Reader Review: VTAC Princess Leia in Endor Gear By Whitewolf
Jay Cochran - May 27, 2007
Since the VOTC line was released back in '04, there has never been a cuter Princess Leia figure than her ANH incarnation. But for all her good looks, she was cursed with those blasted angle-cut joints in her elbows that severely limited her articulation. She was relegated to the usual damsel in distress scenerios, even though she was packed with an E-11 Blaster Rifle. So when Hasbro announced that it was releasing Leia's "all-grown-up" version complete in Rebel General duds...I felt the slightest glimmer of excitement. Boy, did I bet on the wrong horse! The figure is good in its own right, despite her glaring shortcomings (see below), but because of what Hasbro did here, she is nothing more than a very, very one-dimensional figure that can only be used for Endor-specific dioramas or play environments.
Thus far, the VTAC line has been superb in its articulation and movie-based accuracy on key characters. In my Snowtrooper review, I stated that these figures were an 85% good/15% bad ratio. Well this is where we hit that proverbial brick wall doing lightspeed. When I first looked at Leia, I was very impressed with the figure...I truly was. From what I could tell, she had all the earmarks of the vintage line (although that line is beginning to blur with some of the new basic figures coming out this year). She had ball-socket joints in the elbows, neck, knees, and ankles...really cool accessories, etc. Sounds like a great figure, right? Wrong! Y'know those people who look really, really hot at the beach...until they take off their clothes to go swimming? And then you think to yourself, "GEEZUS H. CRACKERS! I'M BLIND!!! MAKE THEM STOP!!!" Everyone reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about...
Well...that's kind of what happened when I removed Leia's combat poncho. What I found underneath was not just shocking, but it was evidence that Hasbro REALLY dropped the ball on what could have been a great Leia figure. Words cannot express what I am attempting to say here, so I'll simply show the pictures (See below).
Apparently Padme had a one-night-stand with a giraffe at some point, because Leia's neck is WAAAAAY too long for her body! After studying the figure for a few minutes, I realized what Hasbro did...and it irked me just a tad. Hasbro, being the masters of regurgitation that they are, basically retroengineered this sculpt to fit existing accessories, instead of the other way around. Leia comes with the exact same poncho and helmet as TSC's Endor Luke...but with a different belt and holster. Instead of making a smaller poncho for her, the sculptor(s) elongated her neck so that her head would fit above the Endor Luke poncho's collar line. This gawd-awful decision made for a gawd-awful figure...unless you never, ever remove the poncho.
Beyond that, Leia's articulation is good, but not great. Her elbows have ball-sockets, but her wrists do not swivel, making her arms very similar to VOTC Luke's. "Can she fit on a speederbike at least?!" you ask with anticipation. Well, the answer really depends on which version of the speederbike you own. If you have the older 1983-style bike with the T-bar and the vertical handgrips, then yes she can. But if you have the more movie-accurate bike with the redesigned handgrips and no T-bar...then forget about it.
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