it at a ridiculous angle that doesn't suit the character at all.
I've got several different Lukes and R2-D2's... including duplicates of these. And, in both cases, Hasbro has repackaged the LEAST interesting sculpts. That's not to say they're bad - they're still cute - it's just that there are cuter variants.
The problems are further compounded by the paint work. Hasbro has used is a fairly bland paint coating for these figures that does little to elevate them.
Of course, this is one of those rare circumstances where one isn't buying a toy for the figure at all: these are of interest because of the accessories.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The packaging is actually pretty cool. They've gone with an interior reminiscent of the deep shafts that cover the Star Wars Universe. Not that I'd recommend installing these safety hazards in your own home. Just think: for the price of some cheap protective grating, Emperor Palpatine would be alive today.
I suppose they had to put some effort into the packaging, since these are really designed to hang out of a kid's stocking on Christmas and look good doing it.
But enough about the packaging. You're here for the accessories. Starting with... the poster.
Yes, Hasbro's been packing small posters in with these for a while now. It's not quite packaging, it's not quite worth anything, but at least it's folded beyond recognition.
And double sided to boot! Take a look:
I don't get it, either. Now that that's in the trash, lets move on to the REAL accessories.
Each of the three figures comes with a Christmas decoration: Luke has a pile of Christmas gifts that go over his lightsaber, Yoda's lightsaber has a candy cane cover, and R2 has a Santa hat.
Of the three, R2's hat is the least impressive: ironic since he's the nicest figure. First of all, Hasbro went with a felt hat when a sculpted plastic one would have been much more appropriate. Secondly, the hat doesn't stay on. Now, I admit, the first thing I did when I opened mine up was to cut whatever thread or rubber band (I don't even remember which it was) that was holding it in place. But these are supposed to be removable. R2's hat can balance on his head for a while, but, since it's made of felt, the slightest breeze will knock it off.
His hat actually fits much better on Luke's head than his own. But we'll come back to this in the next section.
Luke and Yoda both have covers for their lightsabers. Of the two, I prefer Luke's presents, in part because it looks as though he's destroyed them with his lightsaber. It's also a little more interesting visually.
Not that Yoda's candy cane is bad: it's actually kind of cool. And I do like the implication that he's about to cut someone down with a deadly sugary treat.
I'm pushing the score up one point for these accessories. Although I really like the concept, I can't go higher at this price.
I feel like there should be something more, something to elevate this from a quirky gimmick to an excellent collectible. Maybe some sort of base for the three figures or something. Or even a wider selection of accessories would have done the trick.
But, as it is, these feel a little light.
Play and Display: ----
In the past, I've have some very positive comments about the articulation on the Superhero Squad figures. Unfortunately, that doesn't really apply to these. Of the three figures, only Luke is articulated... and then only in his wrist. That does mean you can aim his lightsaber, but it's a far cry away from the innovative and useful articulation on some of the SHS figures.
Yoda and R2 have no articulation. Well... okay, that's not entirely true. Yoda's candy cane can rotate, of course, since it slides on and off his lightsaber. It's not really articulation, but it might as well be.
For display options, you can obviously display these guys with or without Christmas accessories. But if you wanted to display them without the accessories, I don't know why you bought these in the first place.
Like I said before, you can actually mix up the accessories - and that's where these get cool. Personally, I went with Luke wearing a Santa hat AND wielding a lightsaber full of gifts. Because that's just awesome.
Oh, one more thing: Yoda's saber's candy-coating is pretty snug: you could probably hang him from a tree if you're so inclined.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 7/10
I can't tell if I'm being too harsh or too lenient... which is a pretty good indication the score's just about right. I like these guys - I particularly like the concept behind them - but the execution wasn't quite what I wish it were. It's almost as though Hasbro couldn't decide whether these were toys or decorations, and they wound up lacking in both regards. But, that said, they're a lot of fun, and they'll go great in my Christmas display next year.
Now, I've seen these going for varying amounts of cash. Before Christmas, I saw them for around $13, but I've since seen them kicking around for closer to $10. Thirteen is too much, at least in my opinion, while ten is more appropriate (still a little high, if you ask me). Of course, Christmas is over, so I'm expecting that price to fall. For some reason, the Toys R Us near me didn't put these on clearance with the rest of their Christmas merchandise, but I don't anticipate them staying retail price for long. Personally, I'm hoping to see these going for five or six bucks in the next few weeks: there are at least two more sets I want from this series.