One of the things that’s had me most excited about the 6-inch Black Series was getting all of the original 12 vintage figures in this new format. Well, Hasbro showed off the remaining releases at Toy Fair last week and collectors who are willing to double dip will even be able to get them on vintage style cardbacks. They look great, but I don’t have the money or space to buy all these figures again just so I can tear them open or hang them on the wall. As it is, I already have totes full of the carded Vintage Collection 3 3/4-inch figures that I hardly ever see. Anywho, with the original version of Princess Leia now in my collection, my 6-inch heroes from A New Hope are complete and all I’m waiting on is the Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and Tusken Raider to complete the Twelve… pretty cool!
This figure has had its share of controversy as many Princess Leia figures have had to suffer ever since the day Power of the Force 2 unleashed the dreaded “Monkey-Face Leia” on our collections. It’s safe to say that some of the early shots of this one didn’t look so good. I made a decision that, once in hand, if I thought this this one sucked really bad, I wasn’t going to review it out of respect to the late Carrie Fisher. The fact that you’re reading this means that wasn’t the case. Now, I’m not going to tell you she’s fantastic, but… well, let’s just go ahead and dive in.
For starters, there’s very little sculpted detail visible on this figure, and that’s because of her softgoods outfit. Gown? Is that the right word? Maybe? I’m going to call it a gown. From the neck down all you can really see are her hands and boots, and the belt which cinches the gown to the figure. And yes, the belt and gown are both removable and she has a fully painted white outfit and boots underneath. The gown is easily my favorite part of this figure. I’m glad they didn’t go for a complete sculpt here. The fabric fits the figure very well, the stitching is pretty good with just a few stray threads here and there, and there are some areas, like the neck collar, where it’s actually quite impressive. The material is very thin and it’s slit a bit up the sides to not interfere with articulation too badly.
They also included the hood, which is another check I’ll add to this figure’s plus column. It doesn’t fit flush with her back when it’s down, but that’s to be expected with the lack of weight that an outfit in this scale exhibits. Overall, I think it looks better down than Obi-Wan’s hood does.
And then there’s the portrait. So, I was expecting the worst and I don’t think that’s what I got. No, it’s not very good either. At some point I’m sure there was some Carrie Fisher in there, but I think most of it got lost in the transition from prototype to final product. And the fact that it got the bare bones minimum effort when it came to the paint doesn’t help either. My guess is this will be another Black Series figure that someone paints up really nice and shows that it could have worked in the right hands, but clearly those hands aren’t working in Hasbro’s factories. I’d say that this portrait might have been acceptable on a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not so much in a 6-inch “collector’s line.” I seem to say that a lot when reviewing these figures. On a more positive note, I think the hair sculpt is pretty good.
The underlying articulation is right in line with what we’ve seen from many 6-inch Black Series figures. I couldn’t quite get her to hunch down to R2’s level to feed him the Death Star Plans, but I was able to fake it by getting her down on one knee.
Leia comes with two accessories and they’re both guns! And why not? Princess Leia is an ass kicker. The first thing we see her do is take out a Stormtrooper with this first weapon. Yes, it’s her “Defender” sporting blaster, which she carried on the Tantive IV right before getting captured. This design is one of my favorite weapons in the film.
Hasbro also threw in an E-11 Stormtrooper blaster, which she used later on during the escape from The Death Star. We’ve seen plenty of these guns released in the Black Series, but I’m always happy to get another! Now, before wrapping up there’s just one more thing to look at, and that’s scale. Consistency of scale has been a challenge with this line, and Princess Leia is one of the biggest (literally) examples of that.
Here are all the 6-inch Black Series Leias together. Back when I looked at Leia in the Boushh disguise I was notably irked about how badly they flubbed the scale on that figure. She’s a giant compared to the original Slave Leia release. Here we can see that they reined things in a bit and scaled this figure almost perfectly with her bikini-clad counterpart. Sure it just makes Boushh Leia look all the more freakishly tall, but at least they didn’t compound the error by doing it again. Which likeness do you think is the best? Granted, none of them are ideal, but I think I’d go with Slave Leia followed by this one.
It’s never a ringing endorsement to have to say a figure could have been worse, but that’s what I’m thinking here. The truth is, given my ever deflating expectations for the 6-inch Black Series, I found this version of Princess Leia to be perfectly passable, and yes that’s intended as a left-handed compliment. From the neck down, I’m extremely happy with the way she turned out and I think this is some of the best use of softgoods that the line has seen to date. And while the portrait is far from being on point, I don’t think it’s all that much worse than some of the other likenesses we’ve had here. Indeed, comparing it to some of the larger and far more expensive Princess Leia releases in the past sort of puts things in a better perspective. Word is that the re-issue in the vintage-style packaging got a face lift, both in paint and sculpt, and the prospect of that might tempt me to try my luck with another.