Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,816: Queen Amidala

QUEEN AMIDALA  Yet Another Black Dress
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37499 No.  37504  
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #VC84
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.  No specific character information.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' closet.

Commentary:  As we wind down-- I'm assuming we're winding down-- it's kind of interesting to see how some things are just a little less exciting.  Genuinely new and different characters are rarer and rarer, so when we got a wave of 12 Phantom Menace figures it was nice to see that 3 of them were all-new characters and another 3 were significantly different takes on existing characters and troops to the point where it is, without question, a different figure.  Queen Amidala is one of the latter, the obligatory new Natalie Portman figure that's different and new but you may or may not care.   Back in 1999, ornate gowns were a novelty in this line and statistically, they still are.  But what am I supposed to do?  It's like I checked a box on a list.  Yes, this outfit has never been made before and Hasbro was cool enough to add super-articulated arms on what is effectively a pepper shaker of a body, but that doesn't mean that there's fun to be had with this figure beyond her standing and gesturing.  The sculpt is good.  The head sculpt is one of the better Padme heads, and I appreciate the blaster.  Heck, the gown is really nicely done with lots of nice texture and some great silver and gold paint bringing it to life.

There's no question that this is a good figure, but unfortunately it leaves me feeling empty.  "Now what?"  I know there's a small group asking for all of Padme's gowns-- but after 17 years, the fanbase is big enough where there's at least a few dozen people excited to get pretty much everything.  I'm not one of them.  Even though the vast majority of TVC figures feel like new takes on things we already bought, they're still a lot more fun than Queen Amidala as toys go.  Luke is loaded with fun gear, Lando has so much stuff it almost makes you forget he's supposed to be black.   But the Queen?  This is a figure that probably would have been about 20% more exciting as a non-Vintage release.  The higher price point, reduced packaging footprint, and the lack of bonus gear associated with said smaller footprint just makes her a lot less exciting than a brand-new sculpt figure should be.  Get her if you like the outfit-- it's a nice outfit-- but if you're at a point in your collecting career where you just know some figures are going to go on a shelf (or worse, in a box) after purchase you might just want to consider letting this one go and blowing $10 on another line.   (Two words: Bot Shots.)   No offense to the people who worked on this-- you people did and continue to do excellent work-- it's just that it's so hard to pretend to care that yet another salt shaker Natalie Portman figure is remotely interesting.  The Peasant Disguise figure had way more going for it, and that's probably $4 or $5 at T.J. Maxx right now.

Collector's Notes: You shouldn't have too much trouble finding her, and I'd almost suggest waiting for clearance here.  The rest of the wave is pretty fun, this one is the biggest snooze of the batch.  When the rest of the wave is packed with Jedi, Sith, and aliens, it's hard to compete though.   No offense if you're a fan of this figure, either, it's just... eh.  Boredom.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,816: May 30, 2012


Hobgoblin238 said...

Why are you winding down? I hope you will continue this blog.

Philip Ayres said...

I'm looking at that and thinking "whih bit of the film did it appear in?"

Essentially I think the original TPM line got it right for Padme and did the three most memorable outfits

Campbell said...

I actually like this figure a lot. With almost all of my Vintage Collection, I plan to leave it packaged, so it's visually very different than any other Padme. I am choosey about the figures I buy and actually skip more than I pick up these days. This, Darth Sidious, and Quinlan Vos were the first figures I picked up from this wave because they were different or superior than previous versions.

I think your Commentary is well thought out and we just differ on our tastes. I know aliens usually attract you and there are a lot of them that I find superfluous.

And to echo Hobgoblin238 above- I'd hate to see this feature go away entirely. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to write one a day, but I really hope to read your reviews in the future. I'd also really like to see you make a searchable database of your reviews. I know many mention the events of the season they were written, but they still are a wealth of history that I'd like to be able to revisit.

Adam16bit said...

Right now, you can search here by the box on the top of the page or by keyword (which, admittedly, ain't perfect.)