Welcome to another one our JTA Presents: Evolutions features! Let’s check out how close or far we are from having an ideal Hasbro 3.75″ Mara Jade action figure. Have we arrived at definitive status yet? Weigh in and let us know what conclusion you’ll come to by clicking through and adding your two cents in the comments!
If you can pinpoint one character from the Expanded Universe that defined what made it so great, we imagine that most Star Wars fans would attribute its greatness to Mara Jade. The long-running character was featured in a ton of various Expanded Universe sources, and eventually became the spouse of Luke Skywalker and changed her name to Mara Jade Skywalker. The beautiful red-headed Force-utilizing heroine became a very requested choice for Kenner’s and Hasbro’s Star Wars basic figure line. They happily obliged fans with the releases of three-unique sculpts, but are we close to owning a definitive version of this highly revered Star Wars character?
Mara Jade from 1998’s Expanded Universe line.
Everything changed in the relaunched Star Wars basic figure line in 1998 when Kenner/Hasbro announced the Expanded Universe line. Any characters outside of the Original Trilogy films would fall under this category, and it was fertile ground for Kenner to develop and diverse line of some of the coolest characters that ever entered Star Wars lore. Mara Jade was part of the first wave of figures, and she became one of the highly sought-after action figures of all time. Mara Jade came with standard articulation and a great likeness (in addition to a colorful pop-up diorama cleverly worked into the figure’s packaging), but fans wanted more.
Mara Jade from 2007’s 30 (77-07) Luke Skywalker/Mara Jade (No. 10) Comic Packs set.
When Hasbro announced the development of the Comic Packs line, fans were instantly delighted. It was a way that Hasbro could knock out the many characters fans wanted to see released in 3.75” scale without interrupting the planned waves set up for the basic figure line under the 30 (77-07) banner. Kenner planned the basic figure waves based on characters from the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy anyhow. This version of Mara Jade contained more articulation and a few more accessories, but also came with terrible likeness thanks to poor paint operations. It was a bittersweet release at best.
Mara Jade (#14) from 2013’s The Black Series [Phase I] line.
Not satisfied with the Comic Packs release, fans voted, and Mara Jade won the Hasbro Fans’ Choice Poll during The Vintage Collection. But thanks to product development delays, Mara Jade, although promised by Hasbro, would not be part of The Vintage Collection line. Hasbro canceled the line, and the figure became part of the rebuked The Black Series [Phase I] line. What’s more, although her “villains” outfit was chosen (and won) in the poll, Hasbro simply remade her “Heir To The Empire” outfit instead, much to the chagrin of the collecting community. Also, the final figure came with what may be regarded as the single-worst head sculpt ever created for an action figure. With her “high” hair, chubby high cheeks and “angry” eyebrows, Mara Jade left a whole lot to be desired. Will we ever get a definitive version of her?
Mara Jade Group Shot
Questions for discussion:
1. In your opinion, do we have a definitive version of this figure?
2. If we don’t have a definitive version of this figure, should Hasbro tool a new figure from the ground up again, or should they tweak a current sculpt to perfect it instead?
3. If the figure ranks as definitive for you, do you want to see it repackaged in vintage Kenner packaging (The Vintage Collection) if it isn’t already?
4. Add any other points of note or interest in the comments about any of these versions of Mara Jade action figures.
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