Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,021: Chewbacca (& AT-ST, The Vintage Collection)

The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Shared Exclusive Vehicle Pack-In
Item No.:
No. F8056
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Bowcaster, AT-ST
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $89.99
Availability: March 2023
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Highly articulated with a fully poseable head, arms, and legs, this Star Wars Chewbacca collector figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. (Taken from marketing copy. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary: You probably don't need this Chewbacca. For those of you who have been here for a long time, this is indeed the 2004 Chewbacca [FOTD #526] from the Original Trilogy Collection line of "Vintage" deluxe figures. It was a good mold at the time, but it's also a whopping 19 years old and Hasbro hasn't done anything to improve it beyond, occasionally, changing the head. There have been numerous opportunities to buy this mold, and the last one I saw on eBay from the 2004 release (which came in a clamshell on a Return of the Jedi cardback) was about $30 - not a bad price for a toy that old. This toy uses that original head, which has the hair parted to the sides and the open mouth. It's a nice sculpt, but also we've seen Hasbro do some genuinely wonderful things in recent years. As a pack-in to a $90 vehicle - that was not-too-recently $60, and not-too-recently-before-that $30, you are not going to feel like you got a deal here.

Chewie is the same mold, but with better paint. Will you be able to appreciate it? Probably not - the subtle colors on the fur look better, and they blend much more nicely than before. But in a dark room, or on a shelf, I doubt you'll notice the difference. The eyes, lips, teeth, and tongue are all painted quite well with fine detail that's sure to impress, and the claws on his hands and feet are also painted. There's a black wipe on his bag, and the silver on his bandolier looks good as always. I'm still disappointed in it - not because it's not good (it is), but because they basically got it right the first time, and the time after that, and the time after that. It would certainly be nice to have a new mold of some sort to go with this.

The bowcaster is now in black, and requires assembly as always. The little bit in the front is, as always, loose and could benefit from being remolded or glued together at the factory. It was annoying in 2004, and 19 years later it's almost a little insulting that they didn't put in the money to make it the tiniest bit better. He can hold it, but the hands from that era weren't always good at gripping things and it's kind of a hassle.

The AT-ST itself is one you may have bought several times by now, and has an incredible paint job. Easily, the best yet with better mud splats, cuts, scuffs, and other signs of wear and tear. Hasbro also left out some parts - the alternate rocket-firing chin cannons were not included this time, so you're paying the highest price ever for a less-than-complete take on this vehicle. The legs aren't as saggy or wobbly as some of the previous releases either, but I am not sure any of the poses I'm getting out of this guy are completely stable. Had Hasbro tossed in a plastic stand at this price, I'd still complain but at least you could get more out of it as a display piece (and at this point, I don't think you can say that this is a very sturdy toy mold.) The legs have numerous points of articulation and on paper, things like the stickered interior and the opening eye flaps are still neat. But also, this mold debuted about a decade and a half ago and even the improved paint job isn't enough to warrant paying three times the original asking price.

When it comes to Chewie, you very likely have a figure made from this mold that's just as good - well, pretty close to as good - as this one. The AT-ST itself has its best paint job yet, with better joints than the saggy Kmart Scout Walker release, but I am concerned it might flop over. Given its asking price (and the state of the toy economy at large) I'd probably suggest waiting for a sale or a clearance dump of some sort down the road if you already have this mold. If you don't already have a fleet of AT-STs based on this design, or the Chewbacca figure, this set is likely the cheapest super-articulated AT-ST you can buy on the secondary market and in that sense, it's a an acceptable deal.

Given the complexity of the toy and ever-increasing prices, Hasbro (if you're reading) I'd love to see a "kid's AT-ST" in a 3 3/4-inch line. The smaller-but-still-big AT-DP in Star Wars Rebels provided a big, sturdy, and comparably menacing toy for $20. If Hasbro reduced articulation a tiny bit I bet they could deliver something kids might afford (and potentially play with - who can say) for $30-$40 without too much of a fuss.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,021: April 18, 2023

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