Thursday, September 23, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,377: Slave Leia

The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 93127
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD17
Includes: Glass, pole, swappable legs, belt, cloth skirt, collar and chain
Action Feature: Figure has alternate waist for sitting on Jabba's throne
Retail: $7.99
Availability: September 2009
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Made a slave by Jabba the Hutt, Princess Leia bides her time as the plan to free Han Solo comes together. The resourceful and courageous princess uses the very chains enslaving her to put an end to Jabba’s corrupt reign as the crime lord of Tatooine. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' bathroom.

Commentary: Since 1997 Hasbro (then Kenner) have been trying to do good by fans when it comes to Princess Leia in her dancer/slave/crowd-pleasing outfit. It's hard to pull off "sexy" at 3 3/4-inches, particularly when you have to incorporate things like ball joints and cloth parts and what have you-- so each version has had its ups and downs. The 2001 Sail Barge Cannon gun release and the 2009 release seen here are the two front-runners, but neither has the clear edge in terms of being best overall. The 2009 release certainly has the best accessories and wonderful engineering, but the 2001 version, in many ways, looks a little bit nicer. Super-articulation and bare flesh really don't go together all that well, leaving our heroine with bloated-looking knees and darker features. (Darker features being more authentic, but the 2001 figure just looks nicer.) Slightly darker or more tanned skin with a smidgen brighter makeup could probably have made all the difference but as is, she's still significantly better designed than any other similar figure on the marketplace.

The main reason to run out and buy this figure is that Hasbro took an amazing leap to include variant legs-- but it's not so much legs as it is the entire figure from the waist on down. Rather than sell two figures (or include one as a pack-in down the road), Hasbro actually really gives you a lot of bang for your buck by throwing in spare parts to let Leia sit on a pillow at Jabba's side. Personally, I would have assumed this would be a pack-in with Jabba, but instead they gave us Oola, which is even better. The seated legs look slightly better than the regular ones, and their lack of articulation prevents distracting bulges and cuts-- so it's clearly prettier. By giving fans the choice of how they want this figure built, Hasbro really did do us a solid.

The cloth "skirt" element is a little weak, but still works. It tends to display as seen in the picture, but you can cram it between her legs if you want. Also take note, that the cloth element is stuck to a thin belt which could be easily lost if you're a bit of a spaz. The belt is not glued to the leg pieces, so be careful when taking apart/storing this item.

Leia's additional accessories include a glass (for drinking) and a force pike (for hitting things). Generally Hasbro doesn't include nearly every possible accessory and piece you could possibly hope for with its main character figures, but here, they did it. The only quibbles you can really have are aesthetics, and even if you don't LOVE how it turned out you can't deny that this is some of Hasbro's finest work in terms of executing an ambitious, more expensive design. Having said that, I expect a new version in about four years.

Collector's Notes: Slave Leia 2009 was a fast seller and quite popular. That means she's going to cost you-- since the release of Jabba the Hutt this past summer, the figure now commands $15-$20 on eBay, which is pretty uncommon in this era of instant-worthlessness where we all move on to the next big thing within minutes of making a purchase. Leia has some staying power, which means hopefully Hasbro will consider repackaging her on a Vintage (or other) cardback in 2011 or 2012. Fan demand is clearly here, she would make a great add-on Battle Pack to Jabba's Palace! (Throw in another one of Jabba's astromechs, a Gamorrean Guard, and something new to mix things up a bit. I'd buy two.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,377: September 23, 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your bathroom, huh? nice.