I’ve been waiting for it ever since the beginning of the Black Series, and now I’m almost there! Hasbro has finally delivered on a complete run of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back in the 6-inch scale. And while Admiral Piett may not need their scum, I absolutely do! I’m still hunting down Dengar, so in the meantime I might as well open up the penultimate bounty hunter release and Disney Store exclusive, Zuckuss. This guy arrived a bit before Christmas and got lost in the insipid miasma of the Holiday Season, and I’m more than ready to check him out!
I was pretty vocal in my anger when I saw that Hasbro agreed to license out Zuckuss as a retailer exclusive release. Making it tougher to get a complete set of these guys is just bad business. But as it turns out, Disney Store exclusives are pretty easy to get, and I don’t mean because I live just a few hours away from Disney World. Nope, I just hopped on the store website and had no problem getting him sent. They were even running a free shipping special for the holidays! If only Hasbro’s own site would make it this easy to buy their regular releases!
And damn, don’t he look cool! Zuckuss has been the subject of some truly memorable figures over the years. Even going back to his Kenner mail-away when he was called 4-LOM. I had no idea who he was when I first saw that commercial, but once he showed up, I knew it was five proofs-of-purchase well spent. His 4-inch outing in the Legacy Collection was pretty damn rad too, so I had high hopes for the 6-inch Black Series version, and I am not disappointed! Interestingly, there are a number of key design differences between the two figures, and from some cursory glances at pictures of the original costume, I think this is probably the more screen accurate, but I’m not about to jump down that rabbit hole of nitpickery. I will say that this figure looks great and features some nice improvements over his most recent 4-inch predecessor.
First off, the cloak goes back to full soft-goods like on the original Kenner figure. The Legacy figure had only a partial cloth cloak and sculpted sleeves. I also really like the material they used. It feels soft, but it looks like whatever that heavier and grimy material was that they used for the costume. The coloring makes it look appropriately greasy and the speckling looks pretty damn good too. The fit isn’t perfect. It does look a puffy around the arms, but I can’t say that’s not entirely inaccurate. His harness features sculpted pouches on the front and back as well as some light wash to give it a little wear and tear and make it look like leather. The biggest difference in design between him and the Legacy figure is the backpack. That one was silver and more rounded, this one is a dark metallic color and more squared off. It also has a little black hose running from it into the harness that looks like it could serve no possible purpose.
The head sculpt is right on the money. The wrinkled segments in his head look fantastic and contrast beautifully with the large silver compound eyes and the the breather piece covering his lower face. Indeed the silver paint they used is quite striking. The tubes coming off his head look like umbilical cords and I love the way the same lumpy organic stuff partially covers his breathing canister. I honestly have no idea what’s going on with Gand anatomy here, but it looks gross as hell, and I mean that in every good possible way.
As for articulation, it’s impossible to see what’s going on under that robe, as I’m not prepared to take it off, but what’s here feels pretty similar to what we usually see on the 6-inch Black Series figures. There are cuts in the lower cloak, so he can still get some pretty good range of leg movement too. I will note, however, that the left elbow on my figure is rather loose.
Zuckuss comes with one accessory, and that’s his very distinctive blaster carbine. I swear this was one of my favorite guns from the old Kenner line and even after all these years, I could still spot it out of a lineup. OK, maybe that’s not so impressive since I still have the Kenner figure on my shelf, but I do love the design so much and it’s cool to see it blown up to the 6-inch scale and even featuring some additional paint apps for the stock. They also sculpted his left hand as the gun holding hand, which lines up better with his iconic pose from the film. And despite him just having three big fingers, he can hold it surprisingly well.
For a guy who had a few seconds of screen time, it’s stupid how happy I am to have this figure. He’s always been among my favorite Star Wars alien designs and I’m doubly happy that my 4-LOM doesn’t have to be alone any longer. And speaking of which, after the wonderful job that Hasbro did with 4-LOM, it’s nice to see Zuckuss arrive with an equal attention to detail and execution. I think this is one of the rare exceptions where Hasbro made good use of the larger scale to deliver a truly better figure. Everything just came together beautifully. And as I put these figures together I realize more and more how badly IG-88 needs a re-do for this series, because he’s the only one in the bunch that falls shy of excellence.