Star Wars Unleashed
Released January, 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on February 6, 2004
What could fans want more than a wind-blown Wookiee? How about one that doesn't look terrible? Unleashed Chewbacca finally brings the character to the table, but this particular figure is, shall we say, flawed.
The set includes a figure, a partially removable weapon, and a base.
As Chewie's appearance differs slightly from film to film, and Hasbro rarely ensures to bring these nuances to the toys, we really can't be sure which film, if any, this figure is supposed to have been inspired by. We assume it's either Endor or from around the time of his death in the New Jedi Order books. Regardless, he still sucks.
Chewbacca, in the film, had a face that had a nobility with eyes that conveyed intelligence. This figure is Crazy Chewbacca, which we would have to assume is from some deleted scene in which someone made fun of his "purse." That, or Hasbro has just failed on a very misguided attempt to bring more action to the character.
His eyes are blue, but they just look a little off. Combine this with the rather chunky hair that covers his head and body, and the results aren't what we would call pretty. Hasbro has done far worse, as have other companies, but with the high benchmark of quality for most if not all Unleashed figures, we're not exactly thrilled here.
Despite that initial shortcoming, this figure has something most Unleashed product are without, and that's an actual, legit, meaningful point of articulation. On his left arm, the one that's without a weapon, you can find a ball joint on his shoulder that gives it a really decent degree of movement. Other than this, though, the figure is basically just a statue, which meets expectations for this series.
The fur, on the whole, isn't bad. Aside from a few oddly placed clumps, namely a really horrible piece glued to his right arm, they did a good job with the sculpting and the painting. The claws are mostly good, although it appears that some light scrapes or scuffs appear on many of them and it isn't entirely obvious if this was intentional or a problem with the toy's production process. His outfit-- a bandolier-- is right on the money, nicely painted and devoid of any extra weirdness.
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with his pose, we're glad to say, but most of the time we see Chewie firing a weapon he holds it with both hands. Also, there's no getting past that face. It's obvious that this is Chewbacca and not Generic Apeman #12, but it just doesn't quite click that this is the character we've known an loved since 1977. The bright side, if you're looking for one, is that this pose nicely compliments 2003's Unleashed Han Solo. Both are aiming at some invisible menace, and the result isn't all that bad.
Aside from the removable gun, you get a green and brown base.
In the history of Unleashed, which has spanned seven series and 18 figures, the line became known for its fantastic display stands. We would like to go on record that this is the most boring base developed so far, as there isn't really anything to it. Hasbro has created visually stunning rocks for Obi-Wan Kenobi, or thrown in broken electronics or dying droids for Yoda and Anakin Skywalker, and even Padme had a nice little stand and an extra chain. Chewie has a lawn with some footprints. Complaining aside, I'd like to end this section by saying that a stand beats no stand at all, but given what we've seen Hasbro do for other figures, I was expecting more.
Keeping in line with the new packaging mandate, we're seeing some fairly decent graphics here.
The painting looks like it would have made a great poster. Here, Chewbacca is basically in the exact same pose that the toy is in, which is a unique if questionable choice for the design as it's hard to see much of it until the toy is removed. Still, it's striking, easy to see, and we like it.
This series is just starting to hit some stores as of late last week.
Pricing is usually $15-$20 in the USA. Also, keep in mind that Unleashed is primarily a direct market line these days, so ordering online or via mail order may be required to get this toy.
After so many great figures, this one is a bit of a stinker. Over the years, Chewbacca has proven a hard figure to translate to plastic but this pretty much confirms that it must be so difficult that any decent sculpt of Chewbacca's head was a stroke of luck to be greatly appreciated. It's not the worst thing ever, but up close, it just isn't pleasant or at the same level of quality as the other figures from this series. Worth snagging if you need more Chewbacca in your life, otherwise it might be worth passing on it.
Our sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in January 2004.