SEARCH      FEATURES    NEWSLETTER/RSS     EMAIL     HOME
White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

Review of Han Solo - Hoth 1/6th action figure
Star Wars Exclusive

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Introduction

Sideshow has upped their price - and advertised an improvement in quality - in recent months. I checked out one of the recent releases in this brave new world just last week: Hoth Luke Skywalker. As a partner to this figure, they've also just released the Hoth version of Han Solo, whom I'm reviewing tonight.

The Han also comes in a regular and exclusive version. The exclusive only includes one extra accessory, but it's a very important accessory, and makes a big difference. Since both figures run $200, it makes sense to go for the exclusive this time around. You can find links to pick up the figure in the Where to Buy section.

Unlike Luke, there's also another major difference with the Han that required two separate releases. As any good Star Wars geek knows, Han's coat was brown. Or was it blue? The coat was actually one color in person, and another on film, making both colors accurate in its own way. Rather than fuel another nerd holy war, Sideshow produced the figure with both coat colors, but rather than provide both coats, they made them two separate complete releases. I'll be using both figures for my review tonight.

Oddly enough, I've only seen the brown coat with the reguar, non-exclusive release. It appears that if you want the exclusive of either color, you have to go with Sideshow, AND if you want the blue coat, you also have to go with Sideshow.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Packaging - ***1/2
Just like Luke, Han comes in a double wide box with wrap around cover, held in place with magnets. One half contains the figure and several accessories, while the other half contains the hands and the snowy base. I've whined about this in the past, but I'll whine again - even though this is a simple figure with only a little assembly, instructions wouldn't kill them.

They've used the appropriate colored coat for each box too, making them at least somewhat unique, and the exclusives sports the 'Sideshow exclusive' foil sticker. It's interesting to see the Disney logo starting to show up as well.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Sculpting - ****
The Luke was a big step in the right direction - the Han is there. Harrison Ford has been an on going struggle for every company, including Hot Toys. Can anyone forget their DX05 Indiana Jones? Trevor Grove did the work here, and his Ford portraits have always been the best I've seen. Sadly, the paint work usually reduced the quality of his overall work. Thankfully, that didn't happen this time around.

The exclusive version comes with two head sculpts, hence my recommendation for getting it. One is wearing his cold weather helmet and goggles, while the other has his flowing locks alone. The portrait itself looks identical to me, much like the situation with Luke. While slightly different lighting and poses can make it look different, in hand the two faces are exactly the same. The head wear makes a big difference though, creating a completely different appearance overall.

The realism is solid this time, with appropriate skin texture on the face and lips, and perfect glassy eyes. They've gone with a suble expression that gives him that life-like quality, avoiding the slack facial muscles and blank stare. And the accuracy is perhaps the best we've gotten, particularly with the helmeted head.

Don't get me wrong - the long hair looks good. There's a ton of fine detail in the thin strands, and there's no weird seams or mold lines. But something about the hair makes the face a bit more caricaturish to me, just not quite as realistic as the standard version.

That being said, the exclusive head is well beyond what we've gotten before, and would make for a fantastic Bespin kitbash.

The hand sculpts are exactly the same as Luke's, which means he lacks some important poses, like a right fist or a left gun grip. Scale is decent though (remember, these are big heavy cold weather gloves), and the sculpted poses they do provide work well with the accessories.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Paint - ***1/2
As I said, past sculpts of Ford, including those by Grove, have usually been hampered by weak paint application. Sideshow promised they would be working on this area, and they clearly have.

The skin tone is even and sharp, with just that slight translucence that gives it a little more life. The eyes are a separate piece, but they've made sure they are not too far back in the head, sitting in just the right spot inside the cavity. The lips and eyebrows are very clean with just the right color, and the detail work on the helmet is very realistic. Even the scar on his chin is perfect, capturing a very realistic color that's just slightly different than his normal skin.

My one complaint would be with the goggles, where the white edges aren't quite as straight or clean as they could be. Ah, wait - there's one other nit. It's the sideburns, which are a little too perfectly edged, making them look like rectangles on his face. Still, this is one of the best paint jobs we've seen out of Sideshow, and at this level of quality, he's certainly worth the $200 price tag.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Articulation - ***1/2
It's hard to fully judge the underlying Prometheus body, when it's covered in some pretty thick, bulky clothing. Perhaps it's a testament to it's posability that even in this outfit, you can get some very realistic, flowing, natural stances.

The body is also very tight, with no floppy joints to be found. This is particularly important, since the early history of the Prometheus bore many examples of weak knees, sloppy hips, and poor ankles. With several releases completely free of these problems, it looks like Sideshow found the answer.

The two joints that are a bit more restricted by the outfit than you might expect are the ankles and wrists. I'll talk a bit more about the gauntlets of the gloves in the Outfit section, but suffice to say that the coat pushed them down further over the wrists with this character. And while the boots are made from a fairly soft material, it still hinders the ankle quite a bit, especially side to side.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Accessories - ***1/2
While Han doesn't have quite the number of portraits as Luke, he makes up for it with some other extras.

Like Luke, he has 8 hands. In fact, they are the exact same hands, in the exact same poses. He has no light saber to hold, so they work much better with him, and they all have their own wrist pegs. Swapping is easy, even with the gauntlets shoved down. More on that in a minute.

He also has his blaster, which fits nicely in his holster or gun grip hand. In fact, while the holster looks identical, this blaster fits much better, and the wrap around magnet closure actually works.

Han also has the binoculars, just like Luke, and he can hold them in one hand or two, or wear them around his shoulder thanks to the strap.

Unlike Luke, he also has the 'life signs' detector, the large white box he used to search for his missing friend. This also has a strap that fits around his shoulders, and can be held two handed.  There are two sets of detachable antennae - one retracted, one fully extended. The retracted set can be a little tricky to get inserted into the small holes, but once you have them firmly in place, they stay great. The longer, extended pair are made from metal - smart move - but do not stay in place as well.

Another extra that Han has, and Luke does not, is the droid caller. This small tube fits neatly in a snap on his belt. In the photos, the brown coat has it in place, the blue does not, so you can see the difference.

As I already discussed in both the Sculpt and Paint sections, there's that additional head sculpt, bare of any head wear, provided with the exclusive. You'll want to go this route if you can.

Finally, he has a snowy display base, much like Luke. It's not identical however. The center black hexagon is, as is the crotch post, but the snow and rock section is all one piece, a completely different sculpt, and wraps further around the black center.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Outfit - ***
All of my real nits with this figure fall into this one category, and I was a bit surprised.

I mentioned that the holster was the same as the one that comes with Luke, but the belt is different, designed to allow the holster to hang lower on his leg, western style. That's be great, except for the tie-down that wraps round his thigh. What is up with that? He could fit two legs inside that thing.

I suspect this is an outcome of re-use. They tried to re-use the holster and tie-down from Luke with Han, however, the tie-down is designed for Luke, where the holster rides higher on his hip and the tie-down wraps around his thigh, not his knee. The material and leg is thicker there, puffing out more, making the tie-down look about right. It's even a little loose on Luke, so bringing it down to knee level on Han just exacerbates the issue. That's my guess, and I'm sticking with it.

Another issue I have with the outfit is also due to attempting to re-used a part with both figures, not taking into account the differences.  This time it's the soft rubber gauntlets, again most likely designed to work with Luke. They fit nicely on that figure, over the cold weather shirt.

But Han has more than the shirt - he has the very thick parka. The gauntlets barely fit over this thicker material, and the coat pushes them down onto the hands. Because they are soft, they tend to widen out over the gloves, and look rather jammed up, no matter how much futzing you might attempt.

Those are really the only negatives with an otherwise excellent outfit. The aforementioned belt looks great and fits perfectly over the heavy parka. The parka is quite realistic, and the fur collar actually works better in person than I expected. You do have to pay attention when pulling it up over the hat, because much of the fur can roll under, making it appear as though there's not much trim there at all. But if you can roll that back out, you'll find plenty to arrange around his head.

The goggles come permanently attached to the head, but you can flip them down over the eyes if you'd like. As with Luke, they're a bit stretched out so you'll have to futz with them to get the best look. There are also two scarves, one inside and one outside the parka, and you can use one of these to cover the lower face if you'd like.

Both parka's are identical, other than color, complete with attached insignia. In the end, I prefer the brown - it looks better with the rest of the outfit, especially if you have Luke nearby. Having the option was a nice touch, however.

The shirt, pants and boots finish off the outfit. The soft rubber boot sculpt is particularly nice, with a very realistic appearance and nice paint application.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Fun Factor - ****
With two heads and a plethora of extras, you're going to have plenty of fun finding the perfect pose for this Han. And with a very sturdy, high quality build, you'll have no stress when you return to pose him and re-pose him over time.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Value - **1/2
Hot Toys, Medicom and Enterbay have clearly left the $200 and under market. They've abandoned it to companies like Sideshow, ACI, Asmus, Star Ace and ThreeZero. Of course, the problem for them - and the advantage for collectors - is these companies are producing some excellent figures in this lower range.

This guy is a great example. With two head sculpts, plenty of accessories, and a fairly complex outfit, Sideshow has given us a figure worth the asking price. You won't feel like you got a steal, but you won't feel like you've overpaid, either.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Everything is high quality, and I didn't worry about breakage or damage at any time when I was posing him or swapping parts.

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Overall - ***1/2
This figure has a couple nits for me that I'll need to correct. The most obvious is the much too long tie-down on the holster, but that's easy enough to shorten up with some minor surgery. More problematic is the gauntlets, but I'm hoping that I can get them to fit over the coat a bit better with some adjustment and softening over time.

The big takeaway here is that the sculpting and paint are where they should be for this figure, and this price point. Add in a decent costume and some excellent accessories, and you're getting one of the first truly high end Sideshow figures, ready to compete in this market. Better yet, you're getting one of the best Harrison Ford sculpt/paint combos we've seen, which bodes well - very well - for the upcoming Indiana Jones that Sideshow will be shipping this year. Sadly, they've raised the price with Indy, so that figure will have to be exceptional if they want to keep up their new found respect in the market.

Now, where's my damn Wampa?

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

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Dividing Bar

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can pick up either the blue coat or brown coat exclusives at Sideshow for $200.

- has him for just $190, but it looks like they only carry the brown coat.

- has the regular version for $200, but it also looks like they only carry the brown coat.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
As I mentioned earlier, I just covered the Hoth Luke last week. I've also covered the excellent Tauntaun you see in a couple of the photos, and highly recommend pairing him with either the Hoth Luke or the Hoth Han. Other Hoth related figures include the Snowtrooper, the Heavy Repeating Blaster, and the Probe Droid.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

Star Wars Hoth Han Solo action figure by Sideshow

Back to Main Page
This product was both purchased and provided for the review - one color jacket was provided, the other purchased by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2015, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!