Ten years after the fight to save Naboo from invasion, the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi, thousands of solar systems threaten to secede from the Galactic Republic. A courageous Jedi Knight, his impulsive and headstrong apprentice, and a queen-turned-senator are drawn into the heart of the conflict... and the beginning of war.
Now a Senator from Naboo, Padmé Amidala has grown in bravery and wisdom since her term as Queen. Padmé shows her courage and resourcefulness by trying to escape after she is captured on the planet Geonosis and sentenced to death.
Where does an action figure that had so much potential go wrong? That is the sentiment we feel regarding 2002's Star Wars "Saga" Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape). This action figure has excellent proportions, a decent likeness, and fitting accessories, but Hasbro devastated its potential thanks to one of the worst action features they've included in a basic action figure. We'll get to the specifics in a moment. Hasbro decided to walk the fence with the action figures that make up the Star Wars "Saga" line. They want to keep collectors engaged, but they have a large population of kids they need to appeal to as well, and to do that, they need to add gimmicky play features. Action features added to action figures help to keep playtime interesting. Collectors feel that this is a bunch of nonsense. After all, when we were kids, the figures came with simple articulation. But the thought of including action features into a line that collectors purchase more than kids feels backward now. So why give the beautiful Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) functionality that adulterates an otherwise excellent sculpt? Inquiring minds want to know.
Let's talk about the white elephant in the room. Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) is unnaturally pre-posed. However, the figure doesn't look terrible in this momentary "freeze-frame" from Attack Of The Clones. The figure's right arm is outstretched, fending off the various Separatist droids trying to destroy the band of heroes trying to survive the battle in the Geonosis Arena. If you decide to pose the figure with how it defaults, then you'll enjoy it. If not, you're not going to appreciate its limited options. You're only getting a single way of positioning the figure without any manual intervention by you. If you twist the figure's waist, however, the outstretched arm lowers down to the body. At that point, you can release the waist, and the arm snaps up quickly to that original "attack" position. The shoulder with the action feature is hinge-jointed, but all the other points on this figure, including the head, left shoulder, waist (save for the action feature spring), and hips, are all swivel articulation. An often missed point of articulation on this figure is the swivel right bicep (on the same arm as the action feature).
Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) admittedly comes with some awesome accessories. While you cannot place the figure on top of the arena column due to the legs' widened stance, you can "tether" the figure to it. Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) comes with a real metal chain with rings on both ends that you can "attach" to the hands. What's more, the arena column has a hook to attach one end of the chain to so you can recreate, albeit inaccurately, the scene where she is leaning against it to face her death in the Geonosis arena. We're not entirely sure why the column has "battle-damage" quite honestly. Perhaps the broken column is meant to be in the state it was at the end of the battle. But we don't recall the columns splitting in two when Padmé Amidala faced the Nexu. Still, it's pretty neat to get this large of an accessory in a basic figure package. As we have said in the past, sometimes accessories are the reason to purchase an action figure, so you have them when Hasbro updates the figure to collector-friendly status. Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) is very far from being a good action figure. And in actuality, this release is downright terrible, but we won't ignore the fabulous accessories you also get for the same $4.99 MSRP.
Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape)
Status: Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 7 points (7 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), hinge-jointed right shoulder (1) (action feature), swivel right bicep (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: blaster, removable holster, metal chain, arena column (2 parts)
Date Stamp: 2001
Assortment Number: 84855/84851
Retail: $4.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.