Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 367: Princess Leia Organa

Early Bird Kit Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 85868
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, display pegs
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: Fall 2005, Fall 2006-Present
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Sent by her father to find one of the greatest heroes of the Old Republic, Princess Leia's ship is captured by a Star Destroyer under the command of the evil Darth Vader (Taken from the figure's cardback [tin release].)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Early Bird Kit.

Commentary: A common thread in all of these features is a simple question: what makes a good figure? Does this Princess Leia Organa figure rock because her sculpt is so damned good, or does she suck because she really only has four meaningful points of articulation? It's the eternal question. I daresay there is no better looking version of Leia from the original film on the market today-- her face is nice, her body isn't some crazy out-of-proportion action stance nightmare, and she can actually hold her gun with no problems. Figures like this show that Hasbro can put out a perfectly awesome action figure if they want to, but things like detail or fantastic paint might have to take priority over articulation and play features.

It's hard to say if articulation would hurt or help this figure, because the dress is sculpted so perfectly, but I feel we're obligated to make suggestions for improvement on a future release-- so here goes. One, swappable heads would be nice so I could have her posed with her hood down. Two, the inclusion of the sporting blaster instead of the Stormtrooper blaster would be nice because we never saw her fire this gun with her hood up. Three, if we're feeling saucy (like Hasbro was when they made the Dagobah Luke figure in 2004), I'd love to see swappable arms too. Some sculpts are too nice to muck up with articulation, so why not just make separate arms I can pop on for different situations? I'd love to see this figure tweaked to look as she does on the vintage cardback photo as the body is perfect, it just needs some slight modifications on the arms and head. Four, and this is me just speculating wildly, the figure might benefit from a smidge of make-up paint. Of course, I still feel this is one of Hasbro's strongest sculpts of all time, at this point any changes on it would switch it over from "awesome" to "best ever." Just remember, that's "best ever" figure, not toy-- there's a difference. As far as toys go, the "Vintage" Leia from 2004 is far, far better because she can do things like sit.

Collector's Notes: This figure was originally sold as part of Wal-Mart's exclusive Early Bird Kit in 2005. In late 2006 (and into 2007), Hasbro released this as part of its Episode IV Collector's Tin gift set with no significant changes. Either version is worth getting, each for different reasons which basically boil down to if you want a tin and which other figures you like better. Also, I can't say enough good stuff about the cardboard Early Bird Display Stand-- it's a shame it didn't do better as it's one of my favorite display pieces.

Day 367: May 8, 2007

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