Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Near-Perfect Han: The Bespin Capture Han Solo Power Of The Jedi Action Figure Stands Up!

The Good: Great sculpt, Cool accessories, Generally good poseability and balance
The Bad: Very losable accessory (binders).
The Basics: The Power Of The Jedi Bespin Capture Han Solo is a must-have for action figure, Star Wars, and/or Harrison Ford enthusiasts!

It is amazing what a few years can do! In 1996 as part of the second wave of Kenner Star Wars action figures in preparation for the release of the theatrical "Special Editions," of the original Trilogy, one of the many figures released was a Bespin Han Solo figure. That version of Han Solo was bulky, tipped easily and came with the line's standard out-of-proportion weapon accessories. That figure was light on molded and painted details and - while it was far better than the initial 1980 release of a similar figures - was a pretty poor to mediocre figure. By the year 2000, Hasbro had bought up Kenner and was busy recasting the Star Wars figures with additional joints, a greater attention to detail and proportion and one of the figures of the new "Power Of The Jedi" line that illustrated a strong sense of renewed standards in the action figures was the Bespin Capture Han Solo figure.

For those unfamiliar with Han Solo as he arrived on (and was captured at) Bespin, this incarnation of Han was the one who wore a dark blue flight coat over his white shirt following his removal of layered clothing on Hoth. He was tortured by Darth Vader after his friend Lando Calrissian turned him over to the Empire near the end of The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). This is one of the most recognizable Han Solo figures and one of only two outfits Han wore in The Empire Strikes Back. He wore it on Hoth, the Millennium Falcon, inside the space slug and on Bespin, so he got some real mileage out of it!

The 4" Bespin Han Solo figure is fairly cool and to my knowledge has not been improved upon since. It is a vast improvement on the 1995/6 Power of the Force Bespin Han which looked like Han on steroids.


Han Solo is a human smuggler who has a warrant on his head from the gangster Jabba The Hutt. As part of the Empire's policy of working with its seedy underbelly, Han is captured by a bounty hunter as part of the Emperor's larger gambit to get Luke Skywalker to come over to the Dark Side of the Force. Try as he might to flee the Empire and make it out with the princess, he ends up captured and this is the outfit he was wearing when he was caught! The figure stands 3 3/4" tall to the top of his head. This Han Solo figure is coiffed in his dark blue jacket, tight pants with a gun belt and holster which is attached to his right thigh. He is posed so he can hold his blaster with his right hand (it falls easily out of his left hand as the fingers are extended slightly) or have his hands bound at the wrists thanks to the binders which come with the figure! The figure is made of a surprisingly soft plastic, though his jacket is made of an even softer plastic that is more rubbery, and he had a decent amount of painted and molded details for an action figure!

This toy is a wonderful sculpt, looking precisely like actor Harrison Ford, who played Han. Han Solo is average in his coloring detail and facial paint job includes his light eyebrows. But the skin tones are monolithic and lack any realistic shading detail. Still, his pants, shirt and even hair and ears are well-detailed and generally well-colored. This is one of the better detailed figures Hasbro ever produced. In fact, getting Han's hair right without it looking ridiculous has plagued toy manufacturers since they began making Star Wars figures, but this one gets it perfect, with just enough lift and shape to make it look right, but not so much that it looks like something unnatural is atop his head!

Fans will also be amazed by the coloring detail of the paint job on the buckles and bolts on Han's holster belt. The holster, like the accessories, is realistically proportioned and holds the blaster that Han comes with. The costuming detail on the jacket is exceptional with the pockets molded into the outfit such that they look like they have objects in them! The pants even have the racing stripes on the sides, so the attention to detail for this figure is exceptional.


Han Solo, smuggler who gets caught as he is, is endowed with only two accessories, plus his Jedi Force File. The main accessory he comes with is a small blaster. The blaster is Han Solo's distinctive blaster pistol, rendered as a 5/8" long gray weapon that looks about the size of a Skittle! It fits perfectly into Han Solo's right hand. It does not fit into his left hand, but it does fit in the holster on his thigh. The blaster looks great as it has surface details like dials and the scope molded right into it! It is, however, lacking in realistic coloring details, but it is still a vast improvement over any earlier Bespin Han's firearms!

The other accessory Han comes with are a pair of binders, which are essentially a pair of plastic loops which fit around Han's wrist, keeping them immobilized and together before him. These are exactly like they were in The Empire Strikes Back, save that they are gray (and plastic). This is a wonderful accessory for this figure. Unfortunately, because these are in perfect proportion with the rest of the action figure, this is an accessory which is very easily lost.

As part of the Power Of The Jedi toy line, Han Solo comes with a Jedi Force File. This is a tiny fold-out magazine which describes Han Solo, his species, natural enemies and allies and offers ideas for play with the figure. This is a pretty cool idea and appeals to trading card collectors as well.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Han Solo is great in that regard. The figure is well-articulated and my only real beef with it is that he cannot bend his knees to make him sit in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon (or any other Star Wars toy) easily. He comes with eight points of articulation and he is even able to stand when his feet are moved slightly out of flatfooted position. He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, elbows, neck, and waist. All of the joints are simple swivel joints, save the shoulders which are proper ball and socket joints offering a wide range of movement.

As well, the legs can be spread a bit apart because Han Solo does not tip over very easily. As well, he has holes in either heel to make him stand on the pegs that adorn some of the Star Wars playsets. With such poseability and articulation, this is a very easy Han Solo to recommend!


Han Solo is part of the expanded saga Power Of The Jedi four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was fairly common. Still, the Han Solo was part of the earlier line of the Power Of The Jedi figures and remains one of the harder ones to find. In other words, Han Solo is a good investment as it may often be found selling higher than its original issue price. This Bespin Han Solo is an easy sell, despite how its binders might be lost easily.


Not quite perfect because of the knees and how easily the otherwise awesome wrist binders might be lost, this is close enough to call an excellent action figure and a must for any serious collector of Star Wars figures in the 4" line!

For other Power Of The Jedi figures, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Tatooine Patrol Sandtrooper
Saesee Tiin
Bespin Guard


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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