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Review : Star Wars Black Series Zuckuss, Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Amazon Exclusive


The Star Wars Black Series Amazon Exclusive 2-Pack of 4-LOM and Zuckuss pays homage to the original Kenner figures of the 1980's. Not only are the figures presented on Vintage style cards like other 40th Anniversary releases, but they give the figures a decor update in line with the original Kenner figures. The set even swaps over the names of the two Bounty Hunters, replicating the original name mixup from Kenner. See my corresponding review for 4-LOM


Buy from Amazon UK (subject to availability)

Packaging 4/5


The two pack arrives in a sealed box with a black starfield design. The front of the box see's a Bounty Hunters title, subtitled with "40th Anniversary Edition". The card backs for the two figures are the illustrated on the front, shown without the figures. The 40th Anniversary logo sits top left in a foil finish. The hasbro logo sits bottom right.


Each side spine repeats the Bounty Hunters logo, with an illustration of each figure. On the right we have 4-LOM, on the left is Zuckuss.


The back of this outer box see's the first use of the Black Series logo, and the rest of the reverse is taken up with some yellow text that provides some history and background for this text. While I am sure the choice of yellow against a starfield backdrop is an homage to the scrolling Star Wars introductory text, it would have been nice to see this more angled like we see on screen.


"When Kenner first produced the 4-LOM and Zuckuss figures, the names somehow got reversed. But since these two bounty hunters were not identified in the film, the switch was not immediately noticed. When the mix-up was finally caught and corrected in 1989, Zuckuss and 4-LOM finally got back their rightful identities. In this exclusive set, we are paying homage to the first appearance of these bounty hunters that puzzled so many for years, with replicas of the original packaging-switched names and all!"


The outer box is opened via the top or bottom flap, and inside are the two carded figures packed face to face.



The vintage card is presented almost exactly the same as the 1980's Kenner version, using the same image of Zuckuss and the orange name plate and figure backdrop. The name plate reads "4-LOM" in the homage to the original mis-naming from Kenner. The card front carries the foil 40th Anniversary logo on the top left, and uses the original Kenner logo on the bottom left side.


The card back is more or less identical to the one used on Wave 1 of the Empire 40th Anniversary figures. This is not a direct replication of a Kenner cardback, but an homage using the tramlines, the Star Wars logo and a coloured checklist of the figures. There are 6 figures shown, with Zuckuss shown on the left with the other 5 figures from Wave 1 in sequence across to the left.


There is no background text here, just a short piece of text, generic to all the Empire 40th Anniversary cards, giving some background to the collection.


"Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back with figures from The Black Series, featuring classic design and packaging"



Paint & Sculpt 5/5


Zuckuss is presented as an homage to the original Kenner figure and the colours used rather than being fully screen accurate. This means his robes are sandier with a bleached pattern, the tubing is now a lighter colouring and the segmented chest piece and straps are cast in a darker brown.

The sculpt on the head is spectacular, another alien figure done really well by the Black Series team. The lighter colouring brings out more depth to the sculpt, helped by a dark wash. The segmented eyes are a bright silver and the breathing apparatus a gun metal colour.


As per his stature in the film, Zuckuss is quite small - measuring 5 inches tall.



When you compare the 2020 Kenner inspired version to the 2018 release you can see the differences. But both versions look fantastic, and Hasbro have avoided making the new version look too "retro" so it will still fit in a Black Series collection with any other figure - it does not look out of place.



Accessories 4/5


Zuckuss comes with his GRS-1 Snare Rifle. This is identical to the 2018 release, cast in black with no paint application. The sculpt is crisp and straight, despite the complex design and segmented lower grip/barrel piece.


To retain screen accuracy, Zuckuss is sculpted to hold the weapon left handed. You slide in the grip and then twist the gun so the third finger of the hand becomes the trigger finger and slots into place.



Articulation 5/5


Zuckuss has an impressive 18 points of articulation hidden away under the robes, and despite the squat diminutive build, he is very articulated and able to achieve a number of action poses - even if he didn't move at all on screen.


Head : Ball jointed neck with pivot

Arms : Ball jointed shoulder, bicep swivel, double jointed elbows, pivot wrists

Torso : Ball jointed waist

Legs : Ball jointed hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees, ankle rockers


The inclusion of a double jointed elbow makes a huge difference for weapon stances and for posing as a whole as you can have Zuckuss adjusting his mask or even putting up his three fingers hands for a bit of hand-to-hand combat.


The legs too are very mobile under those soft goods and you play around with wider stances, with the figure even having the ability to kneel if you can tuck the soft goods out of the way. Articulation is unhindered by any of the tubing or appendages which all move with the body.


And to cap it off he stands perfectly too, no balance issues or loose joints - all very stable in a number of poses.



Summary


The Amazon Exclusive Zuckuss is a brilliant figure, it brings back some real nostalgia for the original Kenner figure thanks to the decor, and yet does not look out of place with any other Black Series figure.



This set pays homage to the 1980's Kenner figures brilliantly, and works for carded collectors and loose collectors who want to add these two Bounty Hunters to their collection. The only downside of the set is the fact it is an Amazon Exclusive - which means in the UK at least availability has been patchy, and the packaging Amazon use may not deliver a mint box at your doorstep


I score Zuckuss from the Amazon Bounty Hunters 40th Anniversary Exclusive a 5 out of 5.




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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars, black series, 40th anniversary, the empire strikes back, hasbro, kenner, zuckuss, 4-LOM

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