Updated: Oct 3, 2019
For San Diego Comic Con 2018, Hasbro produced and sold a very special version of their recently announced Bespin Han Solo in collectors set called The Exogorth Escape. The set was based on the scene after our heroes escaped from Hoth and found themselves hiding in a cave on an asteroid that turned out to be a giant space slug - the aforementioned Exogorth. The figure included exclusive packaging and exclusive parts including a Mynock. It would sell at SDCC 2018 for $34.99 and there were limited amounts sold via UK retailers.
Roll forward 12-months, and the Exogorth set started to arrive in The Entertainer stores in the UK for £29.99.
The packaging for the Exogorth set is part of the exclusivity and it follows some basic design principles laid down by previous exclusives. It does not conform to the current phase packaging and there are no coloured spines or lettering. The box is black with grey artwork an white text. The artwork covers much of the box with an illustration of the Millennium Falcon. To the right hand side we get an image of Han Solo wearing his oxygen mask.
The black series logo and the name of the set, this in feint dark text above the logo, sit in the centre. And round the back we get a repeat of this offset to the left with the set name now larger and easier to read. A rebel phoenix logo is presented in the middle of the box reverse with the legal and safety notices underneath.
To the side of this, in quite faint lettering, we get a short background text regarding the escape from Hoth and the encounter with the Mynicks and Exogorth. The set obviously missed any form of proofreading - checkout the typo for Threepio which is actually on the box.
" WHEN HAN SOLO ESCAPES FROM THE BATTLE OF HOTH TO AN UNSTABLE CRATER IN THE HOTH ASTEROID BELT, HE AND HIS CREW MADE UP OF CHEWBACCA, PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA, AND C-P30, QUICKLY DISCOVER THAT THE CREATURES OF THE CRATER - THE MYNOCKS AND EXOGORTH - HAVE THEIR OWN IDEAS FOR THE DATE OF THIS REBEL UNIT
The figure is only revealed when the two halves of the box are pulled apart. This sliding option then reveals Han, and the Mynock, in an interior window. This window is decorated to look like the floating mist of the Exogorth cave. And rather than a coloured backdrop we have a card backing that is the Millennium Falcon landing ramp.
My issue with the box starts here as the two sides that slide out cannot be easily detached from the inner box. There is a strip holding the inner box to the outer one - one at each side - and these are not easy to remove and without knowing they are there you could rip and damage the box.
With some careful deconstruction the box can be disassembled revealing the inner packaging which is simply black with the window - no text, no artwork. The main set then slides out from here giving you the entire internal diorama backing card with Han sat in one inner tray round the landing ramp, and the Mynock in its own tray to the side. There is a huge mass of tape and tabs on the back to work through to get everything out in one piece.
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
This is the same sculpt of Han in his Bespin fatigues as was released in the main range as number 70 in wave 18. That being said when compared side by side there is some paint variances, and the SDCC set seems to be darker in skin tone, almost making Han look like he has a 5 o'cock shadow.
The face print is brilliant (on both versions) and the outfit is also well executed with Han's blue jacket, white shirt and the brown trousers with yellow stripe. He has his gun slingers belt and the Blaster is already in this straight out of the box.
The Mynocks is a single cast piece with a gorgeous paint job that includes translucent bat like wings with visible veins. The body is a darker brown, and on the underside we have a detailed underbelly and the large sucking maw. This mouth is sadly a bit too plain and looks like a mop head, it would have benefitted from more detailing or shading to make it look organic and fleshy like the rest of the figure.
We know Han comes with the oxygen mask as it is fitted to the figure on arrival. The breathing gear is cast in clear plastic so the face can still be seen under the mask. There is then a snaking translucent pipe that clips to Han's jacket. The whole thing is removable by means of an elasticated strap round the head. This strap is not quite as nice as the rest of the piece and is freyed and oversized, I am not sure it will last long if you keep swapping this on and off the figure.
One of the best parts of this set, considering it was not included in the main release of Han, is his pointing left hand. This gesture is of course used quite a lot in Empire, and the hand gives the figure some character and helps in posing the figure in Han-esque poses. It swaps in and out easily and it will also work on the basic release if you wish.
Next, we have Han's DL-44 blaster. This is the same sculpt as the main release and is cast in a grey plastic with a painted brown grip. It fits into Han's right hand where a flexible trigger finger can slot into the trigger with a bit of fiddling. We know also it fits in the working holster - this is how it arrives - and it slips in here neatly and is held in with a thin rubber strap that comes over the handle and plugs into a hole in the front of the holster.
And the final accessory is a Hydro-Spanner. This is cast in a black plastic with no further paint decor. It arrives a little bent so might need a bit of work to straighten out. It sits in either of Han's hands - but most snugly in the left gripping hand.
While not a true accessory, I am going to use this segment to discuss the diorama insert. It is the best we have had in the Black Series to date and is certainly useable for both photography or for display. It benefits from having 3D elements with the ramp and the landing struts being individual pieces that are stepped away from the backdrop of the stationery Falcon.
The piece would sit well in a display case if you can find one of the right size.
The articulation on Han is great, 16 points in total as is standard on the Black Series
Head : ball joint pivot neck
Body : Torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers
All these joints are tight and fully mobile, and with the various accessories and parts allows for some nice posing options for Han. There is a very small issue with the right hand that is positioned so that when holding the blaster it is always holding down - the joint is not the issue, and rather the sleeve.
The Mynock is a static piece with zero articulation. Displaying this is therefore difficult. You cannot attach it to anything easily and without any kind of stand included your options are really laying it flat or propping it up on display if you take it out of the box.
The solution is a flight stand of sorts, and I found that the Mynock can sit neatly into the waist clip on these stands that are unbranded from the Far East. This allows you to have a flying Mynock.
As an exclusive, this set ticks many boxes in giving the collectors who pick this up some added value in terms of the packaging and the Mynock, while still then allowing a wider release of the base figure for everyone else.
The increased price tag is offset by the box, diorama and the Mynock. And the only disappointment is perhaps why a few more of the creatures couldn't have been thrown in to really give Han and the Falcon a problem. It would have also been nice for Hasbro to work through how to display the Mynock and not just rely on people keeping the set boxed.
To display this boxed you will need a lot of room for what is essentially one figure and while the sliding option is a neat gimmick, a more simple window box with slide on/off sleeve would have been preferable.
We score the Han Solo Exogorth Escape SDCC 2018 set an impressive 4 out of 5.