Cliffbee.com: Millenium Falcon/Han Solo & Chewbacca Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Han Solo / Chewbacca
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Rebel Alliance
Alternate Mode: Millenium Falcon



MILLENIUM FALCON MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 24cm Width: 19.5cm

   A grey disc-shaped vehicle with two tapering points at the front, a cockpit on the starboard side, a radar dish on the top to port and charcoal weapons on top, underneath and on the portside. There are some darker grey carbon scored areas, some rust colours patches here and there along with dark red panels. The windows on the cockpit and the top-mounted weapon mount are colourless plastic. The colour scheme is pretty non-descript in many ways, but then the Millennium Falcon was a fairly drab looking, and very functional, ship. The carbon scoring and rust are well executed, the scoring crosses seams in the toy, which is nice. While the colour scheme is understated, it's by no means lazy - the attention to detail is great.

   Okay, I'm not going to go into too much detail about what the Millennium Falcon _should_ look like, because if you're reading this review you will have a fair idea of that, at worst. It's a little taller in cross section than it should be - since there needs to be two robots in this thing - but not enough to ruin the effect. The big gun on top is much more than it should be, but it's very easy to detach if you feel the need - it comes off as part of the transformation. There are some small gaps on the sides, revealing some hinges and knuckles - again not enough to break the illusion here. The missile on the portside is also out of place, but easily detaches - being a projectile - if you prefer.

   The play value here is really playing second fiddle to the display value, but there's still a fair bit of that anyway. The gun underneath and the gun on top - which is actually a missile launcher - both rotate through 360, along with the radar dish. The missile launcher on top has a single button, two missiles fir together. There's a button just behind the portside missile which fires that missile. The cockpit opens to reveal two seats - one for each of the mini figures this set comes with (Han Solo & Chewbacca), while there's a third spot for a pilot underneath the top-mounted weapon.

   There are two separate electronic gimmicks here, and both are pretty good. A small red button underneath the back causes the rear to glow blue (thanks to two powerful blue LEDs) and it alternates between various engine sounds. A small silver button in front of the missile launcher on top alternates between rapid firing and a series of electronic sounds (I assume these are flight computer sounds). A pair of ridges behind the button glow red after the sounds. The sounds for this mode are activated by long presses, short presses generate robot mode sounds. While the flight computer sounds aren't that good and the red LEDs aren't that useful, the thruster electronics at the back are really nice and the rapid firing sound works well. Regular readers of my review will know I generally don't have a lot of time for electronics, but this stuff actually enhances the Millennium Falcon itself.

   If there's a flaw here, it's the front leg. Three legs fold down from underneath the vehicle, the side ones are well done but the front one tends to collapse if you move the ship across the table. It's annoying but not a killer flaw, since you can cheat and fold it all the way back - which you're not meant to do - to create a stable leg.

   A great vehicle mode which _really_ harks to the ship seen in the films. This makes a great display piece and the play value keeps out of the way of this, while still having a lot to offer. The toy is big enough to have _two_ separate electronics systems, without these getting in the way of a good vehicle mode. This is easily the best part of the set, mind you - as with many Star Wars Transformers there's a very heavy focus on the vehicle mode - but I'm happy enough with the end result.

TRANSFORMATION TO HAN SOLO ROBOT MODE

   Before you start, detach and set aside the two guns, radar dish and cockpit. They all come back later. Fold away the legs underneath. Detach the rear half and set aside for now - it'll become the Chewbacca mech.

   Slide the gun cockpit forward over the red LED ridges, revealing the head. Flip the sides down and back around to form shoulderpads. Fold the section in front of the silver button underneath, covering the front foot. Lift out the tips of the bow sections, swing them out to form boots, rotate down into place and flip out his heelspurs. The boots pop off fairly easily, but attach just as easily. Rotate the sides around to form the arms - they twist and turn, ending up blue at the front and grey at the back. Slide the fists out, give Han Solo the double missile launcher as a hand weapon and plug the radar dish into the top of the right shoulderpad.

HAN SOLO ROBOT MODE
Height: 22.5cm Width: 17.5cm

   A grey mech with midnight blue arms, silver hands, brown thighs and grey shins, Han Solo has a silver robotic face, brown robotic hair and blue eyes. The circular gun cabin is now on his chest. The colours are okay, the grey and midnight blue dominate things, and work fairly well together. There's not even a hint of an organic creature here, mind you. The shoulderpads are kibbly, but with the radar dish on the right and that side missile on the other, at least they're decorative.

   Visually this is a fairly ugly mech, mainly because much of the front here is whatever could be stashed inside the front half of the Falcon. The robotic human face looks like something out of Red Dwarf, and while it's not _bad_ it doesn't look like Han Solo a whole lot, and doesn't look like the face of a Transformer. The limbs are very blocky, which doesn't suit the angular humanesque face, either. I'm probably being harsher than I should be, but visually this robot mode is not up to the usual standard of the Star Wars Transformers - being a mech rather than a Transformer robot mode, as I've already alluded to.

   The poseability here is decent if not spectacular. The head turns through 360 while the waist is fixed. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend inwards and rotate. The fists rotate, even if they can't do much more than wiggle with the missile launcher in his hand. The hips swing back but not forward, although they do lift out to the sides. The knees are hinged and there are rotators in the thighs while the ankles can swing back and forth and side to side. The ankles are fairly restricted which holds back leg poseability, but there are some relaxed stances available.

   The play value here is good, since we have access to both missile launchers, the Han Solo minifigure can pilot the this mech inside the chest and the silver button is accessible on the waist. This time short presses are in order, and the sounds alternate between a series of movie sound clips: "I've a really bad feeling about this", "Prepare to make the jump to lightspeed", "Charge up the main gun!", "May the Force be with you" and "She's the fastest ship in the fleet". The LEDs light up within his chest and last for about six seconds after the sound ends. The battery party is largely out of the way here, it's on his back but hugs the core of the torso fairly well.

   Considering how good the vehicle mode is, this is a decent mech. Really, the problems here relate to trying to hide this thing inside the Millennium Falcon - the limbs are very blocky and the poseability is limited by the need to hide all the joints in vehicle mode. The play value is good and again the electronics are worthwhile. I don't like the look - it feels neither like a Transformer nor Han Solo, but it's still a fairly well constructed mech.

TRANSFORMATION TO CHEWBACCA ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the back of the vehicle, rotate and sit against the top. The robot head will pop out in this stage automatically. Swing the sides down to form legs, extend the thighs and split the top sections off and fold down to form the feet, flip out the feet. Swing up the folded up arms, fold out the forearms, rotate them into place and slide out the hands.

CHEWBACCA ROBOT MODE
Height: 21.5cm Width: 15cm

   Another grey mech, this time with a lot of brown in support. The head, elbows, hands, thighs, feet and various paint apps are brown. The inside of the open mouth is red while the fangs and eyes are silver. The head is a robotic Chewbacca and it really does look like him, thankfully.

   While Han Solo was very blocky, this mech is an odd combination of angled blocks and curves, which again looks rather bad. The legs are very awkward, even if you set aside the obvious facts that this body is neither TF or Chewbacca. The angles on the arms and torso don't exactly help the overall look - the lines just go in all directions.

   The poseability is almost identical to Han Solo, although the ankles here are fixed. The gun opens out to form a really cool crossbow, which locks the fist in place, just as on Han Solo, while the cockpit plugs in as a sort of shoulder cannon on the torso (either side of the head). Which means that the Chewbacca pilot figure sits on the shoulder, rather than the chest which is usual for SWTFs. The electronics here aren't that spectacular - there are two different speech patterns available through short presses. They're very similar, which is what disappoints me. Okay so there's no point in having eight different Chewbacca calls, but I would have liked to hear _different_ ones. The backpack contains the electronics, and it _does_ count as a chunk tacked on, I'm afraid.

   The crossbow is the best feature here, which is saying something. Okay, the crossbow is really cool - but it shouldn't be the highlight. The lines are awkward, the legs are a mess, the poseability is limited, especially in the legs and the electronics just don't work well here. In theory this figure is no better or worse than Han Solo, but that figure manages to survive the shortcomings imposed by such a realistic alt mode and this one suffers badly.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although initial releases were packaged in robot mode and later ones in vehicle mode.

OVERALL

   The vehicle mode is awesome, with great electronics, a wonderful paint job and useful play value, with two cockpits, two minifigures and good weapons. The sculpt is pretty good all over, but is focused on the vehicle mode. The robot modes are lacking, since the entire package is focussed on the vehicle mode. The Han Solo robot feels like a mech which does hold it back, but there's still some merit there, even if it's not what most Transformers fans would want. The Chewbacca robot mode is a mess, despite a well done head and a great weapon. Overall, it's an interesting idea and an ambtious attempt but I'm not sure it's worth the retail price. I find the Millennium Falcon mode very rewarding - good electronics are far too rare in a Transformer - but the robot modes are largely a waste of time - 6/10

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