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The Vintage Collection

Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) - TVC - Basic (VC111)

Name: Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC111
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: August 2012
License: Hasbro

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What Star Wars collector doesn’t get excited about an all-new Princess Leia action figure? That excitement normally turns to elation especially when it’s a version of her from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Way back in 1980, Princess Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) was the very first version of the character from the new The Empire Strikes Back Kenner basic figure line. And even back then Hasbro had to tweak the figure to correct a major issue with its authenticity. Inevitably, the first “turtle neck” version wasn’t accurate to the costume in the film so Kenner revised the figure and changed it so she would be sporting a “crew neck” instead. The ornate design of her gown was achieved by utilizing pink vinyl with an orange/red pattern silkscreened onto the outer side. Not really different at all to the earliest Star Wars figures like Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia (Bespin Gown) utilized the vinyl cape technology before soft-goods became a staple. In 1980 this figure looked fantastic. And now in the modern era, the nostalgia of it looks fantastic. Hasbro knew they had to update this figure at some point, but it took a while before they released her as a basic figure. Although the first iteration came in 1997, the very first “basic carded figure” wasn’t released until 2004. The very first neo-classic version of this particular iteration of the character was released in the popular Princess Leia Collection two-packs in 1997. Instead of vinyl, Princess Leia was given a real soft-goods gown. The lace was beautiful but not accurate at all. And all of the Princess Leia figures in this collection were “dolled up” in the sense that they wore heavy makeup and had exaggerated features like extra large eyes. Still, they were “good enough” for the time until Hasbro was able to revisit most at a later date.

The next version of Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) was released in 2004’s The Original Trilogy Collection and as we’ve stated above, this was the first basic figure version of this character. Released simply as “Princess Leia”, Hasbro gave this action figure a much more accurate scale and ensured excellent aesthetics by abandoning soft-goods and instead sculpted a molded gown. The final result looked spot on, but the figure lacked terribly in its articulation. But honestly, that was the least of the figure’s problems. Besides being a “statue”, it was nearly possible to find samples of it in the wild with decent paint jobs. Most lacked in some way or another with a lot of bleeding and misapplied applications. (Some even looked like she was growing facial hair!) Thankfully, Hasbro updated the paint job and tightened it up tremendously when Princess Leia was again released in 2007’s TAC Betrayal At Bespin Battle Packs set. While vastly improved, Princess Leia was obviously far from definitive…. until now. The Vintage Collection has been excellent for updating long-awaited action figures for our “final” collection and now Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is next up! Part of 2012’s The Vintage Collection, Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is the answer to all (most) of our prayers. It made its debut in 2012’s TVC Carbonite Chamber Collector’s Pack released as that year’s SDSCC exclusive in the variant packaging. Unofficially dubbed the “Lost” line look, Princess Leia comes with two distinct card back options both of which pay incredible tribute to this classic Star Wars action figure. Now the “Lost” line look version and the version from the classic The Vintage Collection line look are available at retail! A great case assortment and a great cast of action figures make up wave 15 of The Vintage Collection!

In actuality, Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. This long-awaited released is however so very welcomed that we’re willing to overlook the one or two things about it that we don’t like. But we’ll mention it all here for a very fair review. First and foremost, we’re thrilled to see a very excellent use of soft-goods. Her outer white gown is a little bit too shiny, but it’s well-fitted and has a very attractive drape. We were worried about the ornate pattern on the back side of it as the prototype shown at 2012’s NY Toy Fair omitted it. But collectors can rest easy knowing that the pattern has indeed been applied to the soft-goods on the final figure. Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) has a decent head sculpt. The upper portions of her face look a little bit too rounded. We have seen Princess Leia with more chiseled features in the past so this is a minor disappointment. But Hasbro nailed her hairstyle perfectly and perhaps that is what makes the portrait ultimately work for us. Her collar and soft-goods gown are both removable. She also comes with a maroon/burgundy soft-goods skirt which matches the rest of her costume quite well. And she comes with a blessed 14 points of articulation so all the issues of her being under-articulated in the past have all been remedied here. This figure doesn’t really have any mismatched joint issues which makes us very happy. This figure has just been executed very well. Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) is an action figure that collectors have waited years for Hasbro to update to definitive status. We don’t like to throw around the word “definitive” carelessly. She is close enough for us, but perhaps a few more tweaks would easily shoot her up to that classification. Even if Hasbro doesn’t make any future updates, Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) will remain “definitive enough” for most of the collector base. We’re sure of that.

Collector Notes

Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit)

Status: Princess Leia is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: blaster rifle, removable collar, removable soft-goods gown

Date Stamp: 2012

Assortment Number: 37512/37499

UPC: 653569732655

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 Vintage Collection Wave 15
Jar Jar Binks (VC108)
Clone Trooper Lieutenant (VC109)
Shock Trooper (VC110)
Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) (VC111)
Sandtrooper (VC112)
Darth Vader (VC115)

Added: August 1, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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