Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently committed to collectors that they will be “focusing” on characters in The Vintage Collection that fall under “The Ninety Six” banner. If you’re new to this, it means that there needs a modern counterpart for every classic Kenner figure. Between 2020 and 2021, Hasbro’s made an admirable effort by focusing on these characters. But there is more work to be done, and we’ll figure out where we are step by step. Today we assess Yoda.
Just a few notes: We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database with the count. There are 21 figures under the STAR WARS banner, 29 figures under THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK banner, 31 figures under the RETURN OF THE JEDI banner, and 15 figures under THE POWER OF THE FORCE banner. (Sy Snootles, Max Rebo, Droopy McCool, and Blue Snaggletooth bring the number to an even 100 figures.)
Read our assessment, and then please add your thoughts to the comments. Let us know if you agree or disagree. If you’re a customizer, show us your custom definitive figure in the comments as well! Who knows? It might give Hasbro some ideas.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Yoda
Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1980’s ESB Yoda?
2004’s “VINTAGE” ORIGINAL TRILOGY COLLECTION Yoda is generally regarded as the closest placeholder.
Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and action figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION? And is it definitive?
No. To date, a Yoda figure that meets this definition is only part of the “VINTAGE” ORIGINAL TRILOGY COLLECTION line, a precursor to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. Hasbro released 2004’s VOTC Yoda, and it doesn’t come close to meeting modern standards.
Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1980’s THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Yoda figure?
We’re still waiting for Hasbro to add this figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. It’s a high-priority addition for the line since we haven’t come close to receiving a definitive and modern counterpart to the vintage Kenner figure.
If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive or definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION as a straight repack, repaint, or with little retooling to update it?
No. The closest we came to receiving a modern Yoda figure in THE VINTAGE COLLECTION was from the CAVE OF EVIL (Luke Skywalker/Yoda/Darth Vader) Special Action Figure Set. Hasbro took 2011’s TVC Yoda (VC20) figure and added new parts to make it Original Trilogy-specific, but it’s not definitive, thanks to its swivel elbows.
What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “Yoda” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?
The ultimate way Hasbro can resolve this issue for collectors is if they produce the Boss Fight Studios version of Yoda, which was supposed to be part of the basic figure line in 2014. Hasbro dumbed down the figure into a 5POA debacle and never made it right for collectors. If they don’t finally release that figure, they need to update the CAVE OF EVIL version to include ball-jointed elbows.
The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner-styled packaging (vintage or modern)?
2004’s VOTC Yoda 17 years ago.
1980’s ESB Yoda 41 years ago.
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