Episode I Collection 1
Item No.: Asst. 84085 No. 84078
Includes: Blasters, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 3, 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: The young and newly elected ruler of Naboo, Queen Amidala desperately attempts to save her planet from the greedy Trade Federation with help from Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.
Commentary: What a horrible attempt at not giving a spoiler Queen Amidala was. The whole "she's the queen in disguise?" thing would probably have come off as a little clever were the marketing not forcing images of the characters at you with both names on it. One of the problems with doing this was, if you recall, Hasbro had figures of Natalie Portman named "Padme" and "Queen Amidala." And some of my readers-- not you guys, we're cool, I mean the paint-huffers-- insisted they were two different characters before the movie came out. Ditto with Palpatine and Sidious. It's like... are you screwing with me? Really? This is what you get for underestimating your audience's intelligence. Some of us get mad, and some of us are just not that sharp.
The figure is pretty good, and I'm sure that in 1999 someone like me may have said "has a pretty good likeness." In 2009, this thing looks as much as Natalie Portman as the 1978 Han Solo looked like Harrison Ford-- which is to say, not at all. Her height is about right, and I guess her hair is right, but if you called her by any other name and changed the skin and hair a smidgen nobody would probably really notice it was meant to be the actress in question. The costume is pretty good, as are both guns-- it just shows how much better Hasbro has become in terms of sculpting, because in 1999, we all thought this was pretty awesome. The figure has 6 points of articulation, but can't sit worth a damn due to her battle dress being hard plastic. It's not an awful figure, if Hasbro plopped a new head on it today it'd look pretty good. And then everybody would whine she didn't have 18 points of articulation... but she's good. There's even a light dusting of dirt on her black boots. Overall, it was one of the better figures of her day, and one of the first waves made under the "Hasbro" banner.
Collector's Notes: While there were some minor packaging variants, nobody cares, including you. (Except for the Battle Droid Bonus figure overseas, which is swell.) That's how significant they are. There are no known toy variants.
Day 1,046: June 17, 2009