Saturday, March 24, 2018

Road to Solo: Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise) from Star Wars: The Power of the Force by Kenner

   Picture this: It is August 1995. On August 29th the Star Wars Trilogy would be released on both VHS and laserdisc for both returning fans and a new generation of fans to experience. While Galoob had a Star Wars Micro Machines toyline on shelves, soon Kenner (now a subdivision of Hasbro) would be releasing their Star Wars: The Power of the Force line to mass retailers. Star Wars was about to hit it's wave of popularity, one that arguably has never actually went away. I was in the 6th grade and our class was doing a project involving cereal boxes. One of my classmates brought in a box of Froot Loops with this promotion on the package. Having never seen Star Wars, I was still fascinated by the dramatic looking offer and the incredibly cool action figure. I managed to convince my classmate to let me have the package and, from then on, it was all downhill. Between ordering the Kellogg's exclusive Han Solo in Stromtrooper Disguise and receiving him in the mail in either late December or early January (he took awhile, I remember) my family had moved across the country, I had become obsessed with the Original Trilogy, had read as many of the Expanded Universe novels as I could get my hands on, had acquired most of Kenner's offerings (including a couple of vintage figures), and was actively collecting the Micro Machines line. Han Solo was just the sample that the Star Wars machine peddled to me for free. It was the first taste that got me hooked, you might say. That being the case, today's Han Solo focused review holds a very special place in both my personal Star Wars fandom and in getting folks prepared for the return of Star Wars in general. Let's check out Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise after the break.

 The Facts:

Height: 3 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel shoulders, and a swivel neck.

Accessories: Helmet

Original Year of Release: 1995
 The Positives:

* While many fans look back at The Power of the Force line (often called POTF2 since the 1985 Star Wars line was also called The Power of the Force) and snicker at the overly bulky sculpts and the often awkward licenses, at the time these were pretty groundbreaking. They managed to be 1/18th scale figures with a realistic appearance in an era when lines like Power Rangers and TMNT were still doing their various things. Along with some of Toy Biz's Marvel offerings and McFarlane's Spawn, Kenner's POTF2 really helped to transition current action figure collecting into a hobby. Interestingly, Han in Stormtrooper Disguise was also a figure Kenner never tackled in the original line, so fans who still collected the vintage stuff were getting something appealing, too.  

* The articulation was standard for the time for a smaller figure in this scale but it also added a swivel waist, something the vintage line lacked. The limbs were a bit preposed but that really worked for this figure as it made it a bit more interesting and helped him in holding a helmet or a blaster.

 * The detail on the figure is definitely improved over the vintage release. While it's not quite where it would be someday, you can see that Kenner was actively working to improve the figures. The era of the POTF2 line was one of the most exciting times to be a Star Wars fan and toy collector in my book.

 * Han Solo's lone accessory was his Stormtrooper helmet (Kellogg's had a policy of not allowing weapons to be included with their promotionals) but it really fit on his head well and looked great.
 The Negatives:

* The figure I'm looking at today I one I actually kept sealed in the original cardboard mailer and plastic bag, so any marks you're seeing are not "wear and tear" but actual paint slop from the original figure. There definitely was a bit of paint slop on this guy.

* Dos this look like Han Solo to you? I think the answer is: Kind of. Hasbro's likenesses, at last early on, were pretty hit or miss. Han isn't terrible (as we all know that Harrison Ford's likeness is notoriously difficult to capture) but it definitely makes him look a bit older. There is also a weird paint splash on his forehead.

When looking at the Power of the Force 2 figures as a whole, Han Solo in Stormtrooper disguise was a Good and a 1/2 figure. Having a blaster, some cleaner paintwork, and a better likeness would have been nice. Still, it's nearly impossible for me to overstate the importance of this action figure in Star Wars fandom. For me, this figure was very possibly the "gateway" drug to a lifetime of Star Wars fandom and you know what? I couldn't be more thankful!

If you're looking for more Han Solo reviews I've also reviewed the POP! Hoth Han Solo with Tauntaun #125, the Black Series Han Solo & Tauntaun, the Ice Planet Hoth Micro Machines playset with a Han Solo on a Tauntaun microfigure, and the vintage Han Solo in Hoth Gear, as well as plenty more toys of Han: The Galoob Classic Characters microfigure, the Micro Machines C-3PO Cantina w/ a Han Solo microfigure, the Black Series basic Han Solo, Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise), and The Force Awakens Han Solo, the Hero Mashers Han Solo Vs. Boba Fett two-pack, and the Micro Force series 1 Han Solo.


  1. Great figure, and such a fun way to get one - Via a cereal promotion. I remember ordering mine as well back in the day. Long gone from my collection, but great for its time.

    1. Yeah, definitely pretty impressive for a cereal mail-away.

  2. Ah man, I remember this guy! Still got 'em in a bin somewhere around here. He was the only toy I sent away for myself (there was a Robo Force figure my parents sent away for without even telling me, which was awesome). I was mostly a Return of the Jedi fan back then, but I looked at this guy as a way to get a Storm Trooper, pretty much.

    1. I remember mailing away for quite a few figures over the years. Always so exciting to look forward too!


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