Photographic Plastic: SH Figuarts Han Solo with MAFEX Boba Fett

by Bill Drewnowski

Bill takes a look at SH Figuarts Han Solo next to MAFEX Boba Fett. Find out how these two match up in the latest Photographic Plastic.

Tamashii Nations finally released one of the most anticipated Star Wars figures of their line with SH Figuarts Han Solo as he appeared in A New Hope. What better way to photograph him than by putting him up against the highly-regarded Miracle Action Figure EX (MAFEX) Boba Fett by Medicom Toy.

Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett

SH Figuarts Han Solo

One aspect of the SH Figuarts Star Wars line that has divided collectors a bit is the digital face printing technology. Most photos of these figures are taken at very high resolution. Extreme close-ups of these human figures reveal pixelation in the facial features, making them appear almost like a two-dimensional image overlaid on a three-dimensional sculpt. Super-detailed photography can be deceiving however, because it is difficult to actually detect the pixels with the naked eye. This is why you will often hear claims about how much better SH Figuarts look in-hand than online. There is definitely a viewing threshold somewhere between what can be captured with a high resolution close-up and what can be seen with the naked eye. SH Figuarts Han Solo is no exception to this discrepancy. Take a look at my photos, and you will notice the pixels on the close-ups, but not so much on the wider shots. The wider shots are more accurate to what he looks like in hand. And in-hand this is a great figure.

While the likeness can be a little off at some angles–Harrison Ford being notoriously difficult to replicate in figure form–it is generally just as amazing as always to see such accuracy in a small scale. Additionally, it has that magical SH Figuarts articulation that is simultaneously tight and smooth. The beautiful sculpted details represent various fabrics, like the soft shirt and the crinkled leather belt. And the overall weight and feel of the plastic is solid, giving this the feel of a premium collectible figure.


I do have some issues with this figure however. For one, the the accessories are a disappointment. He does come with a nice selection of hands, but that really is about it. No interesting accessory like the Stormtrooper belt and blaster that even the Black Series Han comes with. No alternate head. Nothing, just straight-faced Han and his blaster. Admittedly there are not a ton of options from A New Hope (one of those boxes of payment from the Rebels?), but the addition of another head would have gone a long way to making this feel like a real value piece.

Another problem I have with SH Figuarts Han Solo is the blaster and holster setup. Rather than one blaster and one functional holster, they have provided two options: the blaster with non-functional empty holster or the holstered blaster as one sculpted piece. For each separate look, these two options are fantastic, keeping the silhouette nice and tight. But this leaves one very cool option completely unavailable: the half-holstered, midway-drawn blaster look. I sold my original Black Series Han to make room for the Figuarts version, but while I had him, that was my absolute favorite pose. There is something very kinetic and dangerous about Han drawing his blaster.


The final problem I have with SHF Han is the lack of weathering. While it is common for SH Figuarts to have minimal weathering, I do miss it a little more on this figure, particularly with the blaster. It really should have some silver accents or something to make it look more like metal and less like plastic. And even though the belt has nicely sculpted, leathery crinkles, I would like to see some dark wear-marks on there as well. I may have to try my hand at some dry-brushing with this figure in the future.

 MAFEX Boba Fett (Empire Strikes Back)

There is not much I can say about MAFEX Boba Fett that has not already been said. This figure was chosen by many as the 2016 action figure of the year and it is a well-deserved recognition. One thing to note, is that where SH Figuarts tend to be pure, unweathered versions of these characters, MAFEX (even their pieces with notoriously poor quality control like Threepio and Artoo) tend to have highly detailed weathering paint applications. The chipped paint and patina’d grime on Boba’s helmet really make this this one stand out. Articulation is not as versatile as Figuarts’ general range, but otherwise MAFEX Boba is fits in really well with the Tamashii pieces.

SH Figuarts Han Solo and MAFEX Boba Fett are in perfect scale as far as I can tell. Side-by-side these two are roughly the same height. And if I were to imagine Fett’s armor on SH Figuarts Han Solo’s frame, he would probably be the exact same size as MAFEX Boba Fett. I am generally not much of a stickler for scale, but I do appreciate when the figures match up really well straight out of the box, especially from two separate companies. Aside from a background cameo in the Special Edition, Han Solo does not actually interact with Boba Fett in his A New Hope vest look, but it is still fun to imagine they did.

Enjoy the photos, and don’t forget to look me up @LostStarWars on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.

SH Figuarts Han Solo and MAFEX Boba Fett

Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett Figuarts Han Solo and Mafex Boba Fett

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