LEGO Star Wars 75371: Chewbacca [Review]

LEGO Star Wars sets have come a long way from the blocky X-wing and Tie Advance set that may or may not have brought a swift end to my dim age (I never had a true dark age, where adult LEGO builders stop buying or building LEGO sets). The new parts and the building techniques they unlocked, along with a wide variety of new set types which met with varying levels of success, like “buildable” planets, constraction figures, and the new helmet series have been excellent offerings from the theme. But LEGO continues to push the envelope to draw more and more Star Wars fans to LEGO, and LEGO Star Wars 75371: Chewbacca is another such set. Coming in at about 18 inches, it just might be one of the tallest Star Wars sets yet… And it is definitely one of the most unusual. LEGO Star Wars 75371: Chewbacca includes 2,319 pieces and will be available for sale starting on Sept. 1st for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts and instructions

The tall black box features the completed model on a plain background, attached to a black base, and holding his signature weapon, the bowcaster. On the back of the box, the model is shown again from another angle, and the printed information panel with the included Chewbacca minifigure.There are also 3 photo insets from the movie Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and a small diagram showing the sets dimensions.

Inside the box are 15 numbered bags of various sizes and an instruction booklet sealed in a separate envelope.

Like many 18+ sets, the instruction booklet includes several pages of content introducing the character, information about the set designer, and several full-color photos of Chewbacca from many movie and animated series appearances.

The build

The build starts out with the octagon-shaped base, which is a fairly simple structure of plates and bricks topped with tiles. There are two sets of ball-joint parts which will be used to attach the legs. Chewbacca’s feet are also built right into the base, which means that he will have very little poseability, but will stand firmly in place. This makes the finished model surprisingly stable.

The next part gets a tad tedious as we build out both legs, leading to a bit of eye strain (for older builders) where you have to look very closely at the yellow outlines around dark reddish-brown, and dark brown elements. The legs are connected at the knee with multiple hinge plates sandwiched between brackets that we then attach the furry sections one at a time.

With the first leg completed, we then attach it to the base, and start in on what is for the most part, a mirror build of the first leg, with a few differences to account for the angle of the knee and the position of the foot.

Moving on to the torso, we take a short break from brown to build a multi-colored interior frame with a combination of sideways-facing stud bricks and brackets, then it’s back to brown for the shaggy front and back of the torso.

The end result is a bit too thin in my opinion, looking more like an ice-cream bar with nuts than the torso of a 200+ year-old Wookie who can tear your arms out of their sockets. And speaking of arms, there is one other detail worth mentioning. Each side of the torso features an extra socket that will help stabilize the arms and keep them from dropping under their own weight.

Before moving on to the aforementioned arms, we finish each side of the torso with more brown elements that do a pretty decent job of conveying the shaggy fur that serves the Wookie in place of clothes.

The left arm is first, and it has a slight bend at the elbow and once completed, hangs casually at Chewie’s side. The use of several curved slopes, including the rocky-looking part used heavily in the Porg set included in this set in reddish-brown do a remarkable job of shaping the longer shaggy fur of Chewbacca’s forearms.

Before building the right arm, we take a break to build the head, which also includes several types of elements with sideways-facing studs, and more colorful parts, like the helmet series. Lipstick elements are used for Chewie’s sharp canine teeth, and his usually deeply set eyes are 1×1 round printed tiles.

The top, back, and sides of Chewie’s head use more of the brown parts, and when we finally finish all of the meticulously-placed parts, the head snaps right on to the shoulders using a large ball and socket connection.

This gives a very small amount of movement side to side. (I only noticed after completing the photography for this review that I placed the lower mouth covering 1 stud too low, giving Chewbacca a bit too much of an open mouth – maybe he’s roaring about how limited his movement is). Next up is the signature satchel and bandolier that drapes over his left shoulder with no attachment points at all.

Finally, we move on to the right arm, which is built at a right angle. The bowcaster is then attached directly to his right forearm, and the strap is a new color for the typewriter ribbon in dark sand.

The minifigures

The set includes one minifigure of Chewbacca that attaches to the printed placard. This version has nothing to set it apart from many previous versions.

The finished model

The finished model is very sturdy and can be picked up and moved easily without anything falling off. The shaggy fur (which is never an easy thing to convey in brick) is very realistic, and the variety of curved pieces go well together, even if they were a bit challenging to build. I had a few leftover parts that were obviously not the usual small extra part you might expect. The only challenge this set represents is where to put it. At about 18 inches tall it may be challenging to fit on a standard display shelf.

Conclusions and recommendations

If you are a fan of Star Wars in general, and Chewbacca specifically, and you have the space, I would readily recommend picking this set up. But this set has another obvious reason to recommend it, and that is the sheer volume of curved slopes in both reddish-brown and dark brown. Whether you build architecture, landscapes, or creatures, these parts are great for rocks, trees, rooftops, and organic shapes. LEGO Star Wars 75371: Chewbacca includes 2,319 pieces and will be available starting Sept. 1st for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

5 comments on “LEGO Star Wars 75371: Chewbacca [Review]

  1. Ed

    The eyes are set too far back, so the face looks like a mask ala the laughing Chewbacca Mask lady.

    But mostly I can’t see myself building this due to the tedium of placing so many asymmetric similar-hued curved brown pieces. Regardless of their necessity.

  2. Lars Nelson

    I agree with Ed, this is a strange looking set and it could have been made a little bit differently to look better. It needs more of the rocky pieces hanging down. At half off, it is still expensive for the brown parts, which I would love to have. It’s cheaper to get them on Bricklink or BnP. But it is a pretty good set that few will buy.

  3. MagnusK

    Oeh, I respect your opinion but I think this is almost anti-Lego. It’s quite awful in fact. I’m not ranting – I just find the uncanny valley between having having a true figurine, a work of art, or this weird blocky fur, unsurpassable.

  4. Johnny Johnson

    Er, I think the bottom lip section of your model is placed a stud lower than the directions intended. I immediately had the thought “Oh, is there an action feature where you can make him ‘open’ his mouth…?” when I saw it next to the box picture, and now I’m slightly disappointed that’s not a thing.

  5. Knut the Viking

    This set is truly ridiculous. It looks horrible, the building experience seems to be quite repetitive and the price is just another test how much money they can press out. If you want a nice Chewy, you should better go fo any other action ffigure for much less money. I do not understand the point of the set at all and why anybody would spend money on it.

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