Chewbacca
Hasbro
Released October 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on December 20, 2004

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While arguably one of the most iconic characters that have graced the Star Wars saga, Chewbacca gets no respect. His 1995 figure looked more like an ape, his 1978 figure was skinny, and virtually every 12" incarnation of him from 1995 to the present has looked terrible. Even the Expanded Universe mistreats this proud creature, killing him off as a stunt to sell more books. Thankfully, Hasbro decided to give the wookiee some respect this year with new 12" and 4" releases that really turned out well.

This figure is packaged with a non-removable bandolier and two-piece bowcaster.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

While it may seem surprising, Chewbacca hasn't been made in a modern sculpt that's able to stand upright or look like he's attacking all at once. It's difficult to do without knowing how to use the right jointing system, and it seems Hasbro figured it out.


For the first time ever, Hasbro has produced a Return of the Jedi style Chewbacca without any chains or other unwanted extras. The fur is done quite well here, hanging off of him in a realistic manner that doesn't make him look like a walking toupee with hair hanging off him in weird places. The great thing about this is that it lets you pose him in a variety of positions without having to go "so, his hair seems to be defying gravity somehow." Sure, you can pose him like that, but thankfully, it isn't something that frequently happens with prolonged use of the figure.



This figure is as posable as Chewbacca has ever been in pretty much any size-- while it's possible Hasbro will try to one-up themselves for Revenge of the Sith, it's hard to imagine how. Despite his neck being more or less unposable, you can still get a lot of personality out of him from the other joints. He has ball shoulders, knees, elbows, and ankles plus joints at the waist in several places as well as his hips and wrist.

Short of giving him a working neck or foot peg holes (which he lacks), there's not much you could do to make this a better figure.

As you can see, the head is good-- you can see some teeth, some of the insides of his mouth, and the fur hangs in a manner that won't be too unpleasant. Score one for Hasbro.

Here's the old one. My, how he's grown! He's quite the Wookiee, wouldn't you say? He also looks great with other figures from this series, like Han Solo.

Hasbro and Kenner don't often get the chance to rework the scale of the figures to be more accurate, but this time around, they saw the chance and took it-- for once, Chewbacca properly towers above his pal Han Solo. Good job, Hasbro!

Accessories

This set includes the bowcaster, and a bandolier which doesn't seem able to be easily removed.

The weapon looks new to me and can be partially dismantled for storage. It looks great and is sculpted particularly well, however it lacks paint except for on the strap. A little more color would have been nice, but Hasbro has an aversion to adding additional deco to firearms, it seems.

Packaging

For their own reasons, Hasbro went back to the Kenner days and recreated one of the Return of the Jedi card fronts-- the same photo was originally used in the old days for ANH through ROJ, but Hasbro opted to release the modern figure only with the Jedi logo. Go figure, it'd be a great variation to produce.

Another photo was used during the Return of the Jedi run in the old days that would have been more appropriate to this figure, as it was based on the Jedi design. But well, this is what you want, this is what you get.

The front of the cardback is basically the same as the 1983 cardback. I don't much feel like combing over the part numbers and such to check for differences, but it's certainly close enough to be acceptable. The image used here was used on the releases for all three films, but the revised photo used on later vintage ROTJ cardbacks seems like it really would have been more appropriate.

The back of the card is somewhat lame, using similar graphics to those used on other OTC products. It would be nice to have a vintage-esque lineup of the new VOTC figures instead of just the four from that movie. It's OK, but nothing too special.

The clamshell is nice, and it's taped shut to protect the innards. There's an embossed Star Wars logo on the back, and you could probably cram any old vintage figure in here if you open your VOTC figures and happen to have other real vintage figures in need of star case type storage. The case is too shallow for anything but vintage figures, or perhaps thinner, early POTF2 and POTJ figures.

I especially like the embossed Imperial and Rebel logos on the top of the clamshell. All in all, it's good packaging, but the regular OTC style impressed me a little bit more.

Availability

He's new and popular, and surprisingly not as easy to find as Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, or the Stormtrooper. As such, keep your eyes peeled.

Fin

For the time being, this will probably be the Chewie to end all Chewies. While he is designed from one movie and as such won't look perfect in displays for the other films, it's a start. Your Skiff battle or Endor raid has never looked better.

$10 is a lot for this guy, but we like him enough to say he justifies the purchase-- especially if you have a vintage Han Solo to go with him.

Our sample was obtained from Toys "R" Us in October 2004.









 
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