#0043: Princess Leia



Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!  Today, I’ll be doing my first review from what is quickly becoming my favorite toy line on the market:  Star Wars: The Black Series.  I’m going to assume that everyone reading knows what Star Wars is.  However, here’s a little backstory on “The Black Series.”   For 35 years, Star Wars toys have been made in the very successful 3 ¾ inch scale.  I don’t mind the scale, and Star Wars made it a standard for quite a while.  However, the figures being as small as they are leads to limitations on the level of detail and articulation each figure gets.  Since the introduction of lines like DC Universe Classics and Marvel Legends, which helped popularize the 6-inch scale, Star Wars fans have been requesting a similar line for the Star Wars characters.  And this year, Hasbro obliged with Star Wars: The Black Series.  The figures are 6 inch scale, feature lots of articulation, and generally feature better paint and a few extra accessories.  I just got the second series of the line, so I’ll be taking a look at those in the next couple of days.  I’ll start with Princess Leia.


Like I mentioned above, Leia is from the second series of Star Wars: The Black Series.  Hasbro’s decided to give each figure a number, and Leia is #005.  Leia is based on her look from early in Return of the Jedi, when she’s is taken captive by Jabba the Hutt.  It’s not her most definitive look, but I suppose it has a fairly sizeable fan base, for what would seem to be obvious reasons.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and features 18 points of articulation.  At first glance she seems a bit too small, especially next to the other figures in the line, but Carrie Fisher’s listed height is 5’1”(a full FOOT shorter than costar Harrison Ford), so she’s in proper scale for a 1:12 scale figure.   Leia’s a totally new sculpt, and it’s fairly good, apart from one glaring issue:  The articulation.  The joints on the figure are incredibly obvious.  Now, I’m not saying that I dislike visible articulation, but I don’t like when it gets to glaring, because that hurts the aesthetic of the figure.  Anyway, aside from the articulation issue, the sculpt is well done.  The likeness on the head is really good, and may very well be the best likeness in the line so far.  Unfortunately, the sculpt is hidden under some pretty sloppy paint.  Mine isn’t as bad as some others I’ve seen, but the paint has a tendency to be places it shouldn’t on the head.  The rest of the body is painted perfectly fine, and they even matched the painted flesh tone on the head with the molded flesh tone on the body, which can be tricky.  In addition to sculpted pieces, Leia features a cloth skirt.  I don’t hate it in theory, but I’m not a fan in practice.  It’s a piece of cheap, un-hemmed fabric, so it’s going to fray like crazy.  In fact, it was already fraying in the package.  I really wish they’d gone with something with a bit more durability.  Leia is rounded out with an axe thing, and a pole thing (technical terms!) that she uses in the film.  They’re sculpted well, and fit into Leia’s hands with ease.


I like this figure, but I have my issues with it.  Chief among them is the fact that the fact that the first version of Princess Leia, a central character, released in this line is a fairly non-essential version of her.  Coupled with the fact that it’s probably the one look of hers that really doesn’t translate well to figure form, the figure’s a bit of a mixed bag.  I really hope that this one was just a practice round for one of her more definitive looks.

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