The Vintage Original Trilogy Collection (VOTC) has dealt out some pretty definitive versions of certain characters from the Star Wars trilogy. Not all figures meet that criteria, and some are downright bad, however there’s a handful that come pretty close. Princess Leia from the A New Hope wave certainly fits into this category where she is pretty good but could’ve easily turned out as a better figure… Something more people would look at as the “final” version they’d ever need really.
With a mix of good articulation, softgoods, and a passable likeness, the figure’s mostly lacking little extra efforts. Still, the figure turned out to be probably one of the two better end results of the 4 A New Hope figures, as it turned out to be the weaker of the 3 VOTC lines. And without further ado, we’ll take a closer look at these peaks and troughs for Leia, and see just how definitive she actually is, or isn’t.
-Sculpt: Overall, the sculpt of the figure is fairly detailed and gives an impression of quality, which is basically what you should expect out of $10 figures. The area the sculpt falls a little short in is the likeness, which while it’s not terribly off in its detail, it’s also not spot-on accurate. I think the Han Solo sculpt was a substantially more accurate likeness… Your opinion may vary on both or all the figures though, as there is often something in the eye of the beholder when it comes to determining which likeness is the most accurate. It’s not often you see everyone in agreement on this topic.
The body of the figure is sculpted tiny, as it should be. She’s short, which not all Leia figures have. Her height partly makes me long for more accessories though which I’ll touch on. She’s got lots of folds in the fabric of her white gown, and they’re all very realistic looking. Also, Leia features a very light texture sculpted into the fabric to again enhance the detail and realism. This is something Hasbro’s capable of in their basic line, and they seem to be going that route too, but it’s nice seeing it in the VOTC either way. Also with the body’s sculpt is the hood, sculpted separately and glued to the back of the figure. I’d have liked cloth that actually fit the figure, but for a plastic hood this one’s sculpted to drape very realistically on the figure’s back.
A nice feature to Leia’s arms is that they are sculpted to “hang” at the cuffs. There’s some depth to them as the sculpt curves inward at the wrist, and looks realistic. It’s a little extra touch in the detail department that the figure’s designer should be proud of. The other neat feature is that when you twist the arms around at the shoulder (and then at the elbows), the figure’s sculpt allows it to have the arms straight at her sides without looking awkward. It’s a tough feature to explain really, but basically the ball/sockets of the shoulders are sunk into the body’s sculpt so if you have them twisted completely, they still stay hidden perfectly. It slightly makes up for her lack of ball/socket joints elsewhere through the figure’s unique sculpt.
Under the softgoods/cloth skirt lies Leia’s hidden legs. No underguchies to speak of, while other incarnations of Leia in her A New Hope gown have her in some form of underwear or sheer pants. This one just has regular white pants and super space boots. The pants feature a fine texturing to them even though they are predominantly hidden by the skirt, and the boots feature a really fine ribbing sculpted into the back, and a sculpted sole on the bottom. Lots of detail to the footwear for everyone to discover.
What articulation is there is hidden well by the sculpt. Ball/socket joints are sunk into the figure, but retain their full motion, hinges and other joints generally fit tightly together and are strong, and the figure really displays nicely because of those features. Hasbro’s taken great leaps in their ability to make figures articulated but still look great, even when they’re petite female frames.
Separately sculpted of the body is the belt, which also caps off the top of the softgoods skirt. The belt’s got numerous designs sculpted into all around it, and the buckle’s sculpted uniquely and seemingly accurately. The belt is a nice means to hold and hide the top of the fabric used on the skirt.
-Articulation: While Leia won’t win contests when competing against the other VOTC figures, she isn’t the weakest articulated figure in the line either. She comes out as fairly well articulated, but between her smaller stature and fewer accessories, she really could’ve stood a little extra effort on the articulation.
Leia features articulation at:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 2 angle-cut elbow joints
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 standard hip joints
- 2 hinged knee joints
- 2 boot-top swivel joints
- 1 ball/socket neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint
With a total of 14 points of articulation, Leia comes out as pretty poseable, however some of her articulation would’ve been better suited for poseability had she had ball/socket joints. For instance, the knee/boot-tops are really a single point of articulation that a ball/socket joint would’ve yielded better articulation. Without the ankles being poseable, this makes the knees joints even a little more frustrating in their poseability. The legs are her weakest articulation point though, and we’ll touch on that more later.
Regardless though, Leia pulls off a number of moves sure to please collectors. As mentioned in the sculpt as well, she can also have her arms basically reversed at the shoulders and then the elbows, and they take a perfectly “straight arm” pose with her hands at her sides. Very natural looking, and perfect for watching your favorite planet get blown to hell.
With her arms in their natural position though, she can pull the hands clasped at the front pose, or have them tucked behind her back (with some binders on, she easily could be led away to good old Cell AA-23). The angles at the elbow joints are sharply cut so she also can hold a blaster with 2 hands quite easily. That’s a major plus since Leia does a lot of runnin’ and gunnin’ in her white gown from A New Hope.
No matter what flaws though, this Leia is the most articulated version of the character in any outfit, so she’s a welcome addition to the shelf. She’s good even to have a few of if you have a couple permanent dioramas you’d like Leia’s (in various poses) in.
-Paint Aps/Deco: Leia’s not costing Hasbro much in paint, but what’s there is well done and detailed. The lack of paint makes one long even more for that articulation or extra accessory though.
The figure’s only paint from the neck down is the silver bands on her belt, each painted nicely without straying onto the white plastic of the belt itself, and the boots feature brown-grey soles painted on to enhance the footwear. This little bit of paint is about all you need for the body though, as she really just wore a white suit, it wasn’t ever terribly dirty even and dirt details or a paintwash on the figure wouldn’t do much aside from detract from it in my opinion.
Leia’s neck up is where most of the paintwork came in. The neck itself is painted flesh tone, even with posing the figure I’ve had no paint wear off that I’ve noticed. The hair’s painted brown, and kept nicely to the hairline without straying onto the face at all. The hair seems to have VERY subtle variances in the darkness of the brown paint too, giving the illusion of depth and realistic color. A nice touch if it was intentional or not.
Leia’s eyes feature a 3-layer coloring... A white background, light-brown iris, and brown pupil. The eye is outlined at the top with a dark brown or black line to show the lid, and eyebrows at the top. Basically, that’s a nice paintjob on the eyes as any customizer could tell you, so kudos to Hasbro for the realism there.
The figure’s lips are also painted with a soft pink color, and a little bit of blushing detail was added to her cheeks. It’s a very subtle feature and not overdone in the slightest. Lots of paint details on the face, as small as they are, enhance an otherwise simple and uninteresting “look”. My sample had no overspray, straying, or other mistakes that could have been mentioned, so I am very pleased with this figure’s end look.
-Softgoods/Cloth Skirt: Leia is one of the VOTC line’s figures that feature a use of cloth on the figure due to the enhanced articulation. While the debate over using cloth on 3.75” figures will forever be a divided issue among Star Wars collectors, I personally am a fan of just about anything that is used as a means to improve poseability (at least to an extent).
Leia’s softgoods skirt is a prime example of good cloth on a figure though I think. The cloth has a very fine texture to it, so it doesn’t look terribly out-of-scale to the figure’s diminutive stature. Also, it moves with the figure a bit, and when you pose her legs it can shape to her legs as well. It’s not the limpest fabric I’ve seen Hasbro use though, but it’s not bad at all. I’ve had Leia in sitting poses and it even looks good that way.
Hasbro sewed the fabric well also with tight stitching, and slight cuts at the bottom for the feet that look realistic. The fabric matches the color of the figure well also, so there’s not much contrast between the white plastic and the white cloth at all.
Softgoods were a good choice for this figure in my opinion, and I feel she turned out better because of them.
-Packaging: The packaging on the VOTC figures is probably the most ornate and eye-catching package for a Star Wars figure to-date. While the basic OTC line that shipped alongside the VOTC figures was nice, the VOTC definitely drew your attention as being something special.
A downside to the dazzling packaging was the cost, which like other features I’ll touch on that shortly in the “Cons” portion, however it was a cost a lot of people were willing to bite for “ultimate” versions of various figures.
The packaging is a recreation of the original vintage Kenner action figure cardbacks from the 1970’s and 1980’s. If you were like me, and can recall these figures adorning your local toy store (Ah, Children’s Palace… The days when a trip to the toy store meant something), then you no doubt have a feeling of nostalgia, just as Hasbro intended. The old style cardbacks are nice to see on the pegs, and they really do catch the eye like no modern packaging has been able to.
While Hasbro went to great lengths to recreate the front of the packaging, the back of the packaging was a modern style displaying 3 other figures from a specific wave. The waves were broken down into a Star Wars wave with the original Star Wars style card, an Empire Strikes back wave styled accordingly, and then a Return of the Jedi wave.
Hasbro’s work to recreate the cardbacks was nicely done, and appreciated. This has so far been the only packaging I’ve wanted to save really. And Hasbro made saving the packaging easy if you were careful in getting the figure off the bubble, as they included a reseal-able protective clamshell over the figure’s card/bubble. Just perfect for keeping everything minty fresh, aside from that X-Acto knife slice along the bubble to get the figure out.
The end result is some nicely displayed toy on the pegs. A full set of the 12 VOTC cardbacks looks really nice displayed amongst your figure collection.
-Accessories: The figure’s shortcomings are subtle generally, and often attached to positive aspects of the figure overall. For instance the leg articulation’s overshadowed by the fact she is still a pretty poseable figure, or her paintjob is not the most elaborate, but where there is paint applied it is detailed and well done.
The problem then with the accessories is that she has only one, and it’s not really even accurate to a “Vintage” remake. The original 1978 Leia figure had her sporting blaster from aboard the Tantive IV (inaccurately sculpted, but that’s beside the point). This Leia comes with an Imperial blaster.
This isn’t a problem in and of itself though. I like her having the Imperial blaster, but my beef would be more that she deserves ALSO a sporting blaster accessory, even if it’s a re-used sculpt from the Commtech figure. Having two guns wouldn’t be accurate to a vintage remake, but it would have given us the proper vintage gun packed in with her and it would’ve also been something to add to an already smaller-sized figure who has a number of subtle short-comings in articulation, paint, overall size, and such.
Pack in a sporting blaster though, and things are at least a little bit on the mend, especially when you look at other packages and just see more “figure”, or more accessories, or what have you. It just would’ve improved Leia a bit.
-No Feet Pegholes: Leia’s feet lack the holes for putting her on a stand, and really there’s not much reason I can see as to why. Granted her feet are smaller than a male figure’s are generally, however there’s room for the holes in them nonetheless. It’s a small detail though, and not one I’m terribly disappointed in myself, however I know it’s one that comes up as many people do like to display their figures on stands so they don’t take a tumble from their display shelf.
I’ve actually customized with the VOTC Leia figure a little, and it can have a hole drilled into its foot (albeit carefully), so a sculpted hole in the foot was entirely possible. Just seems like it was a bit of an oversight on Hasbro’s part perhaps, more than a logistics issue.
-Likeness Slightly Off: Personally, I like the likeness fine for what it is. But Hasbro’s never had much luck in getting Carrie Fisher’s likeness down except in the 12” scale. VOTC Leia seems a little short of Carrie Fisher, but I find it to be fairly close. I notice many saying it’s not close to the actor though, so for the sake of argument I’m going to list her likeness as a negative point.
I think the extra attention to detail on the costume and whatnot means likenesses should be better as well. It’s like the face sculpt came close but just missed the mark though. The likenesses are noticeably better and accurate on almost all the VOTC figures save for a few really, so it’s not really something Hasbro did intentionally with this figure I feel, but rather just a missed mark on this one.
It’s a passable likeness for me though and my tastes as a collector. But, I also can see it not being totally accurate as well. I still like the figure though, and she’s probably my favorite Leia figure in the line. With all the extra efforts on likenesses, accuracy, and detail in this line, I think Hasbro just really missed the mark.
-No Hood: OK, yes she has the separately sculpted hood glued to her back, but I’d have liked a hood that covered her cinnamon buns on her noggin’ as well. Not to say I’m terribly disappointed with her because of this though, but I just have visions of a cool separate “hood up” hood that you can snap in where the current “hood down” hood is. Like an extra accessory to have Leia in all her looks she had with this outfit.
It’s simply thinking what would be “ideal” more than anything. It’d also have been nice to just have another accessory really. Maybe next time? Or how about a re-release of Leia with just that accessory in the basic line, and that missing sporting blaster? One can dream, right?
-Retail Cost: Without a doubt, and probably the worst aspect of the VOTC line, is the cost that came with each figure. Some have been lucky to have bought their VOTC sets on clearance, however most people paid the retail price which came to approximately $10 per figure or so. Not the cheapest price to pay for a single figure.
The cost of the figure can be blamed on a number of reasons. The VOTC line was touted for its “limited” nature, for instance, driving up costs due to lower production runs. The packaging was ornate, recreated by hand, and it required a lot of extra work for it to be done appropriately. The coffin blisters on the packaging even, to recreate the vintage look, were also “special” and added very slightly to the packaging costs. The special protective case surrounding the figure also would’ve been a noticeable increase in overall costs in producing these figures also. And that’s really only starting on where increases in costs could be hiding with the VOTC figures over basic modern figures.
I personally feel the VOTC figures are not any more intricate or complex in their design than a basic figure is, as far as costs go. If you put VOTC on basic cardbacks, and at basic production numbers, you’d see a figure that would sell profitably at a basic figure’s price. But with the packaging, you have something that, unless it becomes the line’s standard, it definitely inflates the production costs of the figures.
The cost seemed to noticeably hurt the VOTC line as well, as it also has hurt the Ultra/Deluxe lines over the years. $10 is a lot to pay for a figure, and it showed at stores that ordered the VOTC line heavily like Wal-Mart who couldn’t move the later waves out quickly. I love the VOTC concept though, and think that either a better price or case ratios would have alleviated all issues with product movement.
Well, the results are in and Leia’s one of the winners in the A New Hope wave for VOTC. She’s not flawless though, and her weaker average is what brings this wave down the most for this neat little sub-line. Not much about her really bothered me though, like with other figures in the wave.
She’s my favorite Leia though, and that says a lot considering how there’s some pretty nice figures of everyone’s favorite scoundrel lover. She’s got the poseability she needs, even if she could’ve used a little more. She’s got the softgoods skirt to help that. She’s got a great sculpt if not a little off on the likeness. She’s sporting guns, or looking demure. Leia does it all… Well, she does some stuff anyway.
Leia shipped pretty heavily so she’s easy to get… She was even easily found on clearance for as little as $3 at some Wal-Mart stores. I know I nabbed a few on sale myself just for customizing.
She’s not the end-all-be-all Leia, but she’s certainly good enough for now. I’d even say that I’m content enough with this Leia that if I never got another one in the white gown, I’d be ok with that. Focus on a nice super articulated Endor Leia now Hasbro… She’s the Leia that needs a resculpt now, especially in the VOTC level of quality.