I think the central point and purpose of this figure has truly been lost in this discussion. I think this thread has been barking up the wrong tree the whole time. Design by it's nature has a purpose. And it is very clear to me that this figure was NEVER designed to be a definitive Bespin Han Solo. I think that's blatantly obvious from looking at the figure. This figure was DESIGNED to be scene specific.
Yes, I AM aware of that. That point was NOT lost on me at all. I BEGAN my initial post by saying how generally un-appealing I personally find the action figures that are designed to be scene-specific
(and / or included as a scene-specific pack-in) to be.
The reason that I gave for my distaste was that they tend to look un-attractive as stand-alone figures. I strongly believe that it's more than possible to make a scene-specific action figure or "set" where the individual figure is ALSO attractively sculpted. The two concepts CAN and HAVE co-existed successfully before.
My main point was that (unfortunately) more often than not, the two worlds of thinking have NOT co-existed due to the poor design choices of toy manufacturers. THAT was the case here... in my opinion.
It is MEANT to depict Han Solo in the torture scene on Cloud City. It is from a crucial scene in The Empire Strikes Back as Vader is torturing Han to draw out Luke Skywalker.What are the dead giveaways about that? -Lack of a gunbelt & weapon. At every point prior in the movie where Han Solo is in this costume, he has a gunbelt and blaster. But it IS accurate to the torture scene as well as the scuffle scene from the holding cell.
-Strained look on the face. Again, that's scene specific to the torture scene.
-Appearance of the torso/upper body. It looks as though he's restrained, and the body sculpt represents the state of tension that would cause.
So is there anything wrong with scene specificity? Absolutely not. If the piece is well designed and represents the scene well, what is wrong with that? Nothing.
Well, I NEVER said that there was anything wrong with the Empire torture scene specifically (so I'm not sure about the nature of THAT question). And I certainly don't have a problem with a well-designed
toy representing a particualr movie scene. On that point, I could not agree with you MORE.
However, In my view, this figure was not "well-designed" at all. THAT was my point. It was, by Hasbro's own admission, a largely "kit-bashed" figure cobbled together from existing Han Solo body parts.
That fact alone is NOT what made this figure badly designed in my eyes. No, my point was that the "kit-bashed" body parts were NOT chosen carefully enough to be compatible
with one another. The resulting figure has an awkward, lanky, top-heavy appearance due to poor anatomical proportions. I expressed that if they were going to "kit-bash" (even a scene-specific figure) that there were better choices for body parts that could
have been used without making Han Solo look so anorexically thin and badly-proportioned.
The fact that this figure represents Han Solo during an anguished moment of his torture from Empire DOES NOT excuse the Hasbro design team from creating an action figure that is at least
anatomically correct as a stand alone! I don't care how "strained" one's upper body may be due to torture, NO ONES hips are THAT narrow... especially not a man with an average adult male physique like Han Solo!
And Han Solo DID NOT magically lose 40 lbs when he was strapped into that Torture Rack in Empire!
Yes, you're right, within the CONTEXT of the scene that this figure "set" represents, Han Solo WAS stripped of his gunbelt, he DID have a strained (anguished) look on his face, and his body WAS in a state of tension.
However, despite the look of pain in his face, he DID still LOOK
like Han Solo. This figure does not. Despite his gunbelt being confiscated, and despite the "state of tension" in his body due to his torturous ordeal, his ANATOMICAL PROPORTIONS were still correctly human... They were still "Han Solo".
A "properly-designed" Han Solo action figure, even one that is scene speific, should (in my view) be able to stand next to any other Han Solo action figure from the same toy line (scene-specific or not) AND STILL RESEMBLE THE CHARACTER. Certainly, his anatomical proportions SHOULD be correct, don't you think? Especially at THIS point in Hasbro's run.
Despite the fact that I don't care for scene-specific figures, (I say again) ones that are well-designed are NOT impossible for Hasbro. They've done them successfully before. I just don't think THIS one was one of them.
In the end, I will STILL buy this action figure because I think that the INCREDIBLE work that Hasbro did on the Torture Rack alone is MORE than worth the price.
The issue then lies with the collector and whether or not they like a given piece. If you don't think that much of this scene in TESB, the figure, or Han Solo as a character, then perhaps you vote with your dollars and tell Hasbro thanks, but no thanks.
Well I've never had an issue with either the scene nor the charcter... just this figure.
Furthermore, the tone of your statement seems to imply that when a consumer is dissatisfied with a given product that the expression
of their dissatisfaction should be LIMITED to merely not buying it. I do NOT agree. I believe that the manufacturer (and other consumers for that matter) are also entitled to hear feedback. It is the only way that the manufacturer can know where they went "wrong" in the eyes of the consumer.
This was what MANY of us did back in 1995 when we first saw the POTF II line and hated it. And now look at how far we've come.
Yes, we "vote" with our dollars. But another
effective way that one can "vote" as a consumer, is to use these message boards (as much as possible) to intelligently, articulately, and politely
express our opinions (positive OR negative) about the products that we consume. That's what I've done, and yet you initially attacked me for doing it as widely as possible.
Sparking a healthy, constructive dialogue about this figure's shortcomings (on as many STAR WARS toy message boards as I could) was precicely
what I was after. Prominently and visibly exchanging ideas and opinions with as many other collectors as possible (when done articulately, respectfully and constructively) is ONLY a good thing for the hobby.
Hasbro has stated on numerous
occasions that they read our opinions on these message boards. As a collector of these STAR WARS products, I take my "responsibility" toward ensuring better STAR WARS products from them (through my enthusiastic participation and involvement) very seriously.
Maturely expressing our written opinions on message boards like this one (and also respecting each other's opinions) is another powerful way that we can get better and better products from Hasbro and affect change when we get an occassional bad one from them.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the concept of free will and choice in the entire phenomenon of collecting, and take some responsibility for what we'll buy and what we won't. So if you don't care for something that's scene specific, you don't need to buy one.
Well I certainly do NOT need to be reminded of my own free will and / or choice in my collecting. As collectors, taking responsibility for what we buy IS a very important part of what we do. But so too is letting Hasbro know what we like and don't like. Like I said before, THAT is how we continue to get better and better products from them.
And you know, I've spoken at length with the Hasbro design team at various conventions and Celebration events. By and large, they are an intelligent contientious group that appreciate feedback on their products (even if it's negative), so long as it is respectful and constructive.
My initial post was BOTH of these things. I was certainly respectful (and admiring) of Hasbro's products, and I constructively presented an alternative
for one of their few
products which I considered to be a bit disappointing.
While other toy lines have remained stagnant
in their growth, and have even died out all together due to lack of interest, STAR WARS toy lines continue to thrive. Why? I believe that this is due largely to Hasbro's inclination to listen to the concerns, desires, and preferences
of their targeted consumer. THAT'S just smart business. And it's paid off for them.
So what about an ultimate version of Bespin Han Solo? It's just not out yet.
Well THIS figure is a missed opportunity, because it COULD HAVE BEEN that "ultimate version" of Solo. That too was my initial point. I mean, how hard could it have been to put together a nice, anatomically correct SA Bespin Han Solo, include swappable head-sculpts (one neutral, one scene-specific), and have his gun belt be removable. I'm not asking for anything outrageous here. Hasbro has successfully (and profitably) done this before.