#1980: Force Link 2.0 Starter Set (w/ Han Solo)

FORCE LINK 2.0 STARTER SET (W/ HAN SOLO)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

When Hasbro launched their tie-in offerings for The Last Jedi, they launched alongside them a new play gimmick…well, an old play gimmick with a shiny new coat of paint, anyway.  Dubbed “Force Link,” it allowed for all compatible figures and vehicles to enhance their playablitity with sound effects and dialogue.  The whole thing required a reader to activate, and I reviewed that reader back when it was first made available. It was an amusing enough gimmick, but the whole thing ran into trouble just a few short months after its release, since Hasbro had failed to build in figures beyond the TLJ offerings planned when the reader debuted.  Not wanting to completely abandon the concept, but also not wanting to make all of the prior figures obsolete, they used the launch of Solo to offer up a “2.0” version, designed with updates in mind.  This, of course, meant another reader, and thereby another starter set, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE SET ITSELF

The Force Link 2.0 starter set was released alongside the rest of the Solo-themed product in April of last year.  Not quite the grand hurrah of prior toyline launches, but there it was.  The set includes the new version of the reader, as well as standard Han Solo figure.  Both of these items remained unique to this set throughout the line’s run, unlike the first starter set.  As with the first set, the three AAA batteries needed for the reader’s operation are not included.

FORCE LINK 2.0 READER

If you read my review of the first Force Link reader, then there’s not much new about the basics of this one.  It operates using the same NFC partnering between the reader and the figures.  The basic physical design is also the same, albeit with some slight cosmetic changes that better match it to Solo‘s aesthetics.  This mean’s it’s operation in conjunction with the figures is also the same, for good and for bad.  It’s still a tight fit on the wrist, and getting the figures to work as Hasbro intended doesn’t so much go; I again found holding the figures up to the reader directly to be more efficient.  There’s one new feature, which is kind of the selling point of the 2.0, but is also it’s biggest problem.  The new reader is tied-in with a Force Link app (which can be downloaded onto mobile devices), allowing for periodic updates.  This is supposed to fix the issue of the prior reader’s fixed selection of characters to interact with by allowing for new figures to be added via these updates.  So, what’s the problem?  Well, right out of the box, the reader is compatible with the Han Solo it comes packed with…and no one else.  No launch figures, no 1.0 figures, nothing.  Every figure beyond Han will simply give you a “Firmware Update Required” message.  You have to download and launch the app, pair the device to your phone and go through a rather frustrating interface process, all to start a very lengthy firmware update (Hasbro says it can take up to an hour, and mine stuck right to that).  The fact that they couldn’t even have the 1.0 and initial figures ready to go is a real problem, and it’s further hurt by the updates not actually being available when this thing hit shelves.

HAN SOLO

The second half of this set is a Han Solo.  But not just any Han Solo; it’s actually the standard Solo Han Solo.  Yes, unlike the first Force Link reader, which supplied us with a Kylo variant, this time Hasbro decided to make it a more worthwhile figure.  For those planning to buy the set, this is great, since they don’t have to worry about some extraneous offering.  For those not?  Well, it kind of means that Hasbro made a Solo line without a single-carded Han Solo, which, in retrospect, may not have been their finest move.  Moving past that, though, how is the line’s standard Han Solo?  He stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  He’s rather similar in design to the Han included with the Falcon, but obviously with the jacket added.  He uses the same head, legs, and hands, with a new torso and arms.  It’s a nice, sharp sculpt, and definitely my favorite of the various Hans available in the line.  His paintwork is clean, which is good, since you actually can’t see him in the box.  In fact, he’s probably the best of the Hans…again.  He’s packed with his usual blaster pistol, which he can hold or keep in his holster.  His Force Link sounds are:  “They call me Han Solo.”  “We’ve got company!”  “Blast ’em!” “This better be worth it.” “I don’t run from a fight.”  “Huh, I’ve got a really good feeling about this.” “Okay, stay sharp!” “Wa-hoo!” and then a blaster sound.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It took a $10 off coupon to get me to buy the first Force Link starter set, so it’s probably not a huge surprise to find out I wasn’t eager to drop full retail on a second one, especially so soon after the first.  So, I clearance-waited on this one, which paid off quite nicely for me, since I was able to snag it for $4 just after the holidays.  Not great for the prospects of the concept continuing, of course.  I can see Hasbro really trying with this set, with the potential for updates instead of having to buy a new reader with every movie, and the avoidance of double-dipping on Han figures like they had with Rey and Jyn.  Unfortunately, the need to update right out of the box, coupled with how mind-numbingly frustrating the update process can be really hinders the fun factor on the reader.  The Han’s a nice figure, but he was stuck in a $30 set, and that’s a real hard sell.  And, ultimately, the fact that you couldn’t get a Han Solo figure in his own toyline without dropping $30 minimum really shot the line as a whole in the foot, which is a real shame, since they weren’t bad figures at all.

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#1957: Han Solo

HAN SOLO — THE SCOUNDREL

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

“A smuggler and a scoundrel, Han Solo proves that he can also be a hero when he rescues his friends and helps in the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire.”

Accessibility is always a major concern with long-running brands, and Star Wars has always wrestled with the best way to keep their most prominent players consistently represented and available to an all-new audience.  Pretty much in tandem with that, Disney is working to keep the Star Wars universe fresh and on-going while still giving new fans a chance to get up to speed.  Put them together and you have Galaxy of Adventures, animated re-tellings of old-school Star Wars stories, with a toyline of heavy hitters to match.  Today, I’m diving into the line with a look at “The Scoundrel”, Han Solo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han was released as part of the second round of Galaxy of Adventures figures, which started hitting stores just after the new year.  All of the figures in this line are reissues of prior offerings, most of them pretty recent.  Han mixes things up ever so slightly, not by being a new figure, but by being a slightly older one than most of his pack-mates.  Rather than the post-Force Awakens product of most of the line’s sculpts, this one is a Saga Legends release from 2015.  Somewhat surprising, since we got a Bespin Han figure from the Last Jedi line, but that one wasn’t a great sculpt, and this one was always a little difficult to find so yay, I guess.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt predates the move to ball-jointed necks for the heads, so just a cut-joint on this guy.  It hurts his posability a little bit, but on this style of figure, it’s not a huge impact. The sculpt is actually a pretty nice one.  Of the lowered-articulation figures, this is definitely the best younger Han Solo.  The likeness on the head isn’t a spot-on Ford likeness, but it’s still one of Hasbro’s better attempts.  The figure also has a very easy time staying on his feet, which is always a definite plus for a Star Wars figures.  On a whole, despite being a slightly older sculpt, it’s a much better offering than the TLJ Bespin Han sculpt.  The paint work on this figure is pretty basic, but pretty decently applied, and a good match for his colors from the film.  Han is packed with his signature blaster, which can be held in his hand or stowed in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t collecting Star Wars figures regularly when the Saga Legends version of this guy hit, and he was kind of rare, so I never saw one.  I did my best to make due with the Last Jedi release, but it wasn’t as good a figure as I’d hoped.  While the Galaxy of Adventures stuff hasn’t largely been up my alley, I was definitely happy to see this guy crop back up.  He’s a nice figure, and will definitely be my default Han on the shelf for the time being.

#1931: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)

Let it be known, I have *not* forgotten about Mighty Muggs!  Everybody else may have, but not me.  I’m stubborn like that.  Also, I haven’t forgotten about Solo.  Because, once again, stubborn.  What do you get when you put those two things together?  A total loss of faith in humanity’s ability to have nice things?  No, wait, that’s not quite right.  Solo-themed Mighty Muggs!  Yeah, that’s the one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han is number 10 in the Star Wars Mighty Muggs line, making him numerically the first Mugg in the third assortment of the line.  The whole assortment was Solo-themed, and this guy follows suit, meaning he’s based on Alden Ehrenreich’s Han, rather than Harrison Ford.  That being said, the more cartoony nature of their designs means that, aside from the costume choice, he could theoretically pass for either actor.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and he’s articulated at the shoulders and the neck.  He’s built on the exact same body as all of the other modern Muggs l’ve looked at.  It’s kind of the line’s whole thing, so no surprises here.  Han does get a new hair piece, which is stylized to match the rest of the line, while still maintaining the proper look for Han’s usual fabulous hair.  As is the new standard for Muggs, Han has an expression-changing feature, with three expressions featured.  Han gets cocky grin, sheepish grin, and annoyed sideways glance.  He’s the first of the ones I’ve looked at to not have any sort of a raging expression, but that actually feels totally appropriate for Han.  The basic cocky grin is probably going to be my go-to, but I think there’s a lot more versatility to these expressions, which I definitely dig.  Han has no accessories, which isn’t a huge surprise, but is a slight let-down.  I would have liked to have gotten his blaster, especially since all of the Jedi characters have gotten their light sabers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the first assortment, at the beginning of last year, Mighty Muggs seemed to just spontaneously disappear from every retail store.  Han here is the only one of the later assortments I ever saw, found at the Walmart around the corner from All Time Toys.  I was happy to find him, but kind of got distracted by other things.  Remember how I mentioned yesterday that Ghost Rider and The Fallen had been sitting on my desk for five months waiting to get reviewed?  Well, this guy’s been sitting on my desk for even longer.  I literally just opened him up 10 minutes before writing my review, which is cutting it much closer than I usually do.  I’m glad I finally got around to opening him up, and I feel a little bad about letting him sit for so long.  Some researching I did for this review also led me to find that apparently this line has *not* been abandoned by Hasbro, as a new assortment quietly appeared on Amazon.  Hopefully they actually find their way out!

#1920: Han Solo – Endor Gear

HAN SOLO — ENDOR GEAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Han Solo commanded a strike force of freedom fighters whose mission it was to sabotage the Imperial shield generator protecting the new Death Star. However, a surprise visit from some of Endor’s native Ewoks appears to present an uncalculated setback.”

On the Forrest Moon of Endor, everybody needs camo.  While Leia and Luke are just sporting some ponchos, that just wouldn’t do for the coolest guy in the whole of the galaxy far, far away, so Han Solo got to be all badass long-coat-y.  Given the generally retread-ish nature of Han’s costume from Jedi, this long-coat is his go-to look for Jedi-based toys of Han, as was the case for the ‘90s Power of the Force line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo in his Endor Gear was released in the 1997 assortment of the Power of the Force line.  He was the fourth version of Han to grace the line, and one of two Hans released that year.  He was also a nice compliment to the Endor Luke and Leia figures that were packed with the Speeder Bikes released that same year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The formula for building Endor Han was pretty straight-forward; he’s pretty much just the first PotF2 Han, but with a new set of arms and a jacket overlay piece.  It’s consistent with the rest of the line’s offerings, but also means that this figure is saddled with one of the most “off” sculpts in the line.  The head never looked much like Harrison Ford, and the body was super, super bulked up.  Also, if you want to get technical, the shirt under the vest should be different if you’re going for an authentic Jedi version of Han.  Topping it all off, the jacket’s just really, really bulky looking, just further adding to the steroid-fueled appearance for Han.  On the paint side of things, there are some plusses and minuses.  The jacket works out pretty well with its camo and everything.  The biggest issue with my figure is the pants.  The initial release of this figure had blue pants instead of brown.  Later releases corrected this, but generally speaking, this is the one that seems to crop up most often, so odds are very good that you’re going to have an incorrect version if you get one.  Han was packed with one accessory: his standard blaster.  It’s oversized, as was the trend at this point, but otherwise a worthy addition.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most Hans from this line, I wasn’t particularly interested in this figure growing up, since it’s so far off from his actual movie look.  I ended up adding him to my collection while on my recent quest to get a complete run of Power of the Force II figures, which my friends at All Time Toys are doing their best to assist me with.  I got this one from their bin of loose figures, so he wasn’t much of an investment.  Ultimately, he’s not one of the better Han figures from this line, but he’s not terrible either.

#1841: Solo Set

HAN SOLO — MIMIBAN, STORMTROOPER — MIMIBAN, STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER, MUDTROOPER, IMPERIAL PATROL TROOPER, & TIE FIGHTER PILOT

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Solo may not have been quite the box-office-smash that Disney was hoping for, but it’s maintained a nice little following of fans, and by extension has managed to support a nice little selection of continuing merchandise.  While its toy presence hasn’t been quite as pervasive as the three films that preceded it, there are still some fun pieces trickling out.  Target’s picked up a healthy helping of exclusives, including today’s set, a selection of the film’s various Imperial forces, all in one convenient package!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set is a Target-exclusive boxed set, part of Hasbro’s continuing Solo line.  It started hitting retail shelves about two weeks ago, and if other such sets are anything to go by, it’ll be staying on them for at least a little while.

HAN SOLO

It would be a little bit strange to have a Solo set that didn’t include the title character, and as luck would have it, he does spend at least some of his screen time in an Imperial uniform, so he still fits the overall theme of the set.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation (get used to those numbers; they stand true for most of this set).  The sculpt is “unique” in the sense that it’s new to this set, but not totally unique to just this figure.  It’s a solid sculpt, nicely detailing Han’s environment specific armor from Mimiban.  The goggles and rebreather are separate from the main head sculpt, allowing for a fully revealed or fully covered look, which means he can operate both as a Han variant or a troop builder, depending on your fancy.  Also of note, the pre-posed arms, allowing for a proper handling of his weapon.  It’s a nice change of pace after a couple of years of purely straight-armed set-ups.  Han’s paintwork is solid, and pretty straight forward.  Application is mostly pretty clean, and all of the important details are there.  It gets the job done.  Han is packed with a blaster rifle, of a different style than we usually see.

STORMTROOPER

Perhaps the most difficult figure to find in the single-packed assortment was the Mimiban Stormtrooper.  He was a new trooper and he was packed at one per case.  Maybe not the best break-down, but at least Hasbro was nice enough to offer up a straight re-issue here.  The figure’s sculpt has a lot in common with the Rogue One Stormtrooper; no actual shared parts, but a very similar styling.  This new sculpt is pre-posed like the above Han, allowing for a proper rifle-holding pose.  His helmet has been slightly tweaked to add his blast shield, and he also gets an additional cape piece.  His paintwork is suitably muddy for the much more worn-in Mimiban armor, covering him in all sorts of much and grossness.  The Mimiban Stormtrooper is packed with a larger marksman rifle, as well as one of the standard E-11 blasters.

SQUAD LEADER

Hey, remember that awesome Rogue One Stormtrooper?  And then remember the Mimiban Stormtrooper?  Great.  Smash those two together and throw in a shoulder pauldron, and boom, you’ve got this guy.  Not really anything new, but it makes for the best Trooper variant available in the modern line, so I’m definitely counting this one as a win.

MUDTROOPER

Hey, remember the Han figure from up above?  Great.  This is the same figure.  Okay, not exactly.  The helmet and goggles are all one piece, and his rebreather is glued in place.  Throw on a slightly different application of paint on his right arm, and a slightly different blaster rifle and boom, new figure.

PATROL TROOPER

Easily one of my favorite designs from Solo was the Patrol Trooper.  It’s not a huge surprise, given that its really just a take on the Biker Scout, my favorite Trooper design of all time.  The absence of the Patrol Trooper from earlier assortments was definitely my biggest complaint about the line-up.  This figure gets an all-new sculpt, and boy is it a nice one.  The details are really sharply defined, and very accurate to the film.  It’s a slick design, and it certainly translated well into toy form.  The paint work maintains the slickness, with clean application and a lot of smaller details that you might not expect to see on a lower end figures.  There’s a lot of detail work going on there, and it makes the figure all the better.  Since a full patrol speeder seems like a bit much to ask for in this sort of set, the Patrol Trooper instead has to settle for a Biker Scout-esque blaster pistol.  Worse things have happened.

TIE FIGHTER PILOT

Though they don’t figure prominently into the film at any real point, there certainly have to be some TIE Pilots in Solo, somewhere, right?  More importantly, Hasbro had this great TIE Pilot mold sitting around, and had only released it a single time, so I guess they wanted everyone to have another shot at it.  This figure is sculpturally identical to the Rogue One version packed in with the TIE Striker.  Like the Rogue One Stormtrooper, it’s one of the most screen accurate sculpts Hasbro has produced, making it a fantastic offering even in spite of its lessened articulation.  The paintwork is ever so slightly tweaked from the last release, with a small bit of extra detailing on his helmet denoting that this figure is a higher ranking pilot than the last.  That’s a cool touch.  The TIE Pilot is packed with a mid-sized blaster, same as the prior release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Care to guess where I got this Target-exclusive set?  Did you guess “Target”?  Good for you!  You get the FiQ-No-Prize!  I didn’t quite know when or even where this set was hitting, but I knew as soon as I saw that Patrol Trooper that I was getting one.  So…I kinda bought this big set for one figure.  I know, bad Ethan.  In my defense, the Patrol Trooper is really, really good, and I found myself happy with all of the figures included, so I don’t at all feel like the money I spent was wasted.

#1770: Han Solo – Exogorth Escape

HAN SOLO — EXOGORTH ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was one of the great leaders of the Rebel Alliance. In the wake of the of the battle of Hoth, Solo fled with the rest of the RebelForces and evaded the pursuit of Imperial TIE Fighters as he expertly maneuvered the Falcon towards the perceived safety of a crater in the Hoth asteroid belt. Infamous for his bold plans that seemed to always defy the odds, Solo soon discovered that the unstable crater upon which he had landed the Falcon – and its crew made up of co-pilot Chewbacca, Princess Leia Organa, and C-3PO – was in fact the cavernous mouth of a giant space slug known as an Exogorth. In the belly of the beast, Solo and crew discovered an inhospitable environment of noxious fumes and parasitic, swooping Mynocks – bat-like creatures who ate through power cables and drained the energy from even the most impressive ships. With the life of his comrades and beloved Millennium Falcon threatened, Solo was called again to emergency action, and steered the Falcon to safety, barely escaping into space through the rapidly collapsing jaws of the ravenous Exogorth.”

Remember the Solo Han Solo Black Series figure that I liked so much?  And remember how I said at the end of that review when I said I’d be sincerely disappointed if there wasn’t a Bespin Han of a similar quality released within the next year?  Well, looks like I don’t have to be sincerely disappointed!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Exogorth Escape Han Solo was released as a SDCC 2018-exclusive offering for Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  Like Thrawn, Jyn, and the First Order Stormtrooper before him, he serves as a sort of a preview for a mass-retail released figure, specifically Bespin Han Solo, who is hitting stores in the latest round of Black Series figures.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Han’s articulation scheme follows the trend established by the Solo versions of Han and Lando, which is to say he’s got some really great range on a lot of those joints, especially the neck joints.  I definitely appreciate this new style for the line, and it’s nice to have a Han can be more expressive than the rather stiff Smuggler version.  The sculpt for this Han is all-new, and overall one of the line’s strongest offerings.  The head sculpt is the main selling point, based largely on its improved Harrison Ford likeness.  While we got a pretty good older Ford likeness from the TFA version, the younger Han has always been a tough mark.  This figure has one of the best takes we’ve seen to date.  It’s still not 100% there.  The hair seems a little off, and the face goes a little bit more for caricature, but the overall appearance is very, very close.  The body is a fairly balanced sculpt, proportion-wise.  The shoulder’s could probably stand to be a little broader, but that’s a decidedly a minor issue.  The detail work, especially on his jacket, is clean and sharp, and there’s some solid texture work all throughout.  I’m also quite happy that they’ve changed up how they do the non-dominant hands, so that it’s a more sensible grip, rather than the weird claw grip we got with the last two Han releases.  Han’s sculpt is aided by some absolutely top-notch paint work.  He uses the printed face technique, which really further sells the likeness on the head.  The SDCC release gets a little extra shading on the face than the regular release, but it’s definitely a minor change.  The body paint is more basic, but he does get some nice weathering on his belt and holster.  Aside from the minor paint difference on the face, the main thing that separates this release from the regular retail offering is his accessory complement.  Both figures include Han’s blaster, which is mostly accurate to the Empire model of the blaster, apart from lacking silver paint on the barrel.  In an effort to make this figure live more appropriately up to his “Exogorth Escape” subtitle, this Han also includes one of the Mynock creatures that had affixed itself to the hull of the Falcon, as well as his breathing apparatus he wears while walking around the Exogorth’s innards, a hydrospanner, and an extra left hand.  The Mynock is a fun piece, and I really like the slightly transparent wings.  I do sort of wish it had a flight stand of some sort, though.  The rebreather fits nicely over Han’s face, though I would be careful about taking it off; those seams on the strap don’t look too durable.  The hydrospanner is a nice scene-specific piece, which looks good in his off-hand.  The left hand might actually be my favorite accessory in the whole set; there’s just so much Harrison Ford in how the hand is posed.  I can practically hear him telling off Threepio!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was unable to attend SDCC this year (or any year, really; living on the other side of the country has that affect on you), so I didn’t have the opportunity to pick this set up in-person.  Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get it, since the base figure’s getting a standard release and everything.  But, Super Awesome Fiancee wanted the Doctor Aphra set, so I had to log onto Hasbro Toy Shop anyway, and this guy was just sitting there in-stock.  I’m glad I splurged for the deluxe version.  Bespin Han is hands down my favorite look for the character, and I truly love the extras they’ve packed in with him.  By far, the very best version of Han in this line.  Or any line, really.

#1726: Han Solo in Hoth Gear

HAN SOLO IN HOTH GEAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“In his history as a smuggler, Han Solo has been in a lot of hot spots. As a reluctant hero for the Rebel Alliance in the years following the destruction of the Death Star, he found himself in a cold spot…on the ice planet of Hoth, to be exact. Hiding out from the intergalactic crimelord jabba the Hutt, Han and his copilot, Chewbacca, had stayed with the Rebellion for several years, adventuring, piloting, smuggling, and ranking up an impressive rap sheet and bounty not only from Jabba, but also from the Empire. Following the evacuation of the Rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin, Han helped the Alliance scout out new locations for their base, and helped establish Echo Base on Hoth.”

Two weeks ago, I looked at Luke Skywalker in his Hoth gear.  Today, I’ll be looking at his natural counterpart, Han Solo in *his* Hoth gear.  Two different characters in Hoth gear?  That’s just crazy.  Okay, no it’s really not.  It’s kind of a normal, not at all weird thing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo in Hoth Gear was released durning Power of the Force II’s second year.  He was the second version of Han we received in the line, though he would be joined by the Han in Carbonite figure very shortly after.  He predated the corresponding Luke by a year, because I guess people were just chomping at the bit for this particular version of Han (alternatively, there were two different Lukes already in this particular assortment).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has the usual 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was unique to him, and it’s definitely a product of the time.  He’s bulky, and puffy, and a bit pre-posed.  Still noticeably toned down from the first year’s figures, of course, but still kind of ridiculous.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this figure’s sculpt is how it gives us a look we don’t often see.  Most Hoth Han’s have the hood to his jacket pulled up, but this one doesn’t, revealing Han’s insulated cap, which matches the other rebels we see on Hoth.  It’s easy to forget he’s even wearing that under there, since it’s never seen directly in the film, but there it is.  Sort of an odd choice, but I can’t fault them too much for trying something different.  The paint marks something of a debate amongst the fanbase regarding the proper coloring of Han’s jacket.  The vintage figure’s was blue, based on how it appears to be colored in the film.  However, that was all the result of lighting; the actual prop jacket was brown, as seen on the figure here.  Of course, this leads to the whole debate about which color is truly accurate, similar to the color of the Ghostbusters’ jumpsuits.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.  Me?  I always preferred the blue, but that’s not a huge strike against this figure.  Han was packed with his standard blaster, as well as a larger one, if you want more options, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Han was a figure that haunted me for quite some time in my younger years.  All I wanted was a Hoth Luke, but he was harder to find, and Hoth Han was always there, watching me.  It was weird.  I never did get one, not new at least.  This one is a rather recent addition to my collection.  I grabbed him during a recent sidewalk sale that Lost In Time Toys was running, alongside a whole slew of other PotF figures.  I can’t say he’s really a favorite, but he’s certainly not a bad figure either.

#1721: Millennium Falcon — Kessel

MILLENNIUM FALCON — KESSEL RUN

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Well, poor Solo’s kind of come and gone.  You can still find it playing in a few theaters, but not nearly as many as you might expect.  And that’s really a shame, since it wasn’t a bad movie at all.  But, it had the misfortune of being the last in a string of summer blockbusters, being too close to the last Star Wars flick’s release, and being the Star Wars film that was in theaters when parts of the fanbase decided to…do…something?  I haven’t gotten that piece figured out quite yet.  Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed Solo, and have picked up a slew of the toys, including the newest (but technically oldest) incarnation of the Millennium Falcon.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Kessel Run variant of the Falcon hit stores alongside the rest of the Solo product in April of this year.It’s by far the biggest of the items offered this time.On the flipside, it’s also the smallest version of the Falcon we’ve ever gotten that was still intended for use with the standard figures.This size has certainly upset large parts of the fandom, who have become accustomed to more robust offerings for the Falcon, and weren’t pleased to see it scaled down quite so far.  I’m of two minds on this.  While I appreciate the play set approach of earlier versions of the vehicle (the POTF2 version is my jam), but they could certainly be a little unwieldy for actual use as a space ship.  This slightly streamlined and smaller model, on the other hand, allows for more use for flying around and such.  It’s not a move that’s going to please longer term collectors, but there’s definitely a rationale behind it.  As it stands, this version of the Falcon is still noticeably bigger than most other recent ships, and upon opening it, it actually wasn’t quite as small as I’d expected. I’d say it’s about 80% of the size of
the POTF2 version, which is respectable.  Obviously, the sculpt on this thing is all-new, given not only the new size, but also the cleaner, sleeker design of the Falcon in Solo. It’s a nice looking ship,to be sure. There are three main areas where the figures can interact.  The most obvious, of course, is the cockpit.  It’s somewhat negatively impacted by the scale.  Getting two figures into the cockpit of even the vintage Falcon mold was difficult enough, but this one throws the concept out all together.  There is one single seat in the cockpit, and one person’s going in there.  If you really try, you can kind of get Han and Qi’ra both in there, but it’s far from natural looking. Of course, once the cockpit’s canopy is shut, it’s not like you can really see who’s in there anyway, so the point is kind of moot anyway.  There are two panels towards the back of the ship which can also be popped off.  Unlike earlier versions, there’s not a ton you can really do with either of these areas. I mean, it’s still nifty to see them there, though.  The details seen there look pretty nifty, and it’s a nice little bonus. The last area of interaction is the escape pod between the mandibles.  It’s really just a simple hatched piece, with space for another figure, albeit laying down. The interior matches the other sections, and is better than just smooth grey plastic.  The pod is, of course, removable, and features further detailing for the thrusters and such, allowing it to fully function as it’s own separate piece.  Personally, I prefer the ship without it, but the option is much appreciated.  The paintwork is a little sparse on the Falcon, being limited mostly to the blue detailing.  The Falcon is supposed to be cleaner, so it works alright.  Smaller details and the like are done with decals, which have to be applied after you get the ship out of the box.  The Falcon has a few action features built in.  It’s compatible with Force Link 2.0, but that’s thankfully limited to the escape pod.  The other features are native to the toy proper.  There’s flight sounds, activated by a “takeoff” (theres a spring-loaded piece of landing gear that senses when the ship is picked up).  There are then some lights and sounds determined by the gyroscope within the ship sensing motion.  Pressing the buttons on the sides intensifies the lights and sounds which each subsequent push, with the third push enacting the “hyperdrive”, which has some rumbling, and pops off two panels on the back and two on the front, thus simulating the damage the Falcon takes during the Kessel Run.  It takes a little bit of work to learn the rhythms of the mechanics.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the Falcon is a variant of the title character, Han Solo himself.  It’s a unique version of the character, based on his appearance from the very end of the movie (and not the Kessel Run as the figure’s name suggests).  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  This Han gets the coveted wrist articulation, which is pretty cool. The sculpt is, surprisingly, totally new.  Not even the head is shared with the other two Hans.  I think I like this one more than the one from the speeder.  It’s certainly a sharper sculpt.  Even the paint is a bit cleaner, which is a plus.  Han includes his blaster, as well as a canister of cargo to go in the ship.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I realized at the time of this set’s release that I hadn’t actually gotten a Millennium Falcon since the ‘99s, which didn’t seem right.  However, the higher price tag on this boy meant I was definitely waiting for a sale.  And find a decent sale I did, so now I have it.  Yay! It’s got its issues, and it’s not going to be for everyone, but I found myself quite liking it, a fair bit more than I’d expected to.

FiQ Friday Fab Five at 5 #0005: Top 5 Han Solo Figures

Hey there FiQ-Fans!  Another month has passed, which means it’s time for another FiQ Friday Fab 5 @ 5!  Since today marks the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I think it’s only proper I take a look at the top 5 Han Solo action figures!

#5:     Cantina Han Solo — Power of the Force II (Hasbro)

Of all the Power of the Force II offerings, Han’s are, by-and-large, the ones that hold up the worst.  He didn’t really get any decent figures until the line was almost over.  Fortunately, Kenner made up for it by offering one of the best figures in the whole line, and one of the best takes on Han’s classic smuggler’s outfit.

#4:     TFA Han Solo — Star Wars: The Black Series (Hasbro)

The elder Han was held back from initial product offerings for The Force Awakens, but he got a handful of figures after the movie’s release.  The best of the bunch was his larger-scale Black Series release, which is one of the figures that helped set The Black Series on the path back to greatness (though it was not an immediate shift).  It’s  definitely got one of the best Ford likenesses out there, and for a while it was Han’s best Black Series offering.

#3:     Bespin Han Solo — The Empire Strikes Back (Kenner)

A recurring theme of these lists is that it’s hard to beat the classics.  Han’s vintage figures are all pretty decent, but by far the best is his Bespin attire from Empire.  Not only is it just Han’s coolest look, but it’s also just a solid figure all-around.

#2:     Smuggler Han Solo — Star Wars: 30th Anniversary (Hasbro)

There are a lot of options out there if you’re looking for Han’s classic A New Hope attire, with all sorts of minor variations.  This one is very clearly Han piloting the Falcon.  The headset and gloves make for a unique, but still very true to the character look, and this figure hit after Hasbro started making great strides in how they handled articulation.

#1:     Young Han Solo — Star Wars: The Black Series (Hasbro)

I know, I know; it’s blasphemy that the number one slot on this list would go to a non-Harrison Ford Han Solo figure.  The fact of the matter is that this is hands down the best action figure of Han Solo we’ve gotten.  It’s a wonderfully detailed figure, with a fantastic likeness, and an all-around good toy.  Should Hasbro release a Harrison Solo figure of this quality, I could easily see him dethroning this guy.

#1672: Han Solo’s Land Speeder (w/ Han Solo)

HAN SOLO’S LAND SPEEDER (w/ HAN SOLO)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

“Han is cagey about where he scored this overpowered M-68 land speeder, saying little beyond that its previous owner no longer had need of it.  The M-68 is a design from the ancient Core World of Corellia, now a principal starship production facility for the Galactic Empire.”

This week sees the release of the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story.  The film’s been the source of its share of controversy since day 1, with its entire premise being based around re-casting a very prominent pop-culture icon.  The firing of its initial directors a good way into production didn’t help either.  Of course, the replacement director is Ron Howard, and he’s pretty top-notch, so I’m trying to go in with an open mind.  Anyway, I’ve got some of the toys, and I’m kicking things off with the main man himself and one of his vehicles.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Since he doesn’t yet have the Falcon at the time of this new movie, Han’s got a few different toys.  If Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that before a main character can get a space ship, they have to have a land speeder of some sort.  Han gets one that’s more of a sports car than the one that we saw Luke driving in the first movie, but that sort of fits his character, right?  Anyway, Han’s Speeder was part of the new Solo product launch, as a mid-sized vehicle (it’s at the same price point as the A-Wing and Canto Bight Police Speeder from The Last Jedi).  There’s less assembly on this guy than on other vehicles, with just the back tail fin needing to be popped into place.  The speeder measures 9 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide.  It’s got no articulated parts, not even the steering wheel, which was a little disappointing, but not incredibly surprising given other vehicles in this range.  As far as scaling goes, this is definitely the least scaled down of all the modern Star Wars vehicles, and going by what we’ve seen from the film, it looks like it’s not terribly far off from the intended size.  The sculpt is, of course, unique, and does a respectable job translating the design from the film, which looks to be a decent melding of the Prequel and Original Trilogy sensibilities.  I like it a lot.  Paint’s kind of basic, but it gets the job done, and there are at least a few cool dings and scrapes to make it look a bit more “real.”  The speeder has an action feature built into it.  There’s a spring under the driver’s seat, and it pops up when the front of the speeder is depressed, as if in a head on collision.  I’m guessing this is related to something that happens in the film, but time will tell.  The only real downside of this feature is the use of rubber for the front of the speeder, as I’m not quite sure how that will hold up long-term.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the vehicle is your main character, Han Solo, in his new, non-Harrison-Ford-y form.  This figure gives us a slightly different look than the standard jacketed look we’ve been seeing most places.  It looks to match the vehicle, though, which makes sense.  It’s a different look, though, and I quite like it.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is new, but I’m going to assume the head’s probably shared with the other 3 3/4-inch Han figures from this line.  It’s a decent enough match for the actor, though clearly not at the same level as the larger Black Series figure.  The body’s a pretty decent piece as well.  The vest is separate, and can be removed if you so choose, though he’s definitely not designed with that in mind.  His legs are a little boxy for my taste, but for the most part, his proportions and build do seem pretty realistic.  Han’s paintwork is about par for the course on this line.  Its clean overall, and the important details are all there.  They’ve attempted some dirt detailing on his boots, but it really just looks like paint splatters.  Han is packed with a blaster, which is curiously different from his usual model.  He has no holster for it, but he can hold it well enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first stop looking for Solo product yielded only the Black Series Han, and no small-scale offerings.  My second stop was more successful, but it was on this second stop that I discovered that to get a smaller Han, you’re pretty much locked into at minimum a $30 purchase.  Given the choice between Han and the new Force Link reader and Han and a Speeder, I felt the speeder set was the better value.  Going by what I’ve seen on shelves, I’d say most fans agree with me.  This is a pretty fun set, provided you’re into this style of line.  If you liked the small vehicles from TLJ, you’ll like this one.  If you’re looking for something less toy-etic, this might not be for you.