Friday, September 9, 2011

On Bespin, Princess Leia Makes For A Well-Coifed, Well-Sculpted Action Figure That Is Strangely Underwhelming.

The Good: Decent sculpt, Good accessory
The Bad: Limited poseability, Arm issue.
The Basics: The Original Trilogy Collection Princess Leia in Cloud City gown looks good, but disappoints those who take it out of the package.

Sometimes, I encounter a toy that I fully anticipate enjoying a lot more than I actually do enjoy. For example, in the Star Wars toy line, after years of waiting for a Bespin Princess Leia - in the gown, not the escape outfit - I was rewarded with the 2004 Original Trilogy Collection release simply called "Princess Leia." The Princess Leia figures - OTC #18 - was the first Princess Leia sculpt of Leia as she appeared in her Bespin gown since the 1995 reboot began, at least on its own. There was a terrible version that mixed plastic and cloth elements in the Princess Leia Collection from Kenner, but none on its own. Until this figure. And, truth be told, after years of waiting for one, I find myself unimpressed with this figure, despite the fact that the general sculpt looks good.

For those unfamiliar with Princess Leia as she appeared on Bespin, this is Leia Organa in a maroon dress that is covered by an open almost-floral lilac-colored robe. The gown is what she wore to the dinner Lando was throwing in her and Han's honor on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). Princess Leia, of course, was captured by Darth Vader at that meeting, but the outfit is one of the many needed to complete the full collection of Princess Leia action figures.

The 4" Princess Leia figure is fair and my overwhelming feeling is being underwhelmed and unimpressed as I consider the toy for review.


Princess Leia is a rebel leader, forced to take refuge on Bespin's Cloud City when the Millennium Falcon needs repairs. The smooth-talking Lando Calrissian tries to play nice with her while she wears this outfit, only to betray her moments later. The figure stands 3 1/4" tall and if that seems short, it is worth noting that one of the improvements the 2004 line sought to make was putting characters in realistic proportion to one another as opposed to meeting a homogenous size standard. Princess Leia is dressed in her maroon dress, flat-soled shoes and lilac overgown. The outfit is clean, which is realistic considering that this Princess Leia is essentially dressed up for a dinner party. The Bespin Princess Leia figure is cast with her braided bun attached to the back of her head and a slightly peeved expression on her face. The figure is made almost entirely of soft plastic, especially the robes and legs and arms, which make for some of the figure's problems.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the rebel fugitive. Princess Leia is well-detailed in her coloring detail, as far as the skin tones go. There is shading on her face, including blush on her cheeks and dark pupils. The figure I have seems to be lacking most of the whites of her eyes, but the lips are filled out with red that looks decent. The figure's hair is molded to have texture, but lacks coloring details to give it realism. As well, because of the scale of the figure, this Princess Leia lacks casting details like fingernails. Still, the coloring and molding details for the pattern on her robe is excellent. Generally, she looks good.


Princess Leia, given that she is going to a dinner party in this outfit, is surprisingly accessorized with only one accessory, in this case a blaster pistol. The blaster pistol is clearly a standard imperial blaster pistol and this is the Original Trilogy Collection recast, which puts it in realistic proportion to the figures. As a result, it does look slightly bulky in Leia's hands, but it has such realistic details as a more precise barrel shape than earlier castings and the presence of the scope atop the gun! It is cast entirely in black plastic and that works fine for the detailing of this weapon as Imperial weapons tend to be very clean and have a mass-produced appearance to them.

Most of the Original Trilogy Collection figures come with stands, but Princess Leia does not.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Princess Leia falls down a bit in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated and she has mediocre balance. Princess Leia lacks significant articulation and some of the articulation she is given seems to either be pointless or work against the figure staying together! In addition to low articulation, Princess Leia is barely posable. If the feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over. Still, when the figure is posed flatfooted, she is relatively stable, so long as the surface she is on is not jostled. On playsets she stands fine as she has the holes for the foot pegs most Star Wars playsets possess. This Princess Leia figure comes with only seven points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints, and two of them are not truly functional! She has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, and elbows.

The elbows do not extend, but they do rotate. However, because the arms are posed straight, this basically makes the arm rotate in a sickening way to change the hand position! As a result, turning the elbow joints essentially is an exaggerated wrist joint and turning the figure's elbows makes the figure look ridiculous. As well, I've noticed even without turning this Leia's elbows, the left arm has a significant gap at the elbow joint. Either of Leia's hands may hold the firearm she is accessorized with.

As well, the legs cannot be spread without the figure tipping over. The groin socket - which allows the legs to be spread - is a pointless joint as the feet cannot be spread far without being inhibited by the figure's stiff robes.


Princess Leia is part of the 2004 Original Trilogy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not very common at all, but largely recast figures that had been previously released by Kenner. Hasbro sought to improve the old figures by having a greater attention to detail, coloring and accessory detail and proportion. This Princess Leia was only released the one time as Original Trilogy Collection figure #18 and it seems to have appreciated in value nicely as a result. I suspect that the value would go down if fans realized how poorly made the figure is when it is out of the package. Still, it is fairly collectible and seems to be a decent investment when kept on its card and not displayed!


The Bespin Princess Leia might well be the final necessary Princess Leia figure cast, but this casting is a decent rendition, poor figure. As a result, it is tough to recommend, even though it looks good in its package.

For reviews of other 2004 Original Trilogy Collection figures, please visit my reviews of:
01 Luke Skywalker (Dagobah)
02 Yoda
019 Cloud Car Pilot
020 Lobot


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment