Wookiee Warrior (Battle Bash)
Hasbro
Released May 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on May 16, 2005

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It may be a fan wank and it may be part of something awesome-- it's hard to tell. One of the best known alien races from Star Wars has always been the Wookiees, and few have been made as toys before this year and the likes of this new Wookiee Warrior from Revenge of the Sith hit shelves.

Not to be confused with the Sneak Preview Wookiee Warrior, this figure has a totally new sculpt, a crossbow that really fires, a shield thing of some sort, and a smaller blaster that's a dead ringer for the Wookiee Water Blaster squirt gun toy.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

He's posable, has a new sculpt, and scads of accessories. And there's a variant floating around. This one's a winner.

The figure itself is great, he has a lot of articulation but there's just enough missing to make you angry. It's not a bad figure, but man, it's just short of perfect and that's quite frustrating.

Articulation aside, the head is where the figure really starts to gather his personality. Hasbro and LucasFilm have been reasonably good about avoiding nameless figures like "Wookiee Warrior" over the past few years unless the figure had no reason to have a name, like a Clone Trooper. Exceptions like the Nikto Jedi Knight make names like this one seem acceptable, even though by looking at his face it seems this figure could be repainted as Chewbacca in about two seconds. His open mouth and unique fur pattern is quite striking and may remind some fans of a really honking big Ewok, which is a cool concept in and of itself. Unlike Chewbacca and Tarfful, this fuzzball doesn't have some weird and I daresay craptacular added light brown deco smeared over his fur to look like some sort of intergalactic baby barf. This deco is applie to his whole body, with dark browns mixing in with the creamy white color-- and it works. Even more surprising is a running change where the creamy color is replaced with a darker brown, and at press time it is not known if this is an intentional variant, a running change, or just a goof in some capacity. Either way, it'll make army building just a little more fun.

While Chewbacca had Wookiee Rage, and Tarfful had a firing bowcaster and a waist-twisting action, this guy has a Wookiee Battle Bash. If his legs are positioned properly, when you squeeze them, he sort of flails his arms in a wild attack. It's a little tricky to perform because the legs often touch one another and prevent the action from taking place, but it is a nice action feature that in no way prevents the figure from being posed in a number of nifty ways.

While the Vintage Chewbacca still holds the prize for most articulated Wookiee, this guy ain't bad. He has the same bizarre knee joints as Chewbacca and Tarfful from Revenge of the Sith wich allow you to twist them at the knee, but not bend the knee so that they may sit-- the Sneak Preview Wookiee Warrior does have this full range of motion, though, so this is a little unpleasant. This new Wookiee Warrior also sports joints at the hips, elbows, waist, and wrists as well as ball-jointed shoulders. His head doesn't really move much, and his arms tend to fall apart easily due to a less-than-fabulous peg-and-hole system that prevents permanent breakage at the price of structural integrity in our sample-- your mileage may vary.

This figure is notable in that he can hold all of his accessories fairly well, just not all at once-- this is a good thing because he has lots of really good ones to put to use.

Accessories

This figure is currently at the top of a very short list for having the best accessories of 2005.

The accessories are many and mostly new. The big thing that looks like a club or shield is all new and can be held in his right hand fairly well, but not his left. It has a decent level of deco and a great sculpt and while not the most impressive item in the box, it'll help arm your figures nicely.

Next up is the firing crossbow with red projectile. This is pretty much the same thing Tarfful comes with, but recolored. It's cool, it's fun, and kids will like it-- I think.

My favorite item was the smaller blaster that's the same weapon they used to make the water gun earlier in 2005. It's pretty tiny but cool, and I'd probably like to have an extra one to give to Chewbacca. If not, well, I'll live-- but it's a cool extra. There's also a removable bandolier, which is, well, what you see. Nothing too fancy.

Packaging

New for 2005: the flaming head of Darth Vader.

This is a very ornate package. Despite being somewhat generic across the line, there are numerous layers at work here-- there are two cardboard inserts in the front, a plastic tray, and stickers all over to make this really stand out. The end result is a busy, flaming design you just can't ignore. It isn't as gee-whiz or gosh-golly cool as the packaging used for the Original Trilogy Collection but it looks like the most expensive cardback Hasbro has done to date and the new egglike bubble is a huge departure from the previous two decades and change of product from Kenner and Hasbro. The bubble is much like that of the G.I. Joe figures (two- and three-packs) from 2003-2005 in that the bubble wraps the card, hugging it, where it is taped in the back. This allows you to remove a figure a little more easily, although the folks at Hasbro secured it in more places so you'll probably rip most of these getting the figures out.

Availability

These started to unfurl the week before Revenge of the Sith hit theaters and they come and go with the wind. The variant hit right alongside the cream version in the USA, letting people buy this Wookiee in Chocolate or Vanilla flavors. While the creamy version has been more widespread to date (as seen in the photos), when we saw the darker version, he appeared alongside his brother in equal numbers-- we are not sure how they are packed in cases.

Fin

While not the no-brainer some other troopers are, this is a top-notch toy. He has a lot of guns, a good action feature, a nice sculpt, and a nice mean face. There are few figures that can call to you from the pegs and demand your attention, and this is one of them. While it won't be everyone's cup of tea, it's a nice alien design and well worth adding to your collection if you open figures and even if you don't. Snag it if you see it, and keep your eyes open for the variant.

Our review sample was obtained from Toys "R" Us on May 11, 2005. A dark brown sample was later found on May 14.









 
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