Star Wars Action Figures

Yodasnews Review:  Princess Leia Organa – Jabba’s Slave (Vinyl Model Kit) 

Review and Photography by Mark Picirilli (Yoda027)  Editing and Image Composition by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498) 

Sponsored by Things From Another World (TFAW.com)  Review Date: November 17, 2008

 

 

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS 

Ever since “Slave Leia” graced theater screens back in 1983, the minds and walls of teenage fanboys have been branded with images of a young Carrie Fisher’s slender body.  To this day, it remains the quintessential Princess Leia costume, and legions of female fans often parade across convention floors with gold metal bikinis.  Even television personalities and celebrities get in on the fun.  Some notable “Slave Leias” include G4’s Olivia Munn at Celebration IV, Jennifer Aniston on an early episode of Friends, and Melissa Joan Hart at a Halloween party several years back. 

Naturally, licensees have capitalized on this outfit’s popularity with a multitude of collectibles.  Hasbro has done 3.75 action figures and 12 inch dolls.  ACME Archives released an animated character key.  Gentle Giant crafted a highly lifelike 1:7 scale statue, and Sideshow Collectibles recently jumped into the fray with a massive polystone Premium Format statue. 

Today’s review examines Kotobukiya’s vinyl model of Princess Leia Organa (Jabba’s Slave), the first version of the character to exude a distinctively Eastern anime style.

 

SCULPTING:  Excellent (Bordering on Above Average) 

Because of their anime inclinations, most human character Kotobukiya models tend to look only “something” like the actor/actress, but this one actually looks a good deal like Carrie Fisher.  The body proportions are also close to what Carrie looked like back in the early 1980s.  The chosen pose is a rather unique one and manages to be sensual and provocative without being just plain “sexed-up”.  Still, Kotobukiya did an excellent job putting curves in all the right places.

 

 

Whereas the Sith Apprentice Anakin Skywalker model was a chaotic whirlwind of robes, this model is the polar opposite with Leia baring nearly all.  The most complicated part of the sculpting is Leia’s elaborate braid, and it presents the best opportunity for Kotobukiya to sink or swim.  Thankfully, they swim, and the amount of detail carved into the soft vinyl makes the braid look like real hair.  The etchings on the bikini are also very crisp and clean for the most part, and the “metal” wrist cuffs are sculpted in such a way that they actually appear to be pressing into the “skin” of the model (sadly, the arm bands don’t fare as well).  The cloth skirt also features highly realistic sculpting and does a good job simulating soft, flowing fabric, and being cast in a softer vinyl than the body adds to the illusion.  Yet, it is a static piece.  You can’t shape it into other forms, but why would you want to with Kotobukiya already doing such a great job?  As for the boots, they are relatively simplistic.  They look accurate, but there is nothing special about them.

 

The last notable element of the sculpting concerns the chain dangling from Leia’s collar.  At first glance, collectors may think Kotobukiya used metal and copper to build the chain, but it is actually made out of plastic!!  This is just as impressive as the plating Kotobukiya used on their C-3PO model. 

And as the image below illustrates, Kotobukiya allowed our favorite princess to retain some dignity, so don’t get too excited about taking a peek.

 

PAINT APPLICATIONS:  Average 

This is where the problems starting coming into play. 

The gravest issue is with the eyes.  They are surprisingly sloppy.  It looks like Leia had one too many drinks because the overabundance of red makes them look bloodshot.  Without a doubt, they are the weakest point of the paint applications.  Another questionable element is Kotobukiya’s use of small brush strokes along the hairline.  Obviously, the intention was to simulate a realistic hairline, but the result came out sloppy and visually distracting.  However, this painting technique works just fine for the eyebrows.  Additionally, there is slop on the boots with the gold paint frequently and consistently leaking out into the grayish-blue regions. 

Not everything is a disappointment though.  The painting on the lips looks great, and the skin tone works very well for the figure.  That is vital considering just how much skin Leia is showing.  The gold paint on the bikini is also pretty good with minimal bleeding, and the gold paint on the hair clips is just as good.

 

DISPLAY BASE:  Above Average 

Leia’s display base is hollow and light—similar to the base used for C-3PO and R2-D2.  In comparison to other Kotobukiya display bases, however, this one is rather basic and its execution muddled.  It looks a little like sandstone under certain lighting conditions, but it lacks sufficient detail and depth.  Also, there is no way it would have been this clean in Jabba’s palace, so its accuracy suffers in that regard.  The sculpted head and the blue “oxidized metal” paint effect are highly realistic, but Kotobukiya could have easily added a few more heads. 

 

 

EASE OF ASSEMBLY and DURABILITY:  Above Average 

This was a relatively simple model to put together.  In fact, it pretty much arrived assembled from the shoulders downward, so there’s very little to say here. 

However, the model’s durability has some issues.  There is a two-inch tab on the back end of the skirt that will not stay plugged into the base.  It pops out after a few seconds.  That can cause a problem if the model is moved.  The figure can fall off the base, and the chain will easily break off from the metal ring attached to the head on the base.  You may notice there is no such ring in the pictures.  This is the reason why. 

 

OVERALL RATING:  Above Average 

The successful simulation of hair and cloth are astonishing, and the complex patterns in the slave girl outfit have been recreated very well too.  Additionally, the pose is very appropriate for and representative of this incarnation of Princess Leia.  The paint applications do leave quite a bit to be desired, which is disappointing given Kotobukiya’s other massive successes.  The display base is functional if not particularly creative, and the durability issues are enough to give pause. 

Fortunately, this model (as with the others we’ve recently reviewed) is still available from TFAW.com as part of their holiday 50% off sale, bringing the cost down to a mere $49.99.  At that price, Kotobukiya’s shortcomings are easier to overlook.