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Han Solo

SWIV: A New Hope
by Monkey Boy

I don't really get the backlash against Hasbro's new 6" Star Wars Black Series figures. The 3¾" figures? I've seen some pretty sloppy examples on pegs. But the 6"? I have seriously been wanting 6" Star Wars since the existence of both of those concepts.

"Where are the vehicles?" Who cares, vehicles only take up space anyway. "Why this character, why that outfit?" Go away, who cares? It's 6" Star Wars, what's wrong with you? Are the figures perfect? Maybe not, but I had pretty much nothing in the way of complaints about the first series. Most of the complaints about the figures themselves, rather than the idea behind it, seem to be of the "the figures aren't as good as they could be" variety, but I just haven't seen it. I think these figures are great, and they're exactly what I wanted 25 years ago.

Series 1 was kind of all over the place, but Series 2 sort of has a Han Solo theme going: we get his arch nemesis, his former arch nemesis (until he killed him), and his love interest in her outfit from when she was the captive of his other arch nemesis (until she killed that one). And of course, we get the be-vested man himself.

Han Solo has a final showdown with the bounty hunter Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina.

I've often heard it said that Harrison Ford's likeness is very difficult to capture in action figure form. I don't agree, and I think we've had quite a few figures of both Han and Indy that look just like Ford. And I may be in the minority, but I think the Black Series figure looks like Ford, too. It's a little soft, but no more so than any Mattel Movie Masters figure has ever been. Not that I'm making a direct comparison, but both are mass market figures touted as "high end" with a near $20 price point in almost exactly the same scale so... yeah. Except most of the Star Wars Black figures aren't just guys wearing the same suit.

Maybe I'm being lenient because I'm just excited about the prospect of 6" SW figures, but if so, so be it. I think this is a concept that's way overdue and I am perfectly pleased with the execution. The rest of the sculpt is good as well. Wrinkly, but not overdone. Good proportions, not too muscly. Sleeves too short. His vest is a separate piece, which you can remove if you so choose.

His paint is serviceable. Not spectacular, but not much to complain about either. Most of his parts are molded in the right colored plastic, so paint is limited to accent areas like his belt or pant stripes, and smaller areas of different coloration on a single piece, like the fleshtone of his neck and the brown of his hair. The hair, incidentally, is the only area to get a two-tone dry brushing to bring out the highlights.

Han gets the standard 6" Black Series articulation, which means he can be posed all kinds of ways. He's got a peg and hinged neck, shoulders, elbows, wrist, hips and ankles (pegged on the foot side so they "rock"), as well as a balljointed chest, peg thighs and double-hinged knees. It all works quite well, and the only real joints I miss are the boot tops, because joints at the boot tops just make sense in general, but work especially well with these types of ankles.

Solo gets way more accessories than you expect with a typical Han figure; in fact it would take three separate Hans to replicate this figure's accessory compliment at the 3¾" scale. He gets his trusty blaster, as well as a Stormtrooper blaster for Death-Star-assaulting fun. He also gets interchangeable holster/belts for both: his usual brown strappy leg holster deal, and a white Stormtrooper belt with a rear holster. They both slip on and off quite easily. On top of that, he also gets interchangeable hands with yellow tight-fitting gloves to replicate Millennium Falconing. It's unlikely he'll ever get an in-scale Falcon to pilot, but he can look the part, which is nice.

Han Solo honestly isn't the most interesting design, but he is extremely iconic. He's not a trooper with armor or a weird alien, he's just a guy in a shirt, pants, boots, and vest. I think Hasbro's given us a fine Han, and he certainly goes above and beyond what my childhood self always hoped for in a 6" scale Star Wars toy.

-- 12/01/13

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