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Brian’s Toy Review of the Week: Star Wars Black Series Luke’s X-34 Landspeeder

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brian-mcgee - January 24, 2018

 

One of the major things that helped revitalize the Star Wars action figure market was the 2013 launch of The Black Series, a line of super articulated 6" (1/12 scale) figures based on characters from across the Star Wars universe. Many fans were eager for the addition of vehicles to the line, and the first major vehicle released was a First Order Tie Fighter from The Force Awakens.

It was a long, two year wait for more vehicles, but we finally added two more last year with  Rey's Speeder and Luke's X-34 Landspeeder, the latter of which I'll be looking at today. There's not a man or woman alive who collected Star Wars toys during the release of the original three films that didn't have Luke's Landspeeder. It was easily the most popular of the smaller vehicles released in the Kenner days, and one that many people still have.

In updating the vehicle for the larger scale of The Black Series, it gained a number of features the original lacked, but also gets rid of what I feel to be the original's biggest selling point. Let's dig in, shall we?

 

The sculpting of this vehicle is terrific. All of the molded parts look fantastic and the lack of stickers makes it particularly appealing to collectors. Like the old Kenner model, the hood opens up, though without the aid of a push button in front like the original, and the engine is molded beautifully with some really great paint apps...

 

There are also two compartments on the back of the speeder that open. The one behind the passenger's seat opens to reveal more machinery for Luke to tinker with...

 

While on the driver's side, there's a handy compartment that will fit the included hat and binoculars that Luke comes with...

 

Looking at the vehicle from the back, you'll also notice more sculpted details that make the piece really stand out...

 

Now for the biggest downside of the vehicle. There's no wheels on the bottom. While this obviously makes the toy more screen accurate, it kills the playability of the thing...

 

There is a plastic stand that fits very snugly on the bottom and gives the vehicle the appearance of floating from a distance...

 

But that gets to the heart of what this thing really is. It's a collector's item meant for display, and I would wager to say that makes sense as the vast majority of Black Series collectors display their figures rather than play with them. One thing that kills that theory, however, is how the vehicle's most famous passenger—Obi-Wan Kenobi—barely fits in the thing because of his sculpted robes...

 

I removed the windscreen to try and get him in there and this was about the best I could do. It looks okay from the other angle, but not much...

 

One thing I will say is that I don't own the OT C3PO that Hasbro made, that one up there is a Bandai model kit that doesn't have the best articulation in the world. Perhaps with better hip and knee articulation, the Hasbro 3PO fits better in the back seat. That's also a Bandai model kit R2-D2 hanging out with 3PO in back there.

 

Bad news for anyone who thought Obi-Wan, R2, and 3PO looked pretty sharp there as the Landspeeder only comes with Luke (below left), who is sporting a new head sculpt and slightly different paint apps from the single-carded Luke released in 2016 (below right)...

 

There's nothing drastically different between the two below the neck, just some different shades of brown and tan used for his pants and boots. He also comes with a plethora of accessories...

 

You can dress Luke up for a sandstorm with all these additional bits—though the lightsaber and binoculars are identical to the single carded Luke release. He looks awfully sharp in that poncho and floppy hat while holding his blaster...

 

The gun clips onto the side of the Landspeeder via a single clip that holds the nicely sculpted piece quite securely...

 

Now for the other big issue with this vehicle: The price. Retail for this item was $59.99, a seemingly outrageous price until you remember that the 6" figures by themselves cost $20 a pop, meaning that it's roughly within reason to charge sixty bucks for it. A lot of retailers discounted this heavily after Christmas and I managed to pick one up on Amazon for $20, an absolute steal for a product that's this high quality.

While I am hesitant to recommend it at retail price, I would say it's a great deal if you can get it for 25% or more off retail. If you paid full price, I would subtract a full letter from my final score. It's a damn nice display piece, I just wish it offered a little more playability, especially for the price. But the display value is off the charts. You can pose Luke in any number of different ways inside and outside the vehicle, and if you've got some Sandtroopers sitting around—I forgot mine at home!!—it'll make for a truly killer display piece.

Check out even more pictures in the gallery below, including a close-up look at Luke's binoculars, as well as a look at a 3 3/4" Luke figure posed next to and inside the speeder. Then sound off in the comments section below to let us know if you're gonna pick one up, already have on, or decided to skip this release! 

RATING: B+

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