My wife gave me the first Force Unleashed video game for my 26th birthday (God, I’m old), so I was sort of obligated to love it. I didn’t. The story pushed the boundaries of the Star Wars Expanded Universe quite a bit more than I’m comfortable with, and Starkiller’s abilities were frankly ridiculous. I didn’t think I’d ever like Galen Marek (that’s Starkiller’s unfortunate real name), but then a crazy thing happened: I bought Soul Calibur III and fell in love with the character’s style, charisma, and fighting skills. I managed to elude The Force Unleashed II, as well as buying the Starkiller Evolution figure multipack, but I always wanted a single-carded Starkiller. Hasbro heard my wish and answered it with this Vintage Collection Starkiller action figure. Of course, this isn’t exactly the same Starkiller…
I wasn’t willing to spend $20+ on a Starkiller figure in a multipack, so I applaud Hasbro for releasing a single-carded version of the character for collectors like me. I’ve heard a lot of griping–a lot–since this figure was announced, but I am wholly on the advocate side of this Starkiller figure. Yes, we’ve had like a half-dozen Starkiller figures released before this, but A) None of them were single-carded; and B) This isn’t the same guy.
Wait–what? See, *spoilers* Galen Marek dies at the end of The Force Unleashed. The main character of The Force Unleashed II, Starkiller, is a clone of the original Galen Marek Starkiller. In the Star Wars universe, that makes a huge difference. I didn’t hear anyone complaining when Echo and Fives got action figures, even though they’re “just clones”, and neither of them headlined a best-selling video game. The clone Starkiller from TFUII deserves his own action figure, and that’s final, in my opinion.
I pretty much marveled at the amount of effort Hasbro put into the Vintage Collection Shae Vizla VC101 figure I reviewed yesterday, and I feel similarly about this Starkiller figure. Not only is Starkiller another 100% all-new mold, but Hasbro gave us a crazy amount of gear for this figure.
Want Starkiller in his TIE Pilot flight suit? Hasbro has you covered–that’s how the figure comes packaged, and that’s the look chosen for the Starkiller Vintage cardback artwork as well. Want the more well-known, armored-up version of Starkiller from the game? Hasbro has you covered as well–this figure comes with enough alternate gear accessories to let you make whichever version of Starkiller you desire.
Vintage Starkiller comes with a whole plethora of accessories. He’s got two different lightsabers for dual-wielding action, along with two different lightsaber hilts, two removable wrist guards, removable back armor, removable chest armor, a removable belt with flight harness, and a removable belt with loincloth. That’s 10 worthwhile accessories for one figure! Hasbro earned their dollars with this figure, that’s for sure.
The different belts slide on and off being pulled down from Starkiller’s waist to his feet. You have to fight a little to get them off when they get stuck, but it’s really not a problem for more than a couple seconds. The wrist armor fits securely into place on Starkiller’s wrists, and stays on perfectly without any looseness. Both belts have two slots on them for Starkiller’s two lightsaber hilts, and both belts hold the hilts tightly without incident. The execution on these accessories is impeccable.
VC100 Starkiller is super-articulated (with one exception I’ll get to later). Starkiller has a ball-jointed head, double-jointed ball-joint shoulders, double-jointed ball-joint elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, T-Crotch swivel hips, double-jointed ball-joint knees, and double-jointed ball-joint ankles. Starkiller’s points of articulation are all nice and tight, and I can get him to pose stably with no problems at all.
I’ve seen some people criticize the head sculpt on this Starkiller figure, saying that it doesn’t really look like the character from the game. Personally, I’ve always thought Starkiller was like the spitting image of John Cena, and this head sculpt definitely evokes John Cena to me. I find the likeness of this figure to be excellent, but that’s just my opinion.
The only aspect of this Vintage Collection Starkiller figure I really don’t like is his lack of ball-jointed hips. I let Shae Vizla slide, but it’s a little different with Starkiller. Starkiller is meant to be one of the most deadly warriors in the galaxy, and that means he should be able to do a freaking side kick. I hate that he has no side-to-side leg movement because of the T-Crotch swivel hips that Hasbro gave him. Starkiller’s not a senator or an officer or a musician–he needs to have far greater flexibility than you would find in figures that are. We’re not likely to get another single-carded Starkiller from Hasbro (ever), so I’ll make do with the leg articulation he has (because I have to), but ball-jointed hips would have really made this figure perfect.
Other than that, Starkiller is pretty much tops. I wish they’d packaged him in his armored look, as he looks a little plain in just the flight suit, but I understand why Hasbro wanted to have all of the accessories off to the side.
That’s the real question, isn’t it? I’ve never seen the Starkiller Vintage Collection figure at a retail store, and I honestly don’t know if I expect to with distribution as it has been this year. I bought the complete case off BigBadToyStore and got Starkiller, Tarkin, Darth Malgus, Shae Vizla, and a whole bunch of other Vintage figures I’ve never seen at retail as well, all for less than $10 each. I can’t really complain about that.
If you just want Starkiller, you can always try your luck bidding on the current auctions for Starkiller.
Overall: This Starkiller figure really didn’t deserve the overly-critical reception he received when he was first announced by Hasbro. Not only is the figure being released here an all-new character (who happens to be a clone of a character we’ve gotten before), but Hasbro really worked hard to ensure that this figure would be top-notch. Starkiller uses all new tooling, can be accessorized into one of two costumes from The Force Unleashed II, and has a multitude of fantastic accessories that really make the figure feel impressive and complete. This Vintage Collection Starkiller is a very well-done figure with a wealth of great accessories and earns a high recommendation.