Six weeks after being sentences to intergalactic imprisonment at Star Wars Weekends, a “carbonite” figure with my likeness has been delivered by Walt Disney World with most impressive results. Featuring my grimacing face replacing the iconic visage of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) as seen in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” this 3D-printed figure created as part of Disney’s “Carbon Freeze Me” experience doesn’t disappoint as a custom collectible.
Though the figure took a couple weeks longer to arrive than the given timeframe (3-4 weeks), Disney made good on all other promises, particularly in producing a high-quality and quite unique piece of merchandise that’s now exclusive to my own “Star Wars” collection. Not only was the experience itself a fun process, but after six weeks of anxiously awaiting delivery, I am excited about the results as the figure contains a perfect likeness of my face, exactly as scanned at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Take a closer look in the video and photos below.
Video: Carbon Freeze Me figure arrives from Disney and Star Wars Weekends
Highlights from the process used to capture my facial expression are shown above, but the video below from last month offers a further look at what it took for me to be “frozen” in carbonite:
Video: Full Carbon Freeze Me experience from May 2012 at Star Wars Weekends
Including tax and shipping, the Carbon Freeze Me figure cost me $122.40. It was shipped from Walt Disney World, just 15 minutes from my house in the Orlando area, but no local pickup option was available. The added cost for shipping came as a shock to some guests during checkout but now that the figure has arrived, I can see the need for care. It’s not like a typical item seen on Disney’s store shelves, often made of rather solid plastic or resin. This figure was created using a 3D printer and feels quite fragile.
The Carbon Freeze Me figure arrived to my house yesterday in a “Star Wars”-branded box, also sporting Disney’s D-Tech Me logo. It looks like any other piece of “Star Wars” merchandise one might find in a store, except this one features my face - and an incredibly accurate recreation of my face at that.
It’s quite shocking to see such small detail in the figure, down to the shape of my eyebrows and the curvature of my cheek bones and jaw line. And the look in my eyes and grit of my teeth are spot on with the expression I made for just a second or two when posing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few weeks ago.
Removing the 7.5″ tall figurine from the package, I instantly notice its gritty texture, with small white grains flaking off in my hands, a by-product of the 3D printing process used to create it. More tell-tale signs of the 3D printing process are faint horizontal lines, a millimeter tall or less, visible throughout the piece. The figure was created “line by line” from top to bottom, leaving subtle traces of the process behind. But those details are only visible upon extremely close inspection.
A large hole in the backside allows the figure to be hung on a wall and also reveals the fact that it is hollow inside. Its thin “walls,” less than 1cm thick, and light weight contribute to the figure’s fragile feeling, making me wonder if it would completely shatter if dropped. (I’m not about to try to find out…)
Disney hasn’t said whether they plan to offer Carbon Freeze Me again, but if they do (perhaps at Star Wars Celebration VI?), I would recommend it for adult “Star Wars” fans. Now that I have my own custom carbonite-frozen figure in my possession, I do feel it was worth the high price tag. But it’s definitely not a toy and perhaps not the best item for kids, many of whom did take part in the experience. I could see this $100+ figure getting quickly broken when thrown into a toy bin with more durable plastic action figures. Mine will soon become a unique piece of (geeky) artwork proudly displayed among my other “Star Wars” pieces.
More photos of my carbonite figure and the Carbon Freeze Me experience: