Posted by Curto on March 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM CST
This marks the first all-new, all-different wave of action figures in Hasbro's The Vintage Collection. This wave was originally planned to be the first of the mixed waves, but due to schedule changes it ended up being the second. Whatever the case may be, it's a pretty great wave of six figures from The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, & Revenge of the Sith.

VC44: Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Landing):
Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Landing)
Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Landing) Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Landing) Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Landing)
To start the wave off, we have another first-time the sense that this particular version of Luke Skywalker has never been made before. Taking inspiration from when Luke first landed on Dagobah (hence the name, 'natch!) and started his Jedi training.

By using the existing body from 2009's Luke Skywalker (Snowspeeder Pilot) figure as the base, Hasbro has added new parts such as new forearms, head sculpt, and a new "skirt"...really just the lower portion of his jacket that includes a working holster and a hole for the lightsaber to hang from from...something the original figure lacked.

Interestingly, the orange color of the flightsuit is very different than the original, giving him a distinct look. There is also no wrist articulation, since the original figure was articulated as the gloves. This one is as well, so the forearms are the POA this time around...and the end result makes his arms a little too long actually. The accessories are pretty much the standard ones we've seen before, and overall the figure could really use some "Dagobah muck". As it is, he's too "clean" for having just crashed on a swamp planet. But that's a minor nitpick for a surprisingly great figure.

VC45: Clone Trooper (Phase I):
Clone Trooper (Phase I)
Clone Trooper (Phase I) Clone Trooper (Phase I) Clone Trooper (Phase I)
A few years ago, there was a "rumor" of an "Ultra-Articulation Clone Trooper" figure. Well it is real, and it's spectacular. The basic clone trooper in Phase I armor has been made before of course....many times, in fact. But this figure also seems to take partial inspiration from The Clone Wars as well, specifically in that this clone is much thinner than previous figures.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that this is the first of the "realistic" figures based on The Clone Wars, especially since the points of articulation pretty much match the animated style figure with ball-hinged joints pretty much everywhere. A few very nice touches are also included with this figure: the head sculpt is brand new, the belt is assembled correctly (a good thing!), and this clone trooper comes complete with his DC-15 rifle! For some reason, the clones tend to almost always come with the DC-15 blaster, which has always bugged me, since we saw them carry the rifles on Geonosis. Speaking of the weapons, they include some nice silver highlight deco on them, which make them look very unique and stand out. Speaking of deco, I really look forward to seeing the inevitable repaints using this buck in the future.

One important thing to note...the cardback is strangely inaccurate. The historical first carded figure photo is wrong. The first Clone Trooper action figure was actually part of a sneak preview wave from Power of the Jedi, not the clone from the Saga line. But that's not all...the carded white clone shown on the card was never actually released (although a carded prototype sample has turned up since then). The SAGA Clone Trooper figure sported red flashes (marking him as a captain, from a time when colors signified rank), which is shown in the insert photo. It is not yet known if this will be corrected.

VC46: AT-RT Driver:
AT-RT Driver
AT-RT Driver AT-RT Driver AT-RT Driver
The original AT-RT figure from 2005 was based on a briefly-seen clone on Kashyyyk riding the AT-RT (of course). That figure was eventually repainted a few times over the years, but this new version is truly top-notch and includes multiple upgrades.

The first is the most action features. The original included battle-damaged chest armor was made the figure appear huge. This one also includes a removable backpack and helmet. The DC-15 rifle is the same as the one from the Clone Trooper above, and the extra rifle includes a cool harness that plugs onto the weapon.

Finally, there's another new clone head sculpt. Since 2003, pretty much all clones have used the same exact head. With this figure and the one above, we now have a variety of clone heads...another element from The Clone Wars perhaps?

VC47: General Lando Calrissian:
General Lando Calrissian
General Lando Calrissian General Lando Calrissian General Lando Calrissian
Finally, we get a true Vintage upgrade. One of the few new figures from Kenner's Power of the Force line, Lando finally gets the SA treatment! The original POTF carded figure included a special pack-in collector's coin, which is not included in this version. Since Hasbro did create coins a few years back, they opted to forgo that element and instead stick to the basic original Kenner design for ROTJ instead, although they did use the same photo from the movie. The end result still looks good, but for vintage purists, this is worth noting.

As for the figure itself, this is the first Lando Calrissian figure to get the full SA treatment (previous versions were only partial SA), and this is an interesting choice to start with. I can see some future Rebels using this body as the base, and I believe that the upcoming Bespin Han Solo in fact already uses the legs. The deco is nicely done, although it's a shame that they can't get the ankle hinges to be cast in black...they are the same blue as the pants, and when the boots are painted, they really stick out. it IS possible to do this correctly, but since there are plenty of figures that overlook this detail, it's not likely going to be changed.

The cape. Ah, the cape. First of all, kudos to Hasbro for staying "true to Vintage" by making the cape of of soft goods. This is really a nice touch, although it is a bit long. The most glaring detractor is the elastic band that is used to keep the cape in place. This thing is HUGE and really detracts from the overall aesthetic of what is otherwise a great-looking version of Lando. Perhaps a better solution would have been to do a clasp similar to what was done with the Count Dooku speeder bike figure in The Clone Wars line?

VC48: Weequay (Skiff Master):
Weequay (Skiff Master)
Weequay (Skiff Master) Weequay (Skiff Master) Weequay (Skiff Master)
I love the Star Wars aliens from Tatooine...there's just something special about them. From the "Creature Cantina" to Jabba's Palace to the podracing crowd, the different races have always intrigued me. We've seen a lot of love for Jabba's goons in recent years, and this one fits in nicely among them. For me, the Weequays have always been cool figures: the Kenner Weequay and the POTF2 "Hunter" figure are among my favorites from their respective eras. We've also seen the race represented in other figures as well (drummers, Jedi...), but this is the first "Skiff Master" figure and an important one to make.

Once again, the detail and deco are top notch. The shoulders do look a little odd, since they are designed to feature the ball-hinged joints, but what's the alternative...swivel shoulders? With a jacket and big and bulky as this guy's, I think this is a good compromise. You still get the full range of motion for cool poses!

The accessories are nicely done as well, with a working holster added.

VC49: Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight):
Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight)
Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight) Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight) Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight)
Finally, we come to what is easily my favorite figure in this wave, mostly because this one is such a surprise that Hasbro would revisit him at all. When this character was first made as an action figure, he didn't even HAVE a name! Plus, he was made during the pre-posed "statuesque" time in 2002 SAGA line, so he was pretty much stuck in that same pose. The figure was later repainted and included in a multipack, where he first was named (named after someone named "Chris --something" if memory serves...which clearly it doesn't!)

Keeping with the recent Hasbro tradition of making new super-articulated Jedi warrior figures, Fi-Ek Sirch includes both the active and inactive lightsabers; the inactive hilt can be plugged into his belt. This should continue for ALL Jedi going forward, and from what we've seen already, it looks like Hasbro agrees.

The other accessory that I really like is the robe. It's very Tusken Raider-like, and the tattered ends imply that he's seen quite a bit of action. Since the material is thicker than what is normally used on the brown robes typically used for Jedi fgures, it can be folded and positioned to fit to his (very detailed) head, although it does tend to pop up.

Stay tuned for more updates later tonight on the official Facebook page as I head back into the studio for more photos of this sixth wave from The Vintage Collection!