Few characters from the Star Wars saga truly transcend the franchise. Most everyone knows Darth Vader, and the recent media barrage means they probably know a few other characters, too, but Han Solo is a rare character indeed. Not only is he one of the most memorable rogues in cinematic history, but since his appearance in Star Wars in 1977, dozens of films and stories have tried to capture that very same essence of character Harrison Ford portrayed. Even nearly 40 years later, Han Solo has endured, which is more than you can say for a lot of fictional heroes throughout history. That's why adding this Hot Toys Han Solo figure to my collection was a no-brainer, even if it's not quite up to the company's usual standard of likeness excellence.

It's actually hard to believe Hot Toys never dabbled in the Star Wars universe before, but until this year, the company didn't have a hand in arguably the biggest license in the collectible market. However, that all changed this year with the arrival of The Force Awakens. Since the deal was announced, Hot Toys has not held back in the least when it comes to announcing new figures for the line. There's been a solid mix of classic trilogy characters mixed with some of the new blood, but to this point, there haven't been many unmasked characters released. There have been Stormtroopers a plenty, but when it comes to the faces of the franchise, Hot Toys' selection has been a little light in that department.

Han Solo is one of the first actual figures based on a recognizable human being from the line, and Hot Toys doesn't do a bad job bringing Harrison Ford to life. It doesn't do a great job either though. If you're not looking at the figure incredibly closely, the sixth-scale figure looks spot on. It's not until you get up close that the differences between Ford's actual portrait and the figure become apparent.


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Though it's almost impossible to capture that feathered '70s hairstyle, Hot Toys' sculpting team does an admirable job trying to translate that to hard plastic. The problem is the actual face just doesn't sync up right, even though all the tiny details are there. Ford's crooked nose is appropriately bent, the chin scar is prominent but not overembellished, and that chin juts out just enough to make you think you're looking at Harrison Ford. Hot Toys' previous Harrison Ford effort (2011's Indiana Jones) fared the same close-but-no-cigar fate, but Sideshow's recent Hoth Han does indeed come the closest of all three. That Sideshow head is a little heavier in the face, and this Han is a bit more gaunt. Ultimately though, it dips right into the uncanny valley we see so often in computer-generated art, despite being hand-crafted.

Now, it's obviously not a deal-breaker (not that I could do much about it anyway since it's already bought and paid for), but there have been far more successful sculpts from Hot Toys. Even within this line, the Alec Guinness Obi-Wan and upcoming Carrie Fisher Leia and Mark Hamill Luke have managed to capture the likeness with far greater accuracy. I don't know what it is about Harrison's face that gives people so much trouble, but given that there are probably going to be more Han Solo figures in the coming years, there's plenty of time to get it right for next one. Doesn't help me much one lick, though.




All that said, the rest of the Han figure is damn near tremendous. Where Hot Toys occasionally runs into trouble with its skintight costuming on superheroes, which limits the posability, characters like Han who come in normal clothes don't have that same trouble. The tailoring is exceptional, even though he's just in a shirt, pants and his signature fisherman's smuggler's vest. All the pockets are functional, and the stitching adds excellent depth to the detail. His pants look good, too, and the pleather boots really bring everything all together. There's a slight issue with the boots having too much space available, and thus crimping in the ankle area, but it doesn't diminish the overall aesthetic.

Han also comes with three belts. One holds up his pants, the other his holster and droid communicator, and a third (available in the deluxe edition) that is straight from a Stormtrooper. You might recall that scene in New Hope when Han grabs an E-11 blaster rifle and charges through the halls of the Death Star, and now you can recreate it, albeit without the screaming, panicked face of a man who got in way over his head once he ran into that squad of Imperial soldiers. All of the accessories are easy to swap in and out, for once I didn't have a hard time trying to change a Hot Toys figure's clothing around.

In addition to that E-11 blaster and belt, Han's also got his trusty, custom DL-44 blaster pistol and the headset he often wears while piloting the Millennium Falcon. You'll have to swap out the hair pieces to get the headset on, though. They're easy to switch out since Hot Toys just uses a magnet to fasten them, and you'll definitely want to swap it out if you do want to display him with the headset as the second hair piece has a cutout in the fluffy waves to fit properly. It's a fairly standard practice for Hot Toys to offer adjustments like that, and they've done it before with the Indiana Jones needed a different hair piece so he could wear his signature fedora. The wire attached doesn't really go anywhere, so you'll likely want to stash it in the back pocket of his vest, otherwise it just dangles into infinity.




Like so many other Hot Toys collectibles, you'll get a nice little base and more than a half-dozen hands to swap out for different posing options. Han actually stands just fine without his base though, so you won't have to lock him in place like other bulkier Hot Toys collectibles. The different hands (gloved and ungloved) are welcome, and the detailing on the pilot gloves is fantastic. It's not surprising given how meticulous the company is with its figures, but it's still nice to see no corners were cut even in alternate hands. Even the small bits of accouterments in the belt that aren't technically removable are finely painted and rendered. There are few things Hot Toys gets wrong with the minutiae, and while that's built into the high price its figures fetch, it's almost always worth it when you see the end result.

I'm fully on board the Star Wars hype train, and have been for nearly all my life. Han Solo is a character that has always been a favorite, and I'm glad I've finally been able to add a high-end figure like this to my collection. Hot Toys doesn't get every last thing right with Han, but what it does get right more than makes up for the small miscues. For $225, I'll admit to being a tiny bit disappointed everything isn't 100% perfect, but I just couldn't let a gorgeous guy like this out of my sight.



The Hot Toys Star Wars Han Solo is available through Sideshow Collectibles for $224.99. This figure was purchased for review.


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