Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Review : Han Solo
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Wave 2 (Phase 1)
Released : December 2013
Price : £19.99
The second wave of the fledgling Star Wars Black Series came relatively quickly after the first and gave us four new characters in the 6" scale. Alongside the Han Solo we are about to look at here, the wave also added bounty hunters Greedo and Boba Fett as well as Leia in her Jabba's palace slave outfit.
The figure arrives in a black matt box with cut out window insert through which the figure is visible. A frame around three sides of the window gives you the Star Wars Black Series logo top left and to the right of this the grey scaled art we know so well. In the phase 1 packaging this is in a circular frame and is of the characters head only.
To the bottom of the box is the character number and name in orange text. Han is #08 in the Phase 1 series. There is then the Hasbro logo and some warning text around age and choking hazards.
The window allows full visibility of the figure which is sat on a black backing card. An orange dotted line, reminiscent of the lighting on the Death Star, runs vertically to the right of the figure as you look. Han is packed wearing a white Storm Trooper belt - while his own belt, two blasters and an alternative pair of hands sit to the right of the figure as you look at it.
The two sides of the packaging are quite plain. The right is a wrap around of the window and the left is essentially plain black. Round the back the orange line returns down one side and the back is headed up with the Star Wars Black Series logo. Under this sits a repeat of the character name in orange and then in grey text a very brief character bio and then in italics a quote from A New Hope "Sorry about the mess". For US releases the rest of the box rear is an image of Han with his feet up in the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope, converted to grey lined image. For international releases this is often covered with a large over-sticker containing the figure info in alternative languages - if you are careful you can peel this off if you wish.
Review : Han Solo, A New Hope
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : 40th Anniversary
Released : March 2017
Price : £24.99
The new card backs are sized to accommodate the 6" figures, without being a direct upscale of the original 3.75" figures. They utilise the same character image as well as the Star Wars and Kenner logo's. The character name for Han is set into a green coloured box, with the same green used behind the figure.
A neat 40th Anniversary logo sits in the top left corner.
Round the back of the card is a checklist of the 12 figures that will be released. These are framed in various colours, each colour matching the scheme that will be used on their card. Under the 12 figures is an image of the Legacy pack, the stand that revisits the original Early Bird pack and gives collectors who aren't keeping these on card a display option for loose figures.
A subtle Black Series logo is atop the card and of course being 40 years after Kenner & Lucasfilm, we now find the Disney logo at the base of the card along with the present day safety notices and legal logo's
Han is designed to be specific to his appearance in A New Hope, but has accessories included to allow him to be changed to different scenes in the movie.
The figure arrives wearing the Storm Trooper belt that he "borrows" while on board the Death Star. To the side is his more familiar belt & holster, two blasters and an alternative set of hands.
Han Solo stands at pretty much 6" high, that's 155mm. The likeness to Harrison Ford is easily recognisable although they haven't made the most of the sculpt and just cast the head in flesh colour plastic and painted on rudimentary eyes and eyebrows. Even the lips are flesh toned. Ford's features are just a few more paint shades away from being spectacular.
The hair is a deep brown and is very well sculpted also, capturing that swept back off centre parting that Solo sported in the first movie. It is dry-brushed with a couple of other colours to highlight.
The neck is a touch too long for Solo and the hinge under the chin is too visible and is unsightly. The neck runs down into the collar of the shirt and here the base plastic moves from flesh toned to cream and therefore the flesh is now a paint job and is much more of a matt finish compared to the slightly glossy head and face.
The outfit starts with the off white open collar shirt. The folds and creases are captured nicely both on the torso and down each arm. But like the head the paint is a flat colour - no depth.
There is a sculpted brown leather belt at the top of the trousers with a neat silver clasp and belt loops painted in the same blue as the trousers.
The trousers themselves are a shiny blue with further fabric folds. Again for some reason the top of the thigh is glossy and the rest of the leg is slightly less shiny? Down each trouser leg side are the Corellian Blood stripes in a deep red. Rather than just being painted detail, these stripes are sculpted into the trouser and are ridged when you run your finger down them.
Solo ends with gloss black knee high boots.
Han of course also comes with his trademark black vest. This is a separate sculpted item and is cast in a black rubbery material. The details are picked out nicely with pockets and a zipped seam with further padding and paneling around the back. There are no paint apps at all on the vest.
One nice touch is that the vest is removable. Now when I say nice touch I do mean in the engineering - sadly when the vest is removed the figure looks too lanky with it's long neck, bulky shoulders and very slim torso. A pity as this would have worked really well as a Jabba's prisoner Han?
The Storm Trooper belt is the same one that would come one wave later attached to an actual Storm Trooper. It is a flat white rubber material and wraps round Han's waist and closes with a clasp. I suspect the clasp will not take repeated use. From this belt hangs the Storm Trooper holster, this is painted in black. It also works and holds the E11 Stormtrooper blaster packed with Han.
This weapon is a crisp cast, and in a harder plastic than we've seen some weapons since. It is cast in black and has no paint details.
The other belt Han can wear is his Smuggler's Belt. This is a little more complex to put on. First the leg loop has to be hooked round the right foot, and to do this you will need to point the foot downward. Once this is done you can pull this loop up to Han's thigh and then clasp the main belt around his waist. It uses a similar clasp to the Stormtrooper belt - again, not something that will last a long time with repeated use.
This belt is highly detailed and has a better paint app than most of the figure. It is brown with a darker brown wash in parts. The clasp is silver as is the buttons on some of the pouches. There is a blue capsule top to one side of the clasp and to the other a black canister with silver detailing. Round the back are more silver studs and a repeat of the clasp.
This belt too is a working holster and fits Han's DL-44 blaster. Once in situ there is even a securing strap that loops over the blaster's hilt and locks in place with a peg that pushes into the main holster. Very well executed!
The DL-44 blaster itself is much nicer than the E11 Stormtrooper weapon. It too is cast in black plastic, but has a metallic dry-brush to sharpen the detail of the sculpt. It also has a silver barrel and brown leather grip.
Han comes with 16 points of articulation. The head is a ball jointed hinge and will rotate fully and will look up and down and can be cocked to the side - Han style! The shoulders are ball jointed and move with a stiff ratchet action. These can be brought up right out to the side and then rotated to most any position. The elbows are a single joint but are shaped and rounded so they can bend round to 90 degrees. The elbows also rotate, as do the hands at the wrist. The hands are also pegged so they too can bend to 90 degrees.
These hands can also be swapped with a second version that are sculpted and painted to represent the flight gloves Han wears while piloting the Falcon. Both hands clip in and out securely and the paint is neat from the yellow leathery colour of the gloves with the black palms and strap and that exposed skin underneath.
A torso joint is tucked in towards the bottom of Han's stomach, this is nicely hidden in the folds of the shirt and let's Han lean forward and backward as well as swinging a good way to either side.
The legs start with ball jointed hips with a full range of movement including a sitting position and kneeling. When wearing the smuggler's belt with thigh strap there is some restriction to Han's right leg - but nothing major. The knees are double jointed, and just above them is a thigh swivel should you need it. The legs end with the ankle rockets. These are also stiff and ratcheted and support Han in most poses and don't feel like they will loosen or start to flop with use - an issue on some other Black Series figures.
Han, like so many Black Series figures, is a few paint applications short of being a special release. Even with a couple of skin tones on the head he would be vastly improved. Articulation is fine and the joints are stiff and ratcheted. The accessories are also well done, with about three different screen options you can display Han in.
I score Han a solid 4 out of 5 thanks to his accessory options and articulation. I do hope that like Luke, Hasbro will revisit this character again soon - specifically the Bespin jacket and the Endor commando - and if they do I urge them to give that Han sculpt a touch more paint.