#1502: Han Solo as Stormtrooper

HAN SOLO AS STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Okay, so let’s talk about a concept that I really miss: mail away action figures.  Those cool little bonuses you’d get for collecting a bunch of proofs of purchase, or even just finishing a box of cereal.  Hasbro used to be pretty big on them, but we haven’t seen anything like this in a good decade.  It’s kind of a little sad.  So why not reminisce a bit for better times and have a look at one of my favorite mail-away items, Han Solo as Stormtrooper!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo as Stormtrooper was offered in 1995 through 1996 as a Kellog’s-exclusive mail-away offer, featured on Froot Loops, as a part of the overall Power of the Force II line from Kenner.  This was the second Han in POTF2, following the basic ANH Han from Series 1.  As noted by the name, he depicts Han in his Stormtrooper disguise from his time on the Death Star in A New Hope.  Believe it or not, this was the first time we got such a figure.  Said figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Surprisingly enough, the sculpt is all-new, and doesn’t use pieces from any of the standard Stormtroopers.  It still follows their lead stylistically, of course, meaning he’s still got that whole steroid abuse look going on.  But hey, if you’re gonna blend in, you gotta actually blend in, right?  He’s sculpted with a bit of a pose to him, like he’s right in the middle of a lunge or something, which is consistent with the rest of the line’s earliest figures.  The head is a slight re-working of the early POTF2 Han head.  It still doesn’t really look like Harrison Ford, but I can understand their desire for consistency.  I also really like the addition of the collar to his neck; that’s a nice touch.  His paintwork is fairly standard fair.  The body’s on par with the basic Stormtrooper, and the head with the first Han, so he’s certainly at home with his line-mates.  While the figure included no blaster (due to Kellog’s fairly strict no guns policy with their mail-away offerings), he did get his removable helmet, which looks just like the actual trooper head, and goes on quite nicely to boot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s important to me.  Not only was he my first Han Solo, but he was also my first experience with a mail-away offer.  I was at the grocery store with my parents, and they let me pick out a cereal.  I didn’t know what I wanted, but they were kind enough to point me in the direction of the Froot Loops with the Han offer, and that was just tops for me.  Sure, this figure’s goofy and dated, just like the rest of the line, but I still think he’s awesome.

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#1497: Han Solo – Smuggler

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.

#1424: Boba Fett & Han Solo

BOBA FETT & HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

We’re starting to wind down on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi stuff.  Yesterday’s Finn review marked the last of the actual Last Jedi offerings I’ll be reviewing (at least in this round of stuff), but as with every new Star Wars release, there’s a healthy helping of items based on prior films.  As TLJ is the second film in this new trilogy, they’re putting out more than a few items based on the Original Trilogy’s second part, Empire Strikes Back.  I’ll be taking a look at Hasbro’s latest versions of Han Solo and Boba Fett from that film today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Han and Boba were released in the two-pack assortment of The Last Jedi figures, alongside the previously reviewed Rey and Elite Praetorian Guard pairing.  This is one of the two ESB-themed items in the initial product launch.

BOBA FETT

They just can’t keep the Fett-man down, can they?  If the Star Wars toyline went too long without at least one Fett, it would surely collapse into some sort of null field of pointlessness, right?  Fett’s the glue that holds the fandom together! Gotta keep those Fett-fans happy.  Or something like that.  Anyway, this new figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Now, after years and years of lots of nearly identical Boba Fetts, you might be wondering what sets this guy apart from the pack.  He’s an all-new sculpt, and it may well be the best sculpt we’ve ever seen on a Boba Fett figure.  It’s at least the best small-scale Boba we’ve gotten.  The last 5POA Boba I looked at had a number of issues that prevented him from being the best he could be, but this figure really tackles a lot of the issues I had with that and a lot of the other 5POA figures head on.  One big issue I’ve had with a lot of the basic figures is the rigidity of their poses.  This figure fixes that, giving Boba a slightly offset balancing of his weight.  It’s effectively still a straight standing pose, but it adds just a little more character, and makes him look a touch more human.  It also resembles the pose Boba had in the initial promo shots from Empire, which is a fun bit of nerdy trivia.  The sculpt also gives us a very nice take on Boba’s armor, with all of the details being sharply defined, and nicely recreated.  The head’s definitely my favorite part, as it’s easily one of the best Fett helmet sculpts ever produced.  It’s a spot-on recreation, and I just really love it.  Boba’s sculpt is aided by a pretty awesome paint job, which follows the trend of improvement on Hasbro’s part. The paint is clean and sharp for the most part, and there are a lot of really nice details.  There are a few details missing, but mostly minor stuff, and he looks far better than some of the earlier figures.  Fett is packed with his large blaster, his small blaster, and a big bulky thing that replicates his flamethrower.  Both the figure and the big bulky thing are ForceLink compatible, but as of yet I don’t have anyway to figure out how to test the sounds they make.

HAN SOLO

Han was actually completely absent from the product launch for The Force Awakens, so it’s a little bit amusing that he’s included this time around, despite not being in the movie (well, at least as far as we know).  This guy’s sporting Han’s spiffy jacketed look from Empire, which is my favorite look for the character, and which seems to be less common than you’d hope when it comes to toys (seriously, how do we not have this look in The Black Series yet?).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  No real surprises there.  At first glance, this figure’s sculpt looks to have some parts in common with the Force Awakens figure.  An actual comparison of the two figures reveals that there are no parts actually shared between the two, but they appear to at the very least have started from the same basic source files.  Not gonna lie, this figure’s far from perfect.  One of the things that makes the jacketed look my favorite for Han is how sharp he looks, but this figure ends up looking a little bit schluby.  The real culprit behind this is the waist.  The waist is too low, which in turn makes the jacket too long, which has the illusion of making his arms look too short and gives him the appearance of his gut having out over his belt.  If the waist were a quarter of an inch higher, the figure would look a bit better.  The likeness on the head also isn’t one of Hasbro’s better Harrison Fords.  From some angles it’s manageable, but from others he barely even looks human.  It definitely feels like they took their old Han sculpt from TFA and tried to de-age it, which hasn’t quite worked.  On the plus side of things Han’s jacket’s pretty nicely detailed, and I appreciate the texturing on the stripes on his pants.  The paint on Han is kind of “meh”.  It’s okay in some spots, but there’s more noticeable slop here than on other recent figures, and worst of all, his got weird placement on his eyes, which just throws the whole figure off.  I hate when that happens.  Han’s packed with his blaster, which can be placed in the holster if you so choose.  I was happy to see it was actually the correct version that he carries in Empire, not just re-used from a prior Han.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Finn, I didn’t grab this set on Force Friday.  I had seen it beforehand, and I mostly checked out the Han figure, who left me kind of cold, and mostly ignored the Boba Fett, since the Saga Legends Fett did nothing for me.  So, on Friday I focused on the TLJ stuff and left this behind.  Then I saw some photos online, and realized what an improvement Fett was, and slightly regretted not grabbing them.  When my Target re-stoked the basic figures, they also marked the two-packs down a bit, so I got these two alongside Finn.  Boba’s fantastic.  He’s rivaled only by the 6-inch Black Series figure in terms of coolness.  Han’s okay.  Far from the worst Han Solo figure, but nothing particularly amazing, which is a shame, since I’m always eager to get a new Bespin Han.  Alas, I’ll just have to hang in there for the next version.  This one will do until then.

#1306: Han Solo in Carbonite

HAN SOLO IN CARBONITE

STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“After escaping from Imperial forces in the Hoth system, Han Solo and Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, landed the damaged Millenium Falcon on Bespin’s Cloud City for repairs. The four put their trust in the city’s administrator, Lando Calrissian, unaware of the dangers awaiting them. A dashing ex-gambler and long time acquaintance of Solo’s, Calrissian had grudgingly made an agreement with Darth Vader to betray Solo and his friends. In return, the band would be set free once their capture had lured Luke Skywalker into Vader’s grasp. The Dark Lord had no intention of keeping any promises: on his order a carbonite freezing chamber was modified for use on humans, especially Luke Skywalker, to render him helpless for safe delivery to the Emperor. To test the chamber, Solo was frozen and then turned over to the Bounty Hunter Boba Fett. for delivery to the crimelord Jabba the Hutt. He became the favorite decoration in Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, until a daring rescue attempt led by Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia freed Han and returned him to the enduring cause of the Rebel Alliance.”

Man, they went all out on that bio, didn’t they.  Not much need for me to add anything, so here’s a Han Solo figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo in Carbonite was originally released in 1996, as part of that year’s first assortment of Star Wars: The Power of the Force II figures.  The figure saw a number of re-releases over the course of the line’s run, and is one of the more common figures out there from the line.  He stands about 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Han is depicted here just after being freed from his frozen carbonite prison at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.  We can tell he’s an “after carbonite” figure from his lack ofthe shackles he had in Empire.  Technically, I guess the hair could also be a tell, but all of the early PotF2 Hans had the exact same hair anyway.  The head is the same one used for all the other Han figures from this line (well, barring the final one from just before the end), which doesn’t have much in the way of a Harrison Ford likeness.  At least they were keeping it consistent.  The rest of the figure’s sculpt was new to him.  He’s still got the really exaggerated proportions and super tight clothing, but is otherwise one of the tamest sculpts to come out of this line.  He’s pretty much just in a basic standing pose, with no goofy mid-step thing or oddly bent arms.  The one main inaccuracy that stuck out at me was the shirt, which follows the pattern of his A New Hope shirt, rather than the more detailed ones from Empire and Jedi.  It’s far from the worst mistake, and 9 out of 10 people wouldn’t notice it, but I am that tenth person.  The paintwork on Han is about on par with the rest of the line.  It’s fairly basic and the colors aren’t terribly thrilling, but it gets the job done.  Han’s main accessory is, of course, the carbonite block.  It’s a pretty cool piece; the front is a pretty faithful recreation of the movie prop, and the flip side is hollow, with a clip at waist height, allowing for the figure to be placed on the underside.  Han also includes a small blaster, patterned on the one he uses to save Lando from the Sarlac.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This version of Han was the second Hon Solo I owned, following the mail-away Stormtrooper disguise figure.  He was procured on a trip with my grandmother, I think, though I’m not 100% sure on that.  It’s irrelevant at this point, because I don’t own the figure anymore.  I rather foolishly sold it about 15 years ago, on the basis that I already owned other Hans, which doesn’t even makes sense to me anymore.  The figure you see in this review is a replacement, which, like the last several PotF2 figures I’ve reviewed, was picked up during the Farpoint charity auction.  This figure’s actually a bit better than I remember him being, and is probably the best of the Hans from early in this line (though the later ones kind of surpassed all the others).  Not bad at all.

#1134: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

hantfa1

Here’s another Star Wars review for Star Wars Week!  Alright!  As I noted back in my first Force Awakens Han Solo review, Han (along with pretty much all of the returning guard from the original trilogy) was left out of the initial rounds of product for TFA.  While his 6-inch figure ended up showing up within a month or two of the film’s release, neither of his 3 3/4-inch figures proved quite as timely.  I ended up finding the Walmart-exclusive Starkiller Base version over the summer, but his basic small-scale version proved somewhat illusive.  But, in case you haven’t figured out by this point, I found one, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

hantfa2Han was released alongside Resistance Rey in the second “Forest” assortment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens figures.  (The third figure in said assortment was the Hassk Thug.  Who’s the Hassk Thug?  Good question.  Perhaps the sort of question that should have been asked before Hasbro decided to pack him in equal numbers to two of the higher-demanded figures in the line, thereby adding to the already frustrating over-abundance of “unknown” characters.  I’m getting off-topic; sorry).  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the typical 5 points of articulation.  Han’s sculpt is unique to this figure.  It’s overall pretty good.  The head has a decent Harrison Ford likeness (better than the Starkiller version, at the very least), and the general pose is pretty natural.  The level of detail is okay; some of the details are a little on the soft side compared to other figures in the line.  My biggest issue with the figure is the jacket piece.  It’s a little on the thick side, and the shoulders on the arms aren’t sculpted to compensate, which makes it look like he’s wearing like a life jacket or something.  It’s not awful, but they’ve done better, and for someone as important as Han, it’s something of a letdown.  Han’s paintwork is fairly straight forward, but certainly not bad.  What’s there is pretty clean, and the eyes in particular are much cleaner than a lot of the other figures in the line.  This figure, of course, still has the issue with the hair being light brown, rather than the grey that it should be.  There’s some traces of grey in there, which is better than the other two, so at least they were trying.  Han includes his usual blaster pistol, which is really cool, as well as the usual build-a-thingamajig piece.  In this case, it’s a big gun, which is at least a little better than some of the pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just like Rey, I found Han out of the blue at Cosmic Comix.  He was definitely a major want for me, since the Starkiller version wasn’t really cutting it.  He’s a decent enough figure; not perfect, but pretty good.  I wish the sculpt were a little sharper, and the jacket’s annoying, but I’m honestly just happy to have him.

hantfa4

#0996: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

HanStarkiller1

Continuing off of what I said about Leia and Han yesterday: given the sizeable role of Han in The Force Awakens, it was no shock that he was the first of the pair to get added to the toyline.  It was a bit surprising that he was not offered in the higher-end 3 ¾ inch line, though.  However, that’s something that Hasbro has now amended, if perhaps not quite in the way we were expecting.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HanStarkiller2Like Leia, Han was released in the fourth series of Walmart’s exclusive 3 ¾ inch Star Wars: The Black Series.  This is the second Han in this line (though the first one was from Jedi) and the third Force Awakens Han overall.  So, how is this not quite the Han we were expecting?  Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, he’s wearing his cold weather gear, which Han has for (parts of) the attack on Starkiller Base.  It’s not a look that he has for long, and it’s certainly less of a signature look than the black jacket. With that being said, it’s far less of an issue with Han than it was with Leia, since this isn’t Han’s first figure from TFA and it’s also not a bad look.  The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  The sculpt isn’t quite as good as his 6-inch counterpart, but it’s not bad.  The body definitely gets the best work, with tons of really great texturing on the jacket in particular.  I’m also glad that the holster can be plugged and unplugged from his leg, allowing for some additional movement that the prior Han did not.  I’m having trouble seeing much Harrison Ford in the head, but I think that may have more to do with paint than anything else.  Structurally, the head sculpt doesn’t look too far off from the 6-inch version, which was pretty good.  So, about that paint.  It could definitely be better.  The body isn’t bad, but the head is a bit of a mess.  Ignoring the brown hair (which seems to be a licensing thing), the application on the eyes is just off.  They’re not properly placed and they’re at least twice as big as they should be.  Han’s definitely got the crazy eyes going on.  The brown hair and larger eyes also have the misfortune of making him look far younger than he should, which is not what you want from an old-man Han.  Han includes his blaster pistol, which is nicely sculpted and very well painted.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just as with Leia, I didn’t find Han at any of the Walmarts near me.  In fact, I didn’t find him at all: Super Awesome Girlfriend did!  Han’s a figure that could definitely use some improvement.  He had a high bar to clear after the truly amazing 6-inch Han, and he didn’t quite do it.  That being said, he’s certainly not a bad figure.  I’d be curious to see if a better paint job could breathe some new life into him.

HanStarkiller3

#0877: Princess Leia & Han Solo

PRINCESS LEIA & HAN SOLO – BESPIN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

HanLeia1

You know, they say the best things come in threes (who says that? I don’t say that! I don’t think that’s a thing…) I’ve already done two days of Princess Leia reviews, why not go for a third? Well, you’re getting a third whether you want it or not. This is my site! ….Which I’m incredibly glad you’re all reading right now! So…if you don’t like this, I promise I won’t review a Princess Leia tomorrow. Anyway, here’s today’s review. It’s not just Leia, though, there’s also a Han! Yay?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Like yesterday’s set, these two are from 1997’s The Princess Leia Collection sub-set if the Power of the Force II line. This pair represented The Empire Strikes Back.

PRINCESS LEIA

HanLeia2After spending almost the entirety of the first film in the same basic outfit, Leia was given a few more looks for the sequel. While her Hoth look from early in the film is by far the more definitive look, this figure was based on her slightly more regal look from a few of her scenes on Bespin. She’s 3 ¾ inches tall and has the usual 6 points of articulation. Unlike the last pair of figures, this Leia didn’t have an equivalent single-release figure. She got a totally new sculpt. Like the other figures in this line, it’s not really fantastic, but it’s passable enough. The general proportions are fairly decent, and she looks sort of like Carrie Fisher. She’s a bit oddly posed, though; the legs are in a slight stride (making it really hard to keep her standing) and her right arm is bent in such a way as to make it longer than the left. Like the prior Leia, this figure uses some cloth parts for her costume, specifically the skirt and cape (though, this time, the cape uses a plastic piece for the collar). The pieces once again scale pretty well for cloth, which is always nice to see. The paint is all pretty passable and clean, though some of the work on the face is a little bit heavy. Leia includes no accessories of her own (unless you count Han!).

HAN SOLO

HanLeia3While Leia got a few different looks in ESB, Han pretty much just stuck with the one main look for the majority of the film. Since it’s the look that he wears around Bespin, it makes sense to pack this one with Leia. The figure is a little taller than Leia, and has the same 6 points of articulation. Like yesterday’s Luke and Leia, Bespin Han had a single-release counterpart in the main line (which I even reviewed on this site!). This figure uses the same head as that one (as did most of the PotFII figures); it’s not a great head sculpt, mostly because it bears next to no resemblance to Harrison Ford, but at least it was consistent. The rest of the sculpt is okay, but not fantastic. Like Luke, the body feels rather undersized, especially the hands. This only exaggerates the problems with this head. I think part of this may be to counteract the use of a cloth coat, which does bulk up the figure a little. The coat isn’t as well tailored as Luke’s, but it’s alright, I guess. Once again, the sculpted version looks a fair bit better. The paint is fairly well handled, though, like Leia, the face is a bit heavy handed. It’s not technically a paint issue, but it should be noted that the color of the coat is incorrect. It should be blue. It’s worth noting that the single-release figure also had the wrong colored coat, so it may have been a licensing thing. Han was packed with his usual blaster, which, like all of the PotFII blasters is a fair bit over-sized.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with yesterday’s set, I picked this pair up from a collectibles store across from the theatre where I saw The Force Awakens. This was actually the one of the two sets I was more looking forward to, but after opening them, I think it may be the lesser set. Once again, the Leia figure is the superior of the two figures, and she’s helped by the fact that she’s the only PotFII version of this particular look. Han, on the other hand, is rather a letdown. Still, this is a cool enough set that I don’t regret getting them.

#0864: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

HanTFA1i

A lot of (very much deserved) praise has been heaped on the new cast members introduced in the Force Awakens, but one of the coolest things about the movie was the return of some of the “old guard” from the Original Trilogy. The most prominent returning hero by far was everyone’s favorite scuffy-lookin’ nerf-herder, Han Solo. For a number of reasons, Han, along with most of the other returning characters, was absent from the first few waves of Force Awakens product, but the merch based on him is starting to hit in full storm. Today, I’ll be looking at his much anticipated Black Series figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HanTFA2Han was released in the fifth series of the latest iteration of Star Wars: The Black Series. He’s marked as number 18 in the line, which makes him the last figure in this particular series numerically. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall (which is the same as his A New Hope figure) and has 27 points of articulation. Some of the movement, most notably his hips, is a little restricted, but he can certainly pull off just about any pose that the real Harrison Ford can. Han’s sculpt is totally new, and it’s an amazing piece of work. The proportions look great, certainly better than the last Han, and the detail work on the clothing is just fantastic. The jacket in particular has some amazing texture work, which adds a lot of character to the figure. The shirt and underlying belt are a little on the soft side, and I’m not sure I’m a fan of the pose on his left hand, but those are my only real complaints. The real draw of this sculpt is the likeness. Harrison Ford has a notoriously hard to capture likeness, but this is perhaps the best one we’ve ever seen. There are a few angles where it looks a bit off, but the HanTFA4boverall appearance is very close. Now, you may be thinking that, based on the pictures, he really doesn’t look as close as I’m saying. Well, here’s where the paint comes in. For the most part, the paint’s great. The clothing (particularly the coat) has some really great work, which really sells this as a real person. My first nit is the eyes; they aren’t terrible, but they’re a little sloppier than I’d like. However, the major issue here is the hair. The application of the paint is alright, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s simply the wrong color. Instead of being mostly grey with maybe a few streaks of light brown, it’s light brown with just a few streaks of grey, resulting in him looking a fair bit younger than he should. It’s really annoying, because it seriously throws off an otherwise really great figure.* Han only includes one accessory: his signature blaster, which is a totally different mold than the one included with the Series 2 Han.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I found out this figure was hitting stores, I was anticipating him being a chore to find. So, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into my local Target and find him hanging on the pegs, hiding behind a pair of Jango Fetts. I’m not sure I can adequately describe just how much I like this figure. He’s hands down the best Han Solo figure I own, and possibly one of the best Black Series figures to date, and certainly the best of the Force Awakens figures. Yes, the hair thing is annoying, but this figure outshines all those issues, and is just a ton of fun to mess around with.

HanTFA3c

*It should be noted that the hair thing isn’t limited to just this figure. The Pop! and LEGO versions also sport the light brown hair, suggesting it’s a licensing issue of some sort.

#0860: Star Wars Mashers

LUKE SKYWALKER, HAN SOLO, DARTH VADER, STORM TROOPER, & SCOUT TROOPER

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS

ROTJMashers1

For a guy who’s not a huge fan of Hero Mashers, I sure do seem to be picking up a lot of these guys, don’t I? Yeah, I don’t really have an excuse. I’m a bit of a push over when it comes to certain things. But, hey, it means you guys get to keep reading about these figures. Isn’t that a plus? No? Well, sorry…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This five-pack of figures was released not long after the onslaught of Star Wars-merch in September. It initially appeared to be a TRU-exclusive set, but has recently begun to show up at other retailers. All of the included figures are based on Return of the Jedi.

LUKE SKYWALKER

ROTJMashers2Luke makes his second appearance in the Mashers style here, based on his Jedi look from….Jedi. Specifically, he’s based on his look from towards the end of the film, after he’s ditched the vest and unbuttoned one side of his chest-flap-thingy. The figure stands 6 inches in height and he’s got 18 points of articulation. He’s got the same reduced shoulder movement that all the more recent Mashers have gotten, but I’ve really stopped noticing at this point. The figure shares his head with the Bespin version of Luke from the two-pack. That’s nice from a consistency standpoint (even if Hamill does look different in the two films…) and the actual sculpt does a pretty nice job of tweaking Hamill’s likeness to fit the style. The rest of the sculpt is unique to this figure, and it’s a pretty sharp sculpt. This particular design definitely transfers well to the Mashers aesthetic. Like every Mashers figure, Luke can be disassembled at the neck, elbows, hips, and knees, and his parts are interchangeable with the rest of the line (if you’re into that sort of thing…). Luke’s paintwork is generally pretty simple; it’s limited to the face and chest, with some slight finish variance on the glove and boots. There’s an odd spot of silver on one side of my figure’s collar, but aside from that, the application is pretty clean. Luke is packed with his green lightsaber from the movie, which is so far unique to this set.

HAN SOLO

ROTJMashers3After getting his styling jacketed look in the two-packs, this Han returns him to his classic vested look (albeit the slightly less classic variant of it from Jedi). Han’s sculpt is mostly the same as that of the two-pack figure, with only a new torso piece. The re-use isn’t too terrible, but it does mean Han’s got pockets on each arm, which isn’t accurate. The overall sculpt isn’t bad, but Han doesn’t seem to have translated as well to the Mashers style as Luke. The head in particular just seems far too generic for Harrison Ford. Also, this figure’s hips seem particularly wideset. An additional note: Han’s hands are separate pieces from the forearms. They aren’t designed to be removable, but they might pop off if you aren’t paying attention. Han’s paint is a bit more complex than Luke’s, and it’s handled pretty well. There are a few fuzzy lines, but nothing really terrible. Han is packed with his signature blaster. It’s got a blaster bolt permanently attached, which looks a little odd in a basic pose, but does add some nice flare in an action set-up.

DARTH VADER

ROTJMashers4I’ve actually reviewed a lot of this guy before. Vader, unlike the others in this set, goes for a very scene specific look. Namely, the scene where he’s getting electrocuted by the Emperor. That seems a little morbid for a kid-aimed toyline, but okay! The torso, upper arms, legs, cape, and skirt are all exactly the same as the single-release Vader. Same sculpt, same paint, same everything. What’s new are the head and lower arms, which take the previously used pieces, add a bit of “electricity” detailing to them, and cast them in a cool translucent blue. Of course, to be truly accurate to the scene, he should be missing his right hand, but I guess that would be too morbid for the kid’s toy. Vader is packed with the same extra as his single-packed counterpart, a lightsaber, as well as two electricity effect pieces.

STORMTROOPER

ROTJMashers6And now for the set’s one straight re-pack, the Imperial Stormtrooper! Yes, this guy’s the same exact figure as the single-packed version. But come on, it’s a Stormtrooper! You can’t have too many of these guys, right? The design definitely fits the style very well, and he’s helped by the totally armored look. He’s easily got the sharpest detailing of the figures included here, which definitely helps the overall look. The one major nit with the sculpt is more an articulation issue than anything; since his elbows only swing forward and back, he can’t actually hold a blaster two-handed. Also, like Han, the hands are separate pieces, glued in place. The Stormtrooper’s paint is generally pretty decent, though the black is a little sloppy in a few spots, and there are a few bits of slop. It’s all relatively minor, though. He’s packed with a standard trooper blaster, which, like Han’s, has a blaster bolt permanently affixed. Consistency!

SCOUT TROOPER

ROTJMashers5Last, and very much not least, it’s the Scout Trooper! By far my favorite Trooper design from the OT, and also the one totally new figure included in this set. The Scout Trooper’s design is already pretty chunky and blocky, so it translates very nicely to the Mashers style, and doesn’t look quite as cartoony as some of the other figures. The general quality of the sculpt is pretty great. Some of the details are a bit on the soft side, especially on the torso, but he’s no worse than other Masher figures. The one thing that knocks this figure down a peg is his paint. It’s not terrible or anything, but there’s definitely a fair bit of bleed over, and the edges of the white paint are all pretty fuzzy. From a slight distance, he looks fine, but up close he’s a bit off. The Scout Trooper includes a small blaster, which has the affixed blast, just like the other two. Three for three!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“Ethan, if you aren’t a huge fan of Mashers, then why did you buy this big set of figures?” The answer is simple, hypothetical reader: Scout Trooper. I have an unhealthy addiction to Scout Trooper action figures. It was just my luck that this guy had to be part of a big boxed set. Due to the slightly high price tag of the set, I actually passed on it several times. However, last month, I was at Target, and they had this set for half-price. For $25, I figured it was worth it. I don’t regret this purchase in the slightest. The Scout Trooper is definitely my favorite, but the basic Stormtrooper and Luke are pretty awesome too. Han’s not really my preferred version and I can take or leave Vader, but the overall set is actually pretty fun.

ROTJMashers7

#0506: Han Solo – Bespin

HAN SOLO – BESPIN

POWER OF THE FORCE II

HanBespin1

Hey! Do you like reading about Han Solo figures? I sure hope you do, cuz I’m reviewing another one today. Yes, after the barrel of laughs I had writing yesterday’s review, I thought, why not another one? So, I’ll be wrapping up this little subset of Power of the Force II reviews with another Han Solo. Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HanBespin2This particular Han found himself released in the second year of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line. After doing the primary looks of most of the main characters from A New Hope (as well as one or two figures from the other two movies), the second year turned to the later looks of the primary characters, just to make sure the line didn’t run out of Hans and Lukes. So, Han is based on his primary look from Empire Strikes Back, commonly referred to as his Bespin look, as it’s what he’s wearing during all of those scenes. It’s definitely a fan-favorite look, and I’d say its popularity rivals the ANH look. The figure is about 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. The figure’s sculpt is mostly new, with the exception of the head, which is re-used from the previous Han figure. That was definitely the best sculpted piece on the last figure, but it’s still saddled with its own set of issues, chief among them being it just doesn’t really look like Han Solo. That said, it’s on an entirely new body here, and that does the sculpt a few favors, chief amongst them being that the head is just a heck of a lot more proportional with the new body. Kenner kind of caught on to some of the complaints about the first assortment of POTF II figures’ proportions, so later assortments ended up at least a tad less ridiculous. Han is still a little bulky, but it’s more evenly spread this time. He lacks the laughable hour glass figure of the previous Han, and his arms don’t look like they’re about to bust the seams of his sleeves either. Those are both pretty big improvements. The figure’s clothes also have a fair bit more texture this time around, especially the shirt and coat, which helps make the figure at least a little more interesting looking. Sadly, he still has some oddly posed legs, but at least they look more like a deep step this time than the freaking side lunge that smuggler Han was doing. The paintwork on Han is overall pretty clean and well handled, and it seems to be better that the other Han. However, there’s a paint chip on his neck, which is rather annoying. Also, the most glaring issue with that paint is that they flat out got the color of his coat wrong. In the movie it’s very definitely blue. Here, it’s black for some reason. I wonder why that happened. Han includes his trademark (and still way oversized) blaster pistol, as a large gun, which I am once again pretty certain he never actually carries in the movies.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so while I didn’t actually have this figure growing up, I did get to play with one on a fairly regular basis. See, my grandmother wanted my cousin Patrick and me to have some figures to play with when we stayed with her, so she had me pick out a handful of POTF II figures for the two of us. This version of Han was among them. Patrick and I had dug out a small little dirt pit in the back yard, which we used as a stand in for the Sarlac Pit, and one day, it started raining and we had to run back in. We thought we had grabbed all of the figures, but poor Han got left behind. The next time we were both at the house, our grandfather had filled in the pit. Patrick and I dug for a while, but Han was nowhere to be found. It’s always been that figure that got away. While at Farpoint this year, still high from the excitement of getting the other POTF II figures from the charity sale, I found this Han at one of the dealer’s tables. His package had yellowed so much that it looked like the poor guy had been encased in amber, but the figure was just fine. And now I have that Han figure again. Huzzah!