Monday, November 10, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 889: Han Solo (Hoth)

HAN SOLO Hoth Outfit
30th Anniversary Collection Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 87295 No. 87307
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Thermal hat, macrobinoculars, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Han Solo was a Human from Corellia who achieved galactic fame as a member of the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic. Solo then entered the Imperial Academy at Carida, serving with distinction. He was kicked out, however, when he stopped an Imperial officer from beating a Wookiee named Chewbacca. In gratitude, the Wookiee swore a life debt to Solo. He became a smuggler once again, with Chewbacca at his side. Piloting the Millennium Falcon, he was known as one of the best smugglers in the galaxy. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: A desk.

Commentary: Hasbro's luck with Han Solo in Hoth gear hasn't been so great. The first one was a pegwarmer of stellar proportions. Others had variant jackets, bad likenesses, or other things fans took issues with-- although some of those were designed to sit on a Tauntaun released years earlier. This one wasn't. As an action figure for collectors, this may be the best Hoth Han Solo ever designed, but as a toy, it's not very good. Sure, he can stand-- but he can't sit, he can't pilot any vehicles, and he can't ride a Tauntaun. Still, he does have super articulation... but the design of the figure's coat restricts much of the lower body movement. In a way, it's a shame Hasbro is putting emphasis on looks above functionality, while the 1990s figures were more primitive, they certainly made for better playthings. While the detail on this figure is fantastic, and the likeness is good, its inability to perform basic toy functions is a bit of a downer. Also, its thermal hat is pretty worthless-- why Hasbro and Kenner seem insistent on making this a key feature of the character is beyond me. When the first Hoth Han figure from Kenner's modern line came out, a lot of fans weren't even entirely sure why it was there-- we always saw him with his hood up, or down, paying no attention to the hat. So if you get this, odds are you can ignore that particular accessory. Thankfully, his blaster is a perfect fit in his holster, and he has no problem holding his gun.

Collector's Notes: The first public showing of this figure included a variant head with a hood up-- which Hasbro took down within minutes, as they claimed LucasFilm did not approve it. A "hood-up" version of the figure would come out in 2008, first in Wal-Mart's exclusive Droid Factory collection, and again in the Hoth Recon Battle Pack. This particular figure wasn't hard to get in the slightest and could be found on clearance in some places. As an aside, I had a breakage issue with my first figure-- it snapped at the waist. My second one was fine, but I was able to find out other collectors had breakage issues. As such, be careful with it if you open a packaged sample. A blue variant figure was sold in a Target exclusive Battle Pack, if you prefer that color.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 889: November 10, 2008

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