Thursday, July 9, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,062: McQuarrie Concept Han Solo

CONCEPT HAN SOLO McQuarrie Signature Series
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87500 No. 87408
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #3047
Includes: Cape, lightsaber, hilt, blaster, coin
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: October 2007
Appearances: n/a

Bio: McQuarrie's concept painting of central characters in A New Hope depicts Han Solo as a fierce Jedi Knight rather than a rougish smuggler. Wearing close-fitting battle gear, he is ready for combat with his lightsaber blazing and his face set with stern determination. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' place, on the window.

Commentary: When the concept series was announced, we all hoped that Han Solo would be one of the characters to see release in plastic. The downside is that most of us knew it from black-and-white sketches, and we weren't really expecting a purple-tighted warrior with frosted tips. I somehow doubt this is what George Lucas was thinking, but eh, what are you going to do?

The sketch was rough enough that pretty much anything would look like an accurate translation, so Hasbro pretty much perfectly updated it into a figure. It has everything you might hope for, like 12 points of articulation (no ankles), a lightsaber clip. And weird blond hair. And a purple jumpsuit. Really, this guy looks more like Flash Gordon than Star Wars. As a figure you buy to finish your set, this is a sensible one to pick up. The working holster and saber clip are both cool features, but when you get right down to it the figure really can't work in most dioramas as background fodder because he looks just too damn weird. If you have a McQuarrie collection box or shelf, though, this is one you'll want. And I personally believe that every collector worth a damn probably is going to want a complete set of the concept figures from over the years, so yeah, I think you should get one even though it looks kinda goofy.

Collector's Notes: At press time this mold has only been used once, but generally Hasbro finds a way to reuse these things somehow. Eventually. Maybe. This one sat around for a while at some toy stores so who knows. One thing I found particularly smart-- which Hasbro sorely needs to try again-- was the McQuarrie figures' distinct packaging. Rather than have red highlights, they had blue markings which really made them pop off the pegs both visually and in terms of sales. People knew they were special, and all it took was changing up one simple color.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,062: July 9, 2009


FETTS said...

This was the one McQ concept I had trouble finding! I only ever saw one in the wild, whereas others I found several.

Unknown said...

one of two figures im missing from this set. lameo hard to find han solo.

Anonymous said...

Great review of a fun figure. Actually it was seen in colour in a McQuarrie painting.

Ben Carthage said...

I loved the McQuarrie set and was pleased they went such a different path with this guy -- better this than say, Yoda and Obi-Wan, where they went too close to what we actually saw onscreen (and had choices not to).

Thomas Atkinson said...

Twenty years later, I have an action figure to go with the costume I made based on the same art:

Hasbro's interpretation of the colors were a little different from mine; I know there was more than one painting of this character.