LEGO BrickHeadz from Solo: A Star Wars Story — 41608 & 41609 Han Solo & Chewbacca [Review]

Adorably cute or cringingly ugly—no matter your position on LEGO’s BrickHeadz characters, there’s no denying they’ve struck a chord with a great many fans. Since the first BrickHeadz characters a few years ago, LEGO has rapidly expanded the cast of blocky brick-built figures. They’ve even just released a kit allowing you to fully customize your own—41597 Go Brick Me. But like nearly all the previous sets, the latest lineup mostly features characters from major franchises. And although Star Wars is arguably the biggest franchise of them all, the characters we’re looking at today hail from an offshoot: Solo: A Star Wars Story, which opens May 25. 41608 Han Solo and 41609 Chewbacca have 141 and 149 pieces respectively, and each retails for $9.99 USD, and are available now.

The box

With an orange and white color scheme that matches the other Solo sets we’ve reviewed like Moloch’s Landspeeder, this classic duo appear to be the only characters so far getting the BrickHeadz treatment from the new film. They’re numbered 39 and 40 in the BrickHeadz series.

The backs of the boxes are nearly identical to one another, with each showing the other set along with the base.

The Box Contents

Each set contains two unnumbered bags of parts along with the instruction manual and the loose black 6×6 plate that serves as the base. At nearly 150 pieces each, the small boxes are packed quite full, and the BrickHeadz continue to be a bargain for those builders mainly interested in the parts. Interestingly, the instructions only advertise these two sets in the back pages, and not any of the other Solo sets or other BrickHeadz.

The Build

By now, most of you reading this will be familiar with the basic construction of a BrickHeadz. (And if you’re not, go pick up the Go Brick Me kit and you’ll be an expert in no time.) Han Solo doesn’t stray from the pattern, with a brick-built body mostly made of medium nougat-colored pieces and a pink 2×2 brick for a brain.
Han is a quick build, with nothing exceptional along the way, but the finished result comes together nicely. Besides the standard BrickHeadz eyes, there are two printed elements that make up the shirt and jacket details: a black 1x2x2 brick and a medium nougat 1×1 brick. The 1×1 brick has a lovely simple, abstract pattern that will be easy to incorporate into other creations.

Chewbacca, unsurprisingly, is a walking carpet of earth-toned elements. More than two-thirds of the set’s 149 pieces are brown, dark brown, and medium nougat, including some that appear here for the first time, like a medium nougat jumper tile (also in Go Brick Me).

Chewie deviates slightly from the norm, as befits his 7’6″ height (2.28m), with an extra row of outward-facing studs on the head. Chewie hides a handful of brightly colored elements under all that brown fur, with red, white, blue, and orange elements all making appearances during the construction before being completed covered.

Chewie also features two printed elements besides the eyes, for the front and back of his iconic bandoleer. Each of the unique designs are printed on brown 1x2x2 bricks.

The completed figures

It’s good to see some more old-school Star Wars characters in BrickHeadz form, even if they’re a little different than we all remember them. However, this isn’t quite the first time that Han has appeared as a BrickHeadz, having shown up last year in a carbonite slab as part of ultra-rare promo pack. Very disappointingly, none of the BrickHeadz in this wave feature printed tiles on the bases, unlike the first 34 BrickHeadz.

Let’s go ahead and get it out there: this isn’t Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. While I have much to say on the subject, the recasting of an iconic movie role is a sticky subject better suited to a film review than one about this brick-built figurine. Besides, I’m withholding judgment regarding the new portrayal of Han until I’ve seen the film. However, impressively, despite the pared-down facial features and chibi characteristics, the BrickHeadz Han is distinctly recognizable as Alden Ehrenreich’s Solo and not Harrison Ford. While no doubt some of this distinction comes from the jacket, this is a great testament to the LEGO designer’s capabilities.

The lovable rogue’s tussled mess of hair seemingly uses almost as many brown slopes as Chewbacca’s. The back of the jacket is quite plain, with black stripes running the full way around. Han’s right leg has a simple bracket and tile to make a non-functional holster.

And speaking of holster, of course Han carries his classic DL-44 heavy blaster pistol. Made of just four elements, it’s a simple design that evokes the weapon’s key characteristics. The best aspect is unintentional, however. The 1×1 clip on top has a tiny dimple at the front from the injection molding process, and it’s perfectly positioned for the blaster’s sight.

The combination of fur colors looks great for Chewbacca, and the angled tile for the nose is a stroke of genius. The dark brown bandoleer continues from the printed brick in the center all the way around the Wookie with a two-plate tall strip of dark brown.

However, the large 3×4 curved slopes that make up all four sides of Chewbacca’s head are just too smooth, making poor Chewie look more like a giant brown popsicle than a furry Wookie. The head simply needs more texture to look like fur. The other issue is that despite the upgrades to the underlying structure, Chewie still stands only a plate or two taller than Han.

Interestingly, Chewie doesn’t have his bowcaster, but instead carries a heavy blaster rifle of some sort. Perhaps we’ll learn the origin of his unique weapon in the movie.

Conclusion & recommendation

Han is a great figure that looks just like his on-screen inspiration. He’d be easy to modify into the A New Hope version with a little help from your own collection, but the medium-nougat jacket looks great as-is. And while Chewie isn’t as furry or tall as he could be, he’s darn cute and there’s no mistaking who this hairy sidekick is supposed to be. The lack of printed tiles on the bases is a bit of a bummer as well, since these bases won’t match any of the previous ones you own. However, both sets are excellent for their parts, with Chewbacca standing out as an unusually great source of earth-toned elements.

41608 Han Solo and 41609 Chewbacca are available now from the LEGO Shop Online for $9.99 USD each.

1 comment on “LEGO BrickHeadz from Solo: A Star Wars Story — 41608 & 41609 Han Solo & Chewbacca [Review]

  1. Brian Mielcarz

    Cutting the printed tiles from all the recent Brickheadz feels like a poor choice. It gave them a finished product feel. It also gave them an official collectible look. I still love brickheadz but the bases just feel cheap now. I hope the go back to the printed tiles on the base at some point.

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