Star Wars Unleashed
Released September, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on October 22, 2003
A real departure in Unleashed from other Star Wars lines is that the core characters seem to take longer to see release, and Han Solo took nearly a year. Still, he's worth the wait.
The set includes a figure and a base.
For this sculpture, Hasbro wisely picked the best known outfit for the character based on his appearance in A New Hope.
Since 1995, Hasbro has been struggling with the head of Han Solo. The quality varied from figure to figure, and sometimes it could be said that it did look like "Han Solo" but not like Harrison Ford. And when you're shooting for authenticity, you want the actor to be invoked, not his character. This time, though, it seems Hasbro nailed the "Han Solo" part and did extremely well with making the head resemble the actor. It isn't perfect, of course, but this is a $15 statue and not a $60 bust. For what it is, and what my expectations were, this turned out well. There's even a little scar on his chin.
The figure's sculpt is missing nothing. There's an empty holster for the gun which, sadly, cannot be removed from his hand, and the outfit seems to have every detail one should look for in a Han Solo figure. Granted, this isn't a tall order as outfits go, and should always look this perfect. As he's running up the ladder, the pose is easy to like. Han is going through a very specific action, and as such, it's hard to fault. While there are other, arguably better poses, this works because it isn't how one might normally think of the character, and when there are hundreds of Han collectibles out there, variety is a top priority.
The paint job works because it isn't overly ambitious. The solid colors of the sculpt speak for itself, there's no gratuitous washes or wipes to fill in the various details. The wrinkles in the shirt and pants simply speak for themselves because Hasbro picked the right kind of plastic so the sculpting isn't blown away by the bright colors. (Take a good look at the first release of TransFormers: Armada Optimus Prime's Mini-con, Sparkplug. Lots of invisible detail.)
A particularly strange thing about this figure is that there's a little strap in his holster that looks like it should have been glued down on both ends, but on my sample, is only held down on one side. It's a nice little extra detail, but feels fragile.
Sadly, there's not much to say about this figure because Hasbro ended up getting it right. As such, Han fans should be pleased.
While it takes a little bit of force, Han Solo plugs nicely into his only accessory, a base modeled after the ramp on the Millennium Falcon.
The base itself is a good, sturdy piece in which two poles may be inserted to further drive home the point that this is the Falcon's ramp. The poles are a little too rubbery for my liking and as such, feel they could be in danger of sagging over time.
Each piece of the base has paint on it in appropriate amounts so it looks really great. There's stains on the underside of the ramp, filled-in panel lines, and all sorts of little details that a lesser toy company may have left unpainted. Heck, even Hasbro might've left these unpainted a year or two ago. Thankfully, they did a great job and the end result is simply amazing.
Someone, somewhere, said "hey, these are deluxe figures, and they should have more deluxe packaging!" And it was good.
A new design studio was brought in to redesign the packaging, which is a fairly significant departure from previous packaging. The curved bubble is much more durable, and the name on the package really stands out. The colorful, eye-popping graphics are sure to bring attention to these figures in stores, but that's assuming they're even seen in stores in the first place.
Has yet to hit mainstream retaillers, but is newly available online. Toys "R" Us is expected to receive them later this year.
Pricing is usually $15-$20 in the USA. Also, keep in mind that Unleashed is primarily a direct market line these days, so ordering online or via mail order may be required to get this toy.
Surprisingly, Hasbro has turned Unleashed from the next Epic Force into something marvelous in just under a year. Han turned out to be a great figure, if lacking the "zing" of some others. Fans of the character can't ask for much more than this, and it just seems to work on all the right levels. Here's hoping the upcoming Chewbacca can in some way connect to this piece.
If you see this, and you're a fan of original Trilogy collectibles, you have no excuse in passing this up. It's gorgeous. If you pass on it, you will be sorry, so don't say we didn't warn you.
Our sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in September 2003.