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Review of Han Solo, Tauntaun - Star Wars Black action figures

Hasbro
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Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Introduction

Hasbro continues their 6" scale Black series of Star Wars figures with several new waves, and yes, I'm falling behind a bit. Part of that is due to some really wonky distribution issues, where certain waves (like the Emperor) are hitting in parts of the country (not here), while other waves (like Leia Boushh) are hitting other parts (and yes, I already have those). And then there's the deluxe figures, which might be shipping but aren't making it to the shelf thanks to plenty of Jabba and Speederbikes languishing in the way.

When distribution fails, you can always turn to online sources, and that's how I managed to get my Han Solo and Tauntaun set. I've been looking forward to this guy - I love me some Tauntaun - but not quite as much as the upcoming Luke and Wampa.

You can pick up Han for around $40 - $45 at most online retailers, although I can't guarantee what stores like Target will stock him at. Remember, I haven't seen them at a mass market retailer yet. And have no fear, I'll do my best to get caught up next week with a look at the Boushh Leia wave.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Packaging - ***1/2
This larger version of the standard boxes that Hasbro has been using for the entire line works well, and continues the tradition of collector friendliness. You can open it up easily, and remove the figures and accessories with no damage. There's no tape holding anything in the trays, no twisty ties to cut, nothing to tear or rip. It's a tight fit in the plastic tray - I put mine back for now after doing the review - but it is manageable.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***
The Han is reasonable - it's him, you can pick him out in a crowd, even if it's not a perfect Harrison Ford. They sculpted the chin scar as well, always a nice touch.

The helmet/hat is not removable, but the hood is.  The fur sculpt is a little soft, but still reasonable. The soft rubber hood is split in back, allowing it to pull off over the head. This all works easiest when you pop the head off the body itself. This gives you plenty of potential looks - with hood, with hood and goggles on hat, with hood and goggles over eyes, no hood, etc. More on that in the Accessories section.

The textures and details on Han's clothing are terrific, just what you'd hope for in this sort of 'collector' themed series. The design works well with the articulation, and he stands and poses great on his own and on the back of the Tauntaun. The hand sculpts don't work with all the accessories, but it's a minor nit.

The Tauntaun sculpt is a bit more of a mixed bag. Some of the fur on the body is a pretty soft sculpt, lacking detail. However, when you get up to the head and face, the amount of detailing and texturing increases, improving the overall look.

They've sculpted plenty of goodies on the saddle as well, and the short reins are usable by Han. The hard plastic hollow body reminds me of the old toys, which I'm betting was intentional.

When we first saw the Tauntaun revealed, it was obvious he had an opening stomach. Sadly, that feature was cut by the time it made it to production. The body does appear to be hollow though, so I'm betting we'll see some customs involving a dead Tauntaun and a freezing Luke.

As you know, this is a 6" series, with Han coming in at just a smidge over 6 inches tall.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Paint - ***
We all know the final word on the color of Han's coat - it's brown. It may have looked blue under certain lighting conditions, but it was physically brown. Hasbro continues to buck that with the release of this version, once again in a blue coat. I don't mind from an accuracy standpoint - while it's not correct, it can be argued that it's accurate, since it looks blue in many of the scenes - but I actually prefer the brown look.

There's not a ton of small detail work here, either on Han or on the Tauntaun, but what is here is done well. There's very little slop, and most of the edges and cut lines are clean. There are issues - for example, the teeth on the Tauntaun are gloppy, Han's eyebrows are as big as his mouth, and the Tauntaun's fur really, really needs a bit more variation and highlighting. It's not the sort of work that will leave you breathless, but it is serviceable.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Articulation - Tauntaun ***; Han ***1/2
Han sports the usual articulation for any of the 6" figures in this line - ball neck, shoulders, elbows and hips, pin/disc wrists, double pin knees, ball and rocker ankles, cut waist and cut thighs. The joints were tight, and none were stuck or frozen.  Everything moved smoothly, and he poses nicely with a natural flow. It can be a little tricky getting him properly position in the saddle with his feet in the stirrups. If you simply try to put him on the back of the Tauntaun with the saddle in place, you'll find yourself readjusting him, then messing up the pose on the Tauntaun, re-adjusting the Tauntaun and messing up Han, on and on and on. But if you take the saddle off (it's easily removable), and get him in place first, then put the saddle and Han on the back of the Tauntaun as one, it is far less frustrating. 

The Tauntaun isn't quite as articulated, but he does stand great on his own. You also don't have to use the tail to support him, a big plus.  The cut hips and ball ankles allow him to pose mid-stride, and the ball neck has a little tilt and lean to it.  He finishes off with one cut joint for each stubby arm, just enough to add some personality to the pose.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Accessories - ***1/2
I suppose you can count the saddle on the Tauntaun as an accessory - it is removable - although he'd look pretty silly without it.

Han comes with the goggles, the hood, his blaster, and the long range binoculars.  The latter look great, and the strap can be used around his shoulders, but he can't really hold it in any great looking poses. You can mash his hands against it, squeezing it between them, but the tight grips make it impossible for him to actually hold it.

He does hold the blaster just fine in either hand, and it fits inside the holster nicely. The holster has a strap that wraps over the blaster with a post that fits in a tiny hole, but this fit is quite loose. The strap merely popped back out each time I inserted it, so I merely gave up.

As I mentioned earlier, since the hood is removable you have a lot of 'looks' you can go with. I'm betting most people will put the goggles over the hat under the hood, but you're not forced to go only that way. The goggles do fit over the eyes as well, and you can completely skip them.

You can also skip the hood, but that does cause a visual issue. I've included a photo so you can see the result. There really needs to be a second hood, this one flattened out, that you can put over the neck and hang down the back.  Without it, the neck and shoulders look skinny and odd.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is a great toy, very reminiscent of the 80's line, but with improvements in a number of areas. It's also very sturdy, with no fear of joint damage, and this is a Tauntaun that can take whatever an 8 year old can dish out. While Hasbro has marketed the 6" Black series as a collector line, the reality is that they are fantastic action figures, perfect for play.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Value - **1/2
I'm going to assume you pay $40 for this, and at that price, you're getting an average value.  Regular figures are in that $20 range, and here you really are getting two complete figures, one of them quite large.

However, I haven't seen these at any mass market retailers yet. It is possible that you could end up getting these for $25 - $30 at stores like Target, and if you do, you can add another star to this score without hesitation.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. As I said, there's easier and harder ways to get Han in the saddle, but I never had any fear of damage or breakage when working with either figure.

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Overall - ***
While there's nothing about this set that takes it into the realm of outstanding, there's lots of basic things they got right.  Decent sculpting and paint paired with good articulation and accessories, all in a reasonably priced package make this figure a solid release.

If you manage to pick him up for $30 or less, you can add another half star to this Overall rating. At that price he's a real bargain, and would be bucking the trend of paying too much for too little.

And if you're looking for a great line of action figures for a young Star Wars fan, this set is another reason why the larger Black series is a perfect choice.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Tauntaun ***; Han ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at just $40.

- has them for $48.

- Entertainment Earth has this set for $40, or he's bundled with other deluxe figures.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I'm falling behind a bit on my Star Wars Black series reviews - I still have Boushh Leia, the new Trooper, and IG-88 here, and should have the Emporer, Trooper Luke and another Trooper here any day.

I've covered the majority of the rest of the line though, including Bossk and Trooper Han Solo, Yoda, the TIE Pilot, and the Sargent Clonetrooper, Luke and Vader, and Chewbacca and Sandtrooper. I've also covered the Biker Scout and Speederbike, the Clonetrooper and Anakin Skywalker. Before that there was Bespin Luke, the Stormtrooper and Obi-Wan, Slave Leia and Boba FettHan Solo and Greedo, and Darth Maul and the Sandtrooper, as well as X-Wing Pilot Luke and R2-D2.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Star Wars Black Han Solo, Tauntaun action figures by Hasbro

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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