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In any great film franchise, there are iconic moments, scenes that will remain fresh in a young movie goers mind for the rest of his life. For me and Star Wars, one of those key moments was when Han is lowered into the Carbonite Freezing Chamber, and Leia tells him she loves him. His response was perfect - “I know”. Talk about cool.

The whole concept of freezing him in such a way was perfect for the character, and not just because it gave Lucas a way to easily resurrect him. George was smart enough not to put a blaster shot in the head of his cash cow. More importantly though, having him frozen in a big black block allowed Jabba to not just beat him, but to put him on display as a trophy. Han Solo was such a galactic bad ass that Jabba didn’t just want him dead, he wanted him mounted on the wall. And yes, I know, Jabba didn’t specifically ask for him in the carbonite, but once he had him that way, he clearly thought it was a pretty damn good idea.

Over the years, we’ve been treated to Han in his carbonite prison in various collectibles, from small action figures to full size replicas. Sideshow has already produced a terrific sixth scale Jabba with throne, along with several figures to go with it. Now they’ve released their version of Han in Carbonite as a diorama addition to the Jabba Throne.

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com, or check out lots more reviews just like this one at Michael’s Review of the Week - Captain Toy. Now let’s see how Han looks…

Han Solo in Carbonite - Sixth Scale Diorama

As I said, this guy is really designed to go along with Jabba’s Throne, although it does work as a stand alone piece. It runs about $200, depending on the retailer, and as always, I have some suggestions at the end of the review. Han is limited to 2000 pieces worldwide.

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Packaging - ***
The box is quite large, considering Han and his block are only in sixth scale (12″). Ah, but he comes with a hefty chunk of the wall and floor too, making the box quite a bit bigger than you’d first anticipate.

It does its job of course, keeping everything safe and sound. Han is packed on the side of the large Styrofoam insert, so if you put him back in the box later, remember that…pulling him out a second time with the tape already cut could result in a nasty fall to the floor if you were to forget his precarious location.

Sideshow doesn’t do Certificate of Authenticities, so there’s no surprise that there isn’t one this time.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This diorama has a similar level of quality and detail in the sculpt to the Jabba’s Throne. If you already have that, then this one is going to fit right in.

The block itself is seems a little small at first, and I had a hard time seeing a full sized sixth scale figure fitting inside there. I compared it against other sixth scale figures though, and yes, it is about the right size. The block itself meaures 13 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches deep. The detailing on the surface is good, with an excellent Han likeness coming through, but if you do an extremely close comparison to actual stills of the prop you will notice a few minor issues. I’m good with it, but the purists might take exception.

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The small details on the block, like the side control panels, look good, at least in terms of the sculpt. It’s possible for the block to stand on its own on one end too, although I’d be very nervous if I displayed it that way.

The bigger issue for most folks will be the overall size of the display diorama, but for me it’s also fine. Sideshow took some liberties with the size of the wall that the block was attached to in the film, reducing it in size both in height and width. If you’re looking for it to be exactly screen accurate, this is going to be a problem for you, but it appears that Sideshow did this to allow it to fit in better with Jabba’s throne. It’s about the same width, side to side, as the throne is deep, giving you some excellent diorama potential. Had they gone with a screen accurate size, it would have dwarfed the throne. As it is, it stands 18 1/2″ tall, 10″ deep, and 10″ wide.

Important sculpting details are here, such as the control box to the right and several air grates. As I said, the sculpting of the lighter stone matches the work on the earlier throne, so that these two work extremely well together.

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Paint - ***
The majority of the smaller details are on the control panels. Unfortunately, these are a tad sloppier than I expected, especially at this price point. They put the details on with a heavy hand, and much of the paint is thin and inconsistent. They went with a rough appearance, which I can whole heartedly agree with, but I think the detail work on the panels should have been a bit sharper, even in a pit like Jabba’s place.

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The shading and shadowing done on the diorama are the highlight for this category, and it adds to the realistic stone appearance and fits in perfectly with the throne.

In photos, it might appear that the block is too dark of a gray, but in person it seems about right. How dark it looks will also depend on the amount of light and the other colors around it - throw some very bright light at it in a white room, and you’ll get a much lighter gray look.

Design/Quality - ***
There are a number of nice design features, and the overall quality is apparent in the construction.

The back of both the diorama and the block is covered in a soft velvet material, to avoid damaging other pieces or your display.

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To simulate the ‘floating’ appearance of the block against the indented wall, the diorama has a long metal post at the top that is inserted into the back of the block. This is a very tight fit, but it does hold the block extremely secure. It appears that there’s a magnet here as well, adding in one more level of assurance. On mine, the block hangs unevenly though, and I think it’s the fault of the magnet. I ended up shoving a folded piece of paper in back to force the block to hang even. At this price point, that’s something I don’t think I should have to do.

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You will want to be careful putting the block on and taking it off however. The metal post shouldn’t be forced against the softer polyresin of the block or the base, and applying force at any sort of angle is highly discouraged.

What’s missing here is a light up feature. You’ll have to supply your own moody LED light when you display this guy, and considering the price point, that’s probably going to be a deal breaker for some folks.

Value - **
Even at $180, this is a pretty expensive display item. The Jabba’s Throne set was about this same price range, with more size, sculpt detail and paint ops. Yea, things haven’t gotten cheaper in the last two years, but this piece still seems like it should be no more than $150, considering the current market. Now, if they had included the light up feature everyone was hoping for, the extra cost would have been easily justified.

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Things to Watch Out For -
Putting the block on and taking it off of the display base is a tricky business and I really recommend that you don’t do it too many times. Get it the way you want it, and leave it be…wise advice with just about everything in life.

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Overall - ***
One of the best things about sixth scale collectibles is how great they look together, preferably set up in dioramas on the shelf. Sideshow has given us an excellent reproduction of a key scene from the film that fits in nicely with a number of other figures AND another diorama piece. If you don’t own the earlier Jabba’s Throne Environment, I can see where this rather expensive statue is a pretty easy pass. But if you’ve got the rest of the environment, this bad boy does a nice job of expanding on it.

Scoring Recap -
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Design/Quality - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You have a couple of options for picking this guy up -

- Sideshow originally had it, but have since sold out at $200.

- Alter Ego Comics has it at $180, and it’s in stock.

- Corner Store Comics has it listed at $180, but they appear sold out already.

- or you can always search the old ‘bay.

Related Links -
As I mentioned, I reviewed both Jabba and his Throne back when they were released a couple years ago. To add to the display, you can include Bib Fortuna, or Jedi Luke.

Comments:

One Response to “Toy Box: Han Solo in Carbonite from Sideshow Collectibles”

  1. Johanne Says:

    That’s a pretty good scale model. Empire is probably my favorite star wars film (I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t say that).

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