Friday, December 24, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,443: Han Solo (Stormtrooper)

HAN SOLO Death Star Escape
Power of the Force Toys "R" Us Exclusive Cinema Scenes
Item No.:
No. 69737
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Stand, blaster, two more figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: Summer 1997
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Rebel Alliance has infiltrated the Galactic Empire's most powerful battle station, the Death Star! posing as stormtroopers escorting a prisoner, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca attempt a daring rescue of the captive Princess Leia. Can they escape the dreaded Death Star, or is the Rebellion about to suffer the loss of its newest heroes? (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' kitchen.

Commentary: Back in 1995, fans heard that Hasbro planned on doing a figure and when the run was done, it would probably be gone forever. How naive we were! The once-valuable Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise started life as a mail-in figure for Froot Loops cereal, and this 1997 retail release was actually a reposed figure with a very different pose and an arguably improved head sculpt. Well, the sculpt is pretty much the same, but the kind of plastic was different and that really did improve its overall look. The figure (with his helmet on) matches the other Stormtroopers of the time, but no other figure had his unique pose.

With six points of articulation this figure is nothing to write home about, but in his day the set was actually quite popular-- after all, it was one of the first (if not the very first) retailer-exclusive 3 3/4-inch action figure to hit stores. (Mail-in figures and club exclusives would have hit by this point.) People were excited, and they paid a slight premium for this set too. Even if you weren't thrilled about yet another version of the character in this outfit, you could leave the helmet on and have another Stormtrooper. Oh, to be young again.

Collector's Notes: This was the second and final "POTF2"-style Han Solo Stormtrooper, but it wouldn't be the last version of the figure in this disguise-- we'd see another one as a Wal-Mart exclusive around late 2002, and we'd also see one in a comic pack as that line kicked off. The first-ever individually carded Han Solo Stormtrooper wouldn't be produced by Hasbro until 2009, 32 years after the figure's first appearance in the movies.

Like most figures from the late 1990s, this set is worthless. Odds are your local comic book shop will sell you one for $10 or less, and eBay sellers are currently getting about $2.50 when someone is actually willing to bid. That is not a typo-- this set is worth about three bucks.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,443: December 24, 2010


Chris said...

Oh remember all the Fruit Loops.

Bravo said...

My memory must be off. I thought I remember this being a mass retail release, not an exclusive.

We've never gotten a Chewbacca with shackles since that set, have we?

Bummer of the set at the time, is that the guys Luke and Han kill (DS Troopers, black-clad Imperial Officers) wouldn't be available for some time afterwards (with the impossible to find Death Star Trooper). In the case of the style of officer from that scene, has NEVER been available. Show me a black-clad Impy with a holster. Tain't one!