#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.

#2237: Offworld Jawa



“Jawas that arrive on new planets continue their old habits in their new surroundings, but their obsessive need for technology still drives them.”

Introduced in the very first film, the Jawas have sort of hung around in the background of the Star Wars universe ever since.  Classically, they’ve been confined to Tatooine, at least for their appearances in the first two trilogies, but The Mandalorian is mixing things up, having them show up at least one other place that we know of.  The creatures’ notable appearance in the show has also been a good excuse to put out another release of them in the main Black Series line, and I’ll be taking a look at that release today.


The Offworld Jawa is figure 96 in the Black Series line-up, being the second Mandalorian-based figure in the eight figure Triple Force Friday product launch.  It’s our third Black Series release of a Jawa, following the 40th Anniversary and #61 releases.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  Those numbers should be somewhat familiar, since they are the same ones as the #61 Jawa.  That’s because this figure uses the same sculpt as that one, but loses the plastic skirt piece from that figure, and gains a cloth goods robe.  Though I am not always a fan of the cloth goods in Black Series, and I was okay with the plastic robe of the prior Jawa, I will admit that this robe ended up working far better than I’d expected.  It honestly ends up looking a little better than the plastic version, and has the added benefit of finally letting the figure take full advantage of all that leg articulation that the old figure had hidden beneath the plastic skirt.  The only slight downside is that they didn’t re-sculpt the arms to remove the sculpted robes, so the articulation there is still as restricted as the original release.  Though the head isn’t actually changed, the way the hood is connected is slightly different between my two Jawas, and I find that this one has a more natural look about it than the prior, which I’m totally okay with.  The Jawa’s paint is actually more involved than you might think.  There’s some nice weathering on the feet, and the bandolier now gets a wash to bring out more of its details, which definitely does it some favors.  This figure includes the same two ion blasters from the prior release, with one still being permanently attached to the harness.  Again, this feels a little light, but at this point, I think this just how the Jawas are gonna go in the Black Series.


I was expecting very little out of this figure.  I already had the prior release, and I’m generally not that big on cloth.  Mostly, I bought him because I was buying everything else.  In person, he certainly looked better, but it wasn’t until I opened him up that I realized how much I enjoyed him.  I liked the prior figure a lot when it was new, but this one is an improvement in pretty much every way.  I’m glad I picked up this figure, especially after watching Episode 2 of The Mandalorian.

I got the Jawa from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1703: Jawa



“Jawas comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacity droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.”

Though rather simple in execution (they’re literally just children in brown robes), the Jawas are a distinctive part of the the first Star Wars film.  They’re also pretty plot-relevant, moving R2 and 3PO to Owen Lars’ farm, and thereby getting Luke involved in the whole story.  And then they get barbecued.  What a day.


The Jawa is figure 61 from Star Wars: The Black Series.  He hit alongside the first assortment of Solo figures, and is a re-pack of the 40th Anniversary Jawa from last year.  That one saw a much more limited release, so seeing it again here is much appreciated.  Unlike most Jawa figures, which come paired with another Jawa or droid, this one returns to the release method of the original vintage figure, being sold all on his lonesome.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  I’m happy to report that, unlike the earlier Yoda figure, the Jawa was not short-changed on the leg articulation.  Of course, the plastic skirt piece kind of removes most of the mobility on those leg joints, but lets not go down that road.  The Jawa’s sculpt is unique, and definitely very strong.  The robes are all plastic, which I think was the appropriate call after the spotty cloth work on figures like Luke and Leia.  The detail work on said robe is exquisite, with tons of texturing all throughout, to really capture the heavy coarseness of the fabric. The head and hood are done as two separate pieces, which is a smart move.  It allows for the head to be fully detailed, or at least as fully detailed as the completely covered head can be.  The two straps running across the figure’s chest are a separate, but non-removable piece.  I was expecting there to be a buckle somewhere on there, because there usually is on pieces, but no luck.  So, if for whatever reason you were hoping to remove that, it’s going require a little finagling.  There’s an Ion Cannon attached to one of the straps via a somewhat lengthy cord.  It can’t be removed either, but it can be holstered on one of the belts.  The paintwork on the Jawa is decent.  Mostly it’s pretty basic, but I do appreciate the slight weathering on the bottom of the robes.  The Jawa includes a second Ion Cannon, this time not connected to the straps.  For versatility, I guess.  Given the smaller stature of the figure, I would have liked maybe a smaller droid or something to be included, or just more accessories in general, but I think this figure’s being slightly held back by the 40th Ann release having less space for such things in the blister, and Hasbro not wanting to add extras here and thus detract from that figure’s value.


When the 40th Anniversary figures were hitting last year, I wasn’t in the financial state to be going toy-hunting, so I never found this guy.  When the re-release was announced, I was definitely happy.  I didn’t have luck finding him initially, but ultimately found him on the same Target trip that got me Lando.  The Jawas have long been a favorite of mine, so I’m very pleased to have this figure.

#0925: Jawa




You guys know what day it is, right? It’s May 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars Day! Clearly, I have to review something Star Wars-related.

Star Wars is populated by a plethora of fascinating creatures; some are big, and some are quite small. Today’s focus is an example of the small: the Jawas. Yes, those tiny, little hooded guys, whose actual appearance will forever be shrouded in mystery. The Jawas have been with the franchise from the very beginning, even in action figure form, being one of three alien races to find their way into the original line-up of twelve figures. I’ll be looking at that very first Jawa figure today.


JawaVint2The Jawa was part of the first retail assortment of Star Wars figures from Kenner, released back in 1978. Unlike later Jawas, which were released in pairs or with smaller droids, this guy was released all by himself. The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. There were two distinct versions of the Jawa available: one with a cloth robe (the one seen here), and one with a plastic cape (similar to those seen on Princess Leia, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader). The end result is two very different looking figures that are fundamentally the same figure at the end of the day. The cloth robe is a bit thick and cumbersome, truth be told, and it really doesn’t fit the figure all that well. When placed on the figure, the actual figure might as well not be there, since you can’t see it at all for all the fabric. It’s a good idea in theory, but doesn’t work so well in practice. What’s under the robe is a whole different story; the underlying figure is fully sculpted, and actually does a pretty decent job of capturing the look of the Jawas seen in the movie. It even has the two bandoliers, which are unseen with the robe in place. Sure, the sculpt isn’t on par with the level of detail seen on more recent Jawas. It has a much more cartoony appearance, proportions that would be more appropriate on a figure twice the size, and those strange pantsuit legs that plagued all of the robed characters in the vintage line, but the general look is definitely there. There’s no denying that this is a Jawa. The Jawa’s paintwork is rather basic: he’s mostly just molded in the appropriate brown, with paint for his face and eyes, hands, and the bandoliers. What’s there is relatively clean, apart from the obvious wear that the figure has taken over time. The Jawa originally included a small blaster.


When I was a kid, my dad gave me his collection of Star Wars figures. It consisted of eleven of the original twelve figures. Care to guess which of the twelve he didn’t have? It was the Jawa (in recent years, I’ve asked him why he never got the Jawa, to which he had no real answer beyond a vague sort of a shrug). Over the holidays, I found this figure at an antique store, and Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on buying it for me. So, 37 years later, my dad’s first assortment of Star Wars figures is complete. That’s pretty nifty.

#0192: Jawas



Kenner’s Power of the Force II was a very important to my toy collection. The line first hit in 1995, when I was 3 and just beginning to get into action figures. Needless to say, I ended up with quite the selection of figures from the line. One of my favorite subsets of creatures from the original Star Wars was always the Jawas. For some reason, I just love those little guys! So, today’s review covers POTF II’s release of those.


The Jawas were released as part of the 1996 assortment of POFT II figures. They were released as a pair to make up for their smaller stature. The taller one stands about 3 ¼ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. The shorter one is about 2 ¾ inches, and has 4 points of articulation. In both cases, I’m counting the neck as a point of articulation, but there isn’t very much motion that can be gotten out of either. The sculpts are both pretty good for the time. The taller one is a little bit more detailed, but that’s not too surprising given the difference in size. However, the smaller one still has some very nice detail work. The paint on the pair is fairly basic, but everything is cleanly applied, with no noticeable slop on either figure. Both figures also have a light-piping feature, which allows their eyes to light up. It’s a bit obvious where the clear plastic is on the heads, so I could see some people being annoyed by this. I’m not really bugged by it, but I chalk that up to nostalgia.


I don’t remember exactly when or where I got this pair, but I know it wasn’t too long after I got Dagobah Luke. If I recall correctly, they were bought for me by my Mom, while we were out on an excursion together. I always really liked these figures, and I do seem to recall the taller one getting a spare lightsaber, and thereby being a Jedi-Jawa!


Incidentally, my brother Christian had a quick comment about these figures while I was reviewing them:

“This figure likes to go MARTINI too many damn times. I don’t see why they made this figure. It’s a piece of SHIET! Why do I need to feel bad about my life when I already have the war to care about?”

Yeah, he’s a bit on the strange side…