There, I said it. That’s one of my many terrible secrets, and a pretty damning one for a Star Wars fan. I was apathetic about Phantom Menace when I saw it as a teenager, but in recent years every time I watch it I like it a little bit more. An aspect I like most about Episode I is that it’s where Padme asserts herself as a courageous badass and powerful female lead, despite being a young girl and a politician. It’s all downhill for Padme in the saga after Episode I, but I never skip a Phantom Menace Padme figure. I’m grateful for that, because this is one of my favorite realistic-style Star Wars figures in years…
Every once in a while an action figure is so fantastic that my review practically writes itself. Queen Amidala isn’t quite at that level, but she’s rather close. This particular Queen Amidala depicts her from late in the movie, post-Senate. In my opinion the costume is one of Amidala’s most interesting ones, and Hasbro has more than done it justice here.
Vintage Collection Queen Amidala has quite possibly the best sculpting of any Star Wars figure released in the last year. From the creases and wrinkles in her dress and sleeves to the minute detailing and texturing on her braids, Queen Amidala is a simply breathtaking sculpted figure. The dress is just incredible in molded plastic, and it was the absolute choice by Hasbro to utilize plastic for her dress rather than trying to pursue soft goods.
All of that sculpting detail comes at the expense of articulation, but let’s be honest–Queen Amidala was never going to be doing ninja attacks. Amidala has a respectable 7 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, waist, ball-jointed shoulders, and double-jointed elbows. It’s not a ton of articulation, but it gives the Queen all that’s necessary for her to do everything she does in the movie in this outfit–which is basically just to stand there. She can also look around, pose with her blaster pistol (her sole accessory), holds hands with Lil’ Annie, and flap her giant-sleeved arms to try to fly. It’s not always the quantity of articulation that matters–in this case, all that’s necessary is truly here.
The paint deco on Vintage Collection Queen Amidala is a masterpiece all-around. The colors chosen are exactly authentic and their application is impeccable. The silver and broze paints chosen for the designs on Amidala’s dress are masterful choices and perfect complements to the black paint. Without those secondary colors Amidala would be a bit drab, but with them the figure is a complete knockout.
The 2012 special offer advertisted on the package’s sticker breaks the trend of mailaway figures, and instead promote a contest to win a life-size Darth Maul statue signed by the Maker, George Lucas himself. It’s not my cup of tea, but I’m too lazy to send in for the mailaway figures anyway, so it doesn’t make too much difference to me. It’s a cool contest for those interested, though, and better than nothing.
About the only thing I have to complain about with regard to this Queen Amidala figure is its facial sculpt. The colors and deco on the face are precisely accurate, but I think the actual sculpting work done is much too full-faced and fails to capture the gentleness of Amidala’s features. She looks more like the Buddha than she does Natalie Portman. There’s still no question whatsoever that this is a representation of Queen Amidala, however. The face on this figure is not the atrocity that kid Anakin’s facial sculpt is (I’ll talk about that tomorrow), but it’s not especially impressive either.
Other than that, I’ve got no qualms whatsoever with this action figure. Great job, Hasbro.
Queen Amidala is part of the first wave of 2012 Star Wars: The Vintage Collection figures. Hasbro set a street-date of January 30th on this case, but a few Targets in my area accidentally broke street date on these and I snagged a few figures. Most online stores are honoring the street date, though some Amazon sellers are not…
Amazon has Queen Amidala in-stock right now with free shipping from various sellers, but prices and availability change rapidly on Amazon so you’ll need to click through for the current specifics.
BigBadToyStore stocks every single Vintage Collection Star Wars figure, and have cases containing one each of all 12 of The Phantom Menace Vintage Collection figures as well as Vintage Queen Amidalas available for $12.99 individually.
Overall: I’m sure there are some hardcore Queen Amidala fans out there who’d happily buy a $200 Sideshow doll of her in this dress, but for my money this is the only Queen Amidala figure in this costume that I’ll ever need. The sculpting detail and paint are absolutely exquisite on this action figure, and the articulation is more than adequate for this particular version of Queen Amidala. The face isn’t quite as attractive as I’d like, but otherwise this Queen Amidala is flawless. I haven’t seen most of the figures in this wave yet in-person, but I’d be shocked if Hasbro managed to top this figure from an aesthetic perspective with any other figure in the wave. If you’re a Phantom Menace fan (all three of you besides me) or an Amidala collector, then this figure is a must-buy and is highly recommended.