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Constable Zuvio

SWVII: The Force Awakens
by yo go re

The man, the myth, the legend!

A vigilant law officer on a mostly lawless world, the tough and humorless Constable Zuvio keeps order in a frontier trading post.

Zuvio is perhaps one of the most infamous and recognizable Star Wars characters ever - not because of his huge fan base or the awesome storylines he had, but because he is, hands down, the biggest action figure pegwarmer the brand has ever had. Possibly the biggest any toyline had in the entire decade. While everyone else sold, scores and scores of Constable Zuvios lingered on the pegs for years, in both this fancy 6" scale and the stripped-down 4"; every time you went through the action figure aisles, you'd see a dozen unsold Zuvios, staring at you and keeping any new product from showing up. But after looking at him for three years, I finally made him the final thing I ever got at Toys "Я" Us.

Constable Zimzam is a Kyuzo. Remember Embo, the Clone Wars bounty hunter with the hat and the dog? Yeah, one of those. That's why he wears a similar broad-brimmed helmet. Instead of a breathing filter, Zuvio just wraps his face in cloth. Honestly, the movie makeup doesn't look much at all like the cartoon designs, so it really feels like "they've got similar hats" is the only reason he was identified as part of the species. Is it really so much to believe that two different cultures would come up with similar fashion choices? Like, jawas and ewoks both wear hoods, but no one thinks they're the same race.

Befitting someone who lives in a harsh desert, Constable Zimbabwe wears light, airy clothing. Well, at least he does in the movie. The toy's dress/robe thing is PVC plastic, because no one was spending softgoods money on this guy. He's got armor on his forearms and chest, and wears light-colored pants with tan canvas coverings keeping the sand out of his boots. The colors - red and green and tan - honestly make him feel a lot like Boba Fett; like, to the point where you have to wonder if that influenced Hasbro's decision to go in on the character (beyond just the expected "this design is finalized in time for us to start making toys" stuff).

The Black Series figures move well, and despite being a scant 5¼" tall, Constable Zumba Class is no different. He moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrist, elbows, shoulders, and head. The dress blocks the torso to an extent, but it does mean that Hasbro didn't have to sculpt an actual body under there, so... you lose some, you win some? He can wield his weapon well enough, though.

What weapon? A stick with a blade on the end of it. A "vibro-halberd." Sure, why not? Why would a halberd have (what looks like) a rifle stock on the end of it, when the entire point of a rifle's stock is to brace it against the body and make the weapon more stable, particularly over repeated uses? It's like putting a laser sight on a hatchet. He also has a fairly fancy silver backpack with a fat silver antenna, and straps that disappear into his robes. They did miss a wonderful opportunity, though:

Although Zuvio did appear in the movie (for like four frames), most of our familiarity with the character (outside of toy aisles) comes from that promotional shot featuring Constable Zamwesell and his two cousins, Drego and Streehn. Drego and Streehn who wear the same clothes as Zuvio, save for visors hanging from their hats. Imagine if Hasbro had included an alternate head featuring the extra little visor that was, again, worn by both other characters. Imagine if, instead of just getting Constable Zamboni Driver when you bought this figure, you also got the option to turn him into Draco or Streep. If nothing else, it would have moved a few more figures off the pegs, from people wanting to build a little scene with all of them. Who knows, swappable heads might have forstalled a pegwarmer of historic proportions!

Constable Zuvio isn't a great figure. Constable Zuvio isn't a great character. Constable Zuvio isn't anything, other than a guy with a hat. But for me, he symbolizes the end of the TЯU era, so pegwarmer or no, this toy will always matter just for that.

-- 04/19/20


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