I’m working to get caught up on a lot of figures lying around here before new stuff starts piling up on top of it and I need to call in an archaeologist to dig my way out. And so, today I’m jumping back to the last wave of Hasbro’s 6-inch Black series. I started this wave a week or so ago with a look at Commander Cody, today we’ll check out the second Princess Leia figure in this series and it’s her in the Boushh disguise from Return of the Jedi.
There’s the packaging and I’ve got nothing new to say about it, so let me take this time to ponder what the hell is going through Hasbro’s collective head with character selection these days. OK, maybe not character selection per say, but rather the versions they’re choosing for Princess Leia. She’s cropped up twice now in this series and both are from the beginning of Return of the Jedi. The fact that we haven’t seen a New Hope version of her yet is just criminal. Not only is that version of the character the most iconic to me, but I also think it’s some of her best moments in the saga: All on her own, fighting against Vader to safeguard the plans that she knows will put an end to the Empire. All I want is her white outfit, a couple of hair buns and that bitchin’ long barreled pistol, is that so wrong? Hot Toys gets it. That’s why that’s the first version their doing of Leia. And have you seen that figure? It’s gorgeous! What? Oh yeah, back to Hasbro’s Boushh Leia…
By now you all should know my take on this line. I have a litmus test that begs the question, is this figure better served by being in the larger scale? I’ll come back to that in a bit, but let me start out by saying that I think this is a very solid figure. All the regular points that I touch upon in my features, like the sculpt and paint look fine. Indeed, there’s some lovely little touches like the gold paint on the cartridges on her shoulder strap, the Ubese lettering on her backpack and the softgoods half cape that hangs down her back, which both Ubese and Mandalorians seem to love so much. These are all solid efforts.
I’m torn on the portrait. On the one hand, Leia sports a pretty face and some well sculpted hair. On the other hand, I don’t see any Carrie Fisher in there at all. The Slave Leia figure’s likeness wasn’t a hit either, but I think there was a bit more resemblance there than here. The paint is also rather off. The brown from her hair line splotches unevenly on her skin, the lipstick doesn’t really match her lips at all and the eyes, while not totally wonky, aren’t terribly precise either. None of this is a huge deal for me as I will likely keep the helmet on her all the time, just like I did with my Kenner figure when I was a kid.
And the helmet is indeed a nice piece of work. Not only do you get a lot of great sculpted detail, which is not always the case on these softer plastic removable helmet pieces, but some really nice weathering paint. It fits on the figure very well too. It’s also perfect for that Breen custom I’ve always wanted to do.
The articulation features a nice range of points, only slightly marred by the sculpted robes. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have rotating hinges as well as lateral rockers. The rockers are nice, but with the restrictive plastic skirt, it’s tough to get a wide stance to use them. There’s a waist swivel hidden under her belt, a ball joint in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.
Boushh-Leia comes with four accessories. You get her removable helmet, a removable backpack, a thermal detonator and her staff-gun thingy. Seriously, what is this thing? If it’s a rifle how the hell does she hold it with no stock or trigger? Is it some kind of staff weapon cattle prod? I’ve been pondering this question since I was a kid. The detonator is a tiny ball of plastic that can peg onto her belt or be held in her hand. Yes, Vader couldn’t get a peg for his lightsaber hilt, but goddammit if we’re not going to let Boushh put her bomb on her belt! As tiny as the detonator is, Hasbro still managed to get some silver paint onto it.
Scale continues to be an issue with this line. Just look at the difference between these two Leias. It’s even worse than the discrepancy we saw between regular Han and Hoth Han. This is a $20 collector line, why is it so hard to get the scale right on these figures from wave to wave?
But, getting back to my original point, because here’s an instance where Hasbro has released this version of the character in both the 6-inch and 3 3/4-inch Black lines almost at the exact same time. I don’t own the smaller scale version, although I may pick it up for the purposes of comparison, but the pictures that I’ve seen tell me that the smaller scale version is every bit as good. Softgoods cape? Check. Removable helmet? Pleeeease… the original Kenner figure had that! Articulation? A few changes there, like the smaller figure appears to have rotating hinges in the knees as opposed to double hinges, but let’s just say comparable articulation.
And so once again I ask myself, is the point of this line just to sell us up-scaled versions of these characters? Or is it to deliver us versions better than what we could get in the smaller scale? It’s increasingly obvious that the answer is the former. Now, you could argue that’s a credit to how good Hasbro has become at making the smaller scale figures, but I would argue it just devalues these 6-inch figures as a collector line. And yet here I am… still buying them. And maybe it’s not fair to unload all of this on this particular figure. It’s been the case all along and I’ll reiterate that I think this is a solid figure. Maybe It’s time to just accept that these are more or less up-scaled figures and not dwell on this stuff so much in the future.