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Even in the world of toy collectibles, products may spark a “love it” or “hate it” stance in collectors that could be difficult to overcome depending on their biases, where one collector sees a trait or fault that another may ignore. Other collectors could have a “fixer-upper” mentality that sees underlying potential in a product once some elbow grease is used in customization. But if a company is willing to publicize their products early to judge reactions, it might be able to go back and adjust details before full-blown production gets underway that may lean towards satisfaction right out of the box for everyone.

Truthfully, I did not start drooling at the sight of the recently-posted pictures of Hot Toys’ version of Bespin Luke Skywalker. HT scores high as usual with their technique of realistic textures and paint details, but I think the regular portrait missed the mark (pun not intended) in capturing the actor’s likeness, even considering lighting and lens distortion. I think the nose and mouth needs to be a little wider. Some message board posts mention the sculpt looking more like Paul McCartney or Johnny Depp!

However, the “injured” portrait (I hate using “battle damaged” when applied to people) impresses more, probably because of the agonized expression involved. The mouth is contorted, making recognizable shadows on Hamill’s face that we can recognize from the movie scenes. So my own first impression for the revealed set of figure, clothes and accessories is 85%. If HT can alter the normal, passive face and maybe introduce a new detail like parted lips, they might actually score a 100% with a lot of people.

For an example of something so jaw-dropping awesome that it has me doing somersaults (in my mind), check out Big Chief Studio’s approved portrait of Matt Smith for their upcoming line of Doctor Who sixth-scale figures. It’s so recognizable as Smith that it would be overkill to make a comparison picture!