Monday, May 16, 2011

The First Power Of The Force Yoda Action Figure Is Surprisingly Cool!

The Good: Good sculpt, Cool accessories
The Bad: Painted details are poor, Low playability, Low collectibility.
The Basics: A generally cool figure, the Power Of The Force Yoda figure is nice for Yoda fans, but is not the most exciting figure for play or investing.

There are essentially two generations (so far) of Star Wars fans: those who grew up with the original Star Wars Trilogy and those who grew up with the Prequel Trilogy. The difference here is exemplified by characters like Yoda who were surprising in their initial appearance versus the somewhat mundane presentation and appearance of the CG-Yoda in the Prequel Trilogy. As fans of the merchandising associated with Star Wars, this takes the form of fans who are happy with somewhat inflexible Yoda - in his initial appearance, he was aged and well past his prime, hobbling around with his Gimer Stick on Dagobah - versus new fans who expect the Yoda figure to be fully poseable. In the Prequel films, Yoda was flexible, one with the force and more a martial arts expert than a principled muppet.

For those unfamiliar with Yoda as he appeared on Dagobah, in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!), Luke journeys to the swamp planet Dagobah in search of Yoda, the Jedi Master. There, Luke learns the ways of the Force. This figure represents Yoda in his robes and belt he wore in the Dagobah marshes while training with Luke.

The 4" Yoda with Jedi Trainer Backpack and Gimer Stick figure is decent, despite the figure being less flexible than most Star Wars toys.


Yoda is an ancient Jedi who is pretty unique in the Star Wars films. He spends the middle of The Empire Strikes Back dispensing wisdom and annoying Luke Skywalker with his cryptic philosophical lectures while training. The figure stands 1 7/8" tall to the top of his head; this is much smaller than most Star Wars action figures, which makes sense because Yoda was purposely small in the films and the figure ends up more correctly proportioned with other figures. Yoda is dressed in a gray-brown robes that look dirty and wet! This Yoda figure is cast in monotonal green fleshtones, lacking realistic shading, but with impressive-enough sculpting details on the face and head, like the wrinkles on his head. The figure is made entirely of hard plastic.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the original puppet's face in terms of the sculpt. Where the figure goes wrong is that the fact lacks any coloring detail. What the original puppet creators got right with Yoda was depth and shading to the skin tones and Kenner gets the wrinkled skin right, but not the sense of tone. Moreover, the fingernails on the Yoda figure are painted on and the paint job on mine is just terrible. The fingernails look chipped and the paint job is irregular. As well, the nails are monotonal and the wrong color, as far as realism.


Yoda, stranded on Dagobah as he is, comes with two accessories: a Gimer Stick and a Jedi Trainer Backpack. The Gimer Stick is a 1 1/4" long curved piece of soft plastic in the shape of a cane. It has a wood grain molded into the tiny accessory and it fits into either of Yoda's clawed hands.

The Jedi Trainer Backpack is big, blue, made of soft plastic and designed for use with Dagobah Luke Skywalker. The backpack is a clever accessory for Yoda as it fits Yoda within it and it easily attaches to the Dagobah Luke. The backpack is made of a soft, rubbery plastic and it has straps that then plug into the front of the backpack. The backpack lacks much in the way of realistic details, save lightly painted buckles on the straps. It does not look dirty or wet, like the actual backpack should have.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Yoda is below-average in that regard, unless one considers the actual character. The figure is poorly articulated, but he has good balance. Yoda lacks significant articulation, but that works good for the geriatric Jedi as he was more a teacher by this phase of his life. Because the feet of the figure are molded together, Yoda stands quite stable (the bottom of his feet and robe are closed, so this has a very good center of balance). The figure is only able to be posed flatfooted, because the legs do not move independently, he is solid as far as the balance.

Yoda comes with only four points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints, save the waist, which is a hinge. He has joints at the shoulders, neck, and waist. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed. In addition to standing fine when flatfooted, he may be posed in ways that allow him to bend at the waist on playsets because of the holes in the soles of his feet. They may be stuck in pegs on various playsets.


Yoda is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. The Dagobah Yoda was overproduced and the identical figure appeared on at least two other cards. Because the figure was so overproduced, it is easy to find this figure. As well, Hasbro created a Yoda from this era in their Saga Collection and it interacts with the Dagobah Luke from that set. And while that figure might be technically more in proportion with the actual Yoda, Yoda fans still seem to gravitate toward this one.


The Yoda Power Of The Force action figure was a nice start to the line of Yoda figures, though it is far from flawless.

For other Yoda products, please visit my reviews of:
Comic Images Super Deformed Yoda
Attack Of The Clones Deluxe Yoda with Force Powers
2004 Original Trilogy Collection 02 Yoda


For other Star Wars action figures, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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