Thursday, October 19, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,074: Oola (Custom)


Fan-Produced Custom Figure
Item No.:
No. n/a
Manufacturer: n/a
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.54
Availability: ca. March 2022
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: A great figure to add to your vintage display. The figures are moulded colour plastic. These are custom collectables for adults and not toys for children. (Stolen from the Stan Solo Creations web site. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at eBay now!

I'd say these exist in a gray area, but I assume most people see this Kenner-style Oola and are either immediately delighted that there's a figure for their 1983 Jabba the Hutt action playset collar, or are disgusted that they are being tempted to buy a bootleg custom of good quality. It's not quite perfectly accurate, but it does seem enough like an old Kenner figure that I doubt you would care. The goal of a good Kenner-style figure is to get the essence of the character's look with some wiggle-room for accuracy. This one also has some wiggle-room for Kenner-ness, which you may or may not like.

Overall, the figure does a decent job replicating what a reasonable person thinks Kenner or Palitoy may have cranked out in 1986. You get no accessories, 5 joints, and a limited amount of paint. She has whites on her eyes - an unusual feature - with fully-painted black mesh for her costume which leaves much more to the imagination. I was surprised they painted her toenails, as that wasn't something we really saw back in the Kenner days. Painted sandals, sure, but for some reason they kept the straps painted in the wrong color but gave the soles no paint. Go figure! You could argue it's a pretty Kenner choice too - the more wrong it is, the more right it is. Usually. Honestly, it bugs me a bit but not enough to not recommend this figure to the other aging Kenner kids out there. The sculptors and factory did a nice job giving us a figure that a) Lucasfilm and Disney would likely never ever make, and b) ensuring it feels like it was designed to play with the old stuff. That's hard to do well.

The head is where it's a little off. The facial features aren't quite right, the forehead seems a little on the big side, and the headdress flat-out is wrong. The conical protrusions/horns/ears aren't quite pointy enough, the straps on the side of her head to cover up the lekku head piece is now a helmet. The ornament over her forehead was smoothed out and doesn't really look like official figures or the movie costume... and maybe that's the point. It's like the original, but is changed enough that you could argue Kenner would also have missed those details, or for legal reasons, it's probably about 20% in the wrong direction. Maybe more, I'm bad at math.

If you need a perfectly perfect Oola figure, you're never going to get a new one from Hasbro - but this is a good one for Kenner fans of old. Kenner made a great one for 1998 too, and another excellent one was made by Hasbro in 2010 that's probably peak Oola. Right now, the POTF2 one is your cheapest bet but this is pretty good too - each one serves a unique function, and it is really weird to pick up an action figure like this Kenner-style Oola and say "Wow, they can't make them like this anymore." It makes sense given the nature of the character and the new parent company, but I don't know that I heard anybody complain either. Well, at least (so far) the fan-made stuff is being allowed to continue so it's not like they're taking any money out of the official sources' mouths, so go ahead and get this one if you're OK paying four times a fair asking price.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from one of Stan Solo's US resellers.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,074: October 19, 2023

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