Thursday, December 7, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,088: Morgan Elsbeth (The Vintage Collection)

Sans Pole

The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F7311 No. F7345
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #295
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $16.99
Availability: October 2023
Appearances: Ahsoka

Bio: Morgan Elsbeth was a Force-sensitive human female Nightsister who was instrumental in the construction of the Imperial Navy during the reign of the Galactic Empire. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Click here to buy it at Walmart now!

Can I go on a tangent? I hate that spoilerphobes run the business now. Back in 2002, Hasbro released a Jango Fett figure with a decapitated head before Attack of the Clones. I could have done without that - but now Lucasfilm is keeping stuff so tightly under wraps for "surprise" or whatever that Hasbro can make a really nice action figure like Morgan Elsbeth, a character with multiple great options for accessories on the shows, and what do we get? None. In The Mandalorian, she had a beskar spear that would become a big deal on the show - no such weapon is included. In Ahsoka, she had Talzin's Sword - another significant weapon, also not included here. The character also got a significant Super Saiyan makeover which could have allowed for alternate body parts or even little clear Magick energy bits - also none of those were included here. So you get a perfectly nice figure with a superb skirt, but she's $16.99 just like the figures with alternate heads, alternate hands, and actual gear. It's just not here, there's no value, and so far the figure seems to be selling well. (Oddly, The Black Series figure's price is dropping precipitously as of last month. $10 off a new figure is a pretty bad sign, but she also had no gear.) Confidential to Hasbro and Lucasfilm: if you want to keep the accessories a mystery to us during pre-order or presentation phases, do it. Mattel used to do it. We can see what the gear is after the figure ships, rather than be charged for a figure with no accessories that I assume is unlikely to ever get said accessories. But, as I said, I digress. This is a nice figure, and I have to parse "this is a nice action figure that was manufactured well" from "what insanity is this insane pricing with no accessories." Perhaps the problem is The Vintage Collection itself - in years gone by, we'd get coins, or holographic figures, or even droid parts. Something. Hasbro could easily hide a spoilerly accessory behind the figure in the bubble, or they could take the attitude of Hasbro in 2002.

But here in 2023, you have a good figure. The hair is a separately-molded wig with multiple shades of gray. The strands are exquisitely sculpted, with tiny buns on the back, a part in the middle, and more hanging down framing her face. If there was an award for best-sculpted hair, this would probably get it - we never had it quite this good in the old days. Her face looks like Diana Lee Inosanto, complete with fantastic and tiny make-up elements. Take a look at her forehead, her eyebrows, and her lips - everything looks perfect. Her top looks great with sculpted folds of fabric and perfectly painted Ahsoka belt. Her costume did change a bit between The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, while keeping the basic silhouette and color palette. It's kind of obnoxious - sort of like Finn's costume changes between the first two movies being his pants. In Morgan's case, she has a skirt with perfect little pleats. It's really impressive - the fabric pattern is black and red, with more texture than I'm used to for soft goods. The execution is, again, tip-top.

Her articulation is good, but nowadays "good" is "nothing special." For a figure with no weapons, no reason for combat poses, and no reason to sit, rocker ankles, ball-jointed hips, and an exceptional range of motion are nice - but Hasbro could also have cut them a bit and given us a simpler figure, possibly at a lower price point. (They don't want to do this, they want to sell $17 or higher figures. And if they threw in coins I'd probably pay the extra money without a fight.) Her wrists only swivel, and her arms have a good range of movement - but the elbows stop at 90 degrees. I know some fans complain when I say this - but she could probably be a salt shaker with arms and most fans would never notice. She's just going to stand around, or be carded - there could be cost savings for Hasbro which could be put into accessories or a lower price point on the assortment.

Looking at the legs under the dress, my first reaction was "Did they announce an Asajj Ventress and I forgot?" Those could totally be reused for other figures - but we haven't had a new one in over a decade. We're about due. (She's popular and could probably also reuse the skirt, just add lightsabers and a new head/upper body.)

So is Morgan Elsbeth a good figure? Yes. Is she worth $17? I mean... no? You've got a well-executed barebones figure here. The fact that the lining of the dress is red and it has this nifty black pattern printed on the outside is really amazing, but all she can do is stand - and with skinny legs and lots of articulation, she might need help. I have many similar gripes about Retro Morgan, but she ain't here yet. So for now I'll say if you love the character, and you love 3 3/4-inch figures, this is your best bet... but The Black Series may be even cheaper online.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,088: December 7, 2023

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