HAN SOLO – SMUGGLER
STAR WARS: 30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION (HASBRO)
“A scoundrel through and through, Han Solo nonetheless adheres to a deep sense of right and wrong. He couldn’t leave his new friends behind to what he felt was certain death. Though some might call his arrival at the Battle of Yavin late, he prefers to say that he was ‘just in time.’”
2017 marked the 40th anniversary of A New Hope’s release, and thus the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise as a whole. Hasbro had a few commemorative releases, mostly to do with the Black Series, but it was notably smaller than the last big anniversary celebration they ran, back during the 30th Anniversary. For that one, there were several different assortments running, with coverage of all six of the franchise’s films. There were some new additions offered, but there were also more than a few variants of the main players. There were three versions of Han Solo offered, and today I’ll be looking at the first of those three!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Han was released in the second wave of the Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collection, which was based around the Battle of Yavin from the end of the first movie. The whole assortment had initially been planned for release in 2006, but ended up pushed back to 2007. Han was figure 11 out of 60 total figures in the 30th Anniversary Collection, and is based on Han’s fully kitted out look seen both when he uses the gunner turret during the Death Star escape and when he swoops in to save Luke from Vader during the trench run. The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation. After the introduction of the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection in 2004, Hasbro was beginning to experiment with more fully articulating the basic figures, and Han followed this trend. This was partly out of convenience, as this figure was built on the VOTC Han’s base, and therefore inherited a lot of his articulation. To facilitate the slightly different look of this particular Han design, the figure gets a new head and arms. The head adds Han’s headset, which connects to his belt at the back. I find the head has one of the better Ford likeness at this scale (especially for the time) and headsets just make everything cooler, am I right? (Fun Fact: the headsets used by Han and Luke in A New Hope are the same model used by the Nostromo’s crew in Alien and the Colonial Marines in Aliens.) The new arms remove the hinge/swivel elbows of the VOTC figure for the slightly cheaper to produce angled swivel joints. They aren’t quite as useful, but they pose well enough if you’re creative with them, and they’re pretty well hidden by the sculpt. He also has new hands, sporting the gloves Han wears wile piloting the Falcon. I’ve always liked the gloved look, so I was happy to see it show up here. Han’s paintwork is pretty decent overall, with very clean application with little bleed over or slop. His pants are a slightly brighter blue than they really should be, but that’s pretty minor. The gloves are also usually seen with more of a yellowish hue to them, but I think the differences here can be written off as variations in lighting. Han was packed with his trusty DL-44 heavy blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand or stow in his holster. He also included a 30th Anniversary Collection coin, which I foolishly threw into my bin of unnecessary extras before I got a picture. Silly Ethan.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I wasn’t really collecting Star Wars figures at the time of the 30th Anniversary Collection, so I didn’t get this guy new. In fact, my first knowledge of this figure’s existence was seeing him re-packed with the huge 2008 Millennium Falcon release. I thought he looked pretty cool, but not cool enough to drop $160 for the Falcon (what a fool I was!). Ultimately, I ended up getting this guy about a month or so ago, during Lost In Time’s grand opening sale. All the basic Star Wars figures were marked down, and he just looked cool. He’s a pretty sweet figure, and one of the better Hans I own. It makes me a little sad that the Black Series figure didn’t include an extra head with the headset.
***SHAMELESS PLUG TIME!***
Hey FiQ-fans, do you enjoy reading my incessant ramblings about Star Wars toys? If so, you should totally check out A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which features an essay about the history of Star Wars action figures, written by yours truly! And if that’s not enough for you, there’s another 18 essays discussing the Expanded Universe, (including one written by my dad Steven H. Wilson) as well as a foreward by Star Wars Novelist Timothy Zahn. I’m very excited about it, so please check it out here.