I don’t review Clone Wars action figures very often here on my blog. Not because I don’t like Clone Wars or its toys–I love them. It’s because I can’t freaking find any new Clone Wars figures in stores. Case in point: tonight’s review subject started shipping in August and I only managed to see him for the first time at retail this week. Tonight I’m reviewing one of the handful of original trilogy characters produced in the Clone Wars style of action figure: Chewbacca. There was a slight possibility my frustration in finding this toy would bias me against him in my review, but the Force is with this Wookie–this Chewbacca action figure is so good there’s no way I can begrudge it…
One of the most highly-anticipated and most-wanted Star Wars figures released this year is this Chewbacca figure. While we’re starting to see a fair amount of Original Trilogy characters like Sy Snootles, Admiral Ackbar and Greedo in the cartoon, few of them have been immortalized as Clone Wars-style action figures. So I’m pleased and relieved to see that Hasbro bestowed a Clone Wars Chewbacca upon us quickly after his appearance in the series. Moreover, I’m thrilled that the figure they made for us didn’t just come out fast–it came out spectacular.
This Chewbacca is a 100% new sculpt, and it shows. This figure is absolutely dead-on accurate to how Chewbacca appeared in the Clone Wars. The head sculpt, the proportions, the texture of the fur–it’s as authentic a replica as you could ever hope to get out of a 4″ action figure.
Because of his design, Chewbacca is a figure that traditionally isn’t an articulated as his comrades and often is stuck posed statically. That’s not the case this time. Although Chewbacca only has 13 points of articulation, every single point is valuable and highly useful for getting Chewbacca into dynamic poses. Most innovative and fun is Chewbacca’s torso articulation: Each “layer” of fur is independently-jointed and can be moved back and forth freely, so you can get Chewbacca’s upper-body posed pretty much any way you want and still have it look seamless. In addition, Chewbacca has a ball-jointed head, elbows and shoulders, and swivel jointed wrists, knees, and legs. The result is a Chewbacca figure that’s more fun to pose and play with than any I’ve ever had (and there have been quite a few).
Chewbacca is one of the most accessory-wealthy action figures we’ve gotten from Hasbro all year. He comes with the ubiquitous “kid-tastic” weapon: a giant green-ooze missile-firing BFB (Big Freakin’ Bowcaster). But luckily, Hasbro saw fit to give him a nicely-scaled classic bowcaster as well, which is the one he’s holding in the package. Both bowcasters can be held with a tight grip, and Chewbacca doesn’t look as silly as you’d expect holding the BFB. He also has a blaster rifle of a type I’m not familiar with, which his left hand is sculpted to hold perfectly, resulting in Chewbacca looking awesome dual-wielding a bowcaster and the blaster rifle.
Chewbacca also includes an accessory that’s never been done for one of Hasbro’s basic Chewbacca figures–a removable bandolier! That’s right, Chewbacca can finally fulfill his dream of dancing butt-naked in your Star Wars figure collection! I assume the bandolier was made removable so future non-Chewbacca figures could be made from the unique mold, but it is an unexpected and most welcome bonus on this figure. The bandolier looks excellent draped over Chewbacca’s shoulder hanging loosely, or you can lock it into place by lowering his neck joint over the tip of the bandolier. I don’t think I ever truly appreciate the bandolier and what an integral part of Chewbacca’s appearance it is until I saw him without it, but as a removable accessory it really stands out and brings this figure to life.
According to his Galactic Battle Card, Chewbacca only has a Force Ability rating of 3? Really?! No way!! It should be at least an 8!!
…But seriously, no one cares. And I mean no one. I’d rather Hasbro not waste cardboard and plastic on the game card and die, because I’m quite certain than 99% of all of them produced go straight into the trash. Maybe there’s a handful of kids out there somewhere playing the “Galactic Battle Card Game”, but I have a hunch that number is infinitely smaller than Hasbro seems to think it is.
Chewbacca has only appeared in one episode of Clone Wars, the Season 3 finale. It seems a little strange that he’s being released when none of the villains or Padawans he interacted with in that episode have been made (besides the Season 3 Ahsoka figure which was so sparsely produced she might as well not exist). I really hope we get some Trandoshans for Chewbacca to battle, because otherwise I’m really not sure who to put him with on my Clone Wars shelf of figures.
And since I just brought up the Rancor in the room by mentioning the ridiculously hard-to-find Season 3/4 Ahsoka figure, I might as well make my obligatory complaint about Hasbro’s Star Wars distribution this year: it’s been awful. It’s really sad that I haven’t been able to give Hasbro even half of the money I wanted to this year because products across their lines ranging from Star Wars to Thor to GI Joe have been so difficult to find. Please do better next year, Hasbro. Please.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The Chewbacca wave of Clone Wars figures has been shipping (barely) to stores since late August, and has been a real pain in the butt to find in stores. I just found and bought him at Toys R Us this week, so he is out there–you’ll just have to work a bit to find him. Online options for Chewbacca are pretty limited:
Big Bad Toy Store has the Clone Wars Series 6 set of figures including Chewbacca, Savage Oppress, R7-D4, Jar Jar Binks, Red Leader ARC, and Even Piell for $69.99. They also have the Clone Wars 2011 Series 6 case of 12 containing Chewbacca and some other rare figures in-stock right now for $104.99.
If you’re looking for a single figure purchase, you can get Clone Wars Chewbacca for just $9.99 on Amazon right now. That’s a great price at just a dollar or two above retail, considering what a pain he’s been to find in stores.
Overall: I can’t think of anything Hasbro could have done to make this Chewbacca action figure any better than it is. Honestly, everything I said in “The Wrong” was a nitpick, and none of it is directly about the Chewbacca figure itself. He has a stupid giant missile-launching BFBowcaster, but also a perfect-sized one. He has some dopey dice and a playing card, but those can be thrown out. The bottom line is that this figure is a spot-on accurate unique sculpt, loaded with accessories, and shockingly well-articulated and fun to play with. Despite being designed for a “children’s” line of Star Wars figures supposedly aimed at small children, this Chewbacca is among the best versions of the character ever created. This figure gets my absolute highest recommendation for Clone Wars fans or anyone who wants original trilogy characters in the Clone Wars style.