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Mini Busts

Han Solo (Bespin) - Mini Busts

Name: Han Solo (Bespin)
Type: Mini Busts
Number: Item No. 80211
Edition Size: 420 (2011 Premier Guild Member Exclusive)
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: February 2013
License: Gentle Giant Ltd.

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With the Millennium Falcon in need of repairs, Han Solo and friends take safe haven in Cloud City, a mining colony in the Bespin system and home to Solo's old friend Lando Calrissian. Unbeknownst to Solo, however, the Empire had arrived earlier, forcing a deal upon Calrissian to betray the Rebels. With his friends in the custody of the Empire, Han was tortured and taken by the Imperials to be frozen in carbonite. Now in a state of hibernation, the frozen Han Solo was handed over to bounty hunter Boba Fett and brought to Jabba's Palace.

It’s evident by way of new product releases that there are less and less collectors supporting the hobby. About a half decade ago, any Mini Bust with an edition size of 2000 pieces or less would begin collectors foaming at the mouth trying to track it down. Today? Well, let’s just say you could go about a year before you felt pressure to buy it and acquire it for your collection because that would be plenty of time to save up for its purchase. Now it takes an edition size like the one Han Solo (Bespin) Mini Bust has before people perk up their ears and pay attention. What makes this piece especially harder to obtain is that it’s been relegated to a Premier Guild Member exclusive. At 420 pieces, the Han Solo (Bespin) Mini Bust didn’t go far an it will indeed command a ridiculous amount on the aftermarket. Just compare it to the Luke Skywalker (Tatooine) Premier Guild Member exclusive. That piece has 130 units more and it already commanding 100s of dollars on online auctions and the like. Han Solo (Bespin) will either be ignored or it will be stalked depending upon if enough collectors feel the Han Solo (Mynock Hunt) Mini Bust will fill the void. But whatever happens, we think a core character like Han Solo (especially in any Bespin-related duds) is a bad choice for a small edition size, let alone as a Premier Guild Member exclusive.

So what about the actual Mini Bust? Well, this is going to be controversial. We actually like it, but that may not be the general consensus. The piece has an phenomenal paint job (great blue color for his jacket and a stunning four o’clock shadow beard and mustache) and excellent scale, but it isn’t without its issues. We have noticed almost immediately that you can only look at Han Solo (Bespin) at one direct angle and that’s it. The reason for this is that otherwise his likeness appears very off and borderline inaccurate. However, if you make “direct eye contact” with him, the likeness isn’t half bad at all. Gentle Giant Ltd. made a bad move by placing Han Solo (Bespin) in this pose. Both hands are grasping his blaster pistol, which hunches his upper body over and to the side and his stature just doesn’t look ideal. His posture lacks confidence or purpose and he seems more wary and concerned than cocky and assured. That being said, it’s still hard to not get excited to see any collectible format of Han Solo wearing this particular outfit. While this exact look of Han Solo was attempted many times through the Hasbro lines including the awesome 2011 TVC Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) (VC50) figure, very few high-end collectibles have been made, so its definitely nice to see a decent one after all of these years. Gentle Giant Ltd. made us wait too for this release. Pre-ordered in November 2011, it didn't get released until February 2013.

Let’s get back to this insane edition size. 420 pieces. That just doesn’t seem possible. Has the PGM shrunk down to less than 500 members? Are there more members and none wanted Han Solo in his main Episode V outfit? Were they not impressed with the final likeness? Who knows? To put things into perspective, let us remind you that this edition size represents a worldwide total. The number 420 is also only 220 more units than the extremely hot 200 Holiday Gifts they gift out at the end of each year on their Client List. Whether this means that the direction of high-end collectibles is changing, or that the collective collecting audience has reached its all-time low, it concerns us that we’re seeing Mini Busts, exclusive or not, with the lowest edition sizes ever. Even general release Mini Bust are lucky to see 2000 units in this day and age. But if you pay attention, and this really depends on the popularity of the character, some Mini Busts just disappear into thin air and are never to be seen again (even on the aftermarket). There may not be enough differences here to warrant getting the Han Solo (Bespin) Mini Bust when the Han Solo (Mynock Hunt) Mini Bust has seen wider distribution, but we prefer to add Mini Busts without an apparatus covering his face. If you can find him, Han Solo (Bespin) feels like an urgent collectible for the Mini Bust line. Try to get one.

Collector Notes

Han Solo (Bespin)

Status: This highly-detailed mini bust, based on the original Lucasfilm costumes and props, was sculpted and painted by Gentle Giant Ltd. We hope you enjoy it.

Exclusivity: Premier Guild Exclusive

Assembly: N/A

Date Stamp: 2011

UPC: 871810008896

Retail: $64.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Gentle Giant Ltd.
All Mini Busts

Added: April 14, 2013
Category: Mini Busts
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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