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Original Trilogy Collection Bespin Leia

 

Sean Teeter jumps in with a review of the new Original Trilogy Collection Princess Leia - it's all yours, Sean!

The original trilogy is where itís at these days. Hasbro has really dropped off production on prequel figures in favor of characters from the original Star Wars films. Mainly this is part of a marketing ploy to promote/celebrate the upcoming DVD set being released this fall.

Clad in retro silver and black packaging, the Original Trilogy Collection is rather forgettable for the most part. Out of forty or so figures currently listed on the Hasbro checklist, the basic figure collection only contains about seven new figures Ėall from the Empire Strikes Back. The rest are repackaged characters Ėsome all the way back from the POTF 2 line.

Tonight I take a look at the brand-new Princess Leia. The Bespin Leia is a figure that was produced in two different variations in the vintage Kenner line, but hasnít shown up in the modern line until now. (EDITOR'S NOTE - actually, there was a version of the Bespin Leia in one of the 'Princess Leia Collection' two packs)



Packaging - ***1/2
Iím really digging the retro package design here. The silver bars and lettering against the black background really stand out. I also like the new OTC logo design as well. The other thing that sets these cards apart is the photo art background used behind the blister. 

The back of the card is nicely executed as well and shows off some of the other figures in the series. While I like the new, sturdier bubble design, the large size of the blister really calls attention to the fact that a lot of these figures donít have much in the way of accessories. Each figure is also packaged with a small color product pamphlet.

Sculpting - **
I do have to give Hasbro Kudos for not kit-bashing parts from the POTJ Bespin Escape Leia. This is indeed a new sculpt Ėjust not a very exciting one. Hasbro has a really hard time capturing the likeness of Carrie Fisher. In the end most Leia figures end up either looking generic or doll-like. This oneís somewhere in between.
I like the wisps of hair done along the sides of the head very much, as well as the neck design, but the overall face sculpt is pretty blank. 

The body is pretty simplistic in comparison to the detailed work found on other figures out there. The pleats in the cape hang nicely, but look a little rough in spots. One thing that kind of bugs me is the way the cape is sculpted around Leiaís chest. Because of the way the capeís sculpted, it almost looks like her bust flattens out on the sides. It just looks kind of weird from some angles, and could have been averted by a separately sculpted piece.

The hands are also a bit on the rough side as well, especially in comparison to the vintage-style OTC Leia.

Paint - ***
The one saving grace about this figure is the paint ops. While the solid red under-suit isnít all that exciting, the cape detailing is definitely above par. In fact the ornate pattern seems wasted on this figure.

The face is pretty blank except for the big brown eyes and rosy cheeks that make her look a little doll-like.

Thereís a little bleeding around the hairline and the wrists, but hey Ėwe canít all be perfect.

Articulation - *1/2
When the vintage Kenner figure is more articulated than the brand-new one, you know somethingís wrong. Leia has five points of articulation: neck, shoulder, and elbow cuts.

This figure is a perfect example of sculpt impeding articulation. Due to the design of the cape, there simply is no way Hasbro could have included waist or leg articulation without making the figure look weird. Leiaís small, immobile feet do not go well with her top-heavy design. Therefore, this is one figure thatís going to be constantly using her stand. Once again, a separately sculpted cape could have aided in solving this problem.

The shoulder cuts are what they are. The elbow cuts are next to useless at best, and counterproductive at worst. The right one is at such a slight angle that very little variation is possible. The left one can be bent in a 90-degree angle, but due to the lack of wrist articulation, it obviously doesnít do anything. 

Accessories - **
To be honest, there wasnít much Leia could have been packaged with. So as per usual, Hasbro tosses in an Imperial Blaster. This is the same blaster found from the POTJ line onward. For some reason itís been molded in silver instead of black, but thatís okay. At least it isnít the bendy version that came with the recent T.I.E. Pilot.

Leia also comes with the same black stand found in other Hasbro releases. Due to the design of the figure, itís necessary, but I would like to see a new, flat figure stand without the tabs on the sides.

One thing I would have really like to see here is a removable cape. The current sculpt design kills almost all possible articulation in this figure Ėsomething that could have been avoided by a separately sculpted cape. 

Durability/Quality - **
Sheís quite a petite figure, which is in line scale-wise, but leaves Leia with some small legs, and tinier feet. While not articulated, they donít feel solidly anchored either. 

Value - **
Even at the common $4.99 price tag, she doesnít do it for me. Unfortunately, youíre probably going to spend more since the OTC figures havenít been showing up in stores too frequently. 

Collectibles Time has her, and most of the other OTC figures in at $7.99.
Cloud City has her for $13.99 for C-9 cards, $12.99 for C-8/C-7 cards.
SWFigures has her in for $11.99.
Ebay should give me stock options for the amount of shilling Iíve done for them. 

Overall - **
Until recently only two figures remained exclusive to the vintage Kenner line (unless you want to get into specific Ewok characters, and not counting the Ewoks or Droids cartoon figures): the Cloud Car Pilot, and the Bespin Leia. Hasbro has finally produced both of these figures for the OTC line. Needless to say, a lot of us collectors and fans were waiting for these two to show up.

With Leia, itís a lackluster affair. Her lack of articulation really hinders her poseablility as well as her basic ability to stand upright unaided. Iím sure you all know what my biggest complaint is by now, since Iíve been harping on it repeatedly Ėso here it is for the last time: the cape. A separately sculpted cape could have made all the difference in this figure. Hell, even if Hasbro has included wrist cuts, it would have been an improvement. Even though this figure is probably a must for many collectors, she doesnít really stand out at all. Sheís one of those figures that displays best still carded.

Of course Hasbro tends to have chronic problems with their female figures, although theyíve gotten a lot better at sculpt and design in recent years. Outside of the vintage-style Leia, there are only three other female figures in the entire Hasbro line from POTF 2 onwards that Iíd gladly recommend for purchase: Aayla Secura, Asajj Ventress (non-animated), and Barriss Offee. While none of these are definitive figures by any means, they all have three things in common: decent accessories, good sculpts, and ball joints.
Hasbro does have another female figure in the works: a Padme Amidala from Episode 1. If the final figure looks as good as the preview shots, I might add another name to that list. Until then, skip this one unless youíre one of the complete-ist types. 


Figure from the collection of Coheteboy.

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