Star Wars The Black Series Han Solo Carbonite Block figure review
One of the reasons Empire Strikes Back is among my favorite films is the payoff to the chase not resulting in a happy ending. Darth Vader does catch Han Solo, Leia, etc., whips Luke in a lightsaber duel and basically wins. Among Vader’s highlight reel is putting Han Solo in carbonite to ensure Luke isn’t damaged when he’s brought before The Emperor. Han Solo in carbonite has become one of these odd iconic visuals in Star Wars lore as it’s used in bookends, can openers, you name it for such a bleak moment in the saga.
Probably the best use for it is The Black Series figure — save for the Vintage Collection style version that actually fit in Slave-1. Since I’m slowly getting all of Han Solo’s looks from Empire it makes sense to get his final appearance. Time to check out the blockhead.
Packaging: I love this vintage card packaging. This is my jam for how Star Wars figures looked when I first started collecting them long before cable TV, DVD, Blu-Ray or 4K. It’s a small thing, but I dig the inclusion of the Kenner brand on the packaging as well.
The one downside to this packaging is that to retain the throwback style, it doesn’t include a bio. Remember, back when Empire Strikes Back came out we hadn’t gotten Real America Hero GI Joes yet with file cards.
My one quibble here is this is clearly an image from Return of the Jedi with Han hanging in Jabba’s palace. Granted, it was probably hard for Hasbro to find a good picture of Han in carbonite that would work for the packaging, but I still figured I’d note it to get some bonus points on my Star Wars geek cred card.
Likeness: This clearly won’t be as detailed as some other figures. The cool thing about the packaging is it’s very easy to match up the figure to the source material.
You can make out the anguished look on Han’s face and the raised hands as the carbonite enclosed him. I know who it’s supposed to be, but I can see Harrison Ford in the carbonite mold block. The folds of his outfit match up well with the block as well.
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As for the block itself, it has a good amount of panels, vents and dials so Lando can ensure Han is in perfect hibernation.
Paint: There actually is some paint elements to discuss with the block. It’s not just a flat grey. It has darker grey streaks throughout as if to simulate the carbon gas forming.
That’s not something you’ll notice right away, but it’s a very smart approach to this block to give it some depth.
Hasbro also alternated the silver paint on the panels along the sides and added some green paint to the far right panel.
Scale: That doesn’t really apply here since the block was pretty much always lying flat or elevated on a wall making its height tricky to gauge.
Articulation: Han is in a carbonite block. The entire point is he shouldn’t move.
Accessories: There actually is an accessory here as Han comes with a stand to place him in a horizontal pose such as when Boba Fett and Lando’s guards are taking him to Slave-1. It’s a transparent stand and is raised enough to be at the proper height for transport. There’s also a stand so you can position it upright as well.
Worth it? I wasn’t paying the regular $20 for this one and waited until it was $15. That’s the ideal price point for a display centerpiece that has more use if you got the Black Series Jabba the Hutt and need some palace decorations beyond ESB.
Rating: 10 out of 10
My requirements weren’t sky high for this one, but Hasbro delivered on a key element for my ESB collection.
Where to get it? I’m not seeing this at retail at much beyond the odd Target or GameStop, but they’re not hard to track down online. Amazon has him in stock from secondary sellers.