Author Topic: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han  (Read 4341 times)

Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2007, 02:38 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 04:18 PM by DARKLORD »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2007, 05:52 PM »
I'll still get a couple of this Han, but definitely plan on trying to upgrade it somehow.

Good post Darklord.  The proposed custom is a huge upgrade over the regular figure, which to me looks too much like the VSTC Endor Han in terms of the torso and legs (which is a very poor figure in my opinion).


Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2007, 06:36 PM »
This figure may have been designed just to fit into the torture rack.  I'm not making excuses for Hasbro, but like Jesse said, we're looking at a scene specific figure here and he's just designed to be in that rack.  It would at least explain the hips and legs being out of whack.

I doubt the POTJ Bespin Han would fit into that torture rack, and I think that's one of the nicest Han Solo figures in my collection.
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Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2007, 06:55 PM »
This figure may have been designed just to fit into the torture rack.  I'm not making excuses for Hasbro, but like Jesse said, we're looking at a scene specific figure here and he's just designed to be in that rack.  It would at least explain the hips and legs being out of whack.

It may explain it, but it sure as heck does NOT excuse it.  Not to me. There is NOTHING on God's green earth that will convince ME that it was somehow impossible to have (at the very least) an anatomically correct Han Solo fit into a Torture Rack!

That's insane.  And to defend a sub-par base action figure (as some have on other sites) just because the accessory is cool is so cynical, I don't even know how to respond to that... beyond the way I already have.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 06:56 PM by DARKLORD »

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2007, 10:05 PM »
The subtext of this conversation is about getting an ultimate version of each character that can be slotted into any scene in a given movie.  But the bigger picture of line planning really needs to be brought into this discussion as well.  Han Solo is a popular character.  Witness just how many versions of Han are in the 2007 line:

BASIC FIGURES

WAVE 2 - A New Hope
___  # 07/11  Han Solo
___  # 07/11  Han Solo - UGH

WAVE 6 - The Empire Strikes Back
___  # 07/38  Han Solo - Bespin Torture

WAVE 7 - Return Of The Jedi
___  # 07/47  Han Solo - R. McQuarrie Signature Series


VINTAGE FIGURES
___  Han Solo (Hoth gear)


30th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR TINS
___  The Empire Strikes Back - features Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca & Snowtrooper (removable helmet)


BATTLE PACKS
___  Betrayal on Bespin -  w/ Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Princess Leia & Chewbacca
___  The Battle of Hoth - w/ AT-ST, Rebel Turret, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Hoth Rebel Trooper, Hoth Rebel Officer, AT-ST Driver, POTF2 Snowtrooper & 2 x VTAC Snowtroopers


COMIC BOOK 2-PACKS
___  #04  Han Solo Stormtrooper Disguise & Chewbacca - Star Wars (Marvel Comics) - COMIC DECO
___  #04  Han Solo Stormtrooper Disguise & Chewbacca - Star Wars (Marvel Comics) - MOVIE DECO



That's a total of TEN Han Solo's in the 2007 line, with three of them being near definitive versions (Basic figure wave 2 [with a chase version], Vintage Hoth gear & the movie deco Stormtrooper disguise).  To expect a 4th near definitive version is asking quite a bit of Hasbro.  They've only jumped on board with that concept in the past 3-4 years.  So they offered up a scene specific Han Solo in one of those ten slots.  Obviously they are action figure heretics and should be burned at the stake.  ::) 

Should we be demanding in our expectations, and push Hasbro to produce greater figures?  Certainly.  The demands of the marketplace shoud drive achievement.  But should we expect such perfection in the line that all of our wishes and expectations will be fulfilled in the space of a few years when Hasbro has the Star Wars license for another 11 years?  Frankly I think that is an unrealistic expectation that has not been well thought out.  Hasbro has a vested interest in making sure the line has some longevity.  I'm not going to ask Hasbro for a definitive version of every single character in the saga now so that they can put themselves out of the Star Wars business.  It's short-sighted and rings of an immature need for instant gratification.  So if I have to wait another year or two for a more definitive Echo Base/Asteroid Field chase/Bespin Han Solo, a strategy which is probably in the best interests of the line as a whole...so be it.  And I'll be happy a year or two later when they modify that version to give us a Mynock Hunt Han Solo.  And for now I'll be happy with this Bespin torture Han Solo.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 10:11 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2007, 10:38 PM »
Looking at it a little more, that Han looks extremely bad to me.  I think the only parts on it that look ok are the arms.  I'll get it for the torture rack only.

As for not making ultimate versions of figures, I'm sure they're saving the definitive version of Bespin Han for a 2009 or 2010 Vintage-esque version.  But then again, I hope it's a lot better than this -


Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #21 on: October 1, 2007, 12:21 AM »
This figure may have been designed just to fit into the torture rack.  I'm not making excuses for Hasbro, but like Jesse said, we're looking at a scene specific figure here and he's just designed to be in that rack.  It would at least explain the hips and legs being out of whack.

It may explain it, but it sure as heck does NOT excuse it.  Not to me. There is NOTHING on God's green earth that will convince ME that it was somehow impossible to have (at the very least) an anatomically correct Han Solo fit into a Torture Rack!

That's insane.  And to defend a sub-par base action figure (as some have on other sites) just because the accessory is cool is so cynical, I don't even know how to respond to that... beyond the way I already have.

Calm down...man, glad you don't know where I live or I'd be afraid my cat would be nailed to my front door for trying to excuse a crappy figure that comes from a year where we've gotten some real gems.

[/sarcasm]
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Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #22 on: October 1, 2007, 01:27 AM »
Calm down...man,

Oh trust me:  Despite the passion in my words, I am QUITE calm. I just have a dramatic flair to my writtings.


Glad you don't know where I live or I'd be afraid my cat would be nailed to my front door for trying to excuse a crappy figure that comes from a year where we've gotten some real gems.

[/sarcasm]


Well see now that's what I mean.  Why would you even want to excuse a crappy figure at all?  It doesn't matter to me that we have had some real gems this year (and I whole-heartedly agree that we have).

What matters to me most is that Hasbro is made aware of when we are happy (AND when we are not so thrilled) with their products so that  they can continue to move in a direction that we collectively prefer.

To that end, I would NEVER defend any product from HASBRO that I think is sub-par. THAT type of support encourages Hasbro in the wrong direction!

Let's NOT encourage Hasbro to think that we'll be happy with mediocrity. Let's instead challenge them to make GREAT products even better!

By the way, you need not worry about me.  Even if I did know where you live, my bark is far, far worse than my bite... AND as an extra added bonus, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE kitty-cats!!! I've got 3 of them myself:

"Jedi" "Wampa", and "Oola".   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
     
« Last Edit: October 1, 2007, 10:35 AM by DARKLORD »

Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #23 on: October 1, 2007, 10:24 AM »
The subtext of this conversation is about getting an ultimate version of each character that can be slotted into any scene in a given movie.  But the bigger picture of line planning really needs to be brought into this discussion as well.  Han Solo is a popular character.  Witness just how many versions of Han are in the 2007 line:

Good point.  But while the "sub-text" of this conversation is about getting "ultimate versions" of characters, the primary context is about Hasbro's failure to provide something as basic as decent human anatomy on an action figure as important as this one. And this has happened while some collectors/consumers actually defend the inferior final product because the pack-in accessory is exciting to them. Incredible!

Excusing poor anatomy on a base action figure just because it is offered in the lower-priced basic line with a cool big accessory is CYNICAL, and it does NOT encourage / inspire Hasbro to provide us with better products. Instead it sends the message that we are quite content with mediocrity when it occassionally appears.

Well I am NOT! Not with the thousands of dollars a year I spend on this stuff.

Decent anatomy is the LEAST we can expect to get from Hasbro at this point... especially after all the struggles we had over the issue 12 years ago!

This point is especially relevant to this Han Solo figure since Hasbro employed a largely "kit-bashed" (cost-saving) method to create him.  I have NO issue with them doing this, so long as the final product had been well-produced.  This action figure, however, was NOT... only the Torture Rack was.

To me that is UN-ACCEPTABLE. Even the vintage Kenner line released large "Accessories" for the action figures (Radar Laser Cannon, Vehicle Maintenance Energizer, etc.) as SEPARATE boxed toys (action figures not included) so that these types of irritating concessions would NOT need to be made on the basic action figures themselves. And as I've been saying all along, the ANATOMICAL concessions (at the very least) to this figure were most certainly un-necessary given the resources available to Hasbro today.

My point was, (and continues to be) that had Hasbro "kit-bashed" better (more compatible) EXISTING BODY PARTS, that it would NOT have cost them any MORE to produce than the "kit-bashed" figure that they ultimately did release (with its NEWLY sculpted/tooled head and torso)

In addition, if they had used the existing parts I'm suggesting, the final figure would have been anatomically correct and not at all awkward-looking.

In point of fact, the "kit bashed" action figure I'm suggesting would have cost them LESS to produce since NO NEW sculpting/tooling would have been required (like it was on their final figure). All of the parts for MY suggested final figure ALREADY exist... AND they are more than compatible enough with one another to create an anatomically correct character and an (arguably) far more pleasing-looking figure.




That's a total of TEN Han Solo's in the 2007 line, with three of them being near definitive versions (Basic figure wave 2 [with a chase version], Vintage Hoth gear & the movie deco Stormtrooper disguise).  To expect a 4th near definitive version is asking quite a bit of Hasbro.
 


No it isn't.  Not if that near-definitive figure were produced as a cost-saving "kit-bash" comprised of already exisitng body parts as I suggested and illustrated.



Obviously they are action figure heretics and should be burned at the stake.  ::)

I never suggested any such thing. 



Should we be demanding in our expectations, and push Hasbro to produce greater figures?  Certainly.  The demands of the marketplace shoud drive achievement.

Darn skippy!


But should we expect such perfection in the line that all of our wishes and expectations will be fulfilled in the space of a few years when Hasbro has the Star Wars license for another 11 years?  Frankly I think that is an unrealistic expectation that has not been well thought out.  Hasbro has a vested interest in making sure the line has some longevity.  I'm not going to ask Hasbro for a definitive version of every single character in the saga now so that they can put themselves out of the Star Wars business.  It's short-sighted and rings of an immature need for instant gratification.

Ummm... No it is NOT an unrealistic expectation, because it is NOT beyond their capabilities. We SHOULD continue to expect the very best from Hasbro EVERY step of the way. THAT is what we pay for.  And THAT is how we will ensure the highest possible percentage of great products coming from Hasbro in a given year.

Furthermore, the product that I illustrated in this SA Bespin Han Solo figure would plainly and simply have been smart business since it would have cost very little to produce (due to the necessary parts already having been tooled) and it could have been re-released quite a few times in the years to come to really milk its profitability.

There is NOTHING "short-sighted" or indicative of any "immature need for instant gratification" there.

NOTHING ensures the longevity of this or any other toy line like providing the consumer with QUALITY PRODUCTS, well designed and produced... and not just "thrown together" like this figure was.  THAT is why this toy line has lasted 12 year, has improved and thrived,  and shows NO SIGN of slowing down (thank God).

As long as Hasbro continues to produce AWESOME Star Wars vehicles, beasts, playsets and action figures, I will CONTINUE to applaud them LOUDLY and WIDELY on as many different message boards as I can.

But I will also NOT let them get away with any occasional mediocre product that is beneath their capabilities and production quality levels.  I will be just as vocal with my disappointment. 

I believe that, if nothing else, Hasbro deserves (and is entitled to) that kind of respectful honesty and commitment from ME as a consumer.

« Last Edit: October 1, 2007, 10:48 AM by DARKLORD »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #24 on: October 1, 2007, 10:26 AM »
Just for reference, Darth Kozy over at RS already customized the Han -





He said he popped a belt from the VTSC Endor Han and swapped heads.

Not perfect, but it does look better than it did.  The head still looks akward though I think.

Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #25 on: October 1, 2007, 10:29 AM »



Good God.  I still get the creeps everytime  I look at this figure...  Harrison Ford may have a good case in a lawsuit against Hasbro for character defamation ;D
« Last Edit: October 1, 2007, 10:57 AM by DARKLORD »

Offline DARKLORD

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #26 on: October 1, 2007, 10:36 AM »
Just for reference, Darth Kozy over at RS already customized the Han -

He said he popped a belt from the VTSC Endor Han and swapped heads.

Not perfect, but it does look better than it did.  The head still looks akward though I think.



Agreed.  I think Darth Kozy did a GREAT job on this custom figure, and I congratulate him.  But I agree with you Chewie,  that VSC head sculpt has never been one of my favorites.

I actually had someone on another site suggest to me that I also use the VSC Endor Han head in my own Bespin Han Custom versus the head I selected (POTJ Death Star Escape Han).

Now, I know that to a great degree, the issue of likenesses in action figures is very subjective. And I have heard occasional references to the head sculpt that I selected as "Dennis Quaid", and "Malcolm Reynolds" (of "Serenity").

Well, I really don't see the resemblance that's inferred (not OVER Harrison Ford anyway), and I vehemently disagree with those assessments.

Be that as it may, given the choice, I'd much rather have my Han Solo figure look like a young Dennis Quaid or Serenity's Malcolm Reynolds (who was clearly based off of Han Solo anyway) than to have him look like an ageing Jeff Conway (aka "Bobby Wheeler" from "Taxi") the way Hasbro's "Torture Rack" figure resembles.

I'm of the opinion that Hasbro's POTJ STAR WARS toy line produced some of THE finest SW character face sculpts ever. 

To my eyes, NO OTHER face sculpt in the entire history of STAR WARS action figures has represented Han Solo better than POTJ Han Solo DS Escape! I feel that the sculptor really managed to capture the sardonic, cynical nature of the character right down to the lopsided, sarcastic grin (which is a feature that is virtually absent in ALL OTHER Solo sculpts).

Furthermore, this head sculpt is of an adequate anatomical size (not pea headed), the casting is extremely clean and of a decent-quality plastic, and the paint is amazingly sharp (especially in the eyes and eye brows). Those were the real strengths in the STARS WARS line back during the POTJ days, and I just don't think they've done it better since.

By contrast, not only is the VTSC Han Endor head sculpt beyond inadequate, it is also, in my view, one of the WORST ones ever produced by Hasbro to represent Han Solo. 

The VTSC Han Endor head sculpt is nothing more than a slightly re-sculpted VOTC Han Solo head. It looks as though the hair on a VOTC Han head casting (NOT original sculpt) was re-sculpted (to make it resemble the ROTJ "do"). Then this modified head was molded and re-cast mass-produced with inferior plastic . 

Due to the inevitable shrinkage and loss of detail caused during the molding/casting process, the result was one of the MOST pea-headed Han Solos EVER produced, with shiny skin, bad paint, a warped shape, and ridiculously soft details.


« Last Edit: October 1, 2007, 11:13 AM by DARKLORD »

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #27 on: October 1, 2007, 11:40 AM »
Just don't buy it.....problem solved.
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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #28 on: October 1, 2007, 11:47 AM »
Just don't buy it.....problem solved.

No doubt! Well, I have my Amazon package sitting on my doorstep since Sat and I just realized it late last night - I opened my Han with Torture Rack, and as an overall set, he is pretty amazing. This particual Han will never leave the rack, so the body quality does matter to me. The on thing that does bug: the fugly paint job on the head. The white paint used for the eyes and teeth have some slop, and it looks generally bad.
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Re: Torture Rack Solo NOT "Definitive Bespin Han
« Reply #29 on: October 1, 2007, 11:53 AM »
I must be really, really easy to please... or maybe I just expect a lot less from a $7 toy? 

Either way, I will buy the Torture Rack Han and be happy with it.   :)
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