Chewbacca – Retro Collection Review
Retro Collection, 2019
Appears In: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi
Card Back: The Star Wars Retro Collection is inspired by 1970s Star Wars figures and features original figure design and detailing! Continue your collection from the galaxy far, far away!
Another vintage stalwart, 1978’s Chewbacca action figure was re-released for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the 1985 Power of the Force lines. In fact, there wasn’t an updated version of Wookiee until 1995’s Power of the Force 2. This meant that Chewbacca was easy to come by even for a Johnny-come-lately like myself, and the Wookiee was a favourite throughout my childhood.
Emphasis on “childhood”. It’s been so long since I last saw the vintage Chewbacca action figure that I had all but forgotten the experience.
Good thing that Hasbro’s Retro Collection exists then, huh?
Even by the time I was playing with Chewie in the late ‘80s, the toy was already dated. A skinny, lanky and basic looking figure with the happy features of a Playskool doll, the vintage Chewbacca figure was a total product of its time.
That’s something that the Retro Collection version replicates beautifully.
Unlike Han Solo, Chewbacca’s proportions are more or less on point. His head does look a little too big, but that’s a consequence of the character design; as is the fact that he has no neck articulation.
As a 4POA figure, Chewie can stand, sit, march and swing his arms about. Yet the sculpt still has energy. It’s odd to say, but in hand, he feels like a coiled spring. You get the impression that if this Chewbacca figure was even a little bit articulated he’d be making full use of it, and then some.
The sculpted details of his coat are great; flowing lines that suggest his hair. Even though Chewie is only one shade of brown, the way the light hits the contours of the sculpt provides depth and variety to the colour.
Which brings us nicely on to the paint. As you would expect, the Retro Collection Chewbacca is moulded in brown plastic. He’s got white paint apps on his eyes, teeth and bandolier straps, blue dots for his pupils, a black splodge for his nose and a darker shade of brown for his satchel. The paint apps are decent, even if my sample is a little wonky-eyed.
Overall it’s simple, straightforward and effective – at least, for its time.
For accessories, Chewbacca comes with his bowcaster. While Kenner produced a decent iteration of the main body of the gun, they completely forgot the bow that gives the weapon its name.
C’est la vie. At least it was the right colour, which is more than Luke Skywalker could say about his lightsaber…
What I do like about the bowcaster is the hook that allows it to hang over Chewie’s arm. It’s the type of solution that wouldn’t sit well with fans and collectors today but means that Chewie’s right hand has a more natural open pose.
As I’ve mentioned since the very first announcement of the Retro Collection, Chewbacca was always a figure that I wanted to get, and as much to pair him with my vintage Millennium Falcon as anything else.
That said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having this version of the Wookiee back in-hand once more. Yes, it’s a basic 1970’s vintage toy. But in an age where we focus on toys as hyper-detailed, screen accurate miniatures (something I’m not complaining about, in case you wondered), it’s a refreshing blast to putz around with something that is so clearly just a toy.
Whether on display on your shelf or co-piloting the Millennium Falcon, the Retro Collection Chewbacca is a lot of fun.