My Star Wars bucket is filled with pilots and senators that need to be reviewed but whenever I glance in there to find a toy that I want to write about I usually can’t help but go for an alien. Star Wars has so many cool and diverse aliens to write about. Unfortunately for every Greedo there’s an Aunt Beru. I’ll get to those boring civilian figures eventually but for today I’ve chosen to review Momaw Nadon, or as some of you may know him, Hammerhead.
Momaw was one of the many original trilogy aliens that appeared in the films but never had his name uttered on screen. When it came time to make action figures of those aliens I don’t know who was tasked with naming them but they weren’t overly creative. The guy with tusks, Walrus Man, the guy with tentacles, Squid Head, the guy with a snaggle tooth, Snaggle Tooth. Mowmaw had a head that was shaped similarly to a hammer so he was dubbed Hammerhead. As basic and obvious as these names may have been they were effective and simple enough for a 5 year old kid like I was to latch onto. Some of the simple named aliens were my favorite figures back in the day.
It was a little jarring when the “Power of the Force” figures began to roll out in the late 90s and many of my favorite characters had new names. My favorite Star Wars character of all time, Walrus Man was now Ponda Baba. Granted, Walrus Man was a silly name and it is highly unlikely that his parents would have named him that considering he probably grew up on a planet full of tusked people, but Ponda Baba didn’t seem like much of an improvement. Hammerhead was in the same boat. He went from having a cool sounding, shark associated, manly tool kinda name to being named Momaw Nadon. Again this is a more realistic name as I don’t see his parents choosing to name him Hammerhead on a planet full of people with hammer shaped heads. That would be like my parents naming me person face. But “Momaw Nadon” is probably far less appealing to a 5 year old shopping for an action figure.
Doug had the original Hammerhead when we were kids and he was pretty silly looking. The signature head was there and even the feet were right but everything in the middle, not so much. The toy designers seemed to think that any alien whose full body wasn’t seen on screen must have been wearing a bathing suit of some kind. Walrus Man’s orange and blue onesie with webbed feet was charming but far from film accurate. Hammerhead was stuck with an even worse outfit in my opinion, a teal blue one piece women’s bathing suit. Outfit aside, Doug’s 80s Hammerhead was a mess. One of his arms was broken off above the elbow and he had two left (maybe right, I don’t remember) legs so that the toes on one of his feet were pointing in the wrong direction. It was the perfect storm of poor design, factory error and rough playtime that created a real clunker of an action figure.
This late 90s version is a vast improvement over the original. His outfit is still something I wouldn’t wear but it’s far better than the teal bathing suit. The brown tunic looks like appropriate attire for grabbing a beer at the cantina on a hot Tattooine afternoon. Maybe if the Earth had two frig’n suns I would wear something like this. The sculpting is great on this guy (just look at the detail in his hands) and the colors are much better. I love his big 3 toed feet and the fact that they’re both facing in the right direction is a nice bonus. The Tunic is sculpted separately so it can be removed which allows for some extra movement. The articulation is hella weak on this guy but it was for all Star Wars figures of the time. I’m sure newer versions have since been released with articulated knees and elbows but this guy only has the most basic 5 point articulation, head, arms, and legs. He came with a super cool double barrelled space gun but I couldn’t be bothered to dig it out of the bucket for these photos. 7 out of 10.