Toys

Toy of the Week: Millennium Falcon

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Welcome to a very special installment of ?Toy of the Week.? I?m happy to feature a very special toy?Hasbro?s new Millennium Falcon?which is very likely the toy of the year, let alone the week. I?m also happy because I have it in my sweaty little monkey paws, because my Village Voice Media overlords decided to bequeath one to me (in lieu of a raise). So this ?Toy of the Week? is actually going to take an in-depth look (with plenty of pretty pictures) at what is absolutely one of the finest toys I?ve ever seen.

Let?s begin with the size. This thing is huge. Huuuge. The box says it?s over 2 ? feet long, and its not lying?this Falcon is so damn big the two pointy bits are separate and have to be attached, because otherwise the thing wouldn?t fit in the already mammoth box. Frankly, I have no idea how a small child could possibly play with this thing, because it would be nearly impossible to lift. It?s longer than the Royal Naboo Starship, and it?s much wider, for you Star Wars toy nerds.
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This immense size means that it is indeed much more in-scale to the 3 ?-inch toyline. As much ballyhooed, you can fit four characters into the cockpit (the front two seats scoot forward to accommodate Wookies and Nien Numbs alike). Now, hit the jump for some serious nittiness and/or grittiness.

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There are two main areas in the interior (besides the cockpit), which each have their own separate cover panels. The first contains secret smuggling compartments, which appears to have room for four figures. This area also includes the boarding ramp (more on that in a sec), the medical bay where sisters can tend to their hand-challenged brothers, access to the laser cannon (which Han and Luke use to kill themselves some TIE Fighters in ANH), and a doorway which leads to a decent sized storage room.
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The second area is accessed by a doorway from the first; it includes the Dejarik table, the place where Luke trains with the probe (included, and hanging off a bit of clear plastic), the seat that Han solo sits in while mocking Luke training with the probe, and a small storage area under the floor, much like the smuggling compartments, but too small to hold any figures besides Yoda, who probably wouldn’t appreciate being stuffed under the floorboards.

If the Falcon just included all these movie-accurate ship locations, I?d certainly have been content. But man, did they load the extras in, including firing missiles, as well as tons of sounds and lights. Let me start with the sounds. When you turn the Falcon?s switch to on, all that means is that the sounds and lights can be accessed. Nothing happens yet. You know why? Because you have to ?power? up the Falcon yourself, by pressing the button by the cockpit, which makes the Falcon?s iconic sounds of powering up and taking off, followed by an incredibly sweet cruising-in-space sound. Better still, sometimes when you try to power up the ship?it doesn?t work. It makes the engine failing noise from ESB, and you have to try again. It?s beyond awesome.
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Once the ship is ?powered,? that?s when all the real fun begins. First, you can hit a button to automatically lower the boarding ramp, with authentic sounds and lights, exactly where they were when lit inside the space slug in ESB. There are three buttons by the first area, which make fly-by sounds, laser cannon firing sounds, and various engine boost noises. If the laser cannon button is held down, it can cycle through six lines of dialog between Han and Luke when they?re shooting down TIEs during ANH.

That?s still not all. Three buttons in the front fire missiles; the middle missile also makes a missile noise when pressed. On the left side, there?s a knob with rotates both the radar dish and the training probe simultaneously. When the knob is pressed in, sounds of Luke deflecting its lasers (and failing to deflect its lasers) are played. There are two buttons next to the dish; one lights up the Dejarik table and runs through the scene between R2-C3PO, Chewbacca and Han for about 10 lines (most of it being beeps and growls); if you hold the button down it plays them all in sequence. The second button plays three lines between Luke and Ben from the training probe scene.

Still not all. Another knob rotates the laser cannon where Han/Luke sits; when it?s twisted, laser cannon noises erupt automatically. When the cannon is turned all the way to either side, one of it?s missiles also fires automatically. Speaking of missiles, besides the two on the cannon and three in front, there?s another one on the bottom, just for good measure.
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There?s one more missile, and it?s attached to the one nod this monstrosity has to being made for kids and not nerdy SW-loving adults?there?s a small, bonus escape ship with fits in a small hatch, directly opposite where the boarding ramp sits. The hatch pops up and the ship easily comes out; it seats one comfortably (I guess Han or Chewie was planning on letting his partner get screwed in the case of an emergency), and besides the firing missile, has two laser cannons which pop out of the sides with a push of a switch. It?s not canon, but it makes great use of the Falcon?s remaining space, and if you don?t like it, just keep it in the damn hatch (oh, it also makes hatch opening and closing sounds, as well as docking noises automatically when the ship is ?powered?).
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The Falcon comes with two figures?a preposterously articulated Chewbacca and a Han with his headset he uses to talk to Luke in the gunner?s seat. I don?t know if this Chewbacca is a re-release of a previous Chewie figure, but it?s absolutely the best Chewie I?ve ever seen. Besides all the arm and leg joints, he has two joints in his torso, allowing him to duck down under the Falcon?s doorways! Amazing. As for Han, I?m a bit torn?you can?t remove the headset, and I?d certainly prefer a Han without it. But since most collectors already have a regular Han (or 12), having him with his headset is probably nice for them.
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I think it?s important to note that the Falcon looks absolutely beautiful. The sculpting is spot on, and there?s a good many paint applications, including some very nice airbrushing. There are zero stickers that need to be put on (the outside, at least) to make it look nice. This was always my biggest problem with the early SW toys, because the stickers would peel off and my X-Wing would look like hell. There are 30 stickers to put on, but they all belong inside. Unfortunately, because the Falcon is so damn big, it can be tough applying them.

I wanted to have a con section for this review, but that problem with the stickers might be it. Oh, the landing gear doesn?t retract?they?re all separate pieces?but I imagine that?s because no retractable landing gear would hold up this mammoth hunk of plastic joy. Oh, and it?s be nice if there were a hallway way from the cockpit to the fit area, but given how much else was included, that?s just a tiny nitpick.

As you might have surmised, I like the new Millennium Falcon. A lot. It?s absolutely the best Star Wars toy ever made, and likely one of the greatest toys ever made. Sure, at $150 it?s not cheap, but you can see where every dollar goes?plus, this means that they aren?t exactly flying off toystore shelves, so you should be able to find one of these at your local Target if you?re so inclined. I can only hope that this is the beginning of bigger, badder X-wings and AT-ATs (oh sweet jesus yes, give me a new AT-AT). Now, if you?ll excuse me, I need to continue giving the Falcon a gentle tongue-bath.