So, this is one of the first posts I ever made at this here blog. I'm working on a new light box so I can photo larger stuff, and thought I'd recycle this seeing as how its topical and all.
I got this for my birthday, so I don’t know where it was purchased. I know that I’ve seen this toy on sale at both Wal-Mart and Target recently, so you should be able to get it at a decent price.
To be honest, this line of figures has never really appealed to me. Counting this one I’ve only got three of the figures and I’ve gotten all of them as gifts, I don’t think I would have ever gone and bought these for myself. That being said, I AM a collector of all things Millennium Falcon (my wife would ask, "What AREN'T you a collector of?"), with several different versions of the ship. After getting this one out of the box, I think it will make a welcome addition to the collection.
The Falcon is comprised to two figures, Han and Chewie. What's nice here is that, when transformed into vehicle mode, none of the characteristics from robot mode show through. However, in robot mode each figure doesn't just look like a chunk of the Falcon with a head stuck on top. Each bot features some characteristics of the actual character they represent exhibited.
The Han figure (we'll call them mechs) tries to convey the image of Han from Episode V. The lower legs and feet have some dark gray highlights reminiscent of his black boots. Han's overall scheme is designed to evoke the uniform he wears through much of the first part of The Empire Strikes Back. The thighs are painted brown to represent his pants, and even feature yellow "Corellian bloodstripes" on the sides of the legs. The shoulders and lower arms have some dark blue as well, that hearken back to his dark blue jacket. The head isn't a BAD representation, per se...it kind of captures Han's furrowed brow and poofy 70's haircut. When you consider that these are only supposed to be mechs and not the actual, living character, it works. There's even a neat little headset molded on the the figure's head. The figure itself, however, just sort of fails. Because of the transformation, part of the Falcon's hull forms a kind of pair of wings and the "torso" is very big and bulky. That, coupled with the figure's tiny feet, makes the thing very unstable and top-heavy. The arms are another shortcoming. Because of the way the toy is designed, the shoulder armor doesn't allow the arms to be positioned horizontally. You can't take Han's arm and raise it up so that it looks like he's firing a blaster, you can only pose him to make it look likes he's firing from the hip or just holding his blaster kind of nonchalantly. The upper quad cannon is Han's blaster. There is also a hole on the "wings" where you can insert the radar dish, which must be removed when transforming into robot mode. Compared to the other figures in this line, the Han figure is just kind of...average and not really fun.
The Chewie mech, however, is a completely different story. There are brown "fur" highlights from his head to his feet. These little highlights are completely hidden in vehicle mode. The feet even have little clawed toes. (Do wookies even have clawed toes or any toes, for that matter? I don’t know, but why the heck wouldn’t they?) The legs start out narrow near the hips and gradually widen to the ankles and the feet are those big, clunky, shuffling feet of a wookie. The torso is, again, narrow at the hips and widen at the shoulders giving the mech a powerful appearance. The upper arms are molded completely in brown and are textured to give the appearance of fur and there are brown "fur" highlights on the forearms as well. The lower "quad" cannon is actually just a double barreled cannon that is removed to become Chewie's bowcaster. The Falcon's cockpit is removed and can be placed on a hole on either of Chewie's shoulders, sort of like the battery/rocket launcher on G1 Soundwave. That brings us to the figure's head, and this is the feature that really makes this a great figure. The head evokes a fierce wookie warrior, baring his fangs. It also shares the brown fur motif found throughout the rest of the figure. However, if you look a little closer you see that the "fur" is not fur at all but actually a series of lines and cables. Up close the head is completely mechanical and robotic looking (or at least a mechanical facsimile of an organic head), but seen from afar the figure simply looks like a wookie dressed in a suit of armor. Chewie's mech figure more than makes up for the shortcomings of Han's figure.
It works, and it doesn't. Let me explain. I'm not going to complain that the vehicle is out of scale. I understand that the toy's designers basically had to make a flying saucer transform into two relatively convincing humanoids. So sure, the Falcon may be too thick for it's length, or too long for it's width or whatever...it's still in the shape of the Millennium Falcon and it's still got all the little bits and pieces and hunks and chunks in the right places. No one is going to look at this and confuse it for the ship from The Day the Earth Stood Still, so in that sense the vehicle works. Each half also features a battery powered light and sound feature operated by a button. The front section lights up (actually in the same exact place that the Falcon for the 3 3/4 in. action figures lights up). By pressing the button and letting go you can hear someone doing a passable Harrison Ford impression saying some classic Han catchphrases like "I’ve got a bad feeling about this." By pressing the button and holding it down, you hear the sound of the Falcon's quad cannons firing. The back section lights up where the Falcon's engine exhaust is located. By holding down the button you hear the sound of the Falcon's engine roar and the light come on. By pressing the button and letting it go, you can hear such classic Chewie catchphrases as "Rwoooaaarhhh" and "RwoooAAARRRHHH."
My problem is with the accessories. The upper quad-cannon, the cockpit, and the radar dish are all way too large. These are actually removed during transformation, so it's not like they are hiding Han's head or Chewie's foot inside. The result is that the abnormally swollen cockpit, which could have maybe passed for a shoulder-mounted cannon, ends up looking like Chewie has an abnormally swollen cockpit on his shoulder. The freakishly large upper quad cannon becomes Han's freakishly large blaster pistol. I've always questioned the placement of the radar antenna on the Falcon because the gunner in the upper quad could have accidentally shot the antenna. Well, on this toy the gunner doesn't have to worry about SHOOTING the dish so much as he has to worry about knocking the antenna off with the barrel of the cannon. Then there's the placement of a spring-loaded missile launcher on the toy. Okay, so the Falcon had torpedo launchers, but in the films, these launchers were placed between the mandibles. The spring-loaded missile launcher is on the left side of the hull and it sticks out about 3 inches, which makes the Falcon look like it's flying around with a mutant pitot tube (Hey, there’s the name for my next band, The Mutant Pitot Tubes. I called it first!).
In the end, what it looks like, at least to me, is that the toy designers did a fantastic job of designing the Falcon itself. Then they had to go and screw it up by making all the parts that stick out just too darn big. The Han mech is OKAY, no worse than any of the other figures I have, but Chewie's mech alone COULD justify full price for this toy. If you find it on sale, I’d say pick it up.
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