SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - "Solo: A Star Wars Story," the latest installment in the Star Wars Universe, lands in theaters May 25 along with a galaxy's worth of books, toys and games. Here's a look at some of the items I'd use to populate my desk, shelves and window ledges.
Funko Pop! Vinyl
You can't walk the floor of a comic book convention without running into a dozen or so vendors exclusively selling Funko Pop! Vinyl figures. Over the years I've tried not to collect everything and anything related to some of my favorite films, but I've still managed to obtain a small army of these bobbleheads. The Pop! Solo collection includes Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Qi'ra, Range Trooper, Rio Durant, L3-37, Val, Enfys Nest and Tobias Beckett.
Funko Wobblers and Dorbz
If the traditional Pop! figures aren't cute enough for you, Funko is also offering Han Solo and Lando Calrissian Wobblers. Fans of Funko's Dorbz Collection will want to make their way to the closest Disney Store on May 31, where they can find Han Solo, Qi'ra and a pair of different Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca waiting to be adopted by the kindest of hosts.
Making vehicles for 12-inch figures was impractical, so Kenner, the original toy company of the classic line of Star Wars toys, revolutionized the industry by introducing the 3.75-inch figure. Smaller figures cost less to make, took up less space, were easier to play with, and made the possibility of owning a scaled-down version of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter a reality. The figures were such a success that the 3.75-inch figure became the industry standard. As such, the new figures aren't far removed for the toys I played with as a kid. Sure, they are more detailed, but fundamentally it's the same design.
In the opening scene of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," we are introduced to Han as he hotwires a speeder. That speeder is but one of the various vehicles to be featured in the 3.75-inch line. Hasbro has also introduced the new Force Link 2.0, a wearable technology that unlocks a collection of sounds and phrases with compatible figures, accessories, vehicles and playsets. The starter set comes with an exclusive Han Solo figure. There's also a new Kessel Run Millennium Falcon that features Lando Calrissian's modifications.
The Black Series 6-Inch Collection
Recognizing that the kids who collected the original action figures in the 1980s are now adults, Hasbro launched The Black Series Collection, a premium line of collectible figures, as well has FX lightsabers and playsets. The first wave of "Solo" figures features Chewbacca, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Qi'ra and Range Trooper.
Before the 3.75-inch figure became the industry standard, most figures were 12 inches tall. Recognizing that some collectors prefer the larger figures, Star Wars has always offered a selection of 12-inch figures. For "Solo" they have Han Solo, Qi'ar, Lando Calrissian and Patrol Trooper.
Jakks Big Figs
And for some a 12-inch figure isn't simply big enough, so Jakks offers the Big-Figs collection, a line of figures that stand 18 to 20 inches high. Figures available are Han Solo with blaster accessory, Chewbacca and Mud Trooper with fabric cloak.
In recent years LEGO has teamed up with Star Wars to create some incredible and iconic sets. For "Solo" they are offering an Imperial TIE Fighter, Lando's modified "Kessel Run Millennium Falcon," Han Solo's Landspeeder, Moloch's Landspeeder, and an Imperial "Patrol Battle Pack" featuring a Recruitment Officer, Immigration Officer, Patrol Troopers and a speeder bike.
Mystery Minis, Disney Store Play Set and Plush
This fall we'll be getting the "Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie," an incredible interactive plush toy, but for the meantime we'll have to snuggle with the Plush Walk N' Roar Chewbacca or one of the Funko plush minis. For those who prefer a little mystery in their shopping, Funko is offering 12 plastic mini bobblehead figures as part of its Mystery Minis collection.
Those who frequent the Disney Store will already be familiar with the play sets that the store carries for each new Disney release. There's a new "Solo" set available, too.
Books, games and more
Of course, there's more to life than action figures, LEGO and huggable Chewbaccas. So, Star Wars has books, games, a soundtrack and a line of Nerf guns to distract you with.
"Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel" by Daniel José Older was released in April and while its story doesn't directly tie into the film, it does further explore aspects of the duo's friendship prior to and after Solo's infamous involvement in the destruction of the Empire's first two Death Star facilities. Like the film, this novel is funny and packed with action.
Younger readers might enjoy "Choose Your Destiny: A Han and Chewie Adventure," a novel with a variety of twists and endings depending on the choices you make along the way.
Friday, May 25, sees the release of John Powell's score, which features a new Han Solo theme and some original cues from John Williams.
"Star Wars Monopoly: Han Solo Edition" is also available. I've owned a few of the previous Star Wars Monopoly releases, but I might have to pick this one up just for the Qi'ra token.
There's also a "Star Wars: Han Solo Card Game" that resemble the game featured in the film.
"Star Wars: Most Wanted" by Rae Carson explores the early days of Qi'ra and Solo as they try to survive life on the Corellian streets.
"The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story" by Phil Szostak offers a look behind the scenes at the making of the film. I own numerous volumes from this series and have never been disappointed with the content.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide" by Pablo Hidalgo details the various gadgets, gizmos, ships and characters that populate the world of "Solo." These guides are an excellent resource for those who want to dive deep into the details.
Earlier this year I was introduced to IDW's two volumes of "Star Wars: Classic News Paper Comics." Both volumes (a third is scheduled for later this year) are beautifully presented hardback books that not only feature the stories, but also offers a detailed history of the series. Those familiar with the Dark Horse Comics series “Classic Star Wars” will already be familiar with the stories, but I guarantee that you’ll be amazed by what these volumes have to offer.