She’s holding a thermal detonator. SHE’S HOLDING A THERMAL DETONATOR! Therein lies almost everything wrong with this figure. The figure is permanently holding the explosive device used to extort a few extra quid out of Jabba for the mighty Chewbacca. While this might be the most iconic mental image you draw for Leia in Boushh disguise, it only represents a few frames of film. I recently wrote that a figure’s source does not (and should not) impact its grade. But a figure’s utility certainly will. Having this figure frozen to a few seconds of the movie is a massive negative, in my opinion.
The figure’s left hand is permanently grasping the thermal detonator. This represents a regression from its predecessor, 2006’s Saga Collection Princess Leia (Boushh disguise), which had a removable detonator. The permanently sculpted accessory not only locks this figure into the height of that tense bounty negotiation, but it limits the utility of the figure, as the hand cannot be used for any other purpose. This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. First, for much of Leia’s initial scene, she is holding the vibrostaff in her left hand. This figure cannot achieve that pose. Nor can it hold the staff in both hands for more action oriented poses. Second, it’s jarring to see Leia embracing Han with an explosive in her hand, as in picture 27 above. Nothing says “I love you” like a handheld nuclear device.
If I had to level a second, but much less serious, critique of the figure, it would be that it seriously lacks balance. When a figure is difficult to balance in a kneeling pose, you know it’s top heavy. The figure will occasionally fall over even in the most neutral of poses. Fortunately, you’re likely to pose this figure with the vibrostaff in hand, which will greatly add in supporting the figure upright.
The display limitation of the figure really is a shame because it’s outstanding otherwise. In addition to other super articulated goodness we’ve been accustomed to since 2008, the figure features a true ball-jointed neck (versus the more common ball and socket neck. This gives tremendous range of motion to the head without the risk of an accidental figure decapitation. The detailing throughout is well executed. I really appreciate the tampos on the back pack, which stand out nicely. Additionally, this is one of the best uses of soft goods in recent memory. The cloth is lightweight with a fine weave, so the figure does not look like it’s wearing floor mats from an ‘86 Fiero, as we’ve seen with many recent soft goods implementations (six inch line, I’m looking at you).
Despite this figure being roughly a year and a half old at the time of this review, I had never opened it prior. As soon as the first reports surfaced that the detonator was not removable, much of my enthusiasm was sapped. I’m trying to take my obsessive nitpicking into account when grading this figure, which is really nice otherwise. With that in mind, I’m scoring it an 8 out of 10, which is my average super articulated score. Hasbro, if you re-release this figure in the Vintage Collection, please give it a swappable hand minus the thermal detonator. You’ll get me to buy it two more times if you do. Once for the card, and once to open.