Figure of the Day: Day 701
4/6/2008 5:40:07 PM | Reported by Adam

Unleashed Black Package Era
Item No.:
Asst. 84894 No. 84898
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Display base, chain
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: Late 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Born of humble parents in a mountain village on the planet Naboo, Padmé Amidala's exceptional abilities manifested themselves at an early age. Trained and encouraged to reach her highest potential, Amidala was elected Queen of Naboo at the age of fourteen, then became a representative in the Galactic Senate on Coruscant. Fiercely loyal to her beloved people, Amidala bravely confronts all those who threaten the peace of her planet. In her political roles, she presents a remote, elegant exterior to the world, yet underneath there burns a deeply passionate spirit which boldly embraces both the challenges and adventures before her. To protect herself and those who are dear to her, Amidala willingly takes up arms. Her fiery nature ignites as she wields a blaster in the thick of battle, vibrant with determination in the midst of "aggressive negotiations." The dangers of the moment only serve to further enhance Amidala's alluring beauty born of innate courage and purity of soul. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's toy room.

Commentary: The Unleashed line was a neat little side line from Hasbro which was meant to appeal to the older fan who might not be willing or interested to buy heavily into the little guys. Not many were made, but some like Padmé Amidala here were initially very weak sellers which caused the line to stay somewhat small. The entire series has a cult following, but a cult isn't enough to help propel any figure line from Hasbro-- it costs a lot of money to develop, package, and distribute a low-cost plastic product whereas resin statues are a lot easier to do in small quantities (at higher prices). So the line didn't exactly flourish, but it did eventually cap off at about 36 unique figures (not counting packaging variations) when the apparently final piece came out in 2007. It didn't do too well.

The popularity of this piece can be plainly seen in the picture-- there are two reasons she has done well on the collector market and you can see them both. Padmé was actually fairly well done. The face was better than some of the items out there, but not a perfect Natalie Portman. The pose was certainly decent, as she wasn't quite as crazy flying action nutso as some of the other figures in the line. For the costume, the figure replicated the torn white suit fairly well and in many respects this is actually a fairly great release. It's just not terribly action-oriented, but as far as the "hawt" factor goes, most fans agree that she's about as hot as the line ever got. If you collect the line, I'd suggest tracking her down eventually just because she holds up nicely and doesn't seem as fragile as the other releases. Hasbro did a pretty good job with this one, and it's a shame the line didn't continue on because as a cheap "statue," these are awesome. I see a lot of anime statues in my line of work, and the quality of Unleashed is about on par with a similarly sized $70 giant-eyed scantily-clad import. It's almost a shame Hasbro didn't continue the line, just at a higher price and in much smaller quantities.

Collector's Notes: The figure has yet to be reissued. Since at least 2004, a number of eBay sellers have been insisting it has been recalled. It hasn't. Just because a figure has a huge rack doesn't mean she was pulled from the market-- the Unleashed line was developed for adult fans and collectors, and was not marketed toward kids aside from the fact that it was a figure made by Hasbro and sold at toy stores. The product wasn't made in the same numbers as the 3 3/4-inch line, but that's true of the entire Unleashed line. If you believe it has been recalled, you're an idiot. I mean that with all the respect the statement may carry, which is to say, not much because people keep saying it nearly six years later. It was discontinued, but all figures get discontinued. There was no recall. Ever. So don't be a chump and believe a dealer that tells you otherwise. This figure wasn't particularly popular when she first came out, as she was released in an assortment with Darth Vader (with a removable helmet) and Anakin Skywalker (AOTC-era). Vader was a huge hit and is still worth a pretty penny, and all three were released in a six piece case at two per case. THERE WAS NO RECALL. Damned rumor mongers! Stay off of my lawn! ( MORE IMAGES )

--Adam Pawlus

Day 701: April 6, 2008

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