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Brian's Toys

Princess Leia
(Boushh Disguise)

Rounding out the last of the all-new sculpts in the new ďCarkoon WaveĒ is Princess Leia (Boushh Disguise), and what a tremendous difference this figure is from its previous sculpt. Itís really night and day when you compare the two Leiaís and the Saga 06 resculpt is really a nice improvement Also Hasbro sees to it that this new Leia Boushh has little features that the POTF2 figure just didnít have going for it, but that any collector greatly appreciates when they get it.

So yes, Leia Boushh is something new, something nice... Hasbro hits a lot of positive marks with me on this figure, but thereís some really less than stellar work with her too. Mostly just bad decisions on the figureís design more than sculpt or anything, as I think most will find that her pictures havenít done her justice, but sheís still a likeness thatís eluding Hasbro sculptors some.

Anyway, so far Leiaís one of my favorite figures from The Saga Collection, and actually makes for a fun figure. Sheís got the articulation going for her, so that alone has my opinion leaning towards positive, but Leia also comes with plenty of other positives and a couple little weak aspects weíll touch on. Read on and see what they are.

PROS

-Sculpt: Hasbro does it again with another nicely resculpted figure. Obviously the POTF2 Leia Boushh was in desperate need of an update, and Hasbro saw to it that attention was paid to details like Leiaís very short stature, her tiny build, and really the very ornate costume of the Boushh character. I donít know who Boushh was, but he was decked out like the best of the Fettís with gear, so that makes for a very interesting figure to look at and Hasbro caught the details well.

The outfit itself is a mix of fabric sculpts, armor bits, gear/equipment, and other little items. The pants for instance have a heavy vertical ribbing sculpted into them that make them look thick and heavy on the character. The boots are nicely sculpted because they show Leiaís dainty little feet, but theyíre covered by shoe leggings that are sculpted so they drape and sort of fold with the foot. Itís nice though that you can see the actual sole of the tiny shoe underneath as thatís a neat little detail you could easily have overlooked.

Leiaís tunic and arms are sculpted with lots of folds and wrinkles, and the bunched up undershirt is seen on Leiaís arms and hands and has a lot of wrinkles giving the impression of a loose fitting shirt very convincingly. The gloves feature the trademark spikes on them too, a little detail on the costume that I think makes it stand out a bit for coolness and Hasbro nailed the detail perfectly.

Iíve taken note that a lot of people arenít too happy with her likeness but honestly I think the pictures just made her look far worse, so my expectations were low and yet Iím surprisingly happy with what I got. Unfortunately my sample has a noticeable factory flaw down her left cheek. It looks like she has a massive scar actually, but itís nothing too major and just bad luck on my choice of figure. The hairís sculpted well though and while I donít recall her long ponytail hanging down like it is I think it looks very nice like it is. Also of note is that Leiaís cape and belt/bandolier are actually separately sculpted pieces that are put on the figure during production. You canít seem to remove them without dismantling the figure, but they look great and add depth to the figure.

Iím not totally happy with Leiaís oddly sculpted right forearm, as it is at a very sharp angle and canít be posed too neutrally. Itís meant mostly to hold her pike at her side or hold Chewbaccaís leash specifically, and not a whole lot else. I think a more neutral right forearm could have been done. I also believe that Leiaís likeness isnít bad, but could be better. That could be said for near every Leia figure in the modern line though by my estimation. Overall Iím pleased with this figureís looks though, and Iím done wanting a new Boushh figure for certain.

-Articulation: Itís nice to be listing articulation as something positive for a new figure from The Saga Collection finally. Having reviewed Bib Fortuna and Han in Carbonite so far, Iím not ashamed to say I was disappointed in the poseability with both. Less so with Bib due to just the type of character he was, but Han was a huge disappointment to me and I see some future unhappiness with some of the ďHoth WaveĒ that is shipping. Articulation is quite simply an important aspect of any action figure, and with Boushh Leia Iím really happy to see that Hasbro gave her pretty good articulation. Not perfect, not super articulated, and that right forearm sculpt takes something away from her poseability, but Hasbro did do much better with this figure than any other in the wave by far.

Princess Leia in Boushh Disguise has articulation at:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 2 angle-cut elbow joints
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 standard hip joints
- 2 ball/socket knee joints
- 1 ball/socket neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint

So Leiaís chiming in at a total of 12 points of articulation. Itís my personal ďminimumĒ that I think the line should be striving for with ALMOST every figure. Yeah, not Bib since articulation at his legs is useless, but Han in Carbonite, this Leia, aliens, and most every figure should have at least this much articulation. This is what makes an action figure an action figure. You have to be able to pose a toy at this point. When a figureís legs pose no better now than they did in 1982 or 83, then I think weíve got a major problem in quality, donít you? So yes Han flopped there but Leiaís excelling in quality here.

So far Iíve had Leia in some cool action poses with her pike, and a couple cool standing poses walking a Chewbacca around. She looks good kneeling with the Han figure too though itís tough to pose her that way. Itís a little rough to pose her right arm as well, so thatís becoming a sticking point with me. Leiaís pretty good though for articulation, and when I look at the rest of this wave and how under whelmed I was, Iím simply happy to mess around with a figure that has poseable legs and such. Good work Hasbro! Now just make this a minimum standard for more figures rather than less.

-Paint Aps/Deco: Leiaís got, overall, very nice and diverse paint applications that work well for all the details with the figureís sculpt. I would say the face/head have the weakest paint application however and I havenít seen a Leia yet that didnít, so Iíll note more on that later. On the figure overall though, she looks pretty great.

Leiaís costume is colorful to begin with. There are a number of browns and tans that make the figure stand out, but also thereís little metallic bits all over the Boushh costume that make every bounty hunter the badass he/she is. I mean you canít go hunting down the scum of the galaxy without your gear right? And Hasbro painted it all on Boushh.

Leiaís pants are painted brown with a light wash on them to make them stand out a little bit and look more worn and realistic. Leiaís forearms are a light brown with the spikes on her hands (I assume some intergalactic brass knuckles for punching out your prey?) painted one by one a silver color. Thereís a grey belt, gunmetal colored ďgearĒ on her belt and bandolier as well as her small backpack thing on her back. Leiaís face is painted evenly but thereís something just not quite right about it. Leiaís hair is nicely painted with a number of washes to highlight the hairís sculpt though, so thatís nice.

In general, there are quite a number of colors used on this figure, and the costume really is more complex than just a couple shades of brown and thatís it. With her helmet on the costume looks even more complex for paint aps so it really looks nice displayed, and stands out more than the old figure did.

-Accessories: Leia Boushh comes sporting a lot of really cool accessories that not only enhance the figureís value overall, but they also interact well with the figure, which often is an aspect to accessories that is greatly overlooked. For example, sometimes people overlook the weather vane that the Bespin Luke figure came with a while back. It not only added value, but you could hang your Luke off it by his legs or whatnot, and it really enhanced the ďfunĒ of the toyÖ not that I like the Bespin Luke figure terribly, but thatís a whole other story filled with my hatred of pre-posed sculpts and ugly action features.

Leia though sports some small accessories, but ones that enhance her as a toy. For instance Leia comes with her force pike/rifle, her removable helmet, and for the first time ever a removable thermal detonator you can have her hold (securely) or have her clip it to her belt (securely). These are great pieces, but of course you get the standard character-specific stand and the holographic mini-figure as well. So youíre really getting quite a bit packed in with a single figure.

Leiaís rifle/pike (nobody seems to know what the hell it actually is) is an all-new sculpt even though I probably would have been content to get the POTF2 weapon again. Itís a little flimsy, falling prey to Hasbroís use of cheap plastic on accessories, so in that light itís actually somewhat a downgrade, but itís not too terribly flimsy, and I donít think it will sag over time up on your display shelf. The new pike though is fantastically sculpted and does look a lot more detailed (and accurate now that I observe it) than the old weapon. Itís cast in a nice gunmetal metallic color as well which makes it look more realistic than the old accessory did.

Leiaís helmet is a fantastic piece that fits the figureís nogginí just flawlessly. Itís got lots of impressive paint details to ogle too, and they really make the sculpt pop. Thereís great differences in detail between this helmet and the first POTF2 sculpt, so thatís nice to see that all aspects of the costume were captured perfectly. The paint applications are fantastic though as thereís some nice metallic bronze colors on the top metal portions, brown leather for the face, silver details on the ďmouthĒ, black lenses on the eye areas, and a strange blue wash that is over mostly the metallic parts that shows age and weathering on the helmet quite nicely. As a single accessory this helmet stands out great.

Lastly thereís Leiaís little tiny thermal detonator accessory. Hasbro sculptors saw fit to design the detonator with a pin on it so that it snaps to a hole in Leiaís hand, or one on her belt, and that way you (or the kiddies) shouldnít theoretically lose this incredibly small accessory. I for one have feared dropping it down my register vents every time Iíve handled the accessory. Itís practically the size of a pinhead, but yet it still sports some of the details you could make out on the explosive in the films and is cast in a metallic color similar to the pike. It looks great, and itís so minor that some may not think much of it but after having a figure with the detonator molded into the hand for so long, I now greatly appreciate this separate accessory.

As noted, you also get the standard duo of a holographic mini-figure (randomly packed), and a personalized stand that features the characterís name in silver paint and the film they are from embossed on the base. Theyíre cool accessories, I like them, I just hope theyíre not cutting into the quality of the figures weíre getting, as I could care less about stands and mini-figures unless the holograph was actually in the movie (IE: Veers coming with Vader, Cody coming with Palpatine, etc.).

-Packaging: The Saga Collection packaging for each figure is an interesting mix of styles. You can definitely see some elements of the ROTS line mixed with elements of the OTC line, and that makes for a unique package on the shelves. I really enjoy the black cardback with silver lettering, and I hope itís something Hasbro is willing to stick with for a long time to come.

I also highly enjoy the unique backgrounds for each figure. Pulling an element from the OTC line, the new Saga Collection packaging uses a film shot that pertains to each unique character, and really individualizes the figures. This is drool-worthy for the carded collector and it makes even the die-hard openers want a figure here and there to keep carded just because of how special the backgrounds are.

The bubble is a little closer to the ROTS line in its overall size and shape, but should lend itself more to staying mint for the carded guys. Thereís also an insert depicting the specific character and the characterís name, packaged into the bottom of the package just as the Revenge of the Sith figures had. The insert features the bold blocky silver lettering of the Saga, and lets fans know that this is the universal collection of figures encompassing the entire Star Wars universe.

Thereís a lot to like with this packaging so I hope it stays as the standard for a while. I would say that The Saga Collection and Original Trilogy Collection will go down as some of the most liked packaging by collectors for quite some time if Hasbro gives it a while, and this is coming from a guy that rips almost everything off its card at some point or another.

CONS

-Right Forearm Sculpt: As noted in the sculpt area, the right forearm of the Leia Boushh figure is less than ideal for posing. Itís sculpted in such a sharp, upward angle that you can only turn the arm so far to the left or right before it looks awkwardly impossible for any human to turn their arm that way.

The ideal ďangle-cutĒ articulation in my opinion is when Hasbro makes an arm that can bend at a 45 degree angle, or be turned completely around so the arm is straight and neutral. Usually thereís somewhere between those two poses then that you can pose the arm and it looks ďnormalĒ, and you have the right angle pose for the arm and such. The angle-cut joint isnít a bad point of articulation is the point, itís just that the sculpt of the arm dictates how useful that articulation is, and unfortunately Leiaís right forearm renders the articulation less useful.

This is a fairly minor gripe though admittedly. The arm is not great, but it doesnít ruin the figure by any means, and I think people may make more of a gripe out of the figureís likeness which itself didnít bother me terribly. I just hope Hasbro sees fit to not sculpt an arm so pre-posed in the future that it really actually hinders the articulation as with this figure.

-Head Sculpt and Paint Aps: As noted, these were some weaker points for the figure that I think should have some mention here, but the head region in general was maybe not the most accurate ďhitĒ in Hasbroís history. Leiaís likeness just seems to escape the big Hís sculptors, but thatís just the way it seems to go. What doubled up on this one was that the paint applications didnít do a lot to help Leia Boushh out to look better.

Something about the eyes looks like theyíre bug-eyed. Her eyebrows look thick and too pronounced. Also the hair that hangs down around her ears looks like giant sideburns the way itís painted more than strands of Leiaís hair falling down her face. There just seems like something is off here, and it takes away from the figure without her helmet on. Fortunately Iíll have her posed with Chewie in chains instead of helping Solo, so thatís not too big a deal for me.

-Price Hike: Star Wars figures have taken a jump in price at some retailers, and while we paid $5 - $6 for most of our ROTS figures throughout most of 2005, figures are up to $7 at most retailers with only Wal-Mart sticking to a $6 or less price point right now. Hopefully Hasbro and Retail will see the light that price increases in this day and age means that people may become more tight with their spending.

I know a price hike will affect my buying habits, and Iíll buy fewer extras of any figure I maybe wanted extras of. Iíll cut back on army building, custom fodder buying, and other areas that I otherwise maybe would have spent more freely. That $1 or $2 starts to add up over 60 or so figures though. Hopefully at least Target will adjust to compete with Wal-Mart in the near future, if nothing else, and we all maybe will have more to spend on more figures.

OVERALL

Well, Iíve found the ďCarkoon WaveĒ as itís being called, and Iím so far partly happy to have so many figures weíve needed resculpted that are now finally done and out of the wayÖ But at the same time, I donít necessarily like the direction the modern line seems to be taking. Princess Leia (Boushh Disguise) seems to be somewhat of a counterbalance to that fear, as she turned out quite well compared to the other two figures Iíve reviewed.

Leia has the articulation to make people who pose or play with their figures happy, sheís got lots of great accessories that function with the figure on some level, and with a great sculpt and paint applications backing her up she turned out to be a pretty nice figure. Thereís some small flaws Iíd have liked changed, but really the only thing that struck me as a ďproblemĒ was that right forearmís sculpt. Itís just a little annoying when you want to pose Leia a specific way but you just canít due to her arm. Ironically if you happened to have 2 Leiaís you actually can transplant a 2nd Boushhís left forearm onto your 1st figure and it works perfectly. Who wants to buy more than one $6.99 figure unless you have to though?

My opinion on Leia is pretty bright though. I think you need this figure. Sheís tiny as she should be, she looks great with a scaled Chewbacca, and she replaces your old Boushh Leia just perfectly. Sheís also easily the best figure of the first wave of The Saga Collection. I wish I could be this happy with Han in Carbonite but unfortunately Hasbro decided to skimp on him for some inexplicable reason. Leia Boushh is very cool though and definitely a must-have for your Jabbaís Palace diorama. Buy maybe even 2 so you can have Jabba snuggliní up to one without her helmet on.

 

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