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Star Wars Han Solo
By Medicom

Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Tonight we have a new guest reviewer in Ryan Kelly. He'll be checking out another version of the venerable Han Solo, this time from Medicom. Take it away, Ryan!

First off, thanks of course to Michael for the opportunity to do something I never thought I’d do—a toy review. Ever since I discovered this site a few months ago, I’ve been itching to do one, and I’ve finally got my chance with Medicom’s version of one of the saga’s most loved iconic characters—Han Solo. Captain of the Millennium Falcon, esteemed hero of the rebellion, smuggler, and scoundrel (not necessarily in that order), Solo quickly became one of Harrison Ford’s best known roles and proved to be his launch pad to stardom.

Michael has discussed in previous reviews how incredibly difficult it is to capture the likeness of Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford in any sort of sculpt, and thus far, no one has quite nailed it yet. Sideshow’s Jedi Luke and Smuggler Han have been the frontrunners so far, and neither are perfect—far from it. Medicom’s attempt at Luke a while back was quite the shipwreck in that category, and they aren’t necessarily well-known for their work on human likenesses which often come out looking like they came straight from a Saturday morning cartoon. So, with the odds against them, they took a shot at Han. Let’s see how they did….

Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom

Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom
Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom

Packaging - ***
I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by the creativity and artwork of the package, but it was simple and convenient. If you’re a collector of Medicom Star Wars figures, then nothing oughtta surprise you here. Figures in these boxes can easily be removed and replaced without damaging them, and in my opinion they’re actually easier to deal with than Sideshow’s boxes because unlike Sideshow, the figure and accessories are placed in the same tray (of course this is at least partially due to Medicom figures’ lack of accessories). Add a little artistic creativity and info about the character(s) into the mix and they’d be right up there with Sideshow in this category. Considering how painfully expensive Medicom figures are, I don’t think it’s too much to ask (Han is a step up though, because where previous figures in this line have zero character info, he gets one whole sentence).

Sculpting - ***
Ah, the critical point. Did they nail the elusive Ford sculpt? No, but they came pretty dang close. One look at this guy and you can immediately tell it’s Harrison Ford. Still a slight hint of “cartoonishness” and perhaps not quite “scruffy-looking” enough, but Medicom surprisingly did a pretty good job. The hair sculpt is amazing (though maybe should be just a tad longer), and the shape of the eyes, chin, jaw line, and even the crooked grin were done well. The personality in Ford’s face that Michael complained was lacking in the Sideshow version starts to manifest itself here. It seems to me that whatever is lacking in accuracy is due more to the paint job than the sculpting. The head shape and size are good and in scale, but the hands could have been a little shorter. Speaking of short, here’s another thing that won’t surprise collectors of this line: he’s too short. Medicom figures typically fall short (no pun intended) of the standard height for sixth-scale figures, and sometimes are too thin. Han suffers from this as well; he just a little too thin, but I had to pull up a photo of the character before I could tell. Despite being too much of a prettyboy, Medicom Han’s facial sculpt beats the pants off the Sideshow smuggler version, and were it not for a couple minor issues with the paint, it would have been absolutely perfect.

Paint - ***
If I wasn’t in a particularly good mood, I’d have given this figure a half star less in this category. Most of the facial paint work is good, and the sculpt and paint on the lips far surpass that of the Sideshow version. There are two light pink ridges above the eyebrows that could have been lighter and more modest, but as they are, they call attention to a lack of consistency in the face and for me they do this more so than adding character to the face, which I’m guessing was their original intention. This is a very minor nit though, and I’m not sure if the face would look better without these ridges or not.

My key issue with the facial paint is the eyebrows. Apparently, Han decided to shave off his eyebrows and color them back in with a brown marker. He didn’t do much of a job though, ‘cause the right eyebrow is shorter, thicker, and lighter than the left. I’m pretty sure Leia will notice. Fortunately, this problem isn’t immediately noticeable, and it doesn’t take much away from the overall facial appearance. The hair is okay, but the color is a little off—sort of a mixture of brown and gray. Also if you pay attention, you’ll see that the hands have a slightly different shade of color than the face. 

All of these issues are minor ones only noticed after close analysis, but they are certainly enough to hold this figure back from a perfect score in this category.

Articulaton - ****
No problems here, folks. While it’s debatable in the first two categories, this figure is the clear winner over the Sideshow smuggler Han in terms of articulation. Medicom’s RAH body is one of the best, and is certainly superior to the Buck body used by Sideshow with their Star Wars line. The joints are nice and tight, and everything is smooth and steady. I’d like it if the head had a little more range of movement in looking up and down, but what can I say—Hot Toys has spoiled me.

Outfit - ***
Here’s another category where Sideshow wins, though by a slim margin. My biggest issue is the white shirt, which is made from silk (or a silk-like material) and doesn’t really look like Han’s shirt in the movie. One thing I know: Han Solo doesn’t wear silk, or anything that resembles it. This only enhances the prettyboy look of this figure, and the Sideshow version’s shIrt is more screen-accurate than this one. However, this one is more screen accurate in terms of the open collar, which is longer and makes a better V-formation. The pants and vest are fine, though they tend to be lint magnets. The belt is realistic, made of a leathery material, but the buckle is made of this same material instead of metal and the belt doesn’t look like it can be adjusted (but then again, it doesn’t really need adjusting).
I’m not sure if this should have been in the articulation section or not but I’ll just mention it here—it’s VERY difficult and aggravating trying to get this figure to stand on its own (which I insist on doing since I don’t like Medicom’s display stands), and I think that’s due to the boots. They’re too stiff and inflexible, and thus it’s hard to get Han in any interesting pose, or any pose for that matter. If I had a nickel for every time this thing fell over, I could buy Medicom’s entire company and then make them create better boots for their figures. The material is good—soft and rubbery—but prevents this figure from standing well on his own in spite of the superb articulation. If you try to stand him up without the display stand, I’d keep the wine cabinet open (you’ll need a couple of glasses before it’s all over with).  Also, put away anything that’s breakable since you may be tempted to throw things.

Accessories - **1/2
Another big surprise for regular Medicom collectors—Mr. Solo doesn’t get a whole lot of stuff. I would have given them two stars here, but I’ve decided to include the gun belt as an accessory, and a good one at that. The belt can be put on and removed with relative ease, and the blaster fits perfectly into the holster, something I had concerns about prior to receiving this figure. Those concerns proved to be unwarranted however, and I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to attach the strap over the blaster once it was in the holster (the bottom of the holster also attaches to a strap on his right leg just above the knee). It also has a holder for the droid caller, which isn’t quite as good since I’ve had problems with it falling out several times. 

The blaster and caller are both in scale and well painted and sculpted, and while the caller doesn’t fit very well into the hand designed to hold it, the blaster fits perfectly and snugly into the blaster-holding hand.
So with an incredibly expensive figure, we get a blaster, droid caller, two sets of hands, and if you want to include it, the gun belt (oh, and the display stand—big deal). Pretty light considering the price point (which I’ll get to and rant about to my heart’s content here in a bit), and this is a category where the Sideshow Han certainly gets the prize.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
After falling over so many times, this figure has shown me that it’s durable and can handle some rough and tumble (which is a good thing since he can’t stand up for longer than 10 seconds). Nothing on the figure or accessories is easily broken, but I doubt you’ll try to prove me wrong after you see what this thing costs.

Value - *1/2
Perhaps you’re wondering why Michael hasn’t done a review on this figure, or anyone else for that matter. That’s easy: the price. This figure runs at a whopping $180 at Sideshow and most retailers (“we could almost buy our own ship for that!!”). Before you ask, no I didn’t pay that much. If I couldn’t have gotten him cheaper, I wouldn’t have gotten him at all, and thus wouldn’t be doing this review. I had to fight for him in an auction on ebay, and got him at $113.50, which s still a good $30 or so overpriced in my opinion.

After shipping, he was about $127 (the seller insisted on UPS—bleh). This is an $80-$90 figure tops, but right now you likely won’t find him for less than $160 anywhere, and he’s currently pretty scarce on ebay (the few ppl that are selling him on ebay are charging the same as everyone else). At a local comic book store, you can probably expect to pay the standard $180, and my local Hastings has him at $170. The best deal online right now is redfordfilms.com which has him at $162 and free shipping. Other online retailers have him a little cheaper, but you’ll end up paying more after shipping. 

I honestly don’t know what Medicom was thinking on this one. Even for them, this is utterly ridiculous. Apparently finally getting a human sculpt/likeness halfway accurate justifies an increase in an already overpriced line of figures. This is the same price territory that Medicom’s Vader typically goes for, and while I really like this figure, he aint no Vader.

My suggestion on this one is patience. Check ebay periodically and watch for a bargain. With the economy the way it is, I guarantee that sooner or later, the price people are asking for this figure will go down. I just bought some other Medicom Star Wars figures on ebay for far less than their original price (from one of Michael’s readers—thanks Chad!) that proves my point. Anyone who pays $180 for this figure needs to seek therapy (and if they’re married, a good divorce lawyer).

Things to Watch Out For -
As with most Medicom figures, the wrist pegs are pretty long. Be careful when replacing the hands so they won’t snap. They seem pretty sturdy, but at this price, why take the chance?

Also, if you pose him without the display stand, don’t stand him up on a really high shelf—he’ll need a short and soft landing.

Overall - ***
No doubt, this is the best sixth scale Han Solo we’ve gotten so far, and probably the best we’ll ever get unless Hot Toys decides to do one, which is doubtful. Yeah he’s not perfect, but this is a pretty freakin’ good likeness of Han Solo/Harrison Ford nevertheless. While Sideshow has done the best Luke/Hamill sculpt so far with their Jedi Knight version, the prize for Han goes to Medicom, with Sideshow’s smuggler version running a close second.

Were it not for the price, this would be a 3 star figure easy. In fact, at what I paid for him, he is a 3 star figure. However, I’m grading this based on the $160-$170 that most places are charging right now, and he’s not even close to being worth that much. For that price, you could almost buy half of Sideshow’s Star Wars line, which certainly aint too shabby. At the $90 to about $130 range, you can also add a half star to this score. Find him at $80 or less—which would be the biggest miracle this world has seen since Jesus turned water into wine—and you can add that fourth star. Pay $180 or more, and you can knock off a star and then go seek counseling immediately.

I just sold my Sideshow Han along with a couple of other figures and after getting this one, I can see just how superior it is in terms of likeness and articulation. Though light on accessories and way overpriced, this is the only Han Solo figure I’ve seen that really does justice to the character.

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - **1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***


Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom

Han Solo Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Medicom


Figures from the collection of Ryan Kelly

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