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Holiday Edition Wookiee

Star Wars
by yo go re

They took a year off, but the Star Wars Giftsmas repaints are back!

Celebrate the season with specially designed Star Wars figures from The Black Series.

Thanks, standard box text! You tell us nothing! There was (going to be) a Wookiee in the 2022 Halloween Edition lineup, but it still hasn't shipped yet - right now Walmart's site is saying December, so you'll have to wait until next October to read about that one. Or join our email list, because I'll probably still write it right away and we'll just not post it. A little secret, waiting in the wings! And when that review comes out, it'll point right back here and say "see? We told you so." Anyway, thanks to shipping delays and "pick up in store" options, I actually got this figure before the Halloween Clone Trooper (by about 30 minutes).

So yes, this is indeed a Wookiee, and since every Black Series Wookiee (other than the first one) uses the same body, you know what to expect: very tall, very skinny, very furry. The thing that sets this mold apart is that it's wearing suspenders. They're not molded on, they're a separate piece that was slipped on while the toy was being assembled. Those certainly aren't anything Chewbacca ever wore - they come right off the Knights of the Old Republic Zaalbar, a famous Manhattan deli a GameStop exclusive that is currently available at 50% Off clearance because nobody bought it. And why would they, it's Chewbacca with suspenders (though sales might pick up now that Hasbro has announced an upcoming Bastila Shan and Darth Malak, so it won't just be him and Revan anymore). But since this is a Holiday Edition figure, the colors are different from the normal release.

Part of the problem with Zaalbar was that he really did look just like Chewbacca, because that was the niche he filled in KOTOR: he was the same sort of tan shade, despite the fact that the game definitely had Wookiees of other colors; great shorthand for a game, not so great for selling a distinct toy. But this nameless Holiday Edition Wookiee looks far different! Instead of being solid red, his suspenders have white rectangles going up their straps, which does make them look a bit more festive (even if it's only on the front, not the back). His fur, meanwhile, is stark white, making him wildly distinct from Chewie. The figure's head is the Solo mold, which hasn't been seen since that old Target exclusive. His nose is grey, and his eyes and cheeks have some light gray shading to help it stand apart from the rest of the body.

One thing that might seem odd at first - if you're not in on the joke - is his skin. His feet, hands, and even his lips are a cornflower blue, which may seem unusual for a Wookiee, but this isn't "a" Wookie, it's a Holiday Edition Wookie, and the blue skin is the strongest "holiday" tie: they make this a clear and intentional reference to The Bumble! That's right, the abominable snowman from the Rankin/Bass Rudolph special, re-created here in Star Wars form! What a fun little homage. The suspenders don't add anything to it - Bumble didn't wear anything similar - but they do let Hasbro reuse an otherwise-monotask tooling and up the figure's "festive" quotient.

Unfortunately, we don't get Zaalbar's other accessory, a Wookiee-sized samurai sword. Imagine it painted in candy cane stripes! Rather, we get the same bowcaster as always, just done in grey and orange to match the Nerf gun. A clip on the back of the suspenders allows you to store the weapon back there when not in use. The figure's articulation is the same as on other uses of this mold: decent, but somewhat hampered by the long fur that hangs over most of the joints.

All the Black Series Holiday Edition figures come with a pack-in, just like the original series two years ago. There are six figures this year instead of five, but only two of them include porgs, instead of three. A superior ratio! Bumbalmoarruaw is one of those two, and he gets the "standing" porg mold.

Like 2020's use of this mold, the Snow Porg is wearing a little scarf, a piece of clothing that's created solely though paint, not any new sculpting. It's a red scarf with green ends, and rather than attempting to pint it going up over his wings this time, it goes straight through them. Unusual. The porg body is fully white, and its feet are the same blue as its big buddy. The only facial features are two solid black eyes; are we to assume this is a snowman and those are coal? If that's the case, why the blue feet? They couldn't use the sitting mold for this design, because it would have been too close to 2020's Amazon exclusive.

Even if you're not directly interested in a Black Series Holiday Edition collection, there aren't many yeti toys out there; or maybe just having a white Wookie on your Star Wars shelf would be appealing. There are plenty of reasons to get into the wintery spirit with this one!

-- 11/19/22

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