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Review : Star Wars Black Series Gamorrean Guard (Exclusive)

Pros : Excellent sculpt. Excellent paint application. Good articulation. Nice choice of accessories.

Cons : Not widely available in the UK. Price is also restrictive.

For me, the Gamorrean Guard has special meaning as a figure. It was one of the few I spent most of my childhood without - despite getting the majority of the other original vintage figures. When I did finally pick one up it was towards the end of my formative years, and the collection would be sold soon after as I moved inevitably as was the era to the fledgling computers and video games.

When I relaunched my collection with POTF this was one of the first figures I went to buy in the mid-90's and he stood proud alongside a makeshift Jabba's throne room with Bib Fortuna and that Special Edition Jabba.

I championed the Gamorrean in both the 6" Black Series Fan Votes, losing out both times (to Darth Revan and Jaina Solo) and in the end it has taken a while to get the Gamorrean into the 6" Black Series. with the figure now in hand I can see why when you consider not only the size, but the details over and above a standard figure that are necessary to make this look and feel accurate.

In the US the figure is exclusive to Target stores and US collectors am sure will be army building this to their hearts content. In the UK it is a shared exclusive, in so much it is not numbered but is available from the majority of independent stores with a price ranging from a reasonable £31 up to and beyond the £42 mark.

The packaging is special sized for the release and is both wider and deeper than a standard figure. The design features remain the same however with the gloss black box and bold red spine. The Gregory Titus artwork is gorgeous, front and back, and the rear text even dares you to army build this figure as it talks about Jabba the Hutt employing a gang of these "intimidating Gamorreans".

For those who want the exact details on this new packaging option it measures 180mm (7") across, 85mm (3 1/4") deep and is 230mm (9") high this is the same height as the standard figure boxes.

The figure, like all Phase 3 releases, is packed against a gloss red backdrop that actually accentuates the figure with the green set against that red.

Like the Tusken Raider, Hasbro have made this a figure you can tweak via the weaponry and three are included and packed to the figures side.

The sculpt is amazing. Hasbro have always executed Aliens well, but this guy is stunning. The face is well proportioned and pretty screen accurate and has sculpted facial ridges and rolls and the paint is then applied with some washing and tone variations. Those tiny eyes are blue and sharp and shine out from that prominent ridge. The nose and lips are toned towards brown and are glossier and the trademark tusks stick out from beneath.

The horns also protrude either side of the helmet cap and this is just as well executed as the head with an armoured silver crown, complete with studded rivets. This then goes down to a leather strap, weathered to a black at the edges and there are then two armoured ear flaps which return to the studded silver finish.

From the head we go down into a basic tunic that is painted brown and then washed with a dirty brown to give it a leather dirty look. Around this we have more armored panels on the shoulders and wrists. There is then a separate chest and waist strap in black plastic. Sat just under this is that circular stitched emblem each Gamorrean wears, this too is neatly sculpted and its a pity it sits behind the strapping - but of course that too is accurate to the movie.

The arms and legs are muscular and contain a lot of muscle detail and up close the skin is not smooth, but is textured like a rhino or an elephant. It may be one tone green compared to the head, but it works brilliantly. The sandals are a plain grey, painted over the green skin tone plastic.

When i first saw the soft goods loin cloth I was sceptile. I didn't think it would work having seen how it looked on the smaller 3.75" Vintage figure from some years back. And yet I was wrong and this is another area where I think this Gamorrean tops the Black Series as the best soft goods application to date. The fur can be moved around with the leg articulation, and to save his modesty there is a pair of brown under garments under the fur section.

Articulation starts at the jaw, another extra that Hasbro have thrown in to this release. While in the movies the Gamorreans didn't really have much jaw movement, the figure can go much beyond what we saw in the film opening his maw to a yawn pose or similar. Into the mouth we have a sculpted tongue as well as teeth and if you look closely he even has a sculpted uvula.

For quite a stocky and bulky figure, the Gamorrean still packs 17 points of articulation (inclusive of that jaw). The head is jointed and can move to some degree within the constraints of the sunken neck. You can also feel and move a waist joint under that fur lined nappy.

Arms are ball jointed at the shoulder and raise up and down fully, with the armoured panels designed to move with the arms. The elbows are a single rotation and the wrists pegged with a pivot.

The hips, hidden under the skirt, are ball jointed into that giant groin area. The thigh swivel is still there, under the skirt, despite the legs being so stocky. We then have the usual double jointed knees and ankle rocker. You would have to go do some to find a pose where the Gamorrean doesn;t stand perfectly - he is of such a weight and size that the feet are more than secure in most poses.

Once you have the figure you have a choice of three weapons for him to wield. These represent the three weapons seen in Jabba's Palace during Return of the Jedi.

The first of these is a single bladed axe with wooden shaft. The internet seems to agree this is a Gamorrean Axe and a traditional weapon for the Guards. It is cast in a crisp plastic with wooden coloured shaft and dull grey blade with rusting brown detail on the edging.

The axe can be held in either hand, both of which are designed to hold the weaponry. If you are being anal about accuracy, this Axe is seen used by the guards that escort C-3PO and R2 into the palace and by a guard in the main throne room as Luke threatens Jabba later in the Tatooine scenes.

Weapon two is the longer Vibro-Lance. This is the weapon we see the Gamorrean Guards using when they are force choked by Luke as he enters Jabba's palace.

The lance is cast in a grey plastic and this is harder than the plastic we've seen on other Black Series weapons and it therefore has a good amount of crisp sculpted detail from the corrugated grips to the rivets and mechanism on the pronged blade. The only criticism is the lack of any paint on this accessory which would have looked much nicer in a metallic finish with some weathering / dirtying.

Like the axe the lance can be held in either hand, and is also long enough to work with the arm articulation so two handed poses can also be achieved.

The final weapon will be familiar as the axe originally packed with the Vintage Gamorrean Guard back in the 1980s. This seems to be referred to most commonly as a Vibro Ax and has accompanied most Gamorrean Guard figures released by Hasbro and indeed other companies like Sideshow.

While screen accurate, it is not easy to spot in the Jabba's Palace scenes of Return of the Jedi - and I am still looking. We got a better look at it in scenes from The Force Unleashed.

Like the other axe, this is cast in hard plastic with a painted wood look handle and grey dull metallic blade. The blade has the texture within the cast of beaten metal and the edge of the blade is weathered with a rusty paint tone.

This axe also fits in either hand with the articulation of the figure then allowing for a range of action and guarding poses. You can of course dual arm your Gamorrean with two of the three weapons employed across the two gripping hands. For me the double axe poses is the most "Gamorrean" for your display.

Before I sum up I wanted to touch on scale for the Gamorrean Guard who are reported as being about 6ft high on average, but many are portrayed shorter. This Black Series release is only 5 and 3/4 inches high, so he will stand shorter than other denizens of Jabba's Palace like Boba Fett (as seen above).

I originally got very giddy over this figure and was going straight for our highest rating, the 5 star plus.... however, after sleeping on decision I am going to scale it back to a 5 out of 5 score.

The Gamorrean does everything right as a figure - from the brilliant sculpt, the excellent paint job and weathering, the appropriate soft goods use, the articulation and those three accessories. There is virtually nothing to fault. The issue that has made me scale this back from our highest accolade is the availability. Hasbro have made an awesome figure here, but in doing so we are paying double the price of a standard figure herein the UK. For that price we should be expecting perfection and the only way this could therefore exceed expectations it to come in sub £30 and with availability that makes us able to army build these for our Jabba's Palace display.

I am yet to see what the mass market US release into Targets will do to the price and availability here in the UK. It is also a sculpt that warrants future use, perhaps as a repack in a multi-pack release.


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