Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Han Solo (The Force Awakens) Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Figure #18 (Phase 3 Wave 5 / Wave 1 2016) Released : January 2016
Price : £22.99
Thank you to Kapow Toys, from whom we purchased this figure for review.
Wrapping up wave 5 of the Phase 3 Black Series is Han Solo, as seen in The Force Awakens. After Chewie, Han is the 2nd figure of the original characters and is number 18 in the Phase 3 Black & Red boxed releases.
The original promotional images of this Han release looked particularly stunning. Yet some early figures that sneaked out of the factory (or likely were rejected through quality control) were particularly poor. The actual release comes in somewhere in between and although not a bad figure, it just doesn't sit right for me. Let's have a good look at Han and see what's what.
Han stands a smidge over 6", putting him perfectly in scale considering Harrison Ford is just under 6ft 1. Facially, this is one of those odd figures that looks great from one angle, and hideous from another. In the main, and if you look beyond the paint, it is a good sculpt and captures the extra years that Harrison was carrying in the Force Awakens. If anything, and a common problem, it is the paint applications that have let down a decent sculpt. The eyes are neat enough, but after that there is no other paint on the head. Just a subtle darker skin tone wash into those features would have drawn them out and a tad of colour on the lips would have brought out that mouth which can be both smiling, smirking and mad all at the same time. The hair doesn't help as it is more brown and the brown paint doesn't come far enough down the fringe, leaving bits of the hair skin coloured. There is flecks of grey in the hair, but not enough and they needed to be much more heavy handed with the gray to capture the older Solo.
The Nerf-Leather jacket (yes, checkout the TFA Visual Guide) is sculpted as a separate piece and then added over the torso. It is nicely done, and includes visible panels within the jacket as well as button holes and those three capsules of whatever that sit on the left breast. The arms carry on the leather look of the jacket. In those early factory figures, there was a huge variance in colour between jacket and arms. Thankfully this has been rectified to a greater degree on the release figure, but you can still see a difference up close - more so in "glossiness" rather than colour. The end of the sleeves are meant to be the shirt sleeves popping out, and that is achieves with a cream paint adding to the very end of the sleeves. The hands are standard enough, and having seen some very nicely detailed hands recently on some Game of Thrones figures I kind of wanted to see an older hand sculpted with some visible veins and callouses.
Under the jacket is the collared shirt, decorated in an off white. Again the folds of the cloth are well done and you can see the buttons and button holes clearly. Down to the belt and this is very similar (if not the same) as the belt that came with the original Han Solo from A New Hope. This one is much better painted, with a weathered leather look and a grimier metal finish to the belt buckle and rivet fasteners front and back. The belt connects to the holster and this is strapped again to the thigh of the right leg. The trousers are plain and tuck into the boots at knee height. The boots themselves are really nice, with a reptilian texture to them (think crocodile skin). The trousers are finished in a mute brown, with the boots a very similar shade but gloss finish.
Aside from the head, the sculpt is one to be applauded and the rest of the paint from the neck down is well done and I am perfectly happy. I have a niggle that the figure looks a little bow legged, and the legs are almost a little long too which throws off the look.
Articulation is standard fare for the Phase 3 figures. The head is jointed on a ball and can be spun fully round, and then look up and down - down almost so his chin touches the chest. Unfortunately, from certain angles, the head joint is pretty ugly so I would avoid turning Han's head too far to either side. The shoulders, ball joints as usual, allow a full range of movement to the arms. As they go up they retract back into the jacket, but as the arms raise it does reveal the white shirt underneath. This is a shame as it does make a firing Han look unsightly, or rather that he has a ripped jacket. All it would have needed was the brown of the jacket painted on that part of the shirt underneath - but hey ho.
There is a torso joint and although that puts a visible joint into a white shirt, it does mean you get some variety in the poses for the upper body. Offsetting the torso to either side of the leg position just gives a bit more of a dynamic look. The hips feel a tad loose, but nothing overly concerning at the moment. The have a full range of movement, not blocked by the jacket tails or the belt & holster. The knees are the usual double joint affair, and we finish up with the ankle rockers that are my pet hate on recent figures. Again, like so many others, these ankle joints feel too loose and on Han mean he often over balances too easily if his arms are out and therefore the weight isn't directly over the ankles.
Another pet hate of mine recently is this idea of packing the guns already in the figures hands. Like Jango in the same wave, Han comes with his blaster in his right hand. And like Jango before him it came out of the packet horribly bent. So much that even hot water has yet to straighten it sufficiently.
As figures go, and particularly if you compare him to his younger wave 2 version, Han is a great figure. Yes, his head sculpt could have done with a touch more paint - and yes the joints do feel a bit loose. I think my feeling of him looking off is just one of posing, and I had that with the original W2 Han also - once I hit a "Han Solo" pose I will be more than happy.
I never give half scores, and on a figure like Han that means I have to make a decision on a score which is more than a three out of five, but not necessarily a four. Having now lined up Han with Chewie (sorry it's the original one at this point) and played around with him on display I am going to give the benefit of the doubt and give Han a 4 out of 5, but only just... I hope that perhaps, and as we have seen on other repacks, that a future release of the figure can upgrade the head paint (think Rey). I also predict right now to see this figure again with a cold weather jacket from the Starkiller Base scenes of TFA.