Sideshow Collectibles continues its impressive 1:4 scale Star Wars Premium Format line of statues with their release of Princess Leia as she was seen in the first Star Wars film, A New Hope.
Sideshow is committed to creating the highest quality of collectibles possible by assembling sculptors, painters, and other talented artists in order to make a statue, figure, or prop replica collectible for collectors like you and me. They have made incredibly great use of their Star Wars license, and their Princess Leia statue is nothing short of jaw-dropping gorgeous.
This collectible is a statue, and is therefore unarticulated. It stands at about sixteen inches tall and weighs around twelve pounds. Sixteen inches translates to a full scale 5' 4" in height including the base. IMDB.com lists Carrie Fisher at 5' 1" tall, so this seems about right for the height when you include the base.
Sculpt - The sculpt is the most accurate representation of Princess Leia that I have ever seen. A statue, toy, or bust of a character from a TV series or movie should represent that character in the best way possible. The sculpting of the face is usually the single most important item to critique. Does this statue look like Princess Leia? Yes. Not only does it look like Princess Leia, it is a miniature replica of Carrie Fisher. Sometimes a collectible has to rely on the body sculpt, clothing, colors, and accessories to more accurately define what it represents. In other words, other details must be used in order to adjust for the lack of accuracy in the face sculpt. This face is Princess Leia. You don't need the bun hairstyle and white hooded dress in order to know it. Andy Bergholtz did a great job sculpting the entire figure, and the detail and accuracy of the face are where his work truly shines. The "real" eyelashes really ice the cake.
Most of the figure is covered in a non-sculpted white dress made of cloth. While sculpting detail across a body wearing a dress might not be needed, it is there. Leia stands with right hand gripping a blaster and her left hand on her hip. The pose is almost an exact sculptural representation of a promotional shot from the first film. Her hands have visible knuckles and even a slight hint of veins. The arms are appropriately slender, and even the legs and boots are fully sculpted despite the fact they are mostly hidden by the dress.
She holds the long, slender blaster she fired at a Stormtrooper just before she was taken prisoner during A New Hope. The Sideshow Exclusive version of the figure comes with an alternate right arm that grips a Stormtrooper blaster. Her shoulder has a fitted socket with a magnet inside to hold the arm in place. Each of the two blasters is sculpted with great detail. I personally found the Stormtrooper blaster to be the best blaster for her to hold and therefore purchased the Sideshow Exclusive version of the statue.
Paint - The paint application is really good. The blending of colors in the face, including the skin tones, eyebrows, red lipstick and simulated "makeup" add to the lifelike quality of the sculpt. Her boots are painted white to match the dress. There are a few minor imperfections where the paint from her legs meets the white paint at the top of her boot. The seam isn't perfectly even. This same imperfection might be found where her face meets her hair, but it is not really noticeable at all until you take an extremely close look. These imperfections do not take away from the statue at all, but I thought I should mention them.
Clothes - Her dress has that elegant "princess look" to it you remember from the first film. The sleeves are long and large, and the dress nearly touches the top of the base on which she stands. The large sleeves make it easy to replace the right arm with an arm gripping the blaster of choice. Her dress does contain the large hood she has over her head when we first see her in A New Hope. It is an accurate detail to include on the dress; however, the pose begs for the hood to be down. Her belt rounds out her figure and uses real metal to accent its detail. On my statue, the front of the dress actually contains some wrinkles around the knees. This was most likely due to the packaging. I may or may not look for a way to get the wrinkles out.
Packaging - An advantage to a 1:4 inch statue in a simple pose is the fact the box can be made a lot smaller than most statues of the same scale. The statue is well-packed. It fits inside of a plastic bag and is placed between two large pieces of Styrofoam cut to the contours of the statue. There are two square holes cut in the Styrofoam to the left of the statue to hold the two different right arms. Proper packaging on an item of this size and quality is extremely important. It's nice to see that Sideshow Collectibles took the proper precautions and necessary time to create a package that will adequately protect the merchandise. One side effect of the way this statue was packed was the wrinkling of the dress, as I mentioned before. A wrinkled dress is a much easier problem to resolve than a broken statue. Sideshow recommends you carefully inspect the contents of the box when you receive it, and mine arrived with no problems.
Conclusion - What more could you ask for? Some would argue that a different outfit or pose would possibly be more appropriate, but I disagree. This is Leia as we saw her in the first film. She stands in a familiar pose, and contains amazing detail. Her bun hairstyle is practically trademarked. I wish I could meet sculptor Andy Bergholtz in person so I could congratulate him on a job well done - not only for a job well done, but for a three-dimensional masterpiece. Star Wars contains a vast quantity of collectible merchandise. There are so many great products out there for a Star Wars fan to use to help build a collection of his or her own. This Leia statue from Sideshow Collectibles could quite possibly be the centerpiece in any Star Wars collection. It is that good.