Saga Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 85770 No. 85802
Includes: Stand, Carbonite block, Force Pike, Bonus Holographic Figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: January 2006
Appearances: Return of the Jedi
Bio: After Han Solo is captured by the Empire and put into carbon freeze, Boba Fett delivers his prize to Jabba the Hutt. Trapped, but in perfect hibernation, Solo is freed from carbonite by Princess Leia. Jabba, however, has other plans for Solo and orders that he and his friends be executed in the Pit of Carkoon. After a harrowing battle and a close call with the almighty Sarlacc, Solo and friends escape and set their sights on taking down the Empire. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy room.
Commentary: As one of those legendary 1980s figures that was super rare, Han Solo in Carbonite is and will always be something special to fans of the original Kenner figure line. This particular release is awesome, as all modern Carbonite figures, in that it offers something genuinely new. Not only is the figure a 100% new sculpt, but the Carbonite block is the first-ever one to be released in a mid-melting state. You can even put a light behind it and it looks like it's glowing-- it's pretty damned sweet. It's also more authentically proportioned than many other blocks, however the front panel doesn't quite fit perfectly with the rest of it, and it was not designed particularly well if you wanted the figure to be fastened inside the accessory. In a way, it's like getting two figures for the price of one because you really can't use both of them together, but then again, by themselves, each piece would be a disappointment.
The Han figure itself is notable in that it does something a lot of figures can't do, and that's to be a good toy. Han can stand, sit, turn his head, fit inside a vehicle with no problems. These are all things most modern Han figures are incapable of doing due to holster-related issues, but as this figure has no holster, he can do pretty much anything that doesn't involve bending knees. In a lot of ways, he's like a hyper-modern 1980s figure-- his shoulders and hips are very old school, as is his pose. He has a ball-jointed neck, a waist, cut elbows, and normal wrists to round out the figure, making it an excellent toy and a pretty good collectible. The texture is good, the proportions are excellent, the "muck" on his costume is pretty cool, and the only real gripe I have about him is that the head could be a smidgen better. Still, everything else is cool-- the icing on the cake would have been variants, or a pistol, but it's still a decent figure for the money.
Collector's Notes: This figure shipped throughout 2006 and had at least three major variants (plus a few others): First release had a bonus blue holographic figure, Second release had a red figure, and there's an Ultimate Galactic Hunt release that came with a silver figure. It's pretty slick. Also, it's worth noting that, to date, Hasbro has never made a Han Solo with Carbonite designed to be specifically from The Empire Strikes Back. On, and Han's pike? Very similar to the one that came with the original Barada, so you might want to lend it to other Skiff Guard figures in need... like the modern Barada.
Revisiting This Mold Notes: This part is for Hasbro, if they're reading today. You have a great mold here: so trot it out some more. A rerelease of this figure could be incorporated into Saga Legends, but with the Carbonite painted in the full-silver color. The mold itself could be altered as well-- toss a vest on this figure and you have a great Han Solo figure that can actually sit inside the canopy of the Millennium Falcon quite easily. All I'm saying is that if you're going to reissue and rehash figures anyway, there are some decent changes you could make to this one to make it fundamentally more exciting to re-buy.
Day 515: October 3, 2007