Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 991: Mara Jade

MARA JADE Expanded Universe
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69891
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, blaster, backdrop
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Fall 1998
Appearances: Heir to the Empire, others

Bio: Five years after the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance has driven the evil Empire into a distant corner of the galaxy. But a new danger has arisen: the last of the Emperor's warlords has devised a battle plan that could destroy the New Republic. Before the death of Palpatine, Mara Jade was the Emperor's right hand assassin. Five years later and now a successful smuggler, the last thing Mara expected was to stumble upon her former arch-enemy - Luke Skywalker. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: A TV tray.

Commentary: One of the last dozen or so figures under the Kenner brand was this Mara Jade, an-- at the time-- long-awaited and not-really expected release. For the first few years of the modern line, the ratio of "figures that were made in the 1980s" to "new stuff" ratio was basically 10:1, if not greater. There were roughly 27 Luke figures in the first four years, so we were really, really happy to see new characters like this. Even if they weren't really all that great. Mara had an iffy face and a fairly thick neck, but somehow they basically got the costume right. The leather (I assume) getup has the knee pads, the gloves, and the hood with the goggles. Were it not for the head or the lack of articulation, this figure probably would have been just fine by most fans' standards. She can stand and sit, but odds are you're going to want to use a display stand of some sort with her. She does tend to topple over.

As a figure at the end of the "figures as actual toys" era, she's great. It's not like her head is going to pop off, like the 2007 release, but then again she is in her black outfit. Which, to date, is unique to this figure. If all you need is one Mara figure, it really doesn't matter which one you get, but technically each release is a different outfit. So you're probably going to want to buy both if you care about such things.

Collector's Notes: This figure may as well have never been released in 1998 it was so hard to get. As time went on, fans stopped being interested in her and the prices on the secondary market eventually declined. So today, she's cheap, and that's a good thing. She was never reissued, and this was the only release of Mara Jade until the 2007 Luke/Mara comic pack.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 991: April 1, 2009

1 comment:

Ben Carthage said...

I can remember this figure being hard as all get-out to find back in its day (I eventually had to buy one from a scalper at the mud-soaked Celebration 1), but I still prefer this version to the Conehead Mara released recently; IMO she's a better representation of the character, and despite limited articulation is more aesthetically pleasing. Super-articulation, while nice, still doesn't trump a good sculpt.