Saturday, May 12, 2018

Road to Solo: Chewbacca from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    The Solo: A Star Wars Story product has rolled out a lot more haphazardly than the previous product launches for the new Disney films. Street dates were unclear, distribution is even spottier than usual, and it is very unclear as to which exclusives are available at which retails. Perhaps the most easily found exclusive is this very cool Chewbacca that you can purchase at Target. I found mine fairly easily last week and, from what other collectors are saying, you shouldn't have much trouble either. I was really excited for this one because it actually offers a slightly different look for Chewbacca. In the past we've had Chewbacca with snow on his fur, C-3PO on his back, or various chains (both in disguise as Boushh's prisoner and in disguise in manacles on the Death Star) but rarely do we get something feels like a new uniform. Having Chewbacca with a completely new bandolier and goggles almost gives me the same feeling as the 1996 Chewbacca in Snoova disguise figure from the POTF2 Shadows of the Empire line. I really like this figure and I'm excited to talk more about him after the break...



 The Facts:

Height: 7 3/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, "boot" swivel, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double balljointed head.

Accessories: Blaster rifle with removable fore-end and side handle, goggles, and bandolier.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
 Comparison:

* On the left is the new Solo Chewbacca followed by the Phase II Original Trilogy release and the Episode VII Chewie from Phase III. While the limbs are the same as previous releases, the new Chewie has a new torso, new headsculpt, and is shorter. In this case, being shorter is more accurate as the other figures were too tall.
 The Positives:



* This is a great looking Chewbacca. The colors are more accurate, the sculpt is better, and the new bandolier looks awesome. I love this figure and I'm pretty convinced he is my favorite Chewbacca released in the Black Series yet.

 * The headsculpt is pretty good. It's a nice mixture between the "friendly" headsculpt of the TFA version and the angry expression of the Phase II version.  I like the paintwork and the expression here much better than the previous releases. It also had a double balljoint (a barbell system), so it moves better than the previous figures, too.
 * Chewbacca is sporting a new bandolier for Solo. Well, an old bandolier, I guess, since Solo is a prequel to the Original Trilogy. But it's not a "Prequel" prequel. It's a....inter-trilogy tale. Anyways, it looks awesome and stays on extremely well. I love the shell like projectiles or cartridges Chewie's carrying here. He has his familiar pouch on the back, too. I've hear rumors of a variant that has shells on both the front and back (mine only has shells on the front straps of the bandolier).

 * I do have a few problems with Chewie's articulation, but I'll address them in a minute. For now, I want to appreciate the quality and durability of the figure and the better range of motion for Chewie's mid-torso joint and head. It's nice to see Hasbro offer improvements in the line over time.

* Chewbacca has some very cool accessories and one of those is a pair of goggles that can easily slip over his head. They actually use an elastic band so he can comfortably wear them up on his forehead or over his eyes. They look excellent on him and add a cool, new look to the character.

* Another cool accessory is this incredible rifle that Chewbacca comes with. It resembles some sort of tactical shotgun and, in-universe, it presumably is some sort of slug thrower. The sculpt is excellent as are the colors. It's molded in a great gunmetal silver with brown paint applications on the fore-head slide and the grip.

* On the other side you can actually see that this gun has some cool features: There is a side handle that can pivot out (it is removable if you slide it out the front) and the fore-end slide can "pump" back and forth, as if Chewbacca is racking another cartridge. I love how interactive the rifle is and I cannot wait to see it in action in the film. 
 The Negatives:

* Since the limbs are reused from the previous Chewbacca figures, Chewbacca still has a tough time getting a good two-handed grip on his weapons. The left hand isn't designed to cradle the blaster well and the elbows don't offer a huge range of motion. These really need to be fixed at some point for future Chewies.


 * I like the colors better on this figure than on previous ones but I still wish Hasbro would use a wash or drybrush effect on more of the figure to better replicate the complex patterns of Wookie fur.
I really like this Great figure and, due to the improvements to the figure and the cool accessories, this guy is easily my favorite Black Series Chewbacca. That being said, there is still room for improvement. Hasbro addressed many of the previous problems with the character's earlier releases (too tall, limited head articulation) but they still need to address the problematic elbows and the still "not quite there" paint scheme. That doesn't mean this one isn't a fun figure, though: A massive Wookie wielding a rifle and goggles is always a recipe for fun!

For more Chewbacca product check out the following: The Smuggler's Bounty Funko POP! Chewbacca #63 [Flocked], the Black Series Phase II Chewbacca and Phase III Chewbacca, the Hasbro Micro Machines R2-D2 playset with a micro Chewbacca, and the Hero Mashers Chewbacca.

For more figures from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III, check out the following:

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Poe Dameron
C-3PO
C-3PO (Resistance Base)
Captain Phasma
Chewbacca
Chirrut Imwe 
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Death Star Trooper
Dewback/ Sandtrooper
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
General Leia Organa
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo (Solo)
Han Solo (The Force Awakens)
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
K-2SO
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room)
Lando Calrissian
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Porgs
Princess Leia Organa 
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Snowtrooper 
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tusken Raider 
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 

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