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Review : Chewbacca. Star Wars Black Series (Phase 2 / 40th Anniversary)

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Review : Chewbacca

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : Wave 5 (Phase 2)

Released : October 2014

Price : £19.99

Once Han Solo had arrived in the Black Series range, the fans next sought after figure was his co-pilot Chewbacca. The Wookiee was originally planned to be released in the orange 1st phase packaging and would have been the #13 release. Once packed it was clear to Hasbro that due to his height there was an issue in their current packaging and bending his legs to fit him in the window was not acceptable. Orange boxed Chewie was therefore pulled, leaving a gap in the numbering of phase 1. Chewie was dropped into the next packaging phase, with the blue line, and was numbered #04. Ironically, Chewie would be later packed with bent knees in the Phase 3 packaging in his Force Awakens release.

The figure arrives in a black matt box with cut out window insert through which the figure is visible. This new blue phase packaging moves the header and Black Series logo from the top of the box, and places it at the bottom over the figures feet. This allows taller figures like Chewie to be displayed more naturally with their head clearly on display. To the top right of the window is a circular grey scaled art of the figure. This is the same location as the older orange packaging, but is now cut into the window rather than alongside the header.

The box front now has two sides worth of framing, down the left and across the bottom. The window itself wraps around to the right hand spine and into the top of the box. The text remains a grey/silver, while the character name is now an electric blue. The left hand spine is simply adorned with various safety notices, there is no solid colouring or numbering like we see on the 3rd phase packaging.

Round the back, and under a further Star Wars Black Series logo header we get a larger rendition of the Chewbacca lined art. Over this is laid a brief top level overview of Chewie and a brilliant quote of "Rrrooaarrgghh! Awrggh! Rwaah-oh-oh!". The electric blue trim runs horizontally down the back of the box.

Once unpacked, Chewie is sat in a matt black inner cardboard tray with blue trim down the right hand side. He sits in a tray, with his Bowcaster in two parts to the right of the figure.

Review : Chewbacca

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : 40th Anniversary

Released : June 2017

Price : £24.99

The new card backs are sized to accommodate the 6" figures, without being a direct upscale of the original 3.75" figures. They utilise the same character image as well as the Star Wars and Kenner logos. As Chewbacca is such a tall figure, he does look quite oversized on the card, with his height meaning the blister is touching the top silver trim. His Bowcaster is tucked up near his head too, which is not the best look. The character name for Chewbacca is set into a yellow coloured box, with the same tan yellow used behind the figure.

A neat 40th Anniversary logo sits in the top left corner.

Round the back of the card is a checklist of the 12 figures that will be released. These are framed in various colours, each colour matching the scheme that will be used on their card. Under the 12 figures is an image of the Legacy pack, the stand that revisits the original Early Bird pack and gives collectors who aren't keeping these on card a display option for loose figures.

A subtle Black Series logo is atop the card and of course being 40 years after Kenner & Lucasfilm, we now find the Disney logo at the base of the card along with the present day safety notices and legal logos.

Out of the box and Chewie stands a substantial 7 3/4 inches tall. This would equate to 2.36m in height, and this is a touch over Chewie's advertised height of 2.28m. For me the difference is minimal and I a fine with how Chewie scales against the other figures, particularly with Han.

The figure is sculpted out of brown plastic in the main. The detail in the fur is impressive, and they have attempted to hide joints and parts with a furry overhang on each section. The head is sculpted in a roaring pose. This is a nice deviation from the usual neutral poses, but it would have been nice to give collectors a choice - either via an articulated jaw or a second head option in the box.

The colouring on the figure is darkened in places with a wash of some kind. This is more prominent towards the top of the chest, the top of the arms and the top of the legs. This would work if it didn't stop so suddenly when it meets the next joint. You end up with a patchwork effect, as though the Chewbacca costume was made up of different coloured furs. The head is the nicest coloured with variations of fur, and a darkening round the eyes. The eyes themselves are bright white with dark pupils, although many figures - including our review figure - end up with cross-eyes.

The hands are coloured grey, as are the feet. The hands have some pretty horrible fur over-sculpted from the knuckled downward. Some artistic licence would have gone someway hear in terms of looks and to help Chewie to hold weapons (read on).

Chewie's saddle bag and ammo strip is a separate item slung over the body. You can remove this if you really want. It hangs and moulds to Chewie's hip nicely. It is also a bit better coloured than the fur with a wash over the bag to age it and add some character. The silver is a touch to bright across the strap but it is neatly painted with no real bleed onto the brown rubber plastic underneath.

The other accessory is the Bowcaster. This arrives in two parts, with no assembly instructions. You will think you are doing it wrong because the cross section constantly pings off. Sadly this is a design flaw as the peg and hole aren't a tight enough fit. Different figures will have varying degrees of frustration. The simple answer is to glue it in place. The weapon itself can also be heavily warped, especially the sights. It is cast in a grey plastic with gun metal dry-brushing which gives a convincing finish.

Articulation on Chewbacca is quite strong, but hugely restricted due to the fur. The head is jointed, but will not move more than a few millimetres to either side. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulder and this means Chewie can raise his hands well above his head, and out to the side - perfect to show his frustration over a game of Dejarik. The elbows are a rotating joint. These bend 90 degrees but are not fully rotating due to the fur overhang at the elbow. The hands are on a peg which bends forward a few mm's and also rotates. The fur on the hand does stop Chewie holding his Bowcaster easily, it will take some coaxing to get it in position. The hands and elbows then do not move enough to get in a stable two-handed weapon pose, you might just get something resembling one with Chewie's left hand floating over the top of the Bowcaster barrel.

The torso gets a torso joint and a waits swivel. The legs are ball jointed and then have a thigh swivel. The knees are single jointed. There are ankle rockers for the feet. The legs overall are too loose and Chewie stands too bowlegged and wide stanced. I want a tall legs straight and together Chewie, so it is a shame the feet are a touch too wide apart and suffer from sliding wider on display.

Chewbacca is an early release that doesn't really live up to the standards of the time. He is substantial in terms of height and heft, but the colouring isn't right. He is also difficult to pose and the Bowcaster is a frustration. Standing with Han in as neutral a stance as you can get he looks OK, but anything action orientated looks clunky and unnatural.

I score Chewbacca as a figure a 3 out of 5.

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