Thursday, February 14, 2019

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,560: Han Solo (Force Link 2.0 Reader, Solo: A Star Wars Story line look)

HAN SOLO Default Jacket
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Pack-In
Item No.:
  No.  E0322
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, Force Link 2.0 Band
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Bring the galaxy to life with Force Link 2.0! Wear Force Link 2.0 wearable technology to activate sounds and phrases in Force Link 2.0-activated figures, accessories, vehicles, and playsets! For even more action, activate multiple figures with Force Link 2.0 wearable technology to hear interactions and responses between iconic characters! With Force Link 2.0, kids can bring their favorite Star Wars adventures to life!  Force Link 2.0 wearable technology activates motion-controlled phrases, lights, and sounds in over 30 toys! When kids wear their Force Link 2.0 wearable technology and pick up the included 3.75-inch scale, movie-inspired Star Wars Han Solo figure, they can activate authentic figure phrases and sounds! Scan figures into the Hasbro Star Wars Force Link 2.0 app to track figure play and level up! Compatible with all figures, vehicles, playsets, and toys in the Force Link 2.0 line. Figures, vehicles, and playsets each sold separately.   (Taken from the Hasbro marketing for the item.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Hasbro doomed Force Link before it even came out - the first reader hit in September 2017, with this 2.0 upgrade shipping just 6 months later - with the ability to be updated with new sounds.  This idea should have been brilliant and magical, but the locked-down first release didn't meet sales expectations and by the time Han Solo shipped with this version - which had problems receiving an update, and has several figures still not working with it - it was dead.  Also, this is the only plain/normal version of Han Solo in his main outfit for the movie that was sold at launch, and it was $30.  Other lesser costumes of Han during the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story were in a $29.99 Speeder and a $99.99 Millennium Falcon, so it wasn't exactly set up for success or affordability by the child target audience of this kind of figure.

Han is interesting.  Note I didn't say "amazing." They did a good job on the costume, with its dark brown shoulders, black shirt, and working holster, but 5 joints aren't terribly exciting. The fact a super-posable version would follow in the Fall at a lower price is not terribly wonderful, but this figure suffered from a head sculpt that doesn't seem to be based on the actor hired for the movie.  Due to the turmoil in production it's entirely possible this was  by design - there are occasions were freelance sculptors have admitted, privately, to "genericing-up" a figure's likeness due to demands from the studio or because of what the license demanded.  For example, McFarlane Toys had the clearance for Snake Plissken - but not Kurt Russel.  But I digress - no one has actually confirmed this regarding Han Solo, but between this figure and Jakks' late Big Figs line, there's no way you can say that it was modeled after Alden Ehrenreich.  It's "Young Han" but it ain't Alden.

The Vintage Han Solo [FOTD #2,538] has more color, more painted detail and more articulation, but this one is still pretty charming.  It's also notable in that his sound clips are the only Force Link 2.0 quotes built in to that Force Link band - the rest require an update from an app to even function, which is baffling. If you can get one of these now, update it as soon as you buy it because that app won't be around forever.  I'd like to know if any hackers out there know how to update the Force Link band so fans can roll their own update with real movie quotes - but I digress.  We're here to talk about the figure.  It's OK.  Get the Vintage one if it's cheaper, though.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "They call me Han Solo."  "This better be worth it."  "I don't run from a fight."  "Hmm. I've got a really good feeling about this."   "We've got company." "Blast 'em!"  Blaster shots.  It's a soundalike doing a decent Han Solo impression.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.   Walmarts blew this set out - in my journeys - for as little as $4 in the post-Christmas 2018 clearances.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,560: February 14, 2019

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