You know, as a STAR WARS Action Figure customizer, I get asked all the time why I have a preference for non scene-specific action figures.
Well, this latest offering of Han Solo in Torture Rack
demonstrates exactly why. Scene-specific action figures almost always turn out to be un-attractive. Call me “old-school”, but in MY view, a neutral, non-scene specific action figure will ALWAYS be more attractive-looking than one with an odd grimace of pain sculpted onto its face, or mussed hair (like this one has). The Torture Rack itself looks GREAT, and Han’s SA arms seem okay… but that’s about it, I’m afraid.
During his appearance in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, Han Solo was the object of many women’s desires. And it was partially because he did NOT look anything like this action figure.
I KNOW I’m not the only one that feels this way about this action figure. Judging by the number of collectors who have stated that they want to see the “definitive version” of Bespin Han Solo, I’d say I have a LOT of company on this issue.
Long before Hasbro showed photos of this figure, they stated that it would basically be a “kit-bashed” effort with a new head sculpt. And that was exactly what we got. But certainly a better collection of existing
Han Solo body parts could have been used to create this figure.
As an Action Figure customizer, I know a little something about kit-bashing, and this collection of parts is NOT what I would have used.
The new SA arms seem fine, but everything else seems mis-matched and thrown together.. not to mention anatomically incorrect. Han’s hips are FAR too narrow here! There has been a tendency by Hasbro as of late to make Han Solo somewhat ANOREXIC
looking with an overly small head. This trend began as far back as the VOTC Han Solo and has stuck ever since. And the strained tendons sculpted into this action figure’s throat don’t exactly help matters.
Furthermore, the decision to use the bulky ill-fitting “life-preserver” vest from VSC Endor Han Solo was another mis-step that only serves to make the figure appear top-heavy and accentuates how wrong those narrow hips and skinny thighs are for this character.
Look, I hate to sound like some whinny brat who is throwing a tantrum for not getting his action figures exactly
the way he wants from Hasbro. And I have tried to avoid giving this post a hateful/spiteful tone. This is all simply an observation… just me (as a Hasbro product consumer) doing my part to ensure that we get better and better figures. And by and large, Hasbro HAS given us exactly that! Their STAR WARS product offerings during this 30th Anniversarry year have been stellar, I must say.
But this Torture Rack Han Solo figure was a “swing and a miss” by a long shot. I know some collectors say that they don't mind this figure's appearance because they intend to leave him strapped to the torture rack and that he looks fine in there. But I believe that an action figure SHOULD look good in OR out of a packed-in accessory. Certainly, he should be anatomically correct.
I have been updating my own custom “definitive Bespin Han Solo” figure for quite some time. And I think that I will certainly prove that better existing parts could have been used to kit-bash together a nicer looking figure than what we’ve been given here.
Ironically, I am just waiting to get my hands on this Han Solo in Torture Rack figure so that I can use his arms, and my custom will be complete. And of course, that excellent torture rack alone makes the price of this figure MORE than worth it.
Using Photoshop, I’ve put together a preview of what I’m cooking up with my custom. I did not bother to color-correct everything and make sure that all colors match with each other, but I think you get my intention...