Friday, July 20, 2012

Great For The One Pose, The Power Of The Jedi Bespin Escape Princess Leia Seems Outdated Now.

The Good: Decent likeness, Interesting pose, Good accessory
The Bad: Limited poseability, Severe balance issues, Pointless second accessory
The Basics: Leia looks good, but is stuck in a rather limited pose for the Power Of The Jedi line, making it hard to recommend, harder now that there have been better versions made.

There is something truly extraordinary about technological development. When we look at how things were manufactured even a decade ago, so many things seem passé, if not downright primitive to our eyes. This is especially true in the action figure market. I recall when I really liked my Bespin Escape Princess Leia action figure. But now, as I look it over for review, I think of how there are two newer figures that offer so much more than this one and it is hard for me not to be utterly unimpressed with this toy.

For those unfamiliar with Princess Leia as she fled Bespin, this incarnation of Leia was the one who was with Lando when he turned on the stormtroopers after Han was frozen in carbonite. Wielding an imperial blaster she was given, she tried to help the heroes save Han from the bounty hunter at the end of The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!).

The 4" Bespin Princess Leia figure is great for a single pose, but other than that it, literally, falls down.


Princess Leia is a human Rebel who visited Bespin when the Millennium Falcon needed someplace safe to make repairs in The Empire Strikes Back. The figure stands 3 1/4" tall to the top of her head. This Princess Leia figure is coifed in her white padded suit that is reminiscent of the outfit she wore on Hoth. She is posed with her legs in a running stance. She is posed so she can hold her blaster with two hands and in that pose she looks pretty great! The figure is made of hard plastic, save the back part of her hair which is a softer plastic clearly glued onto the back of the figure’s head.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking very much like actor Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Princess Leia is average in her coloring detail, save the costume which is a great mix of whites and yellows to make the outfit look worn and just a little weathered, and facial paint job includes her bright lips and hair around the sideburn area. But the skin tones are monolithic and lack any realistic shading detail. This is one of the better detailed figures Hasbro ever produced; it is unfortunate that some of the other aspects of Leia cause the figure to fall into more average territory.


Princess Leia, Stormtrooper-slaying Rebel, requires few accessories. In fact, the main accessory she comes with is a small blaster. The blaster is a one inch and one-eighth inch gray choking hazard which fits perfectly into Princess Leia's right hand. It does not fit into her left hand, save that Leia's hand can cup the barrel, so she can aim and support her shooting. The monotonal gray blaster with the scope looks good in her grip that way. Oddly, though, Hasbro included a second identical blaster, which does not fit at all in Leia’s grip in her left hand. The result is she has two guns, but may only actually hold one!

As part of the Power Of The Jedi toy line, Princess Leia comes with a Jedi Force File. This is a tiny fold-out magazine which describes Princess Leia, her species, natural enemies and allies and offers ideas for play with the figure. This is a pretty cool idea and appeals to trading card collectors as well.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Princess Leia is fair in that regard. The figure is minimally articulated and fact that she is truly posed for one specific pose is bothersome. She comes with only eight points of articulation. As a result, she has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, biceps, neck, and waist. All of the joints are simple swivel joints, so Leia can either cup her blaster with her right hand or be posed as if she was shot while running. As far as the leg articulation goes, if one does not her to look like she is running away from stormtroopers, they are out of luck.

On the balance front, the Bespin Escape Princess Leia is something of a mess; the legs cannot be spread very far because Princess Leia will tip over. She cannot flex at the ankles, so she tips easily because there is a very limited window to keep her flatfooted. This lowers playability and poseability, though the figure does include the usual holes in the soles of her feet that allow her to be plugged into playsets and balance perfectly that way.


Princess Leia is part of the expanded saga Power Of The Jedi four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was fairly common. Still, the Princess Leia was part of the earlier line of the Power Of The Jedi figures. Unfortunately, because there have been so many decent recasts of Leia in this same (or similar) outfit, the value on the Bespin Escape Princess Leia has plummeted and there is no reason to expect that it will rebound.


The Bespin Escape Princess Leia represents a time when toys were getting the hang of sculpts – the detailing on the padding on the thighs, for example, is better than anything from the Power Of The Force line – but had not yet radically improved articulation with hinge and ball-and-socket joints. As a result, this off-balance figure is one that can be safely passed by as one tries to build a Star Wars toy collection now.

For other Princess Leia figures, please check out my reviews of:
12” Sideshow Collectibles Princess Leia As Boushh Doll
Vintage Collection VC88 Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit)
Legacy Collection BD17 Slave Leia
2006 Saga Collection 001 Princess Leia As Boushh
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
12 Power Of The Jedi Slave Leia


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page on the subject!

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