Early Bird Kit Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.: No. 85868
Includes: Bowcaster, display pegs
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 2005
Appearances: Star Wars
Bio: Chewbacca - with his special laser rifle and ammunition belt across his chest. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' place.
Commentary: While the vintage 2004 release was widely regarded as the best sculpt of the character, the Early Bird Chewbacca from 2005 is considered by many the definitive version of the Wookiee. Not only does he have the standard super-articulation of 14 points, but Hasbro put in additional waist joints to make him one of the more flexible figures ever created. The sculpt is spot-on, the head is more or less specific to the original Star Wars. The hair is back a little, the arms are shaggy, and the expression is less ferocious than most of the earliest Chewbacca toys. Heck, pretty much all of them until 1998 seemed pretty angry. This one? Clearly a better interpretation of the characterization as a spin on the family dog. He's a happy fellow, large, and unlikely to stab you in the eye with a spork. (Look at the 1979 one. Clearly a spork-stabber.)
If you buy only one Chewbacca figure ever, this is a good candidate to track down. The Early Bird Figures may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's a lot to like there for long-time figure fans or even new folk who want a good set to start off with. If you can get the pack cheapish (under $30) I'd say get it just for Chewie-- but keep it for the others.
Collector's Notes: You probably won't be paying $30-- more like $6. For these four figures, that's a freaking bargain, and a sign of how much of a failed concept this was in the eyes of the collector market. Not all Wal-Marts had the kits (which required you to send off for the figures which, initially, were not named on the box), and some that did had a hard time selling them off. So this is a set that, for those who weren't able to get it, is now available for prices that make you a bad collector if you don't buy them. Also-- an added bonus-- the "display pegs" this set comes with are compatible with modern and vintage cardboard playsets.
Day 1,313: June 25, 2010