The newest member of the Dewback family tree, is The Black Series Dewback, and the best rendering of the creature so far. Complete with the now obligatory Sandtrooper, this is the fourth in the ‘vehicle’ line of the six inch scaled Black Series. A similar size to the previously released Rey Jakku Speeder, this creature comes complete with saddle, Sandtrooper, lance, backpack, and DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle.
If we’re honest, there are a few ideas George Lucas came up with that come dangerously close to ridiculous. The Dewback is a survivor of the sort of kooky things which were mostly pared away in the script revisions made while Lucas tried to gather funds to make A New Hope. A dinosaur ridden by a high tech soldier, something you might expect to see in Flash Gordon or the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Thankfully, the execution of the Dewback in the original movie, and in the special edition re-release, works well enough we don’t cover our eyes when it’s on screen.
Previous Dewback toys have been rather basic affairs, barely more than a child’s lumpy green plastic dinosaur. The original 3.75 scale Dewback featured a trapdoor in its back to insert a rider. The special edition brought a digitally improved Dewback on-screen, and a much better sculpted version of the small scale toy. This version boasted a rider with articulation enabling a true riding pose, and a more lifelike appearance to the lizard itself.
The Black Series Dewback has an exceptional sculpt, with several different reptilian skin textures, and bold facial details making it look very lifelike. Where Hasbro has really outdone themselves is the articulation, the many joints providing a great variety of poses and enhanced play possibilities. The feet have hinged fingers and thumbs for climbing or fighting, as well as hinged ball joint wrists to add even more variation. The elbows are similarly hinged and ball jointed, and the shoulders have a swivel. Already these features make the Dewback a fantastic addition to the range, but adding in movable head, tail, and a posable tongue this becomes a must buy.
The only negative I can find in this set is not with the creature, but with his friend, the Sandtrooper. This is a repaint of the standard Sandtrooper, with a grey pauldron and a generous layer of dirt to slightly vary the appearance. This rider has one minor difference, an extra joint in the black bodysleeve portion of the thigh to enable the legs to open enough to mount the Dewback. The trooper holds the reins well and with a bit of finesse will sit comfortably enough, but he is balanced more than firmly planted in place. The Sandtrooper itself is not enough to ruin the set, but it is a small disappointment, and a lost opportunity to vary the accessories a bit.
Minor gripe aside, I’m very pleased with this addition to my collection, and I’m sure you will be too. I ordered mine from the excellent In Demand Toys and have always had great service there, I recommend you check them out.