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The Black Series

Mara Jade - TBS - Basic (#14) [Fans’ Choice]

Name: Mara Jade [Fans' Choice]
Collection: The Black Series
Number: #14
Scale: 3¾"
Source: Expanded Universe (Heir To The Empire)
Availability: October 2013
License: Hasbro

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An Assassin for Emperor Palpatine, Mara's life changes when she meets – and eventually marries – Luke Skywalker.

What were they thinking? We have been asking ourselves that often with some of the latest Hasbro offerings, especially with specific examples in The Black Series. Something went terribly awry with The Black Series Mara Jade action figure. She’s oh-so-good from the neck down, but oh-so-bad from the neck up and sadly it’s the portrait of an action figure that captures the attention of the collecting community. You’ve heard the jokes already. She looks like she is from some 1980s all-girl rock band as she has more height in her hair than Kate Pierson from the B-52s. (Well, maybe not that much, but you catch our drift). What seemingly should be a flawless action figure is marred by a poor decision to sculpt a separate hair piece and glue it to the “bald” head of Mara Jade. This in and of itself will create unnecessary height. And that’s exactly how the final action figure comes across. The hair is so bulky that it even affects how much movement you get out of the ball-socket head joint. To be fair, this will happen with any character that has long hair, but it seems even more pronounced with Mara Jade. Not all is lost, but sadly a killer portrait is usually need to forgive an action figure’s shortcomings. In this example, you’re going to need the entire body below the neck to as much as possible forgive the dreadful head sculpt. And to be fair, the body is pure sculpting excellence. That makes that fact that the portrait is so poor even more tragic.

The issues of the head sculpt far exceed the most noticeable issue that she has “hair band” hair. Sadly, there are other aspects of the head sculpt which prevent Mara Jade from looking as beautiful as she should be. Look at her eyebrows, goodness gracious. She look equally angry and confused. And her pudgy and cherubic cheeks do anything but give her the much deserved sex appeal that this red head has held throughout the ages. We’d go so far to say that the portrait from 1998’s Expanded Universe line is a better likeness than this one. We just want to know what in the world went wrong here. Some G.I. Joe female figures are stunningly beautiful. Why do female Star Wars characters struggle so badly? Hasbro did try to appease Mara Jade fans by releasing an update to the character in 2007’s TAC Luke Skywalker/Mara Jade (No. 10) Comic Packs set, but many though that the likeness on that version was also not that great. Hindsight is always 20/20, and we bet that you’ll wish that Hasbro used that head sculpt on The Black Series version version because even that one is a few steps better and more accurate. You can even look to Gentle Giant Ltd.’s Mini Bust interpretation of Mara Jade and can see that this is a beautiful and sexy woman. There is no reason why Hasbro can’t make her look this way either. Some say that the prototype sample shown at San Diego Comic Con didn’t look half as bad as the production figure, but we were concerned from the beginning that it wouldn’t turn out as expected, and that’s where we’re at today.

We spent a lot of time complaining about the head sculpt, but that shouldn’t be interpreted as we’re not thoroughly impressed with the rest of the figure. Mara Jade has a gorgeous physique and a tight-fitting outfit that fits her perfectly. She has lots of detailing in her sleek black outfit and it seems very functional and appropriate for her needs. Her holster is removable and can be fastened to her side or to her back along the belt line. The duality of this feature is awesome and we think it’s awesome that you can secure her blaster and holster to the center of her lower back while you have her wielding her purple lightsaber. She also comes with a lightsaber hilt and it comes with a plug to also secure in her belt. In summary, she clearly comes with a healthy dose of accessories, although there are some pieces missing here like her infamous “beekeeper” helmet (from the 2007 TAC Comic Packs figure) and goggles (as seen permanently attached to the 1998 version). Including these may have also distracted collectors a little bit more to not focus on the head sculpt. Mara Jade is not what we wholly expected. She looks great from certain angles, but at others you’ll probably want to squint looking at them. And we have to comments on one detail that adds insult to injury. She was promised to come in The Vintage Collection, but obviously that didn’t pan out. Maybe that has something to do with how things turned out.

The Black Series wave 2 has been provided by Jedi Temple Archives' sponsor Brian's Toys.

Collector Notes

Mara Jade

Status: Mara Jade is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel gloves, ball-jointed torso, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, blaster, removable holster

Date Stamp: 2012

Assortment Number: A5165/A5077

UPC: 653569884170

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.



 

The Black Series (3¾") Wave 2
R2-D2 (#09)
Pablo-Jill (#10)
Luminara Unduli (#11)
41st Elite Corps Clone Trooper (#12)
Stormtrooper (#13)
Mara Jade (#14)

 
Added: September 29, 2013
Category: Black Series, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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