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The Black Series

Merumeru - TBS [P1] - Basic (#15)

Name: Merumeru
Collection: The Black Series
Number: #15
Scale: 3¾"
Source: Revenge Of The Sith
Availability: December 2013
License: Hasbro

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This Wookiee captain leads the Wookiee defense forces against the invading Separatist army during the Battle of Kashyyyk.

There are many facts when it comes to Hasbro and Star Wars collectors. One of these facts is that collectors love Wookiees and Hasbro doesn’t like releasing them consistently. Would you believe that almost a year short of a decade has passed since Hasbro released a Wookiee action figure in the basic figure line? That feels egregious at best, doesn’t it? Thank goodness Merumeru, a longtime rumor list monger, has finally been released. As Wookiee Chieftain of the Kachirho clan, he is a main leader during the Battle of Kashyyyk. And now he's part of The Black Series line, a line that is needing to bake for much too long for collectors to warm up to it. But that’s another story. Anyway, Merumeru is a very exciting release because it’s the first time we’re receiving a nearly super-articulated Wookiee in the basic figure line that isn’t Chewbacca. And it’s the first Wookiee from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith that we have received in the basic figure line since 2005. It appears that Hasbro took cues from the highly popular 2004 VOTC Chewbacca figure, but they also took a new approach with a key articulation point that might make hardcore collectors wary or anxious. But even from a cursory review of Merumeru in the packaging, you should be able to see that this is a very nicely done action figure. The long wait for his release has made us hanker for other actions figures to the point of almost forgetting about him, but please know that this Merumeru action figure should be a focus for you. It’s a lot if plastic when compared to the other figures in the line and it’s be produced excellently.

To our shock and surprise, Merumeru only comes with 13 points of articulation, making it two less points when compared to 2004’s VOTC Chewbacca sculpt, the figure by which most will base all future Wookiees. Just like wave mater Darth Plagueis (#18), Hasbro has forsook the waist joint. This is something we just don’t understand. It’s such a key articulation point and it makes posing “super-articulated” action figures very difficult to manipulate without it. We do have to comment however that aesthetically the removal of this articulation point looks gorgeous. Not having that sharp cut in the plastic leaves a smooth and realistic appearance and for all intents and purposes it looks better. That doesn’t mean that as an action figure it’s not a bad move, because it is. Merumeru is very difficult to pose because of the lack of this much needed joint. Thankfully he is well articulated everywhere else and it takes the burden of this “lost” joint away in many ways. Merumeru comes with ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. Aside from a ball-socket head, the rest of his points are swivel articulation. You get a good range of movement from all points and despite not getting middle body movement, you can achieve a varying array of poses from him, even if they’re not all ideal. Merumeru’s sculpt is simply gorgeous. He has a simple expression on his face and it will fit in whether you’re displaying him in a battle scene as well as a simple interactive diorama where a war isn’t occuring.

Perhaps Merumeru’s greatest strengths lie in his accessories. He has a removable harness, very similar to the 2005 Revenge Of The Sith Wookiee action figures, a properly scaled Wookiee side-arm, a removable helmet that fits firmly on his head but sits ever so slightly too high on his head, and a battle staff that breaks down in to pieces: the staff and the staff headpiece (which looks uncomfortably awkward to us and we’ll leave it at that). All of the accessories interact with the the Merumeru action figure flawlessly. Hasbro sculpted his hands to accept the weapons and the harness fits like a glove against his body (and stays firmly closed thanks to the way the fastener was designed. When completely assembled, Merumeru looks fantastic. His staff is as tall as he is and it helps to accentuate just how large the Wookiee species is. He looks ready, willing and able to lead a Wookiee army into war, just like he did in Episode III, and it makes us want to see Hasbro update both 2005’s ROTS Chewbacca (III 5) and 2005’s ROTS Tarfful (III 25) into more modern looking sculpts. A comparison shot of all three figures is in our photo gallery and if you look you’ll see just how updated the 2005 figures are. Merumeru is certainly a breath of fresh air in The Black Series line, but it’s really a much bigger breath of fresh air as far as the history of the basic figure line is concerned. We waited much too long for a Wookiee action figure based on Episode III with super-articulation. Merumeru is close, but even though he is one articulation point shy of this status, the rest of what he brings pushes him far over the edge.

Collector Notes

Merumeru

Status: Merumeru is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 13 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 5

Accessory Details: removable helmet, removable harness, Wookiee side-arm, battle staff, ornate battle staff topper

Date Stamp: 2013

Assortment Number: A5163/A5077

UPC: 653569884125

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.



 

The Black Series (3¾") Wave 3
Merumeru (#15)
Clone Commander Neyo (#16)
Vizam (#17)
Darth Plagueis (#18)
Mace Windu (#19)

 
Added: November 13, 2013
Category: Black Series [Phase I], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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