Sunday, September 16, 2012

Long Awaited, Unfortunately Mediocre, The Vintage Collection Princess Leia Wobbles!

The Good: Good sculpt, Sensible accessory, Wonderful articulation, Collectible value (for now).
The Bad: Poor balance, Light on details, Cloth and plastic elements do not gel well on this figure.
The Basics: The Vintage Collection Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is a surprising stumble for Hasbro.

There are very few of the main characters from the Star Wars Saga who have not been righteously exploited in every outfit in the action figures. Princess Leia, as she appeared on Bespin, is actually one of the under-merchandised versions of the character. She’s a tough one, but since the reboot of Star Wars figures began in 1995 with the Power Of The Force line, there have only been two versions of Princess Leia in her maroon dress and robe created. The Bespin Princess Leia figure was released as a two-pack by Kenner and then as part of the Original Trilogy Collection (reviewed here!), but that was it. At least, that was true until the new Vintage Collection line was released and Hasbro included a Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) figure. In fact, it is the highlight of the penultimate line of the Collection, but for those who actually take their figures out of the package, the new rendition of the Bespin Princess Leia is still riddled with problems and while it is more articulated than prior versions, Hasbro still does not have the figure right.

For those unfamiliar with the Princess Leia, as she appeared on Bespin, this was her penultimate costume from The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). As she and Han Solo prepared for dinner, Princess Leia wore a maroon dress with a white or very light lavender robe over it. After she was tortured following her capture, she was back in a white padded outfit, much like what she wore on Hoth, but for a while, she wore some pretty conservative futuristic formalwear.

The 4" Vintage Collection Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) was completely recast from the prior Bespin Princess Leia figures and she mixes cloth and plastic elements poorly.


The Vintage Collection Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) figure stands 3 1/2" tall to the top of her head. The figure is obviously human with a facial sculpt that is very clearly Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Were it not for the sophistication of the facial sculpt, it would be very easy to write off the figure as one Hasbro simply threw out to get collectors to spend their money on (as opposed to producing because they cared and wanted to create a kick-ass figure!). As it is, the bun and braids are immaculate and the lines of the face are well-rendered. The rest of the figure, though, it tragically under-detailed. The outfit is one of the most simple ones for a Hasbro figure.

What sinks the toy is the blending of the cloth and plastic elements. The coloring on the face is fine, though the eyes are little more than black dots in the white sockets. The padded shoulderpiece of the cape is plastic and it blends poorly with the shimmering fabric of the robe. The maroon of the skirt is not the same as the maroon of the top or leggings. Hasbro even was lazy with not matching the fleshtones of the exposed ankles with the rest of the figure!


The Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is the Rebel Princess and comes only with a blaster pistol. The Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) also comes with a pretty standard version of a blaster pistol. It is a 1 1/8" long plastic gun with a single scope that fits in either of Leia’s hands. It lacks much in the way of surface detailing and is monotonally black as well.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is fair for that. This Bespin Princess Leia figure has pretty poor balance, tipping over easily despite her amazing articulation. Fortunately, she has the standard holes in the bottom of her feet which allow her to stand up on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or attach to pegs on vehicles.

The Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) also has almost lifelike articulation. She 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! The wrists, groin socket, and waist are the only simple swivel joints. The waist is inhibited by the sculpting of the belt she wears and the groin socket articulation is similarly inhibited by the skirt she wears.


The Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2012 and she comes on two different cards, despite being the exact same figure. Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is Vintage Collection figure VC111 and is one of the few Vintage Collection figures that Hasbro should try again with. That said, the value of this particular figure seems to be ridiculously high at the moment.


The Vintage Collection Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) action figure is one of the few failures from the Vintage Collection line!

For other Vintage Collection figures of characters from The Empire Strikes Back, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC05 AT-AT Commander
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC50 Han Solo (Bespin Outfit)
VC61 Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) Mail-In
VC95 Luke Skywalker (Hoth Outfit)


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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