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Princess Leia (Slave Outfit)

SWVI: Return of the Jedi
by Monkey Boy

Why is this the first Leia we got in the 6" Black Series? Right out of the gate, Hasbro tackled what has to be the most difficult Leia outfit to translate into action figure form. I would have much rather seen an Endor or Boushh disguise Leia first, personally, but I'm not complaining about the choice because I dislike the design. It's just known that this is going to be the trickiest one to get right, and maybe wasn't the best choice so near the beginning of the line.

Dressed as one of Jabba the Hutt's slaves, Princess Leia escapes from the Hutt's sail barge at the Pit of Carcoon.

The first thing that struck me about this figure was the size. But it makes sense that she'd be smaller, as Carrie Fisher is not a tall woman. The other thing Carrie Fisher is not is easy to sculpt, and most action figures at any scale fail to capture her unique likeness. Her facial features aren't the most classically feminine, and most attempts at sculpting usually go too far into extreme ends of the spectrum, either making her looking very mannish or too stereotypically pretty.

I'm not in any way trying to say that Fisher is ugly, but her face definitely has a bit of an edge to it (not that there's anything wrong with that). Hasbro got it pretty good this time, certainly better than any of their 3¾" versions. It actually does look very much like Carrie Fisher. The rest of the sculpt is pretty soft, which works well for the exposed skin areas. The golden bikini has some nice texture in the detailed areas, and her boots are appropriately wrinkled. She's got a collar around her neck with a bit of rubber chain hanging off, and her loincloth skirt is softgoods. It works pretty well, though the edges might fray over time.

Except for her face, which is painted, Leia's skin is molded in plastic colored to match her skintone. The eyes, lips, eyebrows and hair are nicely done on my example, but I've seen sloppy figures on the pegs with errant black paint marks on their faces. You should have no trouble being picky though, as this figure seems to be one of the least desirable in this particular series - she came out in 2013, and you can still find her easily. Also watch out for the gold trim on her breastplate; on my figure it doesn't quite trace the sculpted lines the way it should.

The major gripe people have about this figure is the articulation. She's got a lot of it, and it's bound to look a bit unseemly on a figure with so much exposed skin. But really, the 6" Black Series isn't supposed to be Star Wars Unleashed, so a compromise of sculpt and articulation should be expected. And really, it's not that bad.

Leia gets a balljointed neck, peg and hinged shoulders, elbows and wrists, a balljointed upper torso, peg and hinge hips, peg thighs, double hinged knees, and peg and hinge ankles. The only joints that really detract, in my opinion. are the peg thighs, and I think the leg articulation could be much more integrated overall, but this figure isn't a Revoltech Fraulein: trust me, engineering a female figure to look feminine and still maintain a solid range of motion takes a lot of engineering, and the price of the figure typically reflects that. It also just isn't something American toys typically delve into that often, because as everyone knows, "female toys don't sell"... or at least, not enough for any American toy company to really solve the problem of developing a figure with a high articulation count while maintaining a seamless feminine design.

But I digress. Bottom line: the figure's joints could be integrated better, but they could be worse, and I'd rather have a figure that moves like the rest of the figures in the series than a statue. Side note, though: be careful with the peg thighs and make sure you don't snag the soft goods in between where the joints meet, as it'll fray the skirt for sure.

Leia comes with two "force pikes," one that's favored by Jabba's guards, and another that's similar to the one she used while disguised as bounty hunter Boushh, although it seems painfully undersized. The sculpt actually seems to be missing the tip of the staff, and though it should be taller than her, it barely reaches her chin when it's stood next to her.

While there is footage of Leia using the latter pike on Jabba's barge (beating on a vaguely Russian-looking skiff guard), it's a shame that it's not the right size and is missing details. So they finally included the pike she actually used (previous incarnations have included the bladed skiff-guard staff and Kithaba's staff) but they got it way, way wrong. Thankfully, the 6" Boushh disguise figure's staff gets a new sculpt.

It may seem like I'm making excuses for this toy, but make no mistake: it is a decent figure, but not nearly as good as it could have been if just a little bit more time and effort had been put into integrating the articulation better. If there's a figure to skip in Series 2, it's this one.

-- 10/04/15

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