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Review : Princess Leia Organa (A New Hope), Star Wars Black Series Wave 9 (December 2016)

Review : Princess Leia Organa, A New Hope

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : Wave 9 (Phase 3)

Released : December 2016

Price : £22.99

This review is written with a heavy heart when you consider that as this figure of Princess Leia, as we first saw her back in 1977, was released at the same time that we said goodbye to Carrie Fisher. While this review is far from a tribute, it is appropriate we take a moment to celebrate the life of "our Princess"

This is the 3rd Leia we have had within the Black Series line. The original Slave Leia arrived back in Phase 1 and was followed by Leia in Boushh disguise in Phase 2. This release, based on her first appearance in 1979 is reflective of the outfit she wore through the majority of the movie and is as iconic as any that she wore in the Trilogy and beyond.

Leia arrives in the red and black themed Phase 3 packaging, and is numbered on the distinct red spine as #30. She sits in Wave 9 of this 3rd phase, arguably the most desirable wave to date containing such exalted company as the AT-AT Driver, Sabine, Snow Trooper, Obi-Wan and of course Darth Revan.

The front of the box carries the standard grey lined artwork, a particularly nice portrait of Leia. To the side of this sits the exact figure title as Princess Leia Organa. Hasbro haven't particularly used any of the Series Film Titles on the Black Series - and in this case you get the impression that there could be an intentional focus to tie this Leia figure in with both A New Hope but also the recently released Rogue One - where Leia appeared as a CGI character at the very end of the film - tieing this Stand-alone release neatly into the 1979 original.

The back of the box repeats this grey line image of Leia and over this is the 4 line overview of Leia that talks predominantly about her role within the Rebellion. She sits within the usual inner perspex tray, with her two blasters packed to her right hand side. All of this in front of the Phase 3 red inner card trim.

Out of the box and Leia stands a touch over 5" high. This means she is comparable to the original Slave Leia, but a good half a head shorter than the Boushh version. In 1/12 scale 5" would equate to 5ft - and Carrie's bio has her standing at 5ft 1 inch. That is good enough for me and well done to Hasbro for sticking with the scale on this release.

This figure has courted controversy since it was announced with the choice of going full soft goods for the clothing - the first time Hasbro has done this having used a mix of soft goods, rubberised plastic and hard plastic on other releases. There was also a lot of negative commentary about the facial sculpt and paint when it went on display at Celebration London 2016. I was there, and saw the figure briefly before it was taken down - and this production version has certainly fixed a number of issues.

Looking at the sculpt the figure is recognisable as Princess Leia, but doesn't quite carry a knock out likeness to Carrie Fisher. As often is the case it is more likely the paint that isn't helping the sculpt with the head cast in what appears to be a flesh toned plastic. That means there is no depth or shading, even with the high cheekbones. There is a touch of blusher to either cheek and the lipstick is a bright red. The eyes are neat and painted brown with thinly lined eyebrows.

The hair, the iconic danish side buns, is replicated perfectly and up close you can see the lines and strands of the hair. This isn't brought out too well in the paint job with just a flat brown applied.

From this point down the outfit is soft goods. It is cut from a lightweight white cloth that is sheer against a light source and shows off the shape of the figure underneath. The torso section looks great, flowing down to a rubber silver and cream belt that draws the fabric in at the waist. From here it then flows down as a long flowing skirt. There isn't as much folding or creasing here so it doesn't look quite as good as it did further up. It does however hang very well on the figure and splays out at the ground with two splits about half an inch up on each side.

The soft goods for me fail at the arms and at the hood. Neither sit right out of the box. The sleeves look ballooned rather than hanging naturally to the position of the arms. The hood sticks out terribly not matter where you have it, as you can see on our images. The positive it adds being soft goods is that you can put it up over Leia's head, and this works a little better - although in the spirit of the movie, this hood wasn't worn in too many scenes. You kind of feel that this hood would have been better served as a rubberised piece like Maul and this would have then held in the soft goods at the neck.

The other visible parts of the figure are the arms which are slender and flesh toned, but with no real detail. There are then knee high white boots with a trim back sole. And above these the legs are sculpted and flesh detailed. You can remove the whole soft goods leaving you with Leia in a white one piece bathing suit of sorts. I guess this will give Hasbro a good base for a number of female figures such as Mon Mothma or even a number of the female Jedi's we saw in the prequels.

While the soft good robes are not to everyone's taste, the articulation they allow is brilliant. The head sits on a ball joint and rotates fully and looks up and down. The arms are jointed at the shoulders, elbows and wrists and can easily reach most positions and can also hold weapons with one or both hands.

You can twist the waist under the dress, and this allows the torso to rotate separately to the legs helping the firing poses in particular - like the one she adopts when blasting out of the detention centre.

The legs are really articulated with ball jointed hips, thigh swivels, double jointed knees and ankle rockers. With such a wide flowing skirt to the dress you can knee Leia, have her down on one knee or take u wider action stances. With a bit of work (my attempts weren't great) I also think you can bend her into the pose where she is loading the Death Star plans into R2-D2.

She is packed with two accessories, each representing a different scene in a New Hope. Her first is the long barreled elegant blaster she is using aboard the Tantive when its attacked by Vader. This fits into her right hand and even with such slender fingers, they do still slip into the trigger.

The other is the E11 blaster she takes from Luke to blast her way out of the detention centre. The cast is the same one used on the Original Trilogy Storm Troopers to date and that came packed with Luke & Han in their Storm Trooper Armour. It has been tweaked ever so slightly with a touch of silver paint to the side of the barrel. With such articulated arms it is easy to get Leia to hold this in two hands and this really defines the figure - a princess in a pure white dress, but toting a blaster rifle and looking determined. That just about sums up Leia and Carrie.

This Leia release won't be to everyone's liking. The soft goods has pro's and con's, while the articulation (supported by the soft goods) is very strong. The sculpt isn't the best - but then again Hasbro are not renowned for awesome human sculpts or rather not renowned for painting up their sculpts to their full potential. For me I like the soft goods in the main, but that hood is a frustration. I award Princess Leia Organa an above average 3 out of 5.

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