A lot of stuff happens in the belly of that carbon freeze chamber on Bespin. Han Solo is enveloped in a burst of vapor just before being frozen. He uses that as misdirection to pull off the greatest magic trick in the history of Star Wars. Not only does Solo escape his restraints, he also manages to tuck in his shirt, which was clearly a pressing issue at that time. That is the only plausible explanation for how he’s untucked on the chamber platform and neatly tucked with his belt buckle visible when he thaws. Either that or suspended animation isn’t so suspended. It would explain why he was so sweaty when he got out. Of course the real reason is that this is a continuity error between the two films. SInce it revolves around tucking or not tucking, there’s a good bet that George Costanza is responsible for the gaff.
This is a long way to get around to the sourcing of this figure. When it was first revealed at New York Comic Con in 2014 it came as a surpise as there was nary a leak about its upcoming release. When fans saw it in context with the updated Leia in Boushh disguise figure, they naturally assumed this figure was sourced from Episode VI. Later when case assortments were leaked, the list included an Episode V Han Solo and the internet exploded. It was assumed this was another new Han Solo figure we were being treated to (perhaps the much needed update to the Hoth Han Solo). But alas, tucked or not tucked rears its head. This figure represents Solo in the moments before he takes the carbonite plunge. The included binders and upper arm restraint accessories drive this point home. This is an Episode V Han Solo sourced from those few minutes of film in The Empire Strikes Back.
Looking back on that NYCC gallery, one thing is immediately clear regarding the photos above. I did not use the upper arm restraint properly. Instead of going around the outside of the back of the arms, it’s supposed to be tucked under the arms. Despite this, I still would have photographed many of the shots in the incorrect fashion for one reason. With the restraint running underneath, the arms cannot close tightly to the body. This means you can’t draw the figure’s hands close enough to use the wrist binders. Going back to that NYCC photo (inset left), you’ll notice Hasbro punted on this aspect. They made no attempt to use the wrist binders as intended. These accessories are one of the misses for this figure. They are a frustrating fraction too small in all cases. They are difficult to use at best, and they are stretched to the point where there are wide gaps in the openings when placed on the figure. Say, maybe that’s how Solo got out of them so easily.
The other big negative about this figure is the sloppy paint applications. There are multiple holidays in the hair paint on my sample as well as some overspray on the back. The zoomed-in closeups show some inaccuracies with the eye paint application, but it’s not that detectable with the naked eye. Looking straight on, the head sculpt is fairly accurate. From certain angles, however, the hair appears to bulky. Is this what they call a blow out? I think it’s a blow out. I’ll ask Mort Goldman. The figure’s head is wont to angle downward. This exacerbates that appearance of bulkiness and can be annoying while trying to pose the figure.
Where this figure excels is in the articulation. The lower leg joints are so well hidden that when those images from NYCC were pouring in, I initially though the figure had unarticulated legs. I sent a panicked text to our man in the field, Brian Fantana. He replied with the great news that the figure is fully articulated as you can see above. Then he called me a bunch of names that are not fit for publication. This is a highly posable figure even if the shoulder joints are a tad conspicuous. The problem is that due to the highly scene specific nature of the figure discussed in the open, you might not have a good reason to engage that articulation. It could be an excuse to pick up the POTJ Carbon Freeze Chamber you’ve always wanted.
The carbonite block is a nice sizable accessory. It features distinct paint applications on some of the panels, which isn’t always the case with past releases of similar block accessories. The carbonite block from the Amazon exclusive Slave I is starkly umadorned by comparison. My major gripe with this carbonite block is that it can’t stand on end. I’m using this version for my Jabba’s palace display, but I have to lean it against the wall instead of standing it up on its own. In the pictures above, my good friend R2-D2 is propping the block up from behind. I’m glad this figure was released, and I’m happy to own it, but I would have liked an Episode VI version which has more display utility. My sourcing preference doesn’t ever figure into the grade of a figure. If the paint apps and accessories were spot on, this would probably be a 9, but since they’re not, I have it at 8 out of 10.