Star Wars Vintage Collection: Han Solo (Echo Base) and Princess Leia (Hoth Outfit) by Hasbro

I picked up my first figures from the new Vintage Collection today. Actually I picked up two of each, so I could keep two carded. This is something I almost never do, but since I already got on board this whole vintage style figure idea back during the Original Trilogy Collection, I might as well keep going. The first two I’m going to look at are Han and Leia in their Hoth outfits. I also picked up 3PO, but we’ll save him for next time.

The packaging is the real draw here for me. Hasbro certainly knows how to pull on the heart (and wallet) strings of late thirty-something geeks, because seeing these things hanging on the pegs again really is something special. As with the VOTC releases, the fronts of these cards are excellent facsimiles of their early 80’s counterparts. Ok, actually Han is oddly enough an original figure with an original card, but it still looks like something authentic. The backs of the cards show the old figure with the new one (again, except for Han), along with a blurb about the line and some photos of other figures in the assortment. The other big difference is the Boba Fett mailaway advert on the front, which is a sticker and not printed directly on the card. What’s missing? That’s right, the clamshell.

I had mixed feelings about Hasbro abandoning the clamshells they used for the VOTC line. On the one hand, these new released don’t quite look as streamlined next to the VOTC carded figures. Yes, I plan on putting them in clamshells (which Hasbro conveniently sells), but they won’t have the special foil stickers or the embossed “Star Wars” on the back. On the other hand, as we’ll see a little later on the price is significantly lower, so there are some good points too.

Let’s start with Han in his Echo Base outfit, which is basically a Bespin Han only instead of the regular blue jacket, he’s wearing a Hoth style trenchcoat. The trousers and boots are the same as we’ve seen Han wearing as part of his Cloud City outfit. His belt is a separate piece, which includes a working holster for his pistol. His trenchcoat is also a separate piece, which is actually sculpted like a vest, which in conjunction with the figure’s arms is meant to look like a jacket. It works, pretty well, although the illusion crumbles under close inspection around the arms, or obviously if you take it off. Still, I don’t mind it and the jacket features some nice sculpting.

Hasbro didn’t quite get the job done with this figure’s head sculpt, which is kind of strange, since many of the modern Han figures have been fairly good likenesses. This one doesn’t completely miss the mark, but it’s not exactly Harrison Ford either. Fortunately, you can always grab one of your other recent Han figures and swap the heads if you so desire. Of course, that doesn’t help you for your mint-on-card figure.

Han’s articulation is excellent. He has a ball jointed head. His arms have ball jointed shoulders, elbows and he has swivel wrists. His legs have standard rotation at the hips and balljoints in the knees and ankles. Han also has a ball joint in the torso.

Apart from his iconic broom-handled pistol, Han comes with a welding mask and a welding tool. The mask has a handle, so he can hold it up to his face. I think they’re pretty cool accessories to stow away in the BMF Falcon.

Hoth Leia is a very welcome figure, since this version of her hasn’t been done in a while, and I don’t think it’s ever really been done particuarly well until now. Her outfit consists of her Hoth off-white fatigues and gloves with grey boots. There’s a lot of excellent sculpting on her outfit, including wrinkles, stitching and her arm communicator. Her vest is a separate piece, and unlike Han’s jacket, this piece is intended to be a vest so it can be removed without exposing the whole fake sleeve syndrome.

Hasbro has frequently had issues getting Leia’s head sculpt right, but in a bizarre turn of events, they actually did a fine job here. It’s not a perfect likeness, but it’s close (certainly closer than Han’s), and it’s not f’ugly, nor does it look like a monkey. The hair is also well sculpted and the paint apps on the lips and eyes are razor sharp.

Leia’s articulation includes a ball jointed head. Her arms have ball joints in the shoulders and elbows, and her wrists swivel. She has standard rotation in the hips and her knees are ball jointed. She can also swivel at the waist. Leia is missing any ankle articulation.

Leia comes with a standard Rebel-style blaster.

I picked up these figures for $7.98 each at Walmart, which is what regular Star Wars figures have been priced at for a while now. Keep in mind that back when the VOTC figures were released, they sold for around $9.99 to start with, but before the line ended they were up to $12.99 each at a lot of retailers, and that was a few years ago. I realize that they no longer come with the clamshell, but even if you buy a pack from Hasbro, you’re still ahead of the game. I think what I like about this pricing the most is that I’m not paying for an unwanted clamshell on the doubles that I plan on opening. If Hasbro was smart, they’d sell special clamshells with the foil stickers on them, but I’m willing to make do with the generic ones in favor of this price reduction. In hindsight, it’s too bad I didn’t keep the ones from the VOTC doubles that I opened.

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