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What’s up, EveryWookiee! It’s DrunkWooky back with another Action Figure review! Today, I’m taking a look at the Amazon Exclusive Star Wars Black Series Chewbacca & C-3PO Amazon Exclusive Figures. These are available from Amazon currently (obviously):
Everybody has that character that they identify very strongly with and they keep buying different versions of that character, over and over again, against their better judgment. Mine’s Chewbacca, and whether she wants to admit it or not, my wife’s is Hello Kitty.
I have Hot Toys ANH 1/6 Scale Chewbacca, Black Series original release 6″ Chewbacca, Solo Black Series Chewie, Kenner 1977 Chewie, the Gentle Giant Jumbo 12″ Kenner-style figure, that Ralph McQuarrie Hasbro Chewie, and don’t even get me started with the dozens if not hundreds of Hasbro iterations between the end of Kenner’s line and the beginning of the Black Series. For god’s sake, I have a screen-ready Chewbacca costume, making me a (somewhat) 1:1 scale Chewbacca myself. I don’t need another Chewbacca. Yet, I got this one…
Standard Black Series fare here. Although, Amazon beat out Best Buy for preservation of packaging in this round. This box survived un-crushed which is more than I could say for Heavy Mando.
One nice touch was this little instructional insert provided by Hasbro. You might think that the figure is basic enough that anybody could figure it out, but that backpack net diagram really helped out in a pinch. I was trying to get both of Chewie’s arms through their own loop in the top synch strap. The diagram showed me the error of my ways. It’s meant to sling over his shoulder exactly like his bandolier.
When it comes to Chewbacca, we have ample Black Series examples to compare him too. My Solo Chewbacca came with some wonky off-center eyes. While not as bad, this ESB Amazon Exclusive Chewbacca has one lazy right eye. It’s not terribly obvious and is actually an advantage for an over-the-shoulder looking pose, but it’s a little off.
Apart from that, this Chewie has crisp application of his nose coloration, pink inner mouth colors and white teeth. His bandolier has accurately and evenly painted silver on the ammo pouches and some subtle shading on the leather which really sells the whole deal. Beyond that, Chewie’s sculpted whole body fur is subtly shaded in various places.
If we grab an ESB reference photo, the darker brown should probably extend further down to the ab joint. The darker brown on the legs look like it extends far enough down to the knees.
Threepio, again if we grab a reference photo, looks ever so slightly too shiny after being obliterated in a hot flash of blaster fire! The application of the carbon scoring on Threepio’s face and torso is really effective, though. I like this sponged-on type of application for the dirt and soot that Threepio picked up. They could have overdone it with an all-over wash (I’m looking at you POTF2 Threepio!), but I think this approach had a better result.
I was fully expecting some painting outside the line on the stomach wiring, but for the most part it’s all dead center and looks clean at normal distances of observation. If anything the application was just a little squeamish of getting too close to the edge and didn’t quite make it all the way.
Hasbro could have gotten away with a complete re-use of Chewie’s parts from previous black series releases. They didn’t go that easy route, though. The head is neither from the original Black Series release (far left of the photos above), nor from the Solo release of Chewie (far right). While A New Hope’s head has a smoothed-back mop of hair and Solo’s is entirely wind-swept, this ESB Chewie has distinctive tufts of fur ridging the eyebrow line. This matches up with Chewie’s appearance in ESB, which is an appreciated touch.
This ESB Chewie is also a little on the shorter side compared to the original Black Series release. It looks like the body is somewhat of a re-use from the Solo figure. In terms of size and sculpt, I much prefer the original Chewie release, but this does ok. I could buy that maybe Chewie grew a little between Solo and A New Hope, but why would he shrink between ANH and ESB? The sculpt on the full-body hair tufts are great and really sell the appearance. No complaint here. The bandolier is the same sculpt as the original release. There’s an indentation across the chest where the bandolier sits. I’m not sure this was necessary to keep the bandolier on and I wish they would have omitted that so he could go commando and not look strange.
If I had one more gripe about Chewie’s sculpt, it’s that he suffers from the same stiff hands that all the other Black Series Chewies have. This makes getting his E-11 blaster into his hand a bit of a task and makes getting his other hand to cup the barrel of that gun, damn near impossible without bending or breaking something.
I’m a little spoiled in that I already own the SH Figuarts C-3PO and that kind of biases my expectations. While all the proper elements of Threepio’s robotic form are in palce, some elements are more blunt and plastic appearing than I’d like. Take the circular knobs behind his jaw for example, or the antennae below his chin.
The face sculpt, however, is pretty spot on. Threepio has this distinctive ever-surprised look and the geometry of his face has a lot to do with that. In this case, I think Hasbro pulled off an effective sculpt.
The appeal of this particular Threepio is, of course, his removable arms and legs with haywire wiring (of course the pun was intended). While his severed arms are simple replacement parts complete with pegs that pop right into the shoulders, the wiring coming out of the thigh consists of these two circular soft plastic rings that slip onto Threepio’s thigh stumps. It’s effective enough, but if you really think about it, those wires should be coming out from inside his leg casing, not lumped on top. The wires are sculpted in a decent mound of material that looks like wiring. However, the rings don’t really stay in place as tightly as you’d like while posing. After the fifth time they pop off, you’ll wonder why they didn’t just make a part with a peg that popped into Threepio’s hip joint. Good luck getting him into the mesh backpack with these appendages still in place.
Chewie has a single ball joint on the neck, a ball and swivel on the shoulders, a single swivel joint on the elbow, a ball joint on his waist, a single ball joint at each hip, bisected thigh, single swivel joint in the knee, and a ball and swivel ankle.
Chewie can get some small expressive tilt to his head and full 360 degree rotation. He’s not going to be looking to far up or down, though.
If there’s a Black Series figure that is in desperate need of an articulation update, it’s Chewie. How is it that one of Star Wars’ largest characters doesn’t have double joints on his elbows and knees? He can pull off enough poses, but it could be better. For god’s sake, we have a Poe Dameron that can go beyond 90 degrees on the elbow articulation, but not Chewie? This makes it pretty difficult to pull of cross-body gun poses and the like. IS this a complaint? Yes, absolutely. But, is it anything new? No. If you have any previous Chewbacca from the Black Series, you’re used to what’s here in terms of articulation. Except, the original, taller release got one additional point of articulation on the torso. Man, everybody who missed that release was robbed.
My expectations for Threepio were tempered by the simple fact that he’s a droid. He shouldn’t be able to pull of complicated contortions. However, I was pleasantly surprised. His head has a ball an swivel joint, his shoulders have rotating cuffs with a peg and swivel below, single swivel elbows with a piston attached at the upper arm which slides through the forearm (nice touch), a peg and swivel wrist, ab crunch, single ball hips, bisected thigh, single-swivel knees, and peg and swivel ankle.
You get some expressive tilt on Threepio’s head with full 360 degree turn (important for recreating the scene where Chewie puts his head on backwards!), and his head tilt up is helped out nicely by his backward ab crunch.
When it comes to the arms, you can pull off all the expressiveness you’d want from this protocol unit. His arms do extent to a full straightened position, but be warned: you will break that piston as I did <sigh>.
Chewie comes with the same bandolier as his original Black Series release, but with a heavier, darker wash which makes it look like more seasoned and road-worn leather.
He also comes with a standard issue imperial E-11 blaster. The sculpt for such a tiny gun is really pretty impressive. Holes in the muzzle, a nicely defined chamber, handle grip, rivets throughout, and a flash of silver paint nicely applied to the chamber as well.
Threepio comes with replacement dismembered arms, the rubber rings for his dismembered legs, and a mesh backpack for his Wookiee piggy back rides. As I said before, I can’t help but think Threepio’s haywire legs could have been pulled off with a more effective solution that didn’t pop off so easily. Otherwise, Threepio has all he needs to pull off those famous scenes on Cloud City.
Price and Value
At it’s base this exclusive pack is a re-purpose of some previously used molds with some accessories particular to a few scenes in Empire Strikes Back. I applaud Hasbro for re-thinking Chewie’s head sculpt, but re-visiting the articulation on Chewie is long overdue. Threepio has impressive paint and sculpt, but the legs probably had a better solution that could have been used. When you get right down to it, this figure 2-pack is intended to recreate some very specific scenes. In my personal opinion, neither one of these figure is my go-to figure for that character. For Threepio, I’ll probably use his SH Figuarts counterpart for most purposes. For Chewie, I’ll use the original Black Series release (until I get my hands on that ANH SH Figuarts release that is…).
At $49.99, I think this release is a tough ask. A few days ago, the figure was on an Amazon daily deal for $34.99 and I think that price is about right. The Emperor Palpatine exclusive retails for $39.99 and I think this two-pack has about the same amount to offer. At $34.99 to $39.99 this release would be a little easier for the average consumer to feel they got their value.