JABBA the HUTT (2014) black series
I have a very large collection of Star Wars figures but you’d never know it since I review them so infrequently. The reason my toys from a galaxy far, far, away don’t make it onto this blog very often is not because I don’t enjoy them its just that they’re boxed up and packed away; out of sight, out of mind I suppose. My brother Doug and I had a good sized collection of the vintage SW figures when we were kids and we loved them. They battled all over our property from the snowy backyard which stood in for Hoth to the arid sandbox which made for an excellent Tatooine. Sadly, those vintage figures didn’t survive the toy purge of our adolescence. We only held onto a few of our favories. I kept Walrus Man, Ree Yees, and a Snowtrooper and I’m betting Doug probably kept Boba Fett, Greedo, and a Biker Scout.
Less than a decade passed between the time I sold off the majority of my vintage Star Wars collection and when I starting collecting Star Wars figures all over again. By the late 90s I was out of high school and was feeling nostalgic for action figures. The original SW trilogy was rereleased in theatres as special editions as a precursor to the upcoming prequels. Hype for the brand was on the rise and Hasbro began pumping out action figures to capitalize on it. I bought up their “Power of the Force” (POTF) figures like crazy. By today’s standards those 90s figures were pretty underwhelming but compared to the 80s figures they were great. Truth be told, I probably prefer the bright goofy 80s figure now but in ’97 I was stoked to be getting my first ever screen accurate versions of some of my favorite characters, like the aforementioned Walrus Man.
One of the figures I was most excited about reacquiring was Jabba the Hutt. I love Jabba. I adored my vintage Jabba figure when I was young and I don’t know why I ever got rid of it. I passed on the first POTF version of Jabba because it was based on his CG appearance from the new scenes added to “A New Hope” and I wasn’t a fan. I held out for a more vintage accurate version. I did pick up the 2nd POTF Jabba which was decent but it wasn’t great. You can read my brief review of that figure here.
A good 10+ years ago my pal Scott hooked me up with some of his childhood Star Wars toys so I did eventually re-acquire the vintage 80s Jabba. It’s a great figure with a ton of cool accessories. But if look at the figure objectively, and set nostalgia aside, it’s not the perfect Jabba either. Its color is flat (and kind of a gross shade of mucus) and the face sculpt doesn’t quite capture the look of the movie. You can read my review of that figure here.
After the prequels failed to dazzle me I got burnt out on Star Wars and thus boxed up my collection to make room for more G.I. Joes and Transformers. I was pretty sure my days of buying Star Wars figures were behind me. But then last year Hasbro launched a new super-detailed, super-articulated line of 6” Star Wars figures called Star Wars: The Black Series. The Black figures were great and a drastic departure from the 3 ¾” figures that have been clogging up the boy’s toy aisles relentlessly for the past 15 years. I found myself excited about Star Wars toys again.
As cool as the Black Series figures were I really didn’t want to start buying all the Star Wars characters for a third time so I resisted them at first. But then Doug bought me Darth Maul and Greedo for Christmas last year and got me hooked. Fortunately, Hasbro’s output of 6″ Black figures has been “sluggish” so it hasn’t become the burden on my wallet that I feared it might. Actually, the only other Black figure I’ve purchased since getting those initial 2 is Boba Fett about 6 months ago. That is until this figure arrived last week.
I was very surprised when I found out a Black Series version of Jabba was coming out. There have been so few standard-sized figures released to date that it seems a little early to be tackling deluxe sized figures like this. But I’m not complaining; I was excited. I admit the price had me questioning whether I really needed a third Jabba the Hutt figure for a moment but my buddy Guy who’s a huge Star Wars fan (and who collects figures vicariously through me) insisted I pre-order Jabba when he went up for sale on BigBadToyStore.
It was early-summer when I placed that pre-order for Jabba and he finally arrived in the mail the other day. I was immediately impressed with the size of this figure. The box he came in was huge compared to most of the other toys I buy. I just tore him open and threw away the packaging so it’s not a big deal, but I wish Hasbro had put some more effort into the box. It was a big black cube with a clear window in the front and that’s about it. There was a ton of blank space. Where the original Jabba figure came with a plastic platform and a bunch of accessories it would have been nice to see Hasbro replicate some of those add-ons, even if only in cardboard. Some background art featuring Bib Fortuna and the gang would’ve gone a long way to make the packaging more dynamic and appealing.
The figure itself is great. The sculpt is spot–on. I absolutely love the face on this figure and all of the other details throughout the body. He’s got loads of wrinkles and blemishes all over him, even on the bottom. The paint job doesn’t look 100% screen accurate but it’s the best Jabba paint job we’ve gotten yet. It’s a nice blend of tans and greens.
Articulation is limited on this figure but it about what you’d expect from a giant mollusk. I’m actually glad they didn’t fill him full of unnecessary joints. A multi-joint tail works on figures like Godzilla because the armor plates allow for natural breaks but on Jabba it would’ve just looked bad. This figure swivels at the waist and he’s got shoulder and elbow movement. The coolest thing about this figure is the mouth movement. His upper half is sculpted as a single piece in soft plastic over top of an inner skeleton. When you push down on his arm his mouth opens up and the surrounding skin moves very realistically. Once I pick him up I can’t stop making him lip synch all his movie dialogue in my mediocre Jabba voice. This toy is a lot of fun and it makes for a great display piece too. Love it. 10 out of 10.