If you’ve seen the trailers for Solo: A Star Wars Story, you’ve glimpsed the young, fast-driving, confident-yet-green Han Solo. The super-cool Lando Calrissian, pulling off a yellow-and-blue outfit like few in any galaxy could. You’ve witnessed the moves of the Millennium Falcon — but a Falcon that’s cleaner and seemingly more complete than the one we know. You’ve seen card games and weird aliens and a goggles-wearing Chewbacca.
Thanks to Hasbro, it’s all coming home for fans of all ages to collect and play with.
The legendary toy company revealed its Solo: A Star Wars Story products this week and, to quote Lando, “buckle up, baby.” Hasbro’s offerings for the film include everything from stunning 6-inch Star Wars: The Black Series figures to the cute and clever Mighty Muggs line (see above) to a new Millennium Falcon in the 3.75-inch scale. It’s a great celebration of our favorite (and a few new) scoundrels and walking carpet, and products hit stores starting today.
But the celebration doesn’t end there. StarWars.com is excited to announce that Hasbro is launching its first-ever fan unboxing contest in honor of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Here’s the job: post a 60-second-max Instagram video of yourself unboxing or reviewing an existing Black Series item from your collection, using #HasbroBlackSeriesUnboxingContest. The chosen winner will get to visit Hasbro HQ in Rhode Island, where they’ll unbox a new Black Series item for the first time in a video that will be revealed on the @HasbroPulse Instagram on May 25 — the day Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters. (The winner will also smuggle this new item to their collection!) The contest is open from now until April 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so punch it and get your submissions in. Visit @HasbroPulse on Instagram for the full details and official rules.
To mark the launch of this contest and the release of the first wave of Hasbro’s Solo: A Star Wars Story products, StarWars.com caught up over e-mail with Hasbro’s senior design manager Steve Bono and Joe Ninivaggi, director of global brand strategy and marketing, to discuss the new Black Series Lando’s amazing sculpt, creating a trooper action figure unlike any we’ve ever seen, and the story behind the latest version of an iconic bucket of bolts.
StarWars.com: I actually wanted to start off talking about the new Lando figure from the Black Series. It looks amazing, with all the colors and layers, and it really captures his character — right down to that raised eyebrow! How did you go about creating this younger version of Lando and conveying his attitude and swagger?
Steve Bono: We are very excited about Lando in this movie, and we have been told by Lucasfilm that, as you would expect as played by Donald Glover, he is just an incredibly smooth and charming character. We wanted to give the sculpted portrait some extra personality, thus the raised brow and smirk. In fact, in many of the studio shots and other reference of Lando, Donald Glover has this type of expression, so our sculpt team did a great job of capturing this signature look.
StarWars.com: Onto the man himself, Han Solo. Like Lando, I find that this figure captures his essence through small, subtle details, like the way his hair is sculpted. Is that particularly important to you as toy designers?
Steve Bono: It is the little things, tiny details that fans of our toys tend to really appreciate. In the case of Han, the hair was created as a separate part to allow for the best shape and detail. From the individual red dashes on each leg, to the rivets on the holster, to the stitches on the jacket, every detail is examined and sculpted to best represent the character at this scale.
StarWars.com: The range trooper figure is really impressive. There’s just so much going on with him, including actual faux fur. We’re also getting Qi’ra, who has nice detailing with snow on her boots and clothes, as well as a new Chewbacca. What can you tell us about them — and, most importantly, Chewie’s huge blaster rifle?
Steve Bono: These new characters are really exciting for us to design. The range trooper had the fur-lined coat and some cool snowtrooper-like details, as well as those massive boots. The boots were a big challenge to execute, so that the figure could have articulated ankles and be posable. There are multiple parts in the foot/ankle joint that allow some unusual but effective articulation. Qi’ra is a great new character and has so many cool costumes. The outfit we chose features many different textures, from silk to leather to fur trim on the jacket. On Chewie, the bowcaster has always been part of his look, so it is fun to see him with a big new different blaster! The reference we get on all the weapons is excellent. It allows us to do the most accurate and detailed accessories.
StarWars.com: Correct me if I’m wrong, but does Chewie have a new head sculpt from previous releases?
Steve Bono: He does! Every Chewbacca we have designed for the Black Series has been updated for a unique portrait and refined details. He usually doesn’t have much for us in the way of new costumes, so new expressions and gear are usually the focus when Chewie is added to the line. This particular head has also been adjusted to better allow for goggles to be worn, and the hair sculpted to fit over his new double bandolier.
StarWars.com: I believe this is the first Star Wars line based on one movie to utilize your new Photo Real technique across the board. Does that make this launch even more exciting for you?
Steve Bono: Every new movie line is fun and exciting for us! In this line, the Photo Real technology is a great tool that allows us to showcase our really excellent sculpts in the best light. We have come to the point now where the painted portrait and sculpted portrait really complement each other to represent the character in an incredibly realistic way. We’re excited to continue bringing this cool technology to our Black Series figures.
StarWars.com: Finally, we’re getting a new Millennium Falcon for the 3.75-inch line, which is always cause for celebration. What do you want fans to know about it?
Joe Ninivaggi: One of the things that is really exciting about the new 3.75-inch Kessel Run Millennium Falcon is that we get to see the Falcon as never before, and it’s also the first time we were able to build a toy Falcon around the legend that it’s most known for: the Kessel Run. The features really stoke the imagination. You’ll hear take off sounds when you pick it up. Press a button and you’ll jump into hyperspace with progressive flashing LEDs along the fuselage and pulse-pounding lightspeed sound effects. Take the next hyperspeed jump and the turbulence will literally make the toy rumble in your hands!
StarWars.com: Was it especially meaningful for the team, considering the original Kenner Falcon — which Hasbro’s Mark Boudreaux worked on — may be the most iconic of all Star Wars toys?
Joe Ninivaggi: Every Star Wars film is an opportunity to bring a new generation of kids into the joys of Star Wars play. And no ship in the Star Wars universe is more important than the Millennium Falcon. Just being able to make a toy of a slightly modified version for The Force Awakens was a “pinch me” moment. But when we first saw reference for the original design that would be featured in Solo we may have had some teary-eyed team members. And best of all was to see everything come full circle for Mark Boudreaux, whom we consider “the godfather” of Star Wars vehicle toys. Mark designed the very first Kenner Millennium Falcon, as well as every version of the iconic ship that Kenner and Hasbro created over the last 41 years. When you can share a new Millennium Falcon toy with that new generation of kids, it’s a really special thing. But when it’s a Mark Boudreaux original, it’s magic.
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.