CHEWBACCA Marvel Deco
30th Anniversary Collection Comic Packs
Item No.: Asst. 87504 No. 87506
Includes: Bowcaster, Han Solo figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: December 2006
Appearances: Star Wars from Marvel Comics
Bio: In a daring - some would say reckless and ill-advised - plan to rescue Princess Leia from Imperial clutches, Han poses as a Stormtrooper and Chewbacca as a prisoner aboard the Death Star. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Carpet. Carpet and boxes never get old.
Commentary: While the comic packs were a stunning idea at a great price, the first few releases are a little strange. Figures like Chewbacca here were based on the coloring we saw in the 1977 comic books, which were mostly drawn and colored without the benefit of a finished edit of the film, or in some cases, the benefit of color photography. So really, figures like this can be viewed as a unique collectible, perhaps a Warhol-esque reinterpretation-- or a preinterpretation if you will-- of a future pop culture celebrity. That, or a four-inch high tribute to half-assing your work and not doing the proper research. The thing I really like about these comic pack figures is that they're unquestionably different. There are only so many ways you can do Darth Vader or Chewbacca-- generally, black, or brown. This take on Chewie paints him in the light color of fur we saw in the bulk of the pre-Empire Strikes Back comic book run, complete with the pale tan face. I leave it up to you on if this is a good thing or not. I dig the look, but the Chewie of the comics was monsterous, massive, muscular, and meaty. (I <3 alliteration.) As a sub-collection, these "Marvel" figures are really something because you could put them on a shelf and they really do look somewhat arty and weird. Countless urban vinyl figures thrive on redecorating a simple plastic form, take Mighty Muggs for instance. They really worked well, and it's hard to fault what you get for the price.
The figure is based on a 2001 sculpt from Power of the Jedi that was released in no fewer than 5 configurations as a pack-in or with different accessories. The mold was previously released in a dark brown with either a bowcaster or a torch/goggles set, and this is the first time the mold was given a significant deco makeover. The mold has seven points of articulation, and also has the distinction of being based off the first "tall" Chewbacca sculpt in the history of the action figure line. It isn't super-articulated, but it's certainly pretty good for the money. The Han Solo Stormtrooper figure packaged with Chewie is also pretty slick, so really, you might want to pick these up if you dig weird reinterpretations of figures. Because he stands out, he's fun-- if you don't admire fun recolors, you really ought to not buy this. There's something significantly cooler about Star Wars figures colored incorrectly that I can't quite put my finger on.
Collector's Notes: Chewie was packaged with Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise-- and Han comes with or without blue "shadows" painted on his person. Both still pop up in stores from time to time, and are part of a greater "Marvel" collection. To date, you can also get Darth Vader & Rebel Trooper, Luke Skywalker & R2-D2, Grand Moff Tarkin & Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett & RA-7 Droid. On the way are Lando Calrissian & Stormtrooper, Fenn Shysha & Dengar, and Princess Leia & Tobbi Dala. A set with Lumiya is also in the works, and if Santa gets my memo I may get some Nagai or Kiro too. But seriously dudes, Lumiya. Hasbro must love us, and by us, I mean me.
Day 739: May 14, 2008