Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Review : Jawa
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : 40th Anniversary
Released : June 2017
Price : £24.99
In early 2017 Hasbro announced a series of 6" scale Black Series figures to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, A New Hope. The intention was to replicate the original 12 Kenner figures by releasing the 6" versions on retro Kenner style cards.
The first wave was released March 2017 with a second set of 6 released in June 2017. While the first wave repacked figures, the 2nd wave introduced three figures not released to date in the series - the Tusken Raider Death Squad Commander and the figure we are reviewing here - the Jawa.
The Jawa, like the Tusken Raider, have always been favourites of mine in Star Wars. The Jawa's were the Minions of their day, not quite good or evil, and the mechanism that kicked off the whole saga with their delivery of C-3PO and R2-D2 to the Skywalker moisture farm. For me there is also a high degree of nostalgia on this figure, it is one of the few vintage figures I can clearly remember buying from one of those old round wire baskets that toy stores used to hold figure. It was a Weds with my mum and my grandma and I dug him up from the bottom of the wire basket - the only figure in there that I didn't have.
The new card backs are sized to accommodate the 6" figures, without being a direct upscale of the ones used on the original 1978 3.75" figures. They utilise the same character image as well as the Star Wars and Kenner logo's. The character name is set into a pea green box with the same colour used as the backing to the blister. Being a smaller character, the Jawa does look more at home on these jumbo cards - other figures have looked a little out of proportion. 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 logo's
This updated 2017 version of the Jawa, and he arrives in a blister with two weapons packed to his right, your left as you look at the card. Once the card is open you will find the bottom of these two guns is attached to the figure by means of a flexible hose. More on these a little later.
The Jawa stands 4.5" high, that means he is one of the taller Jawa's we see in a New Hope as he would stand 1.4m high if scaled up. While the Tusken Raider went with soft goods for the cloak, the Jawa is all plastic from hood to robes.
The robe is designed to look like one piece, but is of course made up of varying pieces on the figure to support the articulation. All the pieces are identically textured with a sackcloth type of weave. The pointed hood is wrapped around the head and flows and rounds off down the back of the cloak. Under the hood is a dark black head. On closer inspection you can see this is sculpted to look like it is wrapped in bandages - with the two yellow eyes the only discernible feature.
The eyes hold a bit of an Easter Egg as they do glow in the dark. This wasn't advertised on the packaging or in any promo material.
The main body of the cloak drapes down from the shoulders to the floor. There is a thick seam down the body, just off centre, and this flows into a small gap at the bottom as the cloak catches on the ground. Where the cloak does touch the floor, the base brown colour has some sandy weathering applied to give the appearance of the cloak dragging on a sandy surface. While absolutely hidden unless you go looking, there is even sculpted detail on the legs with bandaged wrapped lower legs and shoes and some baggy trousers of some description. These are painted also with some more subtle sandy weathering on the bottom of the legs and on the shoes.
The two arms use the same colour and texture and run to ragged cuffs, under which are black gloved hands.
Across the chest are two diagonal straps. The bottom one is a dark brown, with one pouch on the front. On top of this is a lighter brown with numerous front pouches. Both these straps are washed with a darker colour for weathering. They also have some gold detail on the fasteners. Round the back of the Jawa these two straps link in to a holster into which connects the flexible hose we mentioned earlier.
The other end of this hose is the Shock Blaster. This is pretty accurate to the prop from A New Hope. It is however cast in quite flexible plastic so is prone to being misshapen. The blaster is cast in black, but has brown detail added to the stock and to the side of the barrel. When not in use the Shock Blaster sits into the rear holster on the figure, with the hose draped around to the side. The blaster still sits quite high in the holster, but this is practical considering the arms of the Jawa and a need for him to reach over his own shoulder to grab the blaster.
If you want the blaster in the Jawa's hand, then be patient. Unlike say a Storm Trooper E11 blaster, there is no real handle or grip on this blaster. You therefore have to kind of feed the stock through the right hand of the figure. He then holds it kind of pointing out in front, but not as though he is firing it.
The second weapon is the Ion blaster, the one that resembles a blunder bus. Like the Shock Blaster this is cast in black and is quite flexible and easy to bend. It is painted in a gun metal all over finish. In terms of holding this one, the figure has the same issue and the best you will achieve is a grip of the stock and an at rest pose - not taking aim to disable a droid.
You could have forgiven Hasbro for going with less articulation on a 4.5" figure, but they haven't and retain all the usual joints you would see on a larger figure. The head is ball jointed and moves much more than you would think looking at the hood. The hood being a separate piece also allows for the head to move independently of the hood to a degree.
The shoulders are ball jointed and both arms come out fully to the side and can rotate above the Jawa's head. The elbows are rotating joints bending to just under 90 degrees. Both hands are then on a pivot. Sadly, and as we mentioned above, the elbow does not bend enough - nor the hand grip enough - to get into any kind of action pose with either weapon - one or two handed.
There is a brilliantly hidden waist/torso joint disguised under the strap. This allows full rotation of the upper torso combined with a touch of lean forward and back.
The legs will not be used on the figure because of the fixed skirt. But if you do look under the skirt you will see the same leg articulation as any other Black Series figure with jointed hips, knees and ankles. The Jawa stands perfectly well and there doesn't feel to be any immediate concern with loose joints.
The Jawa may be small, but Hasbro have packed quite a lot of features into the figure. Some will argue there should have been two per pack, but that would potentially have been excessive with the £25 price point. I do however think an extra accessory or two would have been nice - perhaps even a Treadwell droid or similar?
You cannot fault the sculpt which is excellent, and the glow in the dark eyes is a nice novelty feature. The paint is neat and there is a clear attempt at weathering. My main issue is the ability to hold the guns. While I understand the desire to stay true to props, perhaps a bit of artistic licence on the weapons would have helped to engineer in a way for the Jawa to hold them better?
The big plus for this release is the 40th Anniversary card, and the nostalgia that brings - it certainly brought memories flooding back for me. It will be interesting to now see if the repack into the standard box will be the same or be tweaked in anyway, and if that very modern box brings back the same memories? There would be a fairly easy variant like the 2015 3.75" version by changing the cloak colour to a darker brown and changing the straps round and colouring them different.
Taking all this into account, I score the 40th Anniversary Black Series Jawa a 4 out of 5.