Monday, May 14, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 373: Princess Leia Organa

Power of the Force Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 69570 No. 69579
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 blasters
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: September 1995- early 1998
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Princess of Alderaan, Imperial Senator, Cell Leader of Rebel Alliance. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The figure stands on one of two Death Star playsets produced during the 1990s line.

Commentary: Before I started this review, I was going to write that Princess Leia Organa wasn't that bad-- but the lighting for this figure made her look even worse than the figure I hold in my hands. So maybe you guys were right. In 1995, this figure was the stuff of legends.* She made her debut in the awesome but now-defunct Star Wars Galaxy magazine from Topps, and when fans got her in their hands, they were not pleased, and coined names which they deemed clever for this release. "Han in drag." "Monkey faced Leia." And so on. The figure's aesthetics aren't any worse than Han Solo or Luke Skywalker, neither of which do any favors to their respective actors in the face department. Of course, all the insults in the world didn't keep this figure from being a sell-out success for many months, keeping her price high and her availability low. She could have her cape and skirt removed so she could sit, she included two guns (which she has some difficulty holding), but as a toy, she performed admirably. She was also one of the first beacons of fan rage on numerous levels, with fans wishing Kenner would try again-- and they would, setting into effect an endless parade of resculpts every few years for not just Leia, but almost the entire line.

Collector's Notes: She was the 8th figure released, before C-3PO but after everybody else, and as the only figure whose cardback Leia appeared on was Leia, fans immediately became stupid. The asking price online and at collector stores shot up to $20-$40. Fans insisted that Carrie Fisher saw the face and demanded a recall. There were even variants on the figure-- her belt had two or three rings on it. (Three rings pictured.) To top it all off, she was packed at 1 per case in the first two assortments to feature her, making this figure quite popular despite most fans insisting that they hated the figure. It wasn't until the summer of 1998, when Kenner released an all-new sculpt version of the princess, that fans really regained their composure and let this one go. Even if it sucks, it seems, fans need to own the space princess with her Cinnabon hair. (Of course, there have since been multiple other new versions, but it took a while.)

Day 373: May 14, 2007

* - "Yeah, the legend of the dog-faced woman!" Homer Simpson

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