#2806: Jawa & “GONK” Droid



NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Jawas are small, foul smelling machine-scavengers of Tatooine’s deserts. Crafty traders and talented mechanics, they often use power ‘Gonk’ droids to provide energy for their scavenged goods.”

Though they only got one single release in the vintage line, and they’re only in one film of the original trilogy, when it came to Power of the Force II, Kenner was determined to give the Jawas some more proper coverage.  They got in early, with a pair of them joining the line’s second year.  There was also a follow-up in 1997 with one of the creatures.  Finally, we got one last one just as the line was on its way out, this time alongside possibly the best droid in the whole franchise, the “GONK” Droid!


The Jawa and “GONK” Droid were added to Power of the Force in 1999, officially falling into Hasbro’s tenure in the last two years.  They were part of the second round of figures for the year, running concurrently with the Episode I figures.  The Jawa stands about 3 inches tall (placing him between the two from the two-pack in sizing) and has 6 points of articulation.  Hasbro was getting a little more experienced with robe construction, so this one’s actually got a separate robe piece for the bottom half, with actual legs sculpted beneath it.  It means more articulation, but also means less motion, since the robe only allows so much movement.  In terms of pure functionality, the prior design honestly worked a bit better, but I suppose the appearance is a little better on this one.  The depth of detail on this new figure was more involved, so he’s a bit more technically impressive, although the overall appearance is really the same as the larger Jawa from the two-pack.  The paint work on the Jawa is virtually identical to the prior releases, right down to the light-piping square on the top of his head.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.  The GONK winds up as a bit more of an accessory.  He’s about 2 3/4 inches tall and he has moving legs, but not in a way that really counts as articulation.  There’s a button on the left side, which moves right leg backward, and the left leg forward.  Unfortunately, to facilitate this feature, that means the default set-up has the right leg forward and the left leg backward, with no way to lock them into place in a regular standing position.  And he’s not really stable in the default pose.  You have to rely on rubber bands or twisty ties if you want to keep his legs in a regular pose.  That’s not ideal.  On the plus side, it’s at least a fairly nice sculpt, far removed from the vintage design, and transitioning into something far more screen accurate.  These two are packed with two accessories: a blaster for the Jawa and a CommTech chip, which actually does play sounds for both figures.  That’s pretty cool.


I’ve always liked the Jawas, and, of course, I have a fondness for the GONK due to my brother Christian’s attachment to the LEGO version, so this was a set that it’s kind of surprising how long it took me to acquire.  I actually had it for a while before reviewing, as I’d picked it up during one of my big splurges of Power of the Force buying from All Time.  But, it remained sealed hanging on my wall for a bit, until one in a ratty package came through, and I decided it was easier to swap them, since I was going to open mine eventually anyway.  Hey, at least it pushed me to finally open them.  These figures are overall pretty good, but they both suffer a little bit from some over-engineering.  Fortunately, it’s easy enough to work around, and, especially in the case of the GONK, it’s worth working around, because it’s a very nice looking figure.

#1881: GNK Power Droid



“GNK power droids understand commands and generate power for mobile operations,  They are often called “Gonk” droids in imitation of their simple vocalizations.”

While the premiere Star Wars line these days is undoubtedly Hasbro’s The Black Series, my nomination for the line that is consistently the most unexpected and surprising line is Disney’s in-house Elite Series, a line of 7-inch die cast metal figures.  For the most part, the line’s scale makes it incompatible with The Black Series, but every so often, you get those designs where scale’s less of an issue.  Such is the case with today’s focus, the GNK Power Droid, better known as the “Gonk.”


The Gonk is part of the newest assortment of Elite Series figures, which started hitting right around the same time as the three Disney Store-exclusive Black Series figures.  This assortment is all about the droids, featuring a number of the lesser droids from throughout the franchise (and an R2 variant for good measure).  The Gonk is based on his appearance in A New Hope, which is really the go-to, so it works.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 2…ish points of articulation.  There are technically joints at the top of each leg but, admittedly, there’s not much mobility to be had there.  The Gonk is primarily constructed from die cat metal, which makes up the main body and the feet.  This makes the Gonk one of the densest figures in the line, and certainly the densest figure I own.  It’s really just a brick of metal when you get right down to it.  Disney has once again stepped up their game on the sculpt front, with the Gonk being one of the most detailed sculpts to date in the line.  It’s a very good match for the Gonk’s design from the movie, and areas like the leg covers in particular are really sharply defined.  Even the paint work is more defined than what we’ve seen before.  Prior Elite Series figures have been more on the clean side, but the Gonk actually gets some sizable wear and tear detailing, helping him achieve that proper worn-in appearance that the Gonk just wouldn’t look right without.  The Gonk is packed with one accessory: a display stand.  It’s the same stand that’s been packed with all of the prior figures, and he doesn’t really need it to keep standing, but it’s always nice to have it, I guess.


The Gonk is rather a sentimental character to me, due largely to its presence as a playable character in Lego Star Wars, where it was my brother’s favorite character.  When we unlocked the “Super Gonk” feature, he would run all around the levels shouting “Super Gonk!” Ever since then, whenever either of us sees the Gonk anywhere, we always shout “Super Gonk!” to the other.  So, when I spotted this guy at the Disney Store while grabbing the Black Series Zuckuss, there was no way I was turning him down.  As of right now, the odds of a Black Series Gonk are somewhat slim, and this one definitely makes for a good stand-in.