Chewbacca

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DON’T RELY ON JUST THE COO TO IDENTIFY A FIGURE. Sculpt, assembly traits, paint and plastic colour are also needed to confirm your figure’s origins.

Foreword & Credits

FOREWORD: We’ve been as thorough as possible to include every variation accounted for in a combined figure collection of hundreds. There’s bound to be missing entries and I’ll endeavour to update the guide when I find them and can photograph.
SPECIAL THANKS: I would like to thank these excellent people for sharing their knowledge, time, research imagery and figure contributions to assist in the publication of this guide: Jonathan Freeman, Jon Meade, Tim Emmerson, Stefan Callear, Wolff Lipinski, James Gurney, Javier Ruilópez, Ahmed Boukarrouh, Thomas John, Kenneth Bækmark and Daniel Bütow.
 
Without each of whom this guide would not have been possible 🤗

COO Family I

Unitoy (MIHK COO)

UNITOY 1977 MADE IN HONG KONG

Above you can see following variations (left to right):
  • Light yellow-brown, hard pouch paint
  • Mid yellow-brown, hard pouch paint
  • Mid brown, soft pouch paint. Dark blue pupils
  • Mid red-brown, soft pouch paint
  • Dark brown, soft pouch paint
  • Dark green-brown, hard pouch paint
  • Matt black, hard pouch paint
  • Black, hard pouch paint, with dot (missing)
The first Unitoy Chewbacca was issued with the early bird set. Unitoy carried on from the 12bk intermittently through the Star Wars era, and ceased production by the 41bk period.
 
Unitoy Chewbacca is notable for a wide variety of pouch colours. The early figures have a pouch which were sprayed from a single direction leaving the side pouch folds unpainted. In the ESB era there was an effort to cover the pouch more completely leaving hard edges indicating they were brushed. The variety of colours used was inconsistent as you can see in the photo above, this ranges from light brown right through to black. For a very short spell, the spray booth operator additionally painted over the sculpted “dot” at the top of the pouch.
 
The left leg suffered a chronic defect during production which resulted in a swollen large toe. This is thought to be a result of higher temperature causing a deformity in the plastic during cavity ejection.
 
Key details for the Unitoy Hong Kong Chewbacca:
  • Yellow-brown body plastic
  • Light blue or dark blue small pupils
  • Two paint application types for the pouch – sprayed with soft edges in the SW era, and with hard brushed edges mid to late ESB era.
  • Most commonly has a mid brown pouch, but the late ESB era has a variety of shades.
Unitoy Chewbacca was paired with M2 Unitoy blue-black Bowcaster through the SW and early ESB eras, or M2 Unitoy blue Bowcaster in the mid ESB era (32-41bk).

F1 Poch (MIHK COO)

POCH 1977 MADE IN HONG KONG

Above you can see following variants (left to right):
  • Poch light brown, soft pouch paint
  • Poch mid brown, soft pouch paint
  • Poch dark brown, hard pouch paint
  • Poch very dark brown, hard pouch paint
  • Poch matt black, hard pouch paint, with dot
  • Poch satin black, hard pouch paint, with dot
The Poch figure assembled from the “Made in Hong Kong” (MIHK) Unitoy parts has some of the most sought after variants in the whole Poch line. Due to commonalities with the Kenner Unitoy figure, I believe many of the Unitoy/Poch pouches were painted at Unitoy, Hong Kong prior to export. Specific variations of these Poch Chewbacca figures have been found in sufficient numbers outside of Spain for me to believe they were also produced for export.
 
Above examples are assembled purely from Unitoy parts, but of course legit mixed part Kader & Unitoy figures also exist.
 
The figure at a glance is similar to it’s Kenner counterpart, however the tells below are a good start to differentiate the Kenner and Poch cousins from one another. Key details for the Poch MIHK Chewbacca:
  • Light yellow-brown plastic
  • Large turquoise eyes (some were overpainted in Spain)
  • Commonly has melt marks on the front of the arm/shoulder area
  • Plastic burr from torso parts being twisted from the sprue tree
  • Sonic weld holding the figure together is often weak and torso halves can partially or completely separate

Poch MIHK Chewbacca would likely be paired with the M2 Unitoy blue Bowcaster. This was the Bowcaster colour in production at the time just prior to Unitoy exporting their excess stock to Spain. It’s also possible to have an M2 Unitoy blue-black Bowcaster or M1 Kader blue-black Bowcaster given the propensity for Poch to mix stock up during assembly.

F1 PBP (No COO)

PBP 1977 No COO

Above you can see following variants (left to right):

  • PBP Mid grey-brown pouch. Light blue pupils
  • PBP Mid red-brown pouch. Mid blue pupils
  • PBP Dark brown pouch. Mid blue pupils
  • PBP Very dark brown pouch. Mid blue pupils (missing)
PBP Chewbacca figures have been found in large numbers outside of Spain and were exported across Europe via Palitoy in the UK. PBP Chewbacca’s can often be found with no date or COO markings whatsoever due to poor plastic injection. The left leg suffered a chronic defect during production which resulted in a swollen large toe. This is thought to be a result of higher temperature causing a deformity in the plastic during cavity ejection.
 
The PBP Chewie 1-2b COO cavity has a large circle on the underside of his foot. This circle didn’t feature on the same mould from the Unitoy MIHK predecessor and begs the question, why? It been long thought this was an EPM, but the surface is rough as if the tooling manager plugged in an alteration. It’s also not the angle you’d be looking to push the shot plastic from the cavity in any case. This question will remain a mystery for the meantime.
 
Key details for the PBP No COO Chewbacca:
  • Reddish-brown plastic
  • Large eyes and small pupils, coloured either in light/turquoise or mid blue
  • Commonly has melt marks on the front of the arm/shoulder area
  • Wide colour variations in the glossy paint used for the pouch
  • A large circle on the underside of the left foot on the F1-2b cavity
PBP Chewbacca’s were paired with an imported Kenner Bowcaster. Both the Smile M3 black-blue or Kader M1 black-blue Bowcaster have been confirmed.

COO Family II

Kader (HK COO)

KADER 1977 HONG KONG

Above you can see following variants (left to right):
  • Light yellow-brown pouch. Red-brown torso
  • Mid brown pouch. Yellow-brown torso
  • Mid yellow-brown pouch. Red-brown torso
  • Degraded greenish limbs
  • Grey-brown pouch with painted dot. Red-brown torso
The first Kader Chewbacca was prominently issued during the early bird offer. The figure was also a 12bk era release, but then Kader focused on the production of other characters throughout the remainder of the SW era. ESB only saw sporadic releases of Kader Chewbacca up until the late Jedi era where the figure went back into continual production.
 
The plastic colour pigments used by Kader were very prone to colour degradation. In certain conditions, the red pigment fades in the brown limbs, which leaves a green hue remaining. Green-limbed Chewbacca is NOT a variant. The left leg suffered a chronic defect during production which resulted in a swollen large toe. This is thought to be a result of higher temperature causing a deformity in the plastic during cavity ejection.
 
Key details for the F2 Kader Chewbacca:
  • Reddish brown or yellow-brown torso and limbs. Mixed combinations are also possible.
  • Small mid blue pupils and small eye whites
  • Pouch colours vary in the mid brown range
Kader Chewbacca was paired with M1 Kader black-blue Bowcaster throughout the entire production run from the “Early Bird” set through to the POTF cardback.

F2 Poch (HK COO)

POCH 1977 HONG KONG

Above you can see following variants (left to right):
  • Poch “purple” pouch
  • Poch “purple” pouch, mixed parts
The “regular” version of this Poch variant is the left example only. This Poch figure was predominantly assembled from Kader parts, but as shown centred in the picture above, examples where parts from both sources exist.
 
The plastic colour pigments used by Kader were very susceptible to colour degradation. In certain conditions, the red pigment fades in the brown limbs, which leaves a green hue remaining.
 
Furthermore, at either Hong Kong or Spain, many of the parts used to assemble Poch figures were stored in conditions that accelerated the degradation process of the soft plastic used for the limbs. Discolouration, yellowing and spotting are all traits found on many Poch figures including this particular variant.
 
The figure itself at a glance is similar to it’s Kenner counterpart, however the tells below are a good start to differentiate the Kenner and Poch counterparts from one another.
 
Key details for the Poch HK Chewbacca:
  • Pouch colour is a purple-brown shade. This is a reoccurring Poch colour which turns up on other characters produced from that factory
  • Reddish brown torso, and limbs have often degraded to a greenish hue.
  • Small dark blue pupils and eye whites
  • Small plastic burr from torso parts being twisted from the sprue tree
  • Sonic weld holding the figure together is often weak and torso halves can partially or completely separate
Poch HK Chewbacca could be paired with a M1 Kader blue-black Bowcaster, but also possible to have an M2 Unitoy blue-black Bowcaster given the propensity for Poch to mix stock up during assembly.

F2.2 Kader/ Glasslite (NCOO)

KADER POTF 1977 NO COO

Above you can see following variants (left & centre):
  • Dark chocolate brown pouch
  • Dark green-brown pouch

GLASSLITE 1977 NO COO

Above you can see following variant (right):
  • Glasslite No COO
This F2.2 COO is a very late COO alteration which has only been found on POTF era cards and baggies. The HK COO was removed and re-stamped with only a copyright and date, as COOs weren’t desired by Kenner in this late era of Star Wars figure production. 
 
The cardback states “Made in Hong Kong” and has the HG factory stamp, however it’s very likely this figure was actually produced at a Kader plant in China and later packaged by Kader in Hong Kong to mask the providence.
 
It’s worth noting that the plastic used by Kader previously were very prone to colour degradation, however there were improvements in the colour pigments used for this version and that’s thankfully no longer an issue. The paints used for this figure however are notoriously fragile, and will rub off with little to no effort.
 
I haven’t found an F2.2 example with the toe defect that blighted the earlier figures produced from this mould.
 
Key details for the POTF Kader Chewbacca:
  • Reddish brown torso and limbs
  • Mid blue with small pupils
  • Darker pouch colours than the standard F2 Kader Chewbacca
Key details for the Glasslite Chewbacca:
  • Lighter brown torso and limbs
  • Light blue with small pupils
  • Unpainted pouch
 
POTF KADER CHEWBACCA was paired with an M1 Kader black-blue Bowcaster
 
GLASSLITE CHEWBACCA was paired with the Glasslite version of Zuckuss rifle (Smile mould)

COO Family III

Smile (HK COO/ NCOO)

SMILE 1977 HONG KONG

Above you can see following variants (from left 1, 2, 3, 4):
  • Green pouch
  • Dark brown pouch
  • Reddish-brown pouch
  • Grey-brown pouch

SMILE 1977 NO COO

Above you can see following variants (from left 5, 6):
  • Dark grey-green pouch
  • Grey-brown pouch
Smile Chewbacca was one of the initial 12bk wave figures. He seemed to be produced sparingly through the  SW & ESB era, but came back into prominence during the 47/48bk ESB & 65bk ROTJ period.
 
The first versions were produced with turquoise eyes, very similar to that found on Poch Chewbacca. This made way for light/dark blue eyes for the remainder of the run. In certain conditions, the pouch can develop a pearlescent sheen over the paint.
Key details for the F3 Smile Hong Kong Chewbacca:
  • Reddish torso & limb colours (sometimes lighter limbs)
  • First version has turquoise pupils which become darker towards the Jedi era
  • Has a variety of mid brown pouch shades
Key details for the F3 Smile No COO Chewbacca:
  • Large almond shaped eyes
  • Dark blue small pupils
  • Dark grey-brown pouch shades
SW and ESB Smile figures were paired with a M4 Smile Bowcaster and in the ROTJ era from 65b/c onwards Chewbacca came with an M3 Smile (EPM) Bowcaster.

COO Family IV

Taiwan (MIT COO)

TAIWAN 1977 MADE IN TAIWAN

Above you can see following variants (left to right):
  • Light brown glossy pouch
  • Mid brown glossy pouch
  • Dark brown glossy pouch
The “Made in Taiwan” Chewbacca was a Star Wars era release. I have seen this figure only on 12 & 21 back cards so far. The factory was obviously based in Taiwan, however the name of the factory is as yet unknown.
 
The figure is fairly unremarkable when alongside it’s Hong Kong made brothers. Possibly the only consistent tell is the wider stance on this figure, though that trait can also occur on any figure through playwear. The plastic mostly used is highly glossy, however I have also found examples which are closer to a matt finish.
 
The left leg suffered a chronic defect during production which resulted in a swollen large toe. This is thought to be a result of higher temperature causing a deformity in the plastic during cavity ejection.
 
Key details for the Taiwan Chewbacca:
  • Yellowish brown torso and limbs
  • Typically mid blue small pupils, but can vary in size and brightness.
  • Pouch colours vary in the mid brown range and highly glossy in finish
  • Wider stance
Taiwan Chewbacca was paired with an M5 Taiwan dull black-blue Bowcaster.

COO Family V

Smile/ Lili Ledy (NCOO)

SMILE 1977 NO COO

Above you can see following (far left):
  • Grey-brown pouch

LILI LEDY 1977 NO COO

Above you can see following variants (from left 2, 3, 4, 5):
  • Lili Ledy green pouch
  • Lili Ledy light brown pouch
  • Lili Ledy mid brown pouch
  • Lili Ledy reddish-brown pouch
In the release timeline, this NCOO figure shows up on the 65c cardback. The reason for existence of the F5 Smile family is unknown as the F3 mould had been successfully used in production for many years at this late stage and wasn’t showing signs of deterioration. The paint application of this F5 Smile NCOO figure is consistent with that of the F3 NCOO figure.
 
Lili Ledy later received this mould and produced their version of the figure over a number of production waves which explains the colour variations in the brown plastic.
Key details for the F5 Smile No COO Chewbacca:
  • Large almond shaped eyes
  • Dark blue small pupils
  • Dark grey-brown pouch
Key details for the F5 Lili Ledy No COO Chewbacca:
  • Light or dark brown torso & limbs
  • Dark blue with small pupils and eyes
  • Varying shades of pouch colour as detailed above
The later ROTJ era Chewies came with an M3 Smile (EPM) Bowcaster. The Lili Ledy Chewbacca came with an M4 Lili Ledy solid black Bowcaster.

COO Family VI

Top Toys (NCOO)

TOP TOYS 1977 NO COO

Instead of using imported Kenner steel moulds, Top Toys took a cast of the original Kenner figure to create a completely new mould. Top Toys figures were a licensed product, however the result is a poor quality figure with many imperfections including bad articulation, excess flashing and low quality control in every department. Due to the near bootleg quality of the Top Toys figure, it is impossible to identify which Kenner figure was cast to create the new tooling.
 
Chewbacca is the ONLY Top Toys figure to have a COO marking.
 
 
Key details for the Top Toys Chewbacca:
  • Moulded in a harder, more brittle plastic
  • Shorter in height as a result of being cast from a production Kenner figure
  • EPM marks on all limbs
  • No peg holes in the underside of the feet
  • Pouch is unpainted
  • Mid blue eyes
  • May have some flashing, typically on the limbs
Top Toys Chewbacca was paired with an M6 Top Toys dark blue Bowcaster.