After looking at action figures of Luke, Han and Darth Vader it is high time we look at 1/12 scale action figure representations of the most popular Star Wars heroine: Princess Leia. Do we have an ultimate 6-inch scale Leia action figure? What versions of her are still missing? Click through for a retrospective of all the 6-inch scale Leia action figures you can get!
So let’s not waste any time and dive right in! What 6-inch scale action figures of Leia are there and what is the best or ultimate one? This time I will list the figures sorted by release date, more or less, to better showcase how 6-inch scale Leia action figures evolved over time.
|One woman, one metal bikini, one teenage fantasy. This is what an action figure of Carrie Fisher in her famous metal bikini outfit should look like.|
|And this is what Hasbro thought Leia in her metal bikini outfit should look like. If we ignore the comically bad paint apps the sculpt itself is only mediocre at best. Sadly, one of Leia’s most iconic outfits is also one of the worst 1/12 scale action figures of her.
The chances of Hasbro retooling and redesigning that version of Leia from scratch are probably pretty slim, given the current political climate. So this is probably the only 1/12 scale metal bikini action figure of Leia collectors will have for a long time.
|Leia in her Boushh costume.|
|The Black Series version of Boushh may be a good bounty hunter figure, since with the helmet on the figure looks quite decent. However, once the helmet comes off you will see the usual comically bad early Black Series paint apps. The sculpt itself may be ok-ish (it does resemble Carrie Fisher to a degree), but for some weird reason Hasbro decided to make Boushh-Leia huge, as in much too tall. Apparently some people had complained about the diminuitive nature of Slave Leia and thus Hasbro wanted to give collectors more figure for their money by making Boushh-Leia ginormous. The result is yet another bad Leia action figure. But at least you get a pretty good Boushh figure, even if much too tall.|
|And here is Princess Leia in one of her most iconic outfits, the white dress from A New Hope which she wore for much of the movie.|
Instead of making an A New Hope Princess Leia action figure Hasbro decided to give collectors Helga von Dopingen, a former GDR olympic swimmer who had been given too many steroids as a young woman.
At this point in time Hasbro’s statement that they “loved Leia” was mostly considered a joke. Their Episode IV figure was a complete failure.
|Every once in a while Hasbro does listen to fan feedback and thus Hasbro returned to the drawing board and sculpted an all new head for the rerelease of Princess Leia in her white dress. This time the sculpt turned out to be quite good. But it’s not helped by the fact that at this point in time Black Series paint apps were still from the 20th century, even if Japanese competitors had shown collectors what you can actually do with paint apps. But as far as Leia figures go this was certainly Hasbro’s best effort yet in the 6-inch scale.|
|S.H.Figuarts also tried to make an Episode IV Princess Leia action figure. And while the sculpt is certainly not perfect (the face is too narrow and the cheeks should be more rounded, some say the figure looks more like Millie Bobbie Brown cosplaying Leia) and with the version 2 sculpt in the Black Series looking more accurate, this figure is, as far as Episode IV Leias go, still the best version. Not only because of the photoreal paint apps, but also because sculpted plastic robes just look so much better in the 1/12 scale and the cloth robes the Black Series figures have more or less look like potato sacks. You do sacrifice some articulation with plastic robes, but the aesthetics can’t be beaten. You also get an alternate headsculpt with Leia looking straight ahead (pictured here is the version of her looking to the side). You also have the option to display Leia with her hood up, but the hood down version is the much better looking option, in my opinion.|
|Carrie Fisher in one of her The Force Awakens outfits.|
|The sculpt of Hasbro’s Force Awakens figure of General Leia is actually pretty good (digital data for the sculpt was available). But the outdated paint apps and shiny finish destroy an otherwise good sculpt. Also, this is probably the least favorite version of Leia for many. She wore quite a few more interesting outfits in the sequels. Hasbro decided to make the most boring variant of her.|
|Princess Leia in her Hoth outfit. An ideal Empire Strikes Back action figure of that costume variant should look like that.|
|Hasbro returned to the drawing board once more for their Hoth version of Leia. And this time they hit the ball out of the park with a fabulous Hoth Leia. The sculpt is pretty much perfect (the TFA sculpt had already been quite good) and since Hasbro discovered the magic of photoreal paint apps in the meantime the figures also look like humans now, not cartoons. This 6-inch scale action figure of Leia looks pretty much perfect and Hasbro have to be praised for getting Leia finally right. This figure was repacked several times.|
|The Bespin Escape version of Leia is a variant of the Hoth figure. The figure has a different hairstyle and slightly altered costume. The sculpt is still excellent and Hasbro’s Empire Strikes Back action figures of Leia are nothing but excellent.|
|Carrie Fisher in her Return of the Jedi Endor outfit.|
|Hasbro’s Endor Leia is yet another great effort. In hand the figure looks just like Carrie Fisher. The hair had to be sculpted in a way so Leia can wear her helmet, please keep that in mind. But the likeness overall is great, even though I feel that Hoth Leia looks ever so slightly better (probably because of the hair).|
And those are all the 1/12 scale Leia action figures you can get. Quite a few versions of Leia are still missing!
So, is there an ultimate action figure version of Leia? Since Leia changes looks quite a bit throughout the movies there can certainly never be THE one ultimate figure.
In my opinion, the SHF A New Hope Leia is the best Episode IV version of her. The sculpt is not perfect, but the figure looks like a real person, not a cartoon, and the sculpted plastic robes look much, much better than the cloth robes the Black Series figures have. Also, in hand the figure looks more like Carrie Fisher than photos of the figure would let you think. 2D reproductions of a 3d face will never really truly capture the likeness of a figure. Ideally, Hasbro should revisit Episode IV Leia and retool the figure from the ground up, ditch the cloth robes and give the figure the photoreal treatment. Until that happens the SHF version is the ultimate Episode IV Leia.
Hoth Leia is certainly THE best looking Leia action figure. The sculpt is perfect and the figure overall is just fantastic. Bespin Escape Leia is just a variant here, looks equally good, but I feel the Hoth costume is the more interesting option here.
Endor Leia is the best Return of the Jedi version of her, lightyears ahead of any other figure from the movie, unfortunately. Slave Leia is a joke and Boushh Leia is almost as bad.
Let’s hope Hasbro (or SHF?) will eventually finish the line-up of original trilogy Leia figures. I would say that a Bespin gown version of her is probably the most needed figure, followed by Medal Ceremony Leia, especially since there is a Medal Ceremony Luke. The Endor village version of Leia would be nice to have, but is probably the most “boring” looking variant of the three major missing OT costumes. Eventually Hasbro should make all three, of course.
So, what is your favorite or ultimate Leia action figure? And what is your favorite costume variant of Leia?
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