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Bandai: S.H. Figuarts Star Wars Han Solo

A long time has passed since we first caught a glimpse of the Figuarts Han Solo. A lot of characters have come and gone, a few brand new movies have debuted, and still we patiently, dutifully waited for that Han to show up.

We knew we were getting closer when preorders went live across the Asian markets. But it still seemed like a long wait. Well, patience is an insufferable bitch, but it does eventually pay off, because Han is here. Glory be, Han is here. Is he everything we ever wanted? Let’s see.

It would be unfair if I failed to mention how good the Black Series Han was. For a mass-market toy, he was very functional and very fun, featuring two sets of hands and even a swappable Stormtrooper belt, something not found on this higher-end han. Higher-end Han would be an excellent band name. While the paint jobs on the Black Series heads have never been great, Han came at a time when they were at least serviceable, and the likeness itself hit enough Han notes to be a decent foray into 6-inch Han Solos.

Figuarts has raised the bar for what can be expected from a 6-inch Star wars toy line. While you definitely are paying for the quality, there’s really nothing like pulling a Figuarts out of the package and seeing the way it moves.

Han’s Head.

Harrison Ford has a very distinct head, and a very odd one. That’s not to say it’s an unpleasant head, but his features sometimes seem at odds with themselves. From the lowered brow to the full lips and the large honker, there’s some weird and strange things going on in his face region that make it difficult to capture in action figure form. It’s a little bit like trying to recreate Lisa Simpson’s hair in toy form; the angles don’t cooperate. Even Hot toys had a bit of difficulty with their Han likeness.

This definitely looks like Han when you look at it. But from certain angles, it looks off. The cheeks look a little too chubby in a certain angle … but then you turn it and there’s Han again, scoundreling it up. I think his face is just one of those faces that is going to be that way. Each angle has its own story. Harrison Ford and Han Solo are both enigmas. We’ll never be able to capture him perfectly, but we’ll get pretty damn close. This is as pretty damn close as I need for it to be in a 1:12 figure.

Han’s Paint.

By now you know all about the new Figuarts paint methods. Hopefully you’ve held them in your hands so you can judge them in person, because if you’re still judging them in pictures, you’re just not getting the full story. You’re getting a drunken telephone version of the real thing. This strange, dot-matrix paint job looks like it shouldn’t work, but each and every time I see it in person it looks beautiful. I’d imagine a Lichtenstein at an inch away would look terrible.

Han features the golden hair highlights that Figuarts have been using since Jedi Luke. It is a divisive thing, but I personally really like the look of it. It’s one more thing that looks a bit jarring in pictures but in person has a certain realism to it due to the way light plays off it.

Han’s Neck.

Han’s neck doesn’t go back much. Shaggy hair plus high collar equals restriction. But it does everything else you need it to do: side-to-side, down, tilt, and all the little inflections in between that give these figures so much personality.

Han’s Torso.

The Hasbro figure (Hansbro?) had a decent range of motion in the torso, and truthfully this one doesn’t improve on it too much. My torso doesn’t actually have a huge range. The real story is at the waist, where the additional joint really adds to his ability to pose.

Han’s Chest Hair.

Stare upon it!!!

Han’s Arms.

Han’s shoulder articulation is a bit impeded by his vest. He’s not going to be holding his gun with both hands or crossing his arms easily. But otherwise he has a nice, solid range of motion, able to move all around without issue.

Han features the Figuarts elbow joint that is essentially a double-joint’s worth of motion without being a typical double joint. It spins as well, doing double duty.

Han’s wrists have a huge range of motion since there’s nothing really there to impede anything.

Han’s Hands.

Han has a pair of fists, a pair of open “calm” hands, a trigger hand and a pair of gloved hands. Each of them are easily swappable, and all of mine stayed put when popped on, so there was no wibble wobble or looseness. They can be interchanged at will.

Han’s Hips.

Han’s hips get the job done. They don’t have the drop-down feature that some do — Figuarts seems to be skipping that feature on a lot of figures — so he can’t really do any deep bends, but for basic posing he does fine. He can almost achieve a full split, and his legs can go out in front of him almost 90 degrees.

Han’s Holster.

Han has an empty holster that can be paired with his gun, and he has a holster with a gun permanently inside it. Both can be swapped out and pegged into his leg. It’s an odd choice instead of just going with a single gun and holster, but aesthetically it does look nice and tidy, so I guess I can see why they went for it. It actually works out well for me, since I tend to leave the character’s gun in their trigger hand. This way I can just pop out the hand and gun as one, and pop in the holstered piece. So maybe I like it.

Han’s Knees.

Han’s knees are the typical Figuarts ball-jointed, large-ranged knees that give you more than 90 degrees bend and allow for a lot of posing.

Han’s Ankles

Han’s ankles could be better. He could use a bit more side-to-side motion. It moves, but it could move a little more.

Han’s Height.

Figuarts can sometimes run small, depending on the figure. Jango, for instance, ran a bit small in comparison to other Black Series figures. Depending on how anal-retentive you are, this can throw a massive kink into what figures you display together. Han is almost exactly the same height as his Black Series doppelganger, which means you can easily use him as a replacement for the Black Series offering. His proportions are very similar as well.

Han’s Playability.

The most important area to me, Han has a huge amount of playability. Other than minor nitpicks with the range in his ankles and the tightness of his torso, the rest of Han is a huge amount of fun to move around. Nothing falls off over and over, nothing gets in the way of what I want him to do, he has attitude and personality galore and it is just a fun, great-looking toy.

Han looks great, tastes great, is less filling and is another Figuarts winner. I’m looking forward to the Figuarts Chewbacca to stand side-by-side with him.

Despite being preorder sold out at Big Bad Toy Store, you might be able to pick him up once he’s in stock if they have more available.