Thursday, June 29, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,042: Jawa (The Retro Collection)

JAWA (Cloth Cape, Kenner Style)
The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Shop Disney / Hasbro Pulse Exclusive Set
Item No.:
Asst. F7649 No. F7649
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster with R2-D2, Tusken Raider, C-3PO, Death Squad Commander, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $69.99
Availability: May 2023
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Star Wars Retro Collection features design and detailing inspired by the original 1970s Star Wars figures and eatures original figure design and detailing! Continue your collection from a galaxy far, far away. (Stolen from the marketing copy. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: Before I opened up the Jawa I thought it looked good - because it's great! While not an exact replica of the original, it's excellent. Since I have a few Jawas from the old days, I've had a lot of fun playing with the genuine article and this 2023 release is on par. Those who are familiar with these toys know the very first release had a plastic vinyl cape, but Kenner decided to change it. A fan-made "custom" "replica" of it is surprisingly cheap and high-quality but not perfect, just the way I like it. Hasbro's new (old) Jawa also has enough changes made to it where it's obvious - but not awful - that they tweaked it.

Hasbro did make a few changes to the figure from the Kenner original, but thanks to the cloak none of them may matter. The figure's yellow eyes aren't painted as much as the original as there's an unpainted border now. The figure's body is a bit more saturated in color, giving it a little more red than brown. The right hand was notably retooled to better hold the included blaster (but you may not exactly want to swap it for the original figure. It's not a great fit.) The folds are in the same places with the robes, some of which have different depths. It doesn't quite seem as soft in detail as some other figures - whoever did it has done a better job - and at a quick glance you could probably be fooled it was an original. It's also worth noting the point on the back of his head hood is a different shape from the original, which I find to be welcome. Why do the exact same thing again? If it's better or weirder, a change is welcome.

The figure's blaster is different and arguably better. The original Jawa blaster I had handy is a very, very dark blue (almost black) plastic. The Stan Solo repro has a thinner grip, you can see light through it - it's close, but visible different. Hasbro's 2023 Jawa Blaster has some details that are bigger than the original! The pistol grip is thicker, and the peg hanging off the side is larger now too. I like this - the Stormtrooper blaster seemed like it experienced some generation loss, but this all-black blaster enjoyed some minor improvements. Not only is it distinct from the original, but it's different enough that I can look at it and go "oh, I might like this even more." The aspect of it that I don't like is a dimple on the side of the blaster that faces the body when he holds it. Other than that, it's a pretty good enhanced recreation. It might even be just different enough to make you mad, as you might want it even if you're happy with the old one.

What really amazed me about the figure is the cloth cape. Let's be honest - it is the figure. While there's a little guy with 4 joints and sculpted and painted bandoliers under there, most of us interact with the figure as a robed tiny alien. The cut is very close to the original figure, with a texture that - while different - is eerily close to the original. The dark brown is a little richer and darker than the 40-year-old original, but for all I know the original just faded a bit with time. It's super close, with a feel that would probably fool a lot of people. The hood is a little more open, although it might be mine wasn't sewn right. I can't quite tell from my one sample, but with a more open hood you can get a better look at the head. I like the cut more than the original ones I've had for decades. Maybe Hasbro will release a vinyl cape variant to sell the mold again - as long as they tweak the texture or cut of the cloak, I wouldn't mind. And I've got a legit original one I've had for decades.

As of my writing this you can get a complete original Kenner cloth cape Jawa figure - one that's over 40 years old - for $45. They tend to hold up very well with time. This new one is about $12, provided you want the whole boxed set. While I am all for getting the Real Deal and owning a piece of history, a lot of fans aren't going to be able to tell the difference and it might be hard to know how a cloth cape will smell until it is in your house. It's almost a shame it's part of a boxed set - I could see picking up a few more as "army builders." While some of the remade figures fall a little short of the original figure expectations, I'd say they nailed it with the Jawa. It's about as good as I expect Hasbro to be able to deliver, if not slightly better, when it comes to retro reproductions. The foot peg hole even fits on the PDT-8 on my desk without a fight. How awesome!

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Hasbro Pulse.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,042: June 29, 2023

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