Thursday, January 2, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,074: Han Solo (Mission Series 2013)

HAN SOLO Movie-Style
2013 Darth Vader Lava Line Look Mission Series Death Star
Item No.:
Asst. A5228 No. A5789
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MS07
Includes: Blaster, Chewbacca figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: December 2013
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Han Solo and Chewbacca are swept up in the Rebel Alliance's struggle to free the galaxy from the evil Galactic Empire. These two unlikely heroes help rescue a princess and deliver plans to the Rebels that help them destroy the Empire's Death Star.  (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: With their new approach to figures, Hasbro has cut a few corners - in some cases, you won't really notice unless you squint.  WIth Han Solo it's a little more obvious.   The sculpting pulls from the vintage, stand-at-attention aesthetic which is both refreshing and falls just short of perfection - this would have been a wonderful opportunity for Hasbro to bend Han's right elbow, just like the 1978 release.  Instead both arms are straight down, which, frankly, that's OK too.  

In terms of sculpt and color, Hasbro got it really close this time.  The wrists are flesh.  His pants have the red stripes on them.  The hair color seems right, his gun is black, and his boots are glossy.   The only place where Hasbro needed some help are the eyes.  On my sample the eyes look to have some off-center blue color, which is wrong because a) it shouldn't be off-center and b) it shouldn't be blue.   The eyebrows are a smidgen off - you can see where they're sculpted, and the paint masks don't line up quite right.  Because of this, he reminds me more of Beau Bridges with his unique brows.  Also, one of mine is crooked.  Lastly, it's worth noting that Han has some smile lines around his mouth - kudos to Hasbro for including such a great, easy way to give Han Solo his trademark smirk, but perhaps it needs to be dialed back a notch - these lines have the power to grant personality, and also to add age.  It should be a little more subtle here, and had Hasbro selected another kind of flesh plastic for his head we may not even be having this conversation right now.   I really do believe a different paint job (or plastic job) could change this figure from pretty good to great with no sculpt changes.  The sculptor seems to have done a nice job.

As a toy, this figure succeeds because it passes my test for any and all future Han Solo toys - he can sit in the cockpit of the big 2008 Millennium Falcon just fine.  Those chairs seemed designed with bent knees in mind, but this one still fits - so does Chewie.   That's incredibly important to me, and actually trumps the entire previous paragraph of deco and sculpt concerns.  Hasbro gave me what I wanted most - a figure I can play with.   If you don't like the pose (understandable) or the lack of a working holster (Rex got two!), I feel you.  The head deco could be better, and hopefully my sample was just a bad egg.   Hasbro engineered the figure correctly, and from where I sit (as a spoiled man-child with over 30 different Han Solos in my toy room) that's really all I'm after now. I'm pumped Hasbro made a version of the character where his holster doesn't get in the way of him sitting in his signature vehicle, and as such - shortcomings aside - this is my new go-to Han Solo figure for pretty much any situation.  I eagerly await Hasbro's next core character in this style.  (Leia please.)

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth in early December.  I have not seen it in stores yet.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,074: January 2, 2014


Anonymous said...

It's like Beau Bridges and Scott Bakula had a baby!

H-Bomb said...

Aside from the little paint-app glitches, the only let-down about this figure is the non-working holster (and arguably, yes, even a slightly-bent right arm would've been quite a nice nod to the Kenner original!). The Bespin Battle Luke had one, and it was executed beautifully for such a simple figure. Han should've featured the same design feature there. Han's holster always seems to get the short-end, doesn't it? VOTC 2004 Han was almost perfect in every way (and would've been with a holster designed like the one on 2010's "Vintage" Bespin Luke; the last Endor Han would've also benefitted there as well), and I like the 2011 Bespin Han but along with the "Star Wars" and "ROTJ" versions, it featured the separate holster without a strap, and on that figure, they didn't even have a strap on his leg (????????). It's aggravating to get some really cool, "almost there" figures that they drop the ball on in such ways. C'mon, big H! :P