Star Wars Chubbies


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jeff Parker steps in with a review of what might be the worst named product of the decade - but they're still cute!  Take it away, Jeff...

Well, I’ve just got my first chubby…Not bad for a married father of two (this ‘joke’ can be taken one of two ways, dependant on your particular sexual preference and the colloquial usage of the word ‘chubby’ in your area), and I like it!

The latest in a long line of “What product can we brand with Star Wars next” items comes to you courtesy of our friends at Hot Toys. It’s a long list that uncle George never seems to tire of (though Revenge of the Sith, pile ointment was pushing it).

When I first saw these I wasn’t convinced, but they were a good price and I thought I’d check at least one out, so I went for Vader, and I’m very pleasantly surprised.

Packaging - ***
This is an unusually shaped box, and all the more visually interesting for it. We have a basic rectangular box with the top left and bottom right corners sliced off, it’ll look great stacked in store, unless you want the one at the bottom. 
The graphics let us know that this is part of the 30th anniversary collection and the back shows the other ‘Chubbies’ available, those being-

Obi-Wan Kenobi
General Grievous
Sith (Darths-Sidious, Tyranus & Maul)

Why we didn’t get a Clone/Stormtrooper in this first series is a mystery to me, hopefully next time.
Any way, you open the side of the box and slide out the formed plastic tray, here lie your three ‘figures’ and in the case of Vader/Anakin his one accessory. The whole package is collector friendly and all the bits can be put back good as new.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is the area I am most impressed, The sculpting on the helmet is great, and it even stands up well against Medicoms 12” Vader helmet, this could be of great use to some 1/6 kit bashers, as the scale is pretty much dead on 1/6, and the fact it comes in a two stage removal means there’s tons of detail I wasn’t expecting, he also has a cape and a dinky lightsabre but that is pretty much where the sculpting finishes apart from the fact that all three come with separate feet to display them on. This is one of the areas of slight annoyance, as once the smaller figure is ‘nested’ inside the other, there is no where to put the feet. There’s no denying the sculpted separate feet look nice, but as I own a few ‘real’ Russian ‘nesting’ dolls or Babooshka’s as they are sometimes affectionately known, but if we’re getting technical should in fact be called Matryoshka’s. They never have separate feet but instead have a flat base meaning you’re not left with little pieces you have to store somewhere else. This isn’t really a fault in the sculpting, just an irritant in the over all concept.

Paint - ***3/4
These are all painted well, in a very graphic, simplified style that will be familiar to collectors of ‘designer’ vinyl figures. All the base figures have been simplified to a basic ‘weeble’ shape, and then painted to resemble the given character. All are good representations and are easily recognizable. The only real fault/problem with mine was that upon removing stage 2 of the helmet the vinyl had stuck slightly to the painted head (even though it had been packed with a small sheet of polythene to try and separate them) meaning a small area of the paint, and I do mean very small, had lifted away. This is my only reason for the ***1/2 score, if yours makes it to you unblemished I’d give it ****.

Articulation - N/A
Well…erm, they, like come in half, and you can, like put one inside the other, erm…erm…that’s like it!

Accessories - ****
You only really get the lightsaber and nicely detailed it is too, but when I ordered it I didn’t know the helmet came off, let alone in two stages, so that was a bonus, and what else does Vader need? 

Fun Factor - ***
I can see these catching on, obviously us geeks will want at least our favourite character on our shelves, but I can even see many non geeks finding them cute and having rows of them on top oft their monitors and work stations.

It’ll be interesting to see if HT takes the concept over to any of their other licences, Robo-cop, Predator and Aliens (which is just crying out for the treatment, egg/facehugger, chestburster and adult warrior). 

I’m also interested to know if HT will carry their ‘Cosbaby’ line, started with the new POTC figures, over to Star Wars or other licences. They’re like a 3” tall cuter version of Kubricks, and a Star Wars line could be fantastic. But this is just speculation, back to my ‘Chubby’.

Value - ***1/2
I got mine from for £7.99, which I think is pretty good by UK standards for a new licensed Star Wars product. A larger scale (8.5”) is also available, seen here for a far heftier £39.99

Things to Watch Out For -
Mine had that problem with the paint coming off the head when I removed stage 2 of the helmet. But if done with care you may have no such problem.

Overall - ***
I don’t see these setting the world on fire, but they deserve to get a foothold and I’m sure some fan-boys will be buying up anything with a ‘30th anniversary’ logo on it. 

I shall watch future releases, and if we get an R2 then I’ll go back and get 3P0 and I’ll definitely get any future imperial troops. So for me at least it’s one to dip in and out of. But it’s a cute gimmicky collectable that’s well designed (apart from the foot storage problem).

Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***3/4
Articulation - N/A
Accessories - ****
Fun factor - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I got mine from for the price sited above, Forbidden Planet also have them for £7.99 and are doing the big version £10 cheaper at £29.99. I’m sure they should be pretty easy to get hold of in the US, try your favourite bricks and mortar specialty/comic store.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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