Sunday, April 29, 2012

Clunky And Obscure, The Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) Vintage Collection Star Wars Figure Is Still Pretty Cool!

The Good: Wonderful coloring detail, Good accessories, Amazing articulation
The Bad: Cloaks are bulky and look ridiculous.
The Basics: The Vintage Collection Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) takes a deleted Return Of The Jedi scene and inspires a popular figure to get covered up!

Sometimes, I luck out living in the middle of nowhere. After Easter, I was doing some shopping locally and I was thrilled to discover the new Star Wars Vintage Collection toy line that included the Sandstorm Outfit figures. I was disappointed, but not at all surprised, that the only figure missing from the assortment was the Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) action figure. So, I bought the four that were in the store and I went on my way. Three days later, I was in the same store and I stopped by the toy department again and lo and behold, there was the Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia figure! Reasoning that this might be the only opportunity I would get to find this figure, I purchased it right then!

For those unfamiliar with the Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia, that is not terribly surprising as she was part of one of the deleted scenes from Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!) that was only restored in the deleted scenes for the Blu-Ray release of the Star Wars Saga. The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is Princess Leia after she and the other Rebels have destroyed Jabba’s Sail Barge. En route to the Millennium Falcon, the heroes get caught up in a sandstorm. So, Leia is bundled up in robes over her metal bikini in order to be protected from the wind and dirt.

The 4" Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia appears to be the earlier Vintage Collection Slave Leia action figure with an additional cloth cloak tossed over her!


The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia figure stands 3 1/4" tall to the top of her head. She is a mixture of soft plastic elements and cloth components for her loincloth skirts and her Sandstorm cloak.

This toy is a good sculpt, but it runs into the fundamental problem that Slave Leia figures have; how to create an articulated figure for a character who is barely clothed without making it look ridiculous. Hasbro went for articulation on this figure, as opposed to worrying about the look of all the joints. As a result, this Leia features the iconic slightly-green metal bikini and maroon skirts and then covers it with an awkward cloth poncho. The face and hair of the figure look very much like Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, though and the toymakers were careful enough to include such details as the character’s earrings!

What left me slightly unimpressed about this figure is how the coloring details do not match the character. This truly is just a Slave Leia figure with additional cloaks (and no chain). As a result, the Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia does not have a dirty face and does not look like she is at all weathered. Outside the uniformed skin tones, the figure looks well-colored, with aspects like the clips in her hair being appropriately colored a brass color. Most of the coloring details for the character, like of the metal bikini, are hidden beneath the cloak, which is a monotonal tan piece of fabric that looks bulky and ridiculous on her.


The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is one of the most accented Slave Leia’s ever to hit the market. As such, she comes with three accessories: a plastic hood, a force pike and goggles. The hood is a tan plastic molded accessory that is 2” tall. Intended to look like a wrap around Leia’s head, it is unfortunately not the same color as the poncho Leia comes wearing! Moreover, without the poncho on, the hood looks even more ridiculous, though it looks pretty incongruous on her as it is!

The goggles are 3/8” wide and slide perfectly over the figure’s eyes. They are white with clear lenses and they allow the figure to look very much like she did in the deleted scene!

Finally, the Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) figure features a force pike. The 3 7/8” staff features a paddle at one end and the finest tip on the other Hasbro has yet made for the accessory. Colored copper and gunmetal, the force pike fits in either or both of Leia’s hands and matches the shockingly “clean” look of the rest of the figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is good in that regard. First, the figure has great balance. Flatfooted, the Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is absolutely solid, and because of the lower half articulation of the figure, she has decent posing options. The holes in the bottom of her feet allow her to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or sit fairly well. All her articulation does not allow her to do is lay sideways, like she does before Jabba!

The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia holds up exceptionally well in the articulation department. It has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head and another for the bustline. Even the figure’s ponytail does not inhibit the poseability of the figure’s head! The wrists and groin socket both have simple swivel joints that provide the figure with more than enough posing options to make the figure worthwhile!


The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2012 and it remains one of the harder ones to find at the moment. The Sandstorm Outfit Princess Leia is Vintage Collection figure VC88 and given how most Slave Leia figures have risen in value, this looks like a pretty obvious choice for fans to buy. Despite being fairly well available now, this seems like a very safe bet as an investment figure at this time.


The Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) action figure might not be the best Leia figure, but it is a marked improvement on the original Princess Leia figures and its poseability cannot be beat! Even so, it is a pretty weak “recommend” that I grant this figure.

For other Princess Leia figures, please check out my reviews of:
12” Sideshow Collectibles Princess Leia As Boushh Doll
Legacy Collection Slave Leia
Original Trilogy Collection Bespin Princess Leia
Power Of The Jedi Deluxe Princess Leia With Sail Barge Cannon
Power Of The Force Princess Leia In Ewok Celebration Gown
Power Of The Force Hoth Princess Leia
Shadows Of The Empire Princess Leia as Boushh


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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