It's been a while since the last Han Carbonite figure, 1998 saw the release of the cartoonish, shrimpy version from the Jabba's 3D cardboard playset, and the '96 was when the previous basic figure came out - you could also count the Han from the TRU-exclusive Skirmish at Carkoon multipack, but that figure was simply pieced together from other figures and came with no carbonite block - so finally 10 years later, we have another Han Solo in Carbonite figure as the second figure in the TSC line. This version is a mix of concepts, in some ways it's the Han from the skiff where his shirtsleeves are full-length and his hair is dry, while in others it's right after he fell out of the carbonite block where he has stained his shirt and his face is wet.
The front sports Han with his leg through the tray, his carbonite block, and a force-pike slid through the tray past Han's hand, all of which sits in front of an image of Jabba's sail barge suggesting a photo taken from the deck of a skiff, and the insert's photo is Harrison Ford holding the pike -- so carded, you aren't left feeling empty. The back's graphics are jumbled, the small movie photo here is of the Han's face in the carbonite block glowing red, and there's some corny text. I appreciate the lack of tape, twisties, and clear-bands normally used to secure figures to their tray, here the tray is doing all the work and doing it well, but you still have to damage the packaging to get the bubble off.
Han's head sculpt is pretty good, better than preview photos suggested, although there are some angles where it still looks weird. It's often very difficult to capture Harrison Ford's likeness, and even the better versions look off to some folks which I'm sure is to be the case here, but this figure's face does look like the actor and they got the hair right -- posing helps the likeness grow on you, and from a foot away it looks even better. The ball-jointing does affect the head's look some, especially from his left, but it's not too bad.
The outfit and body sculpt are quite good, detailed and realistic with the tunic finally the right open-flaps design, and Han is the right build and height; the shirtsleeves aren't bunched up like when he first was released. The pose is natural without being robotically-stiff, and the facial expression is neutral with the mouth barely open. There's no way to fudge the carbonite pose though. The right hand is sculpted in a blaster-holding pose, but sadly no blaster was included with this figure - it looks good holding Jabba's Palace Luke's blaster though.
Unfortunately, they went soft on the articulation: ball-jointed head, standard shoulders, diagonal-cut elbows, standard wrists, waist, and hips - that's not really much more than 10 years ago. The figure can stand naturally or with his arms behind his back thanks to cut-jointed elbows which let the arms straighten naturally, but the lack of universal-jointed shoulders keeps you struggling against the limited arms for good poses; the lack of lower leg articulation is also a disappointment. The ball-neck allows a lot of subtle expressions, and while it can look up some, it would be nice if it could tilt more for a better version of the "saving Lando from the sarlacc" scene.
The head is pretty good, the plastic color is skintone pink and a little shiny like it's wet, the hair works well with a dark base and then lighter top layer - though the ball-joint cup has no paint so it gives Han a slight skintone mullet. The eyebrows are surprisingly good, and his eyes aren't too oversized which is nice, but they are in an upward gaze I guess to support the "saving Lando" pose. The outfit elements are all good (if you don't mind that the yellow bloodstripes are thickly-painted lines, I don't), the shirt is a good off-white, the matte black boots and belt are very nice work, and the brown pants even have a little realistic weathering.
The figure's neck had to be painted and the work is quite sloppy, it's an ok color match but they didn't fill the area in well so there are lighter areas here and there, luckily the off-white and skin-pink aren't a glaring contrast. The other mistake is the shirt's stain from when Han fell onto the floor after the carbonite melted away, they went with it even though the hair and sleeves aren't sculpted from this scene, and the stain's paint lacks subtlty so it looks more like puke and is bigger than it should be - it ends up hurting this section's overall rating quite a bit.
Han comes with 2 movie-themed accessories, a force-pike and the carbonite block, as well as one of the new thinner title stands and a randomly-packed hologram mini-statue. The pike is the one that Han uses when he accidentally sets off Boba Fett's jetpack, it's a good length, has ok details, is cast in gray metallic plastic and it's rubbery so it's a little warped in the tray and the lack of quality arm articulation makes 2-handed poses bend it around. Unfortunately, Han doesn't come with the blaster he used to shoot the sarlacc tenticle, he really should have.
The carbonite block is a new design, it's thicker and hollow so it can almost entirely accomodate the figure from the back, the tech details on the side are sculpted but not painted in; the block is front-heavy so it tips over if you try to stand it up without something inside weighing it down. The front is obviously a separate piece glued in, it doesn't sit quite flush but I suspect they did this to get maximum detail for the front so I forgive it; the sculpt seems remarkably accurate, but it's cast in translucent orange plastic and they tried to get a 2-for-1 by having Han's upper body not painted gray like the rest, suggesting it's melting - this looks good, but it's too scene-specific which I really don't like, it represents only a few seconds in the movie and isn't even his whole body. Also, compared to the figure, the block is 10% too small, the figure fits in the back but face-to-face with the front the height difference is obvious.
This is a good figure with a few bad choices, and as such, at the new $7 pricepoint it's a bit of a dog - especially when not including a small, vital accessory like the skiff blaster that I keep harping on. The lack of articulation is a real disappointment, the vomit on the shirt is unfortunate, and the half-melting carbonite block that's too short and can't stand on its own hurt what otherwise would have been a good figure. If you take the price out of the equation, it's really more of a "B-minus".