The Good: Exceptional detailing, Cool accessories, Generally decent balance, Neat swinging feature
The Bad: Balance is limited to one pose/no stand
The Basics: Fun, with amazing molded and painted details and great accessories, the Hoth Rescue Han Solo is a near-perfect Star Wars 4" figure!
Sometimes, a product is so bad that when the opportunity comes for it to be remade, fans and collectors have good cause to leap on the new and dump the old. This is exactly where I am on the Hoth Han Solo action figures. I have a decent collection of Star Wars action figures from 1995 and beyond and the first castings of figures like the Hoth Han Solo were just terrible. So, when the 2003 collection of figures made a definitive recast of Han Solo in his Hoth gear, I was excited. To date, the Hoth Rescue Han Solo is the best version of this character and outfit and the one which collectors ought to make the effort to hunt down.
For those unfamiliar with the Han Solo as he appeared on Hoth, at the outset of The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my film review!), the Rebels had hidden on the ice planet Hoth. There, Han Solo was seen bundled up in cold weather gear to survive the blistering cold when going out to search for Luke Skywalker. After locating Luke, wounded by the Wampa creature, Han took Luke's lightsaber, sliced open a tauntaun and kept Luke alive long enough to build a shelter for the pair!
The 4" Han Solo figure is pretty impressive and because it is so well-detailed, it is easy to use this to replace every prior Hoth Han figure released!
The Hoth Rescue Han Solo is a great sculpting of the familiar hero of the Star Wars Trilogy. Here, he is cast in his gear with everything from a working blaster holster to the detailed patches on his uniform evident! The figure stands 3 3/4" tall and he is dressed in the blue-brown and gray winter suit he wore on Hoth. He is intended to look padded and able to keep warm on a frozen wasteland. The outfit is actually very clean, so it does not have any "snow" detailed onto it. Still, fans are bound to be impressed by the realism of this figure. The Han Solo figure is cast with the piercing gaze of Harrison Ford's iconic character and it is detailed from the patches on his chest to the fun on his hood around his face! The figure is made almost entirely of soft plastic, though the chest does seem to be more solid than the rest of the toy.
This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like Han Solo as he appeared on Hoth. The Hoth Rescue Han Solo is well-detailed in his coloring detail, except when it comes to his skin tones. There is no shading on his face, and his lips are not colored at all. However, there is an exceptional level of costuming detailing, including rank insignias and tools on on the figure's belt! As well, the Han Solo does have intense little brown eyes with appropriately black pupils. There is no hair on the figure because this Han Solo has a hood on.
The costume is incredibly detailed, from the commlink on his wrist to the wrappings on his boots. As well, he has both molded and painted details on his belt buckle and wonderful molded details on the figure's gun holster. The belt even has the electrobinoculars molded to them and the fur around Han's face is molded and colored to have a textured look to it! This is a surprisingly cool figure and one that it seems unlikely any toy manufacturer would be able to improve upon, at least in this scale.
The Han Solo is realistically armed for his Hoth search and rescue effort. This Han Solo is outfitted with a lightsaber, facemask and goggles, blaster pistol and scanning device!
The lightsaber is the typical Jedi weapon, made in silver-gray plastic and bearing a 2" translucent plastic blade. The hilt and light blade are molded together, so this is an always active lightsaber. The detailing on the handle is actually impressive and there is a black compartment to it that looks like the weapon's battery pack. This fits in either (or both) of Han's hands.
Unique to this figure is a pair of translucent lensed goggles with a face plate attached below them, This is molded specifically to fit this Han figure's face and it is exceptionally cool, allowing consumers to create more realistic situations from when Han was bundled up to survive in the frozen wilderness. No matter how many times I have put this on Han's face or removed it, it has never loosened up to fall off later on.
True to his mercenaric nature, Han Solo comes with a blaster pistol. This 5/8" long black plastic gun has silver accents on the barrel for realism and also fits in either of Han's hands. This also is small enough to fit in Han's holster, which is molded to the flowing "skirts" of his costume. This is a blaster that is perfectly in proportion to the rest of the figure, so - like the face mask - it is easy to lose.
Finally, Han comes with the sensor pack he was seen using to scan for Luke while on Hoth. The 1 1/2" soft plastic box with antennae attached comes with a plastic strap that makes it easier for Han to hold this device and recreate scenes from The Empire Strikes Back. This little box has very good coloring and molded details and the silver antennas even have segments to make them look like they could be extended (they cannot).
The Original Trilogy Collection figures come with stands, but for some reason the Hoth Rescue Han Solo did not. Bummer.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and Han Solo is great in that regard. The figure is wonderfully articulated, but he has mediocre balance. The Hoth Rescue Han Solo was molded to be able to do a slashing motion with the lightsaber and look good while doing it. As such, his stance is very wide and stable. When posed flatfooted, with his upper body counterbalancing the arms and accessories, Han is stable. But moved out of one of a few poses and the Hoth Rescue Han Solo tips right over.
Even so, this Han Solo has great articulation. This Han Solo figure comes with ten points of articulation and all Hasbro leaves us wanting are knee joints that would bend! He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, and waist. All of Han's joints are simple swivel joints. As a result of this, Han Solo may turn his head from side to side, but not nod!
This is a great figure for play, though, because of the extra function it comes with. There is a button on the back of the Hoth Rescue Han Solo which, when pushed, rotates Han at the waist! When pushed, Han twists about thirty degrees at the waist, which allows him to slash with the lightsaber or turn while scanning or shoot in a different direction with his blaster pistol!
The Hoth Rescue Han Solo is part of the 2003 Original Trilogy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not very common at all, but largely recast figures that had been previously released by Kenner. Hasbro sought to improve the old figures by having a greater attention to detail, coloring and accessory detail and proportion. As such, this Han Solo is a distinct improvement as far as balance, detailing and accessories from the earlier Hoth Han Solo. Released as Original Trilogy Collection figure #13, this figure is a good idea for those creating an ultimate collection of each major character. It is hard to imagine how this figure might be improved upon, save with more articulation.
Despite a minor balance issue, the Hoth Rescue Han Solo action figure is close enough to perfect to consider excellent and a "must have" for any Star Wars action figure collector!
For other Star Wars figure and toy reviews, please check out my takes on:
Original Trilogy Collection Lobot
Power Of The Force Deluxe Probe Droid
Legacy Collection BD7 Bane Malar
For other toy reviews, please be sure to check out my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.