Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently made a commitment to collectors that they will be “focusing” on characters in The Vintage Collection that fall under “The Ninety Six” banner. If you’re new to this, it means that for every classic Kenner figure, there needs a modern counterpart. Between 2020 and 2021, Hasbro’s made an admirable effort by focusing on these characters. But there is more work to be done and we’ll figure out where we are step by step.
We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database. There are 21 figures under the STAR WARS banner, 29 figures under THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK banner, 31 figures under the RETURN OF THE JEDI banner, and 15 figures under THE POWER OF THE FORCE banner. (Sy Snootles, Max Rebo, Droopy McCool, and Blue Snaggletooth brings the number to an even 100 figures.)
Read our assessment, and then be sure to add your thoughts into the comments. Let us know if you agree or disagree. If you’re a customizer, show us your custom definitive figure in the comments as well! Who knows? It might give Hasbro some ideas.
Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1978’s SW Chewbacca figure?
2019’s THE VINTAGE COLLECTION Chewbacca (VC141) figure.
Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION?
Yes. Hasbro made Chewbacca official in THE VINTAGE COLLECTION with 2019’s TVC Chewbacca (VC141) figure. Both the card art and the figure meet the conditions of what a modern counterpart is. However, both are imperfect and leave a lot to be desired.
Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1978’s SW Chewbacca figure?
By definition, yes, but by execution, both sadly fail. Hasbro has lazily used the 2004 VOTC Chewbacca sculpt ad nauseum to the point that it seems no longer works for a definitive interpretation of Chewbacca. It was excellent for the first decade and a half, but we need an updated Chewbacca figure with ball-jointed hips at this point. The current tooling is tired, and it’s time for an update. Also, the paint operations are dreadful on this figure (from head to toe). Hasbro should be ashamed of the final result. The card art also has issues. The nameplate is completely wrong in shape and in font style. What was Hasbro’s art department thinking?
If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive to definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION with little updating?
A simple retool of the lower body would help this figure out tremendously, but perhaps a “from the ground up” version might be a better option at this point.
What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “Chewbacca” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?
There is a variety of ways of looking at this. Some may find this release acceptable for the checklist. Others find it disturbing and unacceptable. And then it’s likely that most collectors are content with this release as is. It’s unlikely Hasbro will ever revisit this figure, unless they do a multipack set in the future, so we may be stuck with this version.
The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner packaging?
2019’s TVC Chewbacca (VC141). 2 years ago.
2004’s VOTC Chewbacca. (Return Of The Jedi variant). 17 years ago.
1978’s SW Chewbacca. 43 years ago.
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