The Star Wars Black Series Heroes of Endor Exclusive Box Set was originally planned as a San Diego Comic Con Exclusive in 2020. With the Covid 19 pandemic the SDCC 2020 event, like all conventions, was cancelled and the exclusives from Hasbro were held back from July and then sold in September during Hasbro Pulse Con, Hasbro's online convention event. The set features four figures and a re-issued Speeder Bike, all wrapped up in an exclusive box with diorama panels.
Our review of the Heroes of Endor Set will be broken down into four reviews - one for each figure included - as well as a look at the packaging and unboxing each element.
The Heroes of Endor set is presented in rectangular black box with green Star Wars Black Series Logo on the front face, and beneath this - in a solid black stripe - is a confirmation of the film base as Return of the Jedi and then the name of the set as the HEROES OF ENDOR. It is impressive when you start to look closely at the box that there are images in the black of the box using different finishes with the trees of the Endor Forest Moon visible on one side and the Death Star looming above. This pattern continues down the right hand side panel, while the left is plain, except for some green shades towards the back.
The back of the box see's a repeat of the Black Series logo and a green fading segment coming in from one side. The movie name is repeated again in the same black stripe that runs round the full box. Under this we have the various legal and safety messages.
Our review copy is a UK/European release and we have an over sticker on the front to the side of the 4+ message blanking something out. On the back, the safety messages are also an over sticker ensuring the messages are region specific I assume.
The only window initially visible on the box is the triangular cut out on the top through which you can see the top of Paploo's head and the Speeder Bike.
Box Dimension : Closed
Width 25cm / 9.75 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
This outer packaging is a sleeve that is then lifted off to reveal the contents of the set beneath across three diorama windows. The sleeve itself is quite thin and will damage easily so needs to be handled with care.
With the sleeve section removed, the box now presents with three windows - one front, and one either side. Each panel shows a diorama from The Return of the Jedi with the accompanying figure(s).
Paploo is front and centre, named underneath the window as PAPLOO and under this, SPEEDER BIKE. The window backdrop features a speed blurred Endor Forest backdrop with Paploo sat in the centre hanging on to the Speeder Bike.
To the right hand side is Luke in his Endor Poncho and Helmet brandishing his lightsaber between two tree trunks. Again, the character name sits bottom left under the window and is simply named as LUKE SKYWALKER.
To the left we have Han Solo and Princess Leia at the door of the Imperial Bunker. Han is not wearing his Trench coat and Leia is without her helmet - screen accurate for the scene they are recreating. Han is posed with his blaster outstretched to one side, with Leia kneeling and aiming her blaster to the other side. Under the window we have the characters named again with HAN SOLO on the top line and PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA underneath.
If you go all the way to the back of the box you find the three segments combining to make up the box reverse. The right hand panel, as we look, carries the Black Series logo. And the left panel has a piece of background text which is pretty extensive vs what we normally get on the Black Series boxes.
"The Empire built the second Death Star in secret above the lush forest moon of Endor, located on the fringes of settled space in a far corner of the galaxy. To protect the station during construction, Imperial engineers placed a shield generator on the moon's surface. Scout Troopers patrolled the woods on Speeder Bikes, but the Empire dismissed Endor's native Ewoks as primitives that posed no threat.
The Ewoks, however, were not to be underestimated. They were brave warriors and quick to learn new ways. They accepted the Rebel Alliance's warriors into their tribe and decided to join the fight against the Galactic Empire, using bows and arrows, catapults and log traps to take down Stormtroopers and Scout Walkers. The Ewoks turned the tide, allowing the Rebel commandos to destroy the shield generator and leave the Death Star vulnerable to orbital assault."
The three triangular segments are designed with a hinge connecting the two side segments to the central piece. This allows the whole box to be opened up to display all three dioramas at once.
The practicality of displaying this way is that it will take up quite a bit of shelf space both in terms of its width, and in the fact the shelf needs to be deep enough to accomodate the central Paploo section. There is a part opened option where the two side panels are swept back a little which reduces the overall width, but leaves all three diorama panels visible.
Box Dimension : Open
Full Width 96m / 36.75 inches
Partial Open Width 78cm / 31 inches
Depth 36cm / 14 inches
Height 21cm / 8.25 inches
There is further artwork on the reverse of these opened panels with green glow added to the Forest Moon and Death Start artwork. It is truly beautiful, and a waste almost considering its on the back of a box.
Han and Leia are packed and posed together in the left hand segment against a backdrop piece of the Imperial Bunker Door on Endor. The piece is wedge shaped and has a 3D effect with the side of the bunker an additional cardboard segment to the right of the piece. Removing it from the outer box is via the back wide panel which is taped in place by one circular tab. Cutting this will allow the flap to open and the piece to slide out.
Han and Leia are posed in a clear tray that is then attached through the cardboard backing diorama and secured by tabs on the back. If you are trying to keep the packaging or the diorama then you will have to carefully cut the tape at the back and then slide out the tray from the four slots.
You will also need to remove the baggie that is on the far right up against the wall of the diorama. This is taped into position and contains the safety notice slip, and more importantly Han's Trenchcoat and Leia's helmet.
The backing cardboard wedge is a pretty nice design and feature for display, although it does have plain cardboard surround and the slits where the figures were attached are also quite visible. With some work I can see this being a nice backdrop to a shelf piece - its almost a perfect width for an Ikea Billy or Detolf.
The tray piece, once separated from the box, is holding in Han and Leia by means of clear plastic ties. These are not easy to cut from behind as they dont wrap through fully. You will need to work round each figure and trim them carefully at the arms and legs.
Paint & Sculpt 4.0
Han features a brand new head sculpt with a slightly older look than has come before, as is appropriate for the Return of the Jedi. The face has a very well done face print decor and the hair is a bit thicker than we've had before but also well painted. This is a very stern Han Solo and I do miss the Ford smirk that we have had on other Han figures.
I feel the head may be a touch too big for the body and it can look oversized from some angles. This is quite ironic considering the big and little headed Han's in the Kenner Vintage line. The size gets less noticeable as you will see later when the Trenchcoat is added.
The base outfit is the standard getup for Han with an off white shirt that is cast in the base colour on the top section and painted white on the lower stomach part. Frustratingly, my white shirt has a big flake of paint near the waist which has exposed the darker plastic underneath. A flexible vest also in the base colour. The vest is removable and therefore there is a half decent Jabba's Palace Han Solo underneath if you want to go that route.
The trousers are brown with the Correllian blood stripe ribbon in yellow. The base plastic is the brown colour while the yellow blood stripe is applied on top. The boots finish off the outfit in gloss black. Han of course also has his gun belt, with working holster at the right hand side. This has the most paint apps of the ensemble with silver buckles and clips and darker brown on the compartments down the side.
While there are similarities to the Bespin Han Solo, it is only the lower body that is reused. The upper chest piece has a different profile to the shirt collar and the head as you can see is much different - and a little bit larger too, which is more noticeable when displayed side by side.
Han includes his DL-44 modified blaster which is carried over from previous Han Solo releases. It is cast in black with a brown stock and silver muzzle. Considering its size, the detail in the sculpt is impressive. Thankfully there is no warping to that muzzle - which has been the case with this weapon in the past.
It fits into the right hand of Han and there is a very long trigger finger which will need to be pulled back and then slotted into the trigger. When not in use, it fits into the holster. You achieve this by pulling up on the little strap which is secured by a plug on the main body of the holster. The blaster then slips in to the pre-formed slot and the strap can then be returned to a closed position. Like a lot of these straps on Black Series figures, getting it fixed back into position is not that easy.
Han also comes with his Endor Trench Coat. This is folded into the baggie we saw taped to the packaging earlier. This does leave it a little creased and folded as you get it out, it may benefit from an iron at very low temperature with something else put over the top to protect it (do this at your own risk).
The material is not as free flowing as the Poncho that comes with Luke, nor the Jedi robes we usually see in the soft good stable. This choice of material is likely driven by the need to print a pattern into the cloth to create that camouflage effect. The Trench Coat itself is too dark vs the on screen version and while the pattern is fine, it needed to be paler in colour with the brown dial back towards a more sandy colour.
It is easy enough to get onto Han, with the two arms bending at the elbow first to then slide them into the sleeves. Once on, the first issue is the collar which sticks up quite a lot. I don't know why it was not stitched down like the hood on Luke's poncho.
Like any soft goods, time will need to be taken to get the Coat to a position you are happy with. With no belt to keep it in check like the other figure ponchos, it can look baggy and oversized from some angles. I found it easiest to use the arms to keep it in check and to sweep the bottom of the coat back around the legs rather than letting it hang.
Han Solo has a total articulation count of 17 with the new neck piece in play with the joint at both the top and bottom of the neck.
Head : ball joint neck base and head
Body : ball joint waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, single joint rotating knees, ankle rocker
The movement on Han, without restriction from any armour or strapping, is complete and he is a pleasure to pose. The arms are fully mobile for firing off the blaster, or to gesture. The legs move fully, with the holster moving with the leg joint as needed. Han can sit and kneel as well as pose with wider action stances or even more dynamic poses with the right stand.
The Trench Coat being soft goods does nothing to impede articulation, so he is as easy to pose in the coat as without it. Every joint is tight and secure and Han stands fine unaided in most two footed poses.
Han Solo was a figure that I was overjoyed with when I opened him, and then sort of went down a little the more I posed and played with him. The head sculpt is impressive and a different look to Bespin Han although the head is a touch too large. The body is screen accurate to the Endor scenes and there is even the ability to convert it to a version of Jabba's Palace Han by removing his vest.
The Trench Coat, the main element of an Endor Han Solo, is not what I was hoping for, especially considering the premium nature of this set. While patterns are good, the colour is off and the fit is clunky. The collar needed to have been stitched in place to keep it positioned neatly around the neck and to stop it pinging back up when you move the figure around.
Han Solo Endor is a great figure, and there are loads of positives to drive a good score. There are just a few elements that aren't quite executed well enough for top marks and as a final score considering all the elements I give him 4.0 overall.
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars. black series, endor, exclusive, heroes of endor, return of the jedi, paploo, luke skywalker, princess leia, han solo