I’ve looked at Greedo and The Fett, and now it’s on to the third figure in Wave 2 of the Star Wars Back 6-inch line, today we’re looking at Slave Leia. As most have already pointed out, this was a really strange choice for such an early wave and certainly a peculiar choice to be the first version of Leia released in this line. I was certainly hoping for a Tantive IV version of her and I’m still really looking forward to that figure. It could be that Hasbro was betting that sci-fi’s favorite pin-up girl would be irresistible to Star Wars fans and collectors. Whatever the reason, we have Princess Leia making her debut in the 6-inch scale showing a lot of plastic skin… let’s take a look!
Here’s the packaging and there’s not much new to say. Leia comes on her tray with her two staff weapons beside her. The back panel has a monochrome image of her kicking ass and taking names on top of Jabba’s sail barge. As always, the packaging is totally collector friendly and I appreciate how compact these boxes are. I still have all my SWB figures stored in them and I’m considering hanging them on a wall in the back of one of my Toy Closets.
And here she is out of the package. I’ve watched and read a few tepid reviews of this figure before getting mine, so I was rather worried about what to expect. Even the Vintage Collection 3 ¾” Slave Leia wasn’t what I would call a homerun. Would the larger scale accentuate the problems or give Hasbro’s sculptors more room to work their magic? In the end, I think it’s a little of both. Let’s start with the portrait…
Hasbro has had their history of flubs when it comes to female head sculpts. You need only look at their recent 3 ¾” Mara Jade for an example of that. Oh, wait, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing her yet, so forget I said that. Is this a great likeness of Carrie Fisher? Nope. Can I see her in there somewhere? Yeah. It looks as much like any of the hundreds of “Slave Leias” you might see at a Comic Con than the genuine article. On the other hand, I was expecting f’ugly, and this sculpt certainly isn’t that, although I’ll admit it does not photograph well at all. The face is attractive and the crisp paintwork, particularly on the eyes, helps to sell it. The hair is very well sculpted and the soft ponytail is executed flawlessly. She has her ubiquitous neck chain, which is cast in soft plastic and can be removed by popping off her head. All in all there’s room for improvement, but there’s also a lot for me to like here.
The same can be said for Leia’s body. It’s tough to do a figure showing this much skin and still feature an acceptable amount of articulation. By using ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, Hasbro kept the ugly jointing down to minimum. They also managed to conceal her torso ball joint just under the bikini top. Even the double hinges in the knees and swivels in the thighs aren’t that off-putting. The proportions are also nicely done. Naturally there’s not a lot to her costume, but the boots and bikini look good and I applaud the use of softgoods for the skirt. Hasbro opted to cast the bulk of the figure in flesh tone plastic, which was a gamble. On the one hand it tends to come out looking waxy, but painted flesh tones often come away looking dirty. Here the compromise paid off because the skin tone looks good and they did a nice job matching the painted face to the rest of the body.
Leia comes with two weapons, which was honestly something of a surprise for me. I knew she was coming with the force-pike, but I didn’t know about the other one. The force-pike is one of my favorite weapons of the Star Wars Universe, which is a ridiculous thing to admit, but it probably stems from the Sarlaac execution being my favorite scene from any of the movies. I’m sure I’ve gone on and on about it in my various Skiff Guard figure reviews, so I’ll just leave it at that. I have absolutely no idea what the other thing is supposed to be. Is it some kind of rifle? I’ve been getting those things with Skiff Guard figures for decades now and they still leave me bewildered. I’m sure I’ve gone off about that issue in the past as well.
In the end, Slave Leia was a pleasant surprise. Based on early reactions I expected her to be a pretty poor offering, but I think she turned out quite good. I’ll concede that she is still the weakest of all the 6-inch offerings so far, but that says more about how exceptional this line has been than it does about the flaws of this figure. I’m willing to forgive the slightly unsightly jointing because, well there’s just no way around that unless you’re going to cover the figure with a rubber skin and we all know that wasn’t going to happen in this scale and price point. The head sculpt could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse too. I suspect, she’ll be an odd-figure-out for a while as I don’t see a lot of Return of the Jedi figures coming out in the line anytime soon, although Hasbro has been hinting about a 6-inch scale Jabba the Hutt, which would make this figure a very nice companion piece what would be a mighty epic display.