Barriss Offee and Aayla Secura

I do Star Wars reviews at Yakface, as most of you know.  Problem is, I haven't seen a new Star Wars figure in weeks!  I don't know if Michigan has simply become the land that Lucas forgot, or my mojo has just gone bad, but at least I have great guest reviewers to help me out.  Sean Teeter steps up tonight with a guest review of the two new female Jedi's - take it away!

It’s Sean Teeter, back again from the land of Tanya Harding and D.B. Cooper. Up for review this time are a pair Hasbro’s latest female Jedi Knights: Aayla Secura and Barriss Offee.

Packaging - ***
The packaging is the same blue-backed blister card featured throughout the rest of Hasbro’s Saga line. For their new 2003 releases, Hasbro has changed the background from cosmic swirls to a starburst pattern. The insert containing the figure’s movie picture has orange highlights as opposed to the red ones from the 2002 series. Overall it’s simple, nice, and practical for display if you wish to leave the figure on the card.

Sculpting - Aayla Secura: ***; Barriss Offee: *** ½
Both of these Jedi are rather slender in their build. With their newer releases, Hasbro is really starting to allow their female figures to look more feminine, especially in comparison to how masculine some of their Princess Leia’s looked in the second Power of the Force Line.

Aayla looks pretty close to her movie counterpart. Her Twi’lek headgear, outfit, and boots are dead on. Interestingly, Hasbro has given Aayla a two part upper torso. Aayla’s skin from her bust line to her neck is not plastic but latex. When Aayla turns her head, her molded neck muscles twist along with her. It’s a nice touch.

Barriss Offee’s sculpt is interesting. It seems to be more of a sculpt “inspired” by her movie counterpart as opposed to one trying to mimic the actress. In the end, this is an improvement since Barriss is seen in only a few static poses. Barriss’s outfit is similar to that of Luminara Unduli, another Jedi Knight produced by Hasbro. This makes sense: Barriss is Luminara’s Padawan learner. The amount of wrinkles and stretch marks in her gown really look stunning. Her top is so detailed that the impressions of her spine, shoulder blades, and belly button are suggested by the mold. The belt at the waist is actually sculpted with the tab hanging a little out of the loop. Even her stylish short haircut looks nice. The screaming, open-mouth on her face looks great, unlike Hasbro’s horrid screaming sculpt of Mace Windu, Geonosian Rescue.

Both of these figures have a magnet embedded into an open sculpted hand (right for Barriss; left for Aayla). It’s supposed to attract the metal hilt in a “force-like” way. It only works when held really close to the hilt, but does make two handed poses possible. The one big downside to both of these sculpts is that it’s very hard to make these figures stand without their display bases. The slender legs and boots look good, but just aren’t practical.

Paint - Aayla Secura: ** ½; Barriss Offee: *** ½
Aayla has the potential for great a great paint job, especially with all the details on her headpiece. Unfortunately, the details are pretty sloppy. The outfit is nice, complete with bronze go-go boots and her Britney Spears top. Her skin is a lighter blue than her movie counterpart and her make-up is a little more garish. Check out her hooker pink lipstick! The gold bands on her head are hit and miss, with the paint lines bleeding off all over the place. Her headband also bleeds heavily onto her skin ops. The dotted tattoos look good however.

Barriss’ outfit is all the same color, except for the paint wash on her cape. Her gold belt buckle has a little bleeding around the heart symbol, but that’s the only real flaw. Her face tattoos look great, and her fingernails are crisp. Her blue eyes are very nicely done. For all the paint detail missing in her outfit, the little things more than make up for it.

Articulation - Aayla Secura: ***; Barriss Offee: ** ½
This always seems to be Hasbro’s worst category with their figures, and these two are no exception. Aayla has a total of nine points: one upper thigh cut on the left leg, two hip cuts, one midsection cut, two ball-jointed shoulders, one left bicep cut, one left elbow cut, and a neck cut. The hip cuts are very tight, which isn’t a good thing for a figure with really thin legs. You have to really pull a bit to move them sometimes. Knee articulation would have been nice, especially for a figure that can barely stand up on its own. The midsection cut is nice, and blends in with her sculpt very well. The ball joint shoulders are great for various light saber poses, however some of this is negated by Aayla’s arm articulation. The two cuts on the left arm are nice, but the right arm is stuck in a permanent bend.

Barriss’s articulation almost negates her great sculpt. She has five points: a waist cut, two ball-jointed shoulders, a neck cut, and a left wrist cut. From the waist down, she’s a statue, just like the two other skirted female Jedi found in the line (Luminara Unduli and Shaak Ti). Because of this, she cannot stand straight on her own. Barriss can lean on her sculpted dress folds, but it looks kind of awkward. Her neck is a little thin and loose, which makes it a bit weak –especially with the tight hood from her cloak. The shoulders are the best part of her articulation, and allow for a large range of motion. Elbow articulation would have been nice; at least her left hand can rotate and help with light saber poses. 

Accessories - ***
Aayla comes with a display base, a metal lightsaber hilt with removable blue blade, and force lightning. The metal hilt has some decent machining with indented rings running down the hilt. The blade attaches via a peg. Like all of Hasbro’s metal-hilted sabers for their 3 ¾ line, the peg is a tad fragile and can break easily if the blade is hit too hard while inserted into the hilt. The display base looks all right, and is made to represent the floor of the Geonosian Battle Arena. There are two molded footprints with pegs to hold Aayla in her battle pose. The force lightning is okay. The tendrils are a little fragile and can’t be stretched too far without breaking. This is a strange accessory since Aayla is listed as a Jedi Knight, and the lightning is traditionally a sign of the Dark Side’s Sith Lords.

Barriss Offee also comes with a similar display base, a metal light saber hilt with a removable green blade, a red blast effect, and a removable cloak. The hilt is less detailed than Aayla’s, and the black paint stripe across its midsection is a little sloppy. The blade is just like Aayla’s but green, despite it being blue in the movie. The display base has a few Battle Droid parts molded into it for variety. The blast effect is kind of flimsy, but isn’t as over the top as some of the other ones found in the series. Her removable cloak is the true standout here however. Its flowing sculpt blends perfectly with the figure and doesn’t hinder articulation. The light paint wash on the outside really adds a nice touch to the piece. The only complaint is that the hood’s base is a little tight for easy removal.

The bases are designed to attach to one another for display purposes, and it looks like there are more Jedi Knights due out in the future with this accessory. 

Value - Depends
The standard in store price for the Hasbro Saga figures seems to run anywhere from $4.50 to $5.99. However, these two figures aren’t in stores yet, and can only be found online.

Unfortunately due to this current rarity, the prices for these figures are extremely high -$40 a piece on some sites! I got mine through a preorder deal from Star Wars Figures for $9 each, but they’re now going for $19.95 for Barriss backorders and $29.95 for Aayla.

Here’s a few online retailers:
Brian's Toys has them for $19.99 each.
Kebco Toys is currently sold out, but had them for $6.29 on preorder.
Federation Toys is expecting them soon, and will sell them at $ 7 apiece.

You best bet is to wait a while until these figures are out in stores. They’re not in wide release at this point, and in the Star Wars world of collecting, this always leads to ridiculous price inflation. These figures are great value at $5 or under. Anything above that is too high. If you’re a big collector and don’t want to wait, it’s a judgment call. Try eBay, as always, or wait a little for Kebco and Federation Toys to get them in. The only reason I opened mine was due to package damage.

Overall - ***
Both figures look great on display loose or on the card, but the current prices just aren’t worth it. If you wait until the prices are down in the $5 bracket, then go for it. Both of these figures look good and offer some decent poses. Of course, they’ve also got something else going for them. They’re female Jedi man, c’mon!

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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