Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,380: Jawa (The Black Series / 40th Anniversary)

JAWA 40th Anniversary
40th Anniversary Collection / The Black Series  6-Inch Figure Debut
Item No.:
Asst. C1688 No. C2718
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #n/a
Includes: 2 blasters
Action Feature: Glow in the dark green eyes
Retail: $22.99
Availability: May 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: What Jawas hid underneath their heavy robes was subject to much speculation from the colonists who settled on Tatooine, with rumors claiming they were giant rodents or devolved humans. Although Jawas were typically small, measuring only one meter, some of them were significantly taller than that. One of those abnormally gangly Jawas was almost as tall as a 3PO unit, a model of protocol droid measuring 1.71 meters.   (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  A recurring theme I have here tends to be how toys stopped being toys - straddling the world of "toy" and "collector item" never was the strong point of an action figure, unless that was the only option we as fans had.   Today if you want a Jawa, you've got choices spanning four decades.   Features change, but some elements are consistent - this 6-inch scale figure is very similar to the ones in 2007-2009, in that you have an almost super articulated figure.  The arms are, but the legs are restricted by the expertly sculpted robes.   This is somewhat infuriating, because money was spent sculpting, decorating, and articulating the legs.  Each one has a hip joint, a knee joint, and an ankle joint.  They will do you zero good unless Hasbro decides to release a version of this figure with a cloth outfit.  And they might - even the hood appears to be a separately molded piece, allowing them to cover the figure with cloth and maybe even getting some value out of those leg joints.

In the 1990s, fans often derided one-legged (or in some cases, no-legged figures) as salt shakers.  These helped keep costs down a bit in an era of $4.99-$5.99 action figures, and for some reason Hasbro started adding useless leg articulation to these figures a lot starting around 2006.   Keep in mind we used to get two Jawas for $5, and I'd be lying to you if I said this was a $20 value for a single 6-inch scale Jawa.   It's not.  It's nice, it's cool, and it's an essential part of getting the original 12 Kenner action figures in this new size.  But is it good?  It's adequate.  The loss of the cloth robes stings a bit, much like how the Death Squad Commander isn't grey.   It's Kenner-ish.  It's Kenner-esque.   Maybe there's a Comic-Con exclusive coming that hasn't been announced, but as it is it's something of a disappointment.  Authentic, sure.  It meets the criteria most fans demand.  But it ain't great.

The figure has tattered robes and white dust at the hem, giving it a fairly decent look.   Thanks to the overall deco budget, it looks like a brand-new set of robes pre-stained, but from a respectable distance it looks just fine.  The bandoliers cross his chest, and its yellow eyes  are nice and bright - in this respect, I'd say it's as good as the 1978 figure and better than the 1996-1999 ones.   The black mummy wrappings still cover his face, and the black gloves are all here.  There's not a lot of deco here, so other than "make it really filthy" Hasbro pretty much knocked it out of the park.

He has two blasters, plus on-belt storage for the wired one.   One is wired to a power source, and the other is easily held in his hand.   There's a little bit of deco here, but nothing too mind-blowing.

I've mentioned in the past that some 6-inch figures don't benefit at all from super-articulation and this is one of them.  It's a Jawa - a fan favorite, an essential thing in any group of action figures based on the saga.   But it's not great.   We're used to getting a droid, or a second Jawa, in most packs - at $20 we really need something meatier in the box.  Swappable robes would have been a huge bonus, but like the Yoda I don't see how this figure is in any way better than a $13 3 3/4-inch super-articulated figure.    It's basically sized similarly to the 3 3/4-inch-ish Chewbacca, and it's not exactly massive.  Nobody is fleecing us here, Hasbro is delivering the kind of product we expect (and in some cases demand) but from where I sit, it's kind of a bore.  It's just like the smaller cheaper Jawas - which included droid accessories - for a much higher price and much lower value proposition.   Aside from the useless leg articulation, the execution is absolutely spot-in - it's just not meaty as Lando or Obi-Wan or other recent releases.   Obviously get it on sale (lots of them), and at full price you'll probably still want to buy one to finish the collection.   Just don't anticipate being impressed.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,380: June 21, 2017

No comments: