#3061: Han Solo – Bespin Capture

HAN SOLO — BESPIN CAPTURE

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE JEDI (HASBRO)

“A smuggler before he joined the Rebel Alliance, the daring Han Solo stayed alive by keeping his guard up and his blaster ready. Unfortunately, when he arrived on Cloud City with Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO, Solo had no idea he was walking right into a trap… and a fateful confrontation with Darth Vader.”

In the wake of The Phantom Menace‘s tie-in line not quite performing the way Hasbro had hoped, they rolled what remained of that line into a full-franchise covering line dubbed Power of the Jedi, which also boasted updated takes on a few of the Original Trilogy designs as well.  The main characters got a little bit of coverage, mostly serving as a continuation of the slightly improved figures from the end of Power of the Force.  There were two Han Solos included, one of which was based on Han’s super fly Empire attire, which is the one I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo (Bespin Capture) was released during the first year of Power of the Jedi‘s run, hitting during the second round of figures.  He was the first of the two Hans in the line, and the first Bespin Han since 1998.  In the subsequent year, we’d gotten the updated Cantina Han from A New Hope, so the aim of this one was really just to bring the Bespin design up to that same quality.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  While he didn’t get to keep the knee articulation from the Cantina Han, this guy still got some slightly improved articulation, with universal joints at the shoulders, as well as swivel joints at both elbows.  Han’s sculpt was an all-new one, though the head is clearly based on the same sculpt as the Cantina Han, much like how all of the late run PotF Lukes had the same updated features.  The likeness isn’t bad for Harrison Ford, especially compared to other sculpts from the same era.  The body sculpt is a pretty strong piece itself; the proportions are generally pretty well balanced, and the detailing is pretty sharp.  The jacket is perhaps a touch long for its proper length, but it’s not terrible, and the fact that it’s a separate piece does add a lot of depth to the overall look.  His paint work is generally pretty solid.  The colors are more on the subdued side, and apart from a little bit of slop on the right sleeve, the application is pretty clean.  Han was originally packed with his blaster (which can be stored in his holster) and a pair of cuffs.  Mine is lacking the cuffs, but he’s still got the blaster, which is a much smaller sculpt than prior versions.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a kid, I remember really wanting this figure, but Power of the Jedi was one of those line’s that never really had consistent distribution, so I never saw one in person.  Over the years, I kept my eye out for him, and I eventually got a hold of one a couple of years back, courtesy of the House of Fun in New Jersey.  He’s a pretty solid little figure.  I don’t generally get Power of the Jedi stuff, but this guy’s one that feels like a nice extension of PotF, and he’s honestly just my favorite Bespin Han.

#3051: IG-88

IG-88

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE JEDI (HASBRO)

“The most infamous and feared of all assassin droids, IG-88 has made a career as a ruthless bounty hunter. The tall, slender, gray droid was produced at Holowan Laboratories. IG-88 is equipped with an array of head sensors that allow him to see in all directions at once, and a variety of lethal weapons including grenade launchers, missiles and a flamethrower.”

Most of the IG-droid love on this site has been directed to the newcomer IG-11, and while I do certainly love that guy and all of his Taika Waititi-voiced goodness, I still feel the need to show some proper appreciation for the original IG, IG-88.  With an extra 40 years of existence on IG-11, 88’s got quite a number of figures in his arsenal.  I’ve covered his vintage figure and his Shadows of the Empire figure (which doubled as his representation for Power of the Force), so now I’m moving forward in the IG-88 chronology, with a look at his figure from Power of the Jedi, the post-Episode I full-franchise covering line that ran from 2000 to 2002.  Not a long run, but long enough to get an IG-88, and that’s what really counts.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IG-88 was added to Hasbro’s Power of the Jedi line during the second half of its debut year, as part of the push for more Original Trilogy offerings, to further distance from the Episode I merchandise that was still hanging around at this point.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The Shadows IG-88 just used a slightly tweaked version of the vintage mold, adding a “waist” joint to match with the rest of PotF style figures.  Jedi IG-88 doesn’t completely abandon the vintage molds just yet, but he does get a new head and torso.  The head is more accurate to the actual prop than the previous mold had been, and the new torso firstly makes the bandolier a separate piece (allowing for more depth to the design), and secondly moves the mid-torso joint up to a more design appropriate spot.  It takes a mold that was already pretty strong, and just makes it stronger, resulting in probably the best take on IG-88 until they started making the articulation improvements.  There was a running change on the mold; initial offerings had the right hand molded into a closed grip, while the larger portion of the run opened the hand up.  It doesn’t really affect the ability to hold his gun, or anything, and honestly just looks about the same either way.  Previous IG-88 figures had been relatively light on the paint front, but for this release, Hasbro actually put a bit of effort into making him look a little more worn-in.  It’s pretty well done, and does a great job of breathing some new life into the re-used parts, while also doing a nice job of showing off the detailing of the newly sculpted bits.  88 downgrades a bit on the accessory front, getting just one long rifle, rather than the two guns he usually sports.  It’s at least a new gun, so he’s got that going for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite its close proximity to both Power of the Force and Saga, both of which I collected quite a bit growing up, I only had two Power of the Jedi figures growing up, and I’ve only since picked up a few others.  IG-88 is notably one of them, given that he’s IG-88 and all, and I do kinda like IG-88.  This figure’s a pretty solid one, taking the vintage mold, which is already really nice, and just making it even better.  I really like him.

#0905: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER – X-WING PILOT

POWER OF THE JEDI

LukePOTJ1

The Phantom Menace was a big deal in a whole lot of ways, mostly due to being the first Star Wars film in almost two decades. One of the things it did was bring the main Star Wars toyline of the time to pretty much a screeching halt, in favor of product centered around the new film. To be fair, it wasn’t unlike what The Force Awakens did last year, with one major caveat: Phantom Menace, while commercially successful, was far from critically successful, and people were far less interested in product based solely on the new film after seeing it. Shortly after the movie, Hasbro did a quick retool of the line, re-branding it Power of the Jedi, and offering figures from throughout the Star Wars saga. Going back to the older films let Hasbro bring out new versions of the Original Trilogy’s main heroes, which included Luke Skywalker.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LukePOTJ2Luke was released in 2001 as part of the second basic assortment of Power of the Jedi figures. The figure is 3 ¾ inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. He depicts Luke in his X-Wing Fighter gear, presumably from A New Hope. This was the third figure to depict Luke in his pilot gear, but it’s notable for being the first ever to give him a removable helmet (though he’s not the first X-Wing pilot to get a removable helmet. That was Wedge Antilles, just two years prior). The sculpt on this figure is decent enough.  It does a much better job of capturing Hamill’s size and proportions than earlier Lukes did, though he takes the smallness a bit too far; Luke looks just a tad under fed. The likeness on the head is just so-so, but certainly a good attempt. The body has a slight rigidity to it that looks a little unnatural, but the level of detail is pretty fantastic, especially at this scale. The hose on his chest piece was a separate piece, which had a tendency to fall out (hence my figure not having his anymore). Luke’s paintwork is decent enough (though my figure’s a little worse for wear in that respect). It’s fairly basic, but all the important details are there, and they manage to be pretty decently applied (though the white of his teeth makes him look almost buck-toothed). Luke’s lone accessory was his removable helmet, sadly lost some time ago by child-Ethan.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I believe I got this figure from Cosmic Comix, which is weird, because he was new at the time and they never really carried new Star Wars figures. I bought him because he had the removable helmet, which rather fascinated me at the time. He was pretty good at the time, but this figure hasn’t aged particularly well. There’s nothing that stands out as being super off, but he just feels somehow lacking.