10 Apr 2015

Sideshow Collectibles Hoth Luke Skywalker and Han Solo

It's been a long wait, but recently I finally got my Sideshow Collectibles Luke Skywalker and Han Solo figures in their Hoth outfits! Overall, they're pretty nice figures, but do have some faults worth mentioning.

Here are my full video reviews of both, but scroll down below for more info and photos.

Luke Skywalker YouTube review:




Han Solo YouTube review:



Packaging:

The packaging for both figures is the usual matte black and grey styling that has been around for years now. Nothing too fancy to mention, but at least this time they remembered to put on the exclusive version sticker unlike the recent R2-D2 release.













Accessories:

There's no shortage of accessories with these figures, especially with the exclusive versions that come with additional head sculpts.

The Luke figure comes with three head sculpts in total, with the battle damaged Wampa smashed face the worst of the lot in my opinion. It has the least accurate likeness to Mark Hamill, whereas I think the other two sculpts have a great likeness. Similarly with the Han Solo figure, the additional head sculpt (only two this time) is also very good, and I prefer it over the Hot Toys DX05 Indiana Jones sculpt.

The common thing lacking with the head sculpts is the rather flat paint application that does not have the level of realism that Hot Toys has with their facial paint applications. There's just that amazing skin freckling effect that is missing which would really up the level of these sculpts to that of Hot Toys.

The usual array of hand sculpts is provided with both figures, and I still love that Sideshow continues to give each one its own wrist joint. If only Hot Toys would do this too so that joint breakages were minimised!


Both figures get the binoculars with fake leather strap, and the paint app is nicely detailed and weathered. Luke comes with his blaster and unlit lightsaber hilt, which still doesn't have the nice clean paint app that is evident with the Hot Toys DX07 lightsaber.

The lit lightsaber for me is the most disappointing accessory. The blade has some weird white speckling effect to it that looks like snow, but in the end just gives the blade a rather cheap look to it! I would've much preferred a clean translucent plastic like the DX07 figure.

Han comes with a separate accessory in the "life-detector" that includes separate extended and non-extending antenna pieces. This piece is also nicely weathered with a great white strap that is also beautifully dirtied up to complement the Hoth look.

Both figures also come with their fake-leather belts and pistol holsters that are nicely done. The material is nice, but some weathering would have been a nice bit of detail.



To round out the accessories, both figures include a stand with attachable snow/rock pieces that is a really nice touch. They paint on the snow and rock is great, and on display with the figures just gives that added bit of realism to the Hoth environment.


Thoughts on Luke Skywalker:

Overall, the Luke figure is a solid figure that feels well built. There weren't any issues with any of the joints on mine, with articulation throughout, hindered only by the outfit in certain areas as expected.

The covered head sculpt with the goggles is my favourite. I love how the goggles can be placed over the eyes, but do be careful in stretching that elastic band as it might snap. The radio antenna is also fiddly to insert, so be careful to line up the correct way to avoid snapping anything.


One of the biggest letdowns on the figure though is the vest, which is not only the incorrect colour but also too small. The prototype photos and even the box art all show the vest to be a more accurate beige colour that is different to the pants. But the final figure has a grey wash similar to the pants that doesn't let the vest stand out.

Add to that it's too small, and so when buttoned up, it tends to splay open between the buttons. A lot of collectors have resorted to mods where some velcro has been added to close up the vest. Another annoying part of the vest is the rank badge, where the pocket is too small for the badge resulting in it sticking up at the top. It's a nice concept badly executed.


But I do love the pants and the other aspects of the outfit, which overall are all nicely tailored. The soft plastic of the gauntlets and boots look a little off at first, but after a bit of futzing they do look pretty decent.


The biggest nitpick for me on the figure has to be its scale though. The body they have used seems a little too big, so it's slightly larger than the Hot Toys DX07 Luke and also larger than the Han Solo figure!

In the end, I'll be displaying Luke on top of the Tauntaun, so the height difference won't be so noticeable. But considering Han is much taller than Luke in the movies, this was one detail they should not have screwed up!


Lastly, here's a comparison shot between the DX07 Luke head sculpt and the new Sideshow Luke head sculpt. As always, the realistic paint application of Hot Toys is a major difference, but for me I think the Sideshow sculpt looks more like Mark Hamill.

If only we could somehow get a Hot Toys paint app on the Sideshow sculpt, we might just have the best Luke Skywalker head sculpt ever made! :)



Thoughts on Han Solo:

Overall I definitely feel that the Han Solo figure is a better figure than the Luke. The tailoring on the thick brown jacket is really nicely done, and closes nicely over the body unlike the vest on Luke.

The fur around the hood is pretty delicate, so be careful when moving the hood up and down. I think you also need to be careful around the cap to no put pressure on the front lid of the cap. I have seen pics where there are cracks forming along the edge of the cap near the bottom of the goggles. The goggles work essentially in the same way that they do on Luke.

I love that they included the blue Bespin thin jacket underneath the larger jacket, with the white shirt too! It mostly won't see the light of day in most poses, but it's a great bit of detailed layering in the clothing.


The gauntlets and gloves are very similar to Luke's, but due to the thick jacket, they do look a little odd and give him a slight astronaut type look in that lower arms. But posed properly, you don't tend to notice it too much.

I think the belt on Han is nicer than Luke's apart from the excess material around the leg. The ring around the leg is too loose, so it takes a bit of creative posing to make it look right. Luke's wraps around his thigh so has a tighter fit that looks better.

The paints on Han are also nicely done in a similar khaki type material. It feels very supple and natural, and again is tailored really well.

With the photo below, you can clearly see that Luke is slightly taller than Han, and that is my biggest complaint about this pair of figures. Han should really clearly be taller, so it's a shame such a critical detail was missed when there's so much else that is great about the figures.


Closing Thoughts:

The Empire Strikes Back is by far my favourite Star Wars movie, and the opening Hoth sequence is still one of the best ever in movie history. Sideshow have done a pretty nice job overall with these two, and put together with their recent Tauntaun, you really do get an amazing representation of those characters from the movie.

It's such a shame that the pretty awesome head sculpts are again let down by some flat paint application. It's an improvement over their head sculpts from a year or two ago, but they still have a way to go to reach Hot Toys' quality.

But with the large array of accessories, decent tailoring on most parts of the outfits, and nice snow/rock based stands, these really do have some presence on the display shelf. I can't wait to get more 1/6th scale Star Wars figures from both Sideshow and Hot Toys throughout this year :)