When Han's tauntaun dies of exposure, he uses the beast's body to keep the badly wounded Luke Skywalker from freezing to death until the pair can be recued.
"This may smell bad, kid, but it'll keep you warm until I get the shelter up. Ugh. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside."
Perhaps it’s not fair to browbeat a line that hasn’t really had a fair chance to present itself fully to the public. And if we’re honest, The Black Series 6” line has had an upward hill battle from its inception. It almost seems too easy of target at this stage of the game. The resistance from the “3.75” only” collectors to the horrid distribution to non-Star Wars toy reviewers getting early samples months before the legacy Star Wars fan sites get a chance have all been key factors in the overall apathetic attitude toward this brand. And there have been other factors that seem to burn, irritate and make collectors scoff as well. We have tried our best to remain positive (or neutral at worst) and embrace this larger scale, but the trends we’re seeing are not comforting at all. How can a line get worse and worse with each successive release? How can the budget/affordable figure platform try to squeak its way into the collector brand with the hopes that collectors won’t notice? Does Hasbro really think they’re pulling the wool over our eyes? We are living in a terrible time for collecting Hasbro Star Wars items. We truly get that. And that may be quite a statement to make just a little more than six months out from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. After all, the possibility is that everything could change for the better on a dime on September 4, 2015. But if the quality of products will be anything remotely similar to The Black Series [Phase II] Han Solo And Tauntaun Deluxe 6” set, then not even a new film can save this line.
Neither figure is great in the Han Solo And Tauntaun set, but we'll concede that there are positive traits with each. Maybe we should start off withsome of the positives. Han Solo does have a pretty decent likeness. And his articulation is alright. He's amply accessorized and seems in proportion to this scale. But the rest of the figure leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest issue with Han Solo is the way he feels. And by that we mean he feels “jiggly” or “jittery”. His joints don’t hold the parts together closely enough, yet they’re not loose either. There is also a marked rubbery texture to the figure. It’s bouncy and has “give”. It’s quite the phenomenon. Han Solo come with five accessories, one of which is the removable hood. But if you remove it, Han Solo looks rather ridiculous. We almost don’t understand why Hasbro designed him this way. If they hear us complaining about how little is included with these figures, then why not just include two portraits and let collectors deal with the interchangeability in this way. The biggest issue for us however is the blue coat. Hasbro knows it’s brown so the decision to move forward with the blue parka is maddening. Han Solo doesn’t feel like a full fledged collectors’ figure. It feels like a big well articulated figure that is not any better than say “OK”. And it doesn't have a rabid collectors' draw to it. You don't feel like you HAVE TO HAVE IT if you know what we mean. It’s very disappointing. You can see why we’re slowly but surely losing interest for this scale. Less and less accessories, poor approaches, declining points of articulation and thoughtless paint operations are all things that are ruining this scale.
Sadly the Tauntaun fares much worse. Sure, if you just look at this creature through a window box or on a shelf you might actually believe it’s pretty sweet. Heck, we'll admit that too. We will give the piece that much credit. We will also admit that the final production creature is significantly better than any pre-production versions we have seen. We’re very impressed with this figure in that light. But we challenge you. if you haven’t held the Tauntaun in your hands, please do so as soon as possible. We did and are unable to think of a cheaper, more hollow and inferior quality toy than what the Tauntaun brings to the line. We were essentially as letdown by the Tauntaun as we were by either the paint operation of the figures from 2008’s TLC Battle At The Sarlacc Pit Battle Packs Set or the cheap base packed in with 2008’s TLC Disturbance At Lars Homestead. Those examples should paint a pretty strong picture of the disappointment we felt when we realized how little went into the Tauntaun. It’s pretty sad that the 2011 TVC Luke Skywalker’s Tauntaun (in 3.75” scale) has more articulation points than a figure almost twice its size. But that is the truth. What’s more, Hasbro couldn’t even be bothered to tool a FULL-SIZED removable saddle. Only the top portion of it is removable and plugs into the back of the Tauntaun. There are actually HOLES in the back of the Tauntaun. It’s pathetic. The worst part of this is that when you remove the saddle there are painted straps remaining. It looks silly, cheap and we think Hasbro should be embarrassed by how badly this looks. At best, this set is $24.99 and certainly not $39.99. Even the box feels too light.
Add in the hollowness of the Tauntaun, we don'’t think you will find another item to instantly fill you with buyer’s remorse. The ball-jointed head is a nice touch here. But Hasbro also added two ball-jointed ankles but they’re essentially useless too. They don’t do a good job at holding up the weight of the Tauntaun when Han Solo is riding him and then the loose swivel hips make matter worst. As you can see, Han Solo and Tauntaun are two disappointments. And we have seen this line declining at an alarming rate. It’s great to see the enhanced articulation, but why bother when the final figures are cheap and look unfinished because only the minimal paint operations are given to these figures/ it’s such a disappointment and Hasbro needs to know that they’re on notice and that it’s time to step things up. With everything good on a figure, there are just as many things to complain about that isn’t whining. It’s the truth. We really hope The Black Series line gets back on track. A close friend to JTA provided examples of various The Black Series 6” figures that have barely showed up at retail yet are significantly below the MSRP on various online shops and eBay. Yet 3.75” figures that were seemingly everywhere but now sold out (and released as recently as last year) are going for three times their original MSRP. Apparently Hasbro believes there is a larger market for The Black Series 6” line than there is. And with them producing less and less all-new 3.75” figures, we believe the future is looking grim. None of this is empirical data of course, but it would be egregious to ignore the trends. The bottom line here is that Han Solo And Tauntaun is a huge disappointment. And they have to use MORE plastic for these large figures. Enough is enough.
Han Solo And Tauntaun
Assortment Number: A8724/A7808
Retail: $39.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Han Solo is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 26 points (16 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-jointed head (2), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), ball-jointed waist (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: removable hood, goggles, blaster pistol, macrobinoculares, removable belt/holster
Date Stamp: 2014
Status: Tauntaun is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 10 points (7 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-jointed head (2), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: removable saddle portion
Date Stamp: 2014