Han Solo – Retro Collection Review
Retro Collection, 2019
Accessories: Blaster Pistol
Appears In: A New Hope
Card Back: The Star Wars Retro Collection is inspired by 1970s Star Wars figures and features original figure design and detailing! Continue your collection from the galaxy far, far away!
Unlike re-issued vintage Darth Vader, the Retro Collection Han Solo action figure doesn’t stir the emotions in any discernible way. In fact, this may be the first time I’ve even held a 1978 version of Captain Solo; it was 1980’s Han Solo (Hoth Outfit) that served as the defining Solo figure of my younger youth.
I only got Han to go with Chewie in the vintage Millennium Falcon – which means we’re going into this review as far as possible from the objectivity-eating claws of nostalgia.
Let’s get to it!
First things first – simplicity reigns supreme. The Retro Collection Han Solo is skinny, slight and about as basic as it gets.
The paint scheme is simple, with painted pink plastic for the head, torso and arms, and minimally painted black plastic for his legs. The paint apps themselves are generally clean, although the white of his shirt looks a touch patchy in places. The Corellian blood stripes on his trousers are a striking touch of colour on his otherwise monochrome garb.
Han has the classic/basic vintage 5POA stance of straight legs and arms at his sides, although he does come with a bent right elbow. This allows him to hold his gun in a pretty cool cowboy pose. Which is fun.
Sadly, that’s pretty much the good parts of the figure out of the way.
As a basic silhouette Han’s proportions aren’t right when you look at him. As far as I can tell that’s down to his legs being too short and skinny. This may have been a necessity to ensure that he fits into the Millennium Falcon (he does), but it means that Han doesn’t look amazing stood on display.
The reason for his odd proportions may relate to the figure’s variant past. The 1978 Han Solo was one of the first running changes of the line, with the first version having a smaller head. The Retro Collection Han Solo uses the newer large-head version of the figure, which ran up until the end of the vintage line. It might be that the smaller noggin worked better with his legs, and that’s what’s throwing his proportions off.
Whatever the size of the head, Han’s features are minimal, and you would have to be really projecting to make out any kind of resemblance to Harrison Ford. It’s to be expected of the era in which this figure was made, no doubt, but it’s still worth noting.
Finally, we arrive at Han’s Blaster Pistol. I’m impressed with the size, scale, and detail given the age of the design, and in that context, it’s a great representation of Han’s gun.
Yet (and as I’ve never owned a vintage 1978 Han Solo I have no idea if this is a problem unique to the Retro Collection or not), Han has a hard time holding it. The handle is that little bit too big for his hand, which means it’s prone to popping out and shooting off at high speed if you’re not careful.
There is a sweet spot, as you can see from these photos. Just take care when finding it!
It’s odd looking at an iconic figure like this with no emotional attachment. The Retro Collection Han Solo is definitely of its time, and it’s not a bad attempt at all. But again, it’s of its time.
As a kid, I always preferred the more detailed sculpts of the figures from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to those that carried through from Star Wars. Comparing this Han Solo to the 1980 Hoth Outfit version doesn’t change my mind on that.
Even without the benefit of nostalgia, the Retro Collection Han Solo is a fun throwback piece to display with Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon. And in that case, he’s doing exactly what he was made to do.