Queen Amidala (Celebration Ceremony)
Released September 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on February 23, 2005
A release many fans felt has been missing in action since 1999, Queen Amidala finally returns to the toy line with her first figure from Episode I since Power of the Jedi, and thankfully Hasbro did a pretty great job here.
The queen includes a removable garment, peace ball, and a stand.
Like other figures from this wave, legend has it Queen Amidala was a figure that's been on the backburner for quite some time and would have been a late 2000/early 2001 release in Episode I's action figure line if it continued. As such, the design looks a wee bit dated-- but is still plenty good and a real delight for fans.
She looks like a cross between a new figure and an old figure, which works for the outfit-- it'll fit in with your other Phantom Menace wares, but Hasbro was sure to decorate it so it doesn't look out of date. This is always a good thing.
The head sculpt, much like the make-up job in the movie, is good if a little off-putting. With less white make-up but the same amount of red make-up, she looks to have been cut from a different visual cloth, which is probably the idea-- this is the Queen in some sort of ceremonial victory garb, rather than her usual day-to-day overpriced finery.
While not technically an accessory, her outer gown is removable and reveals an outfit that will no doubt cause a light bulb to go off over some heads. The actual gown is very plastic looking which is expected but unfortunate. Hasbro's ability to sculpt cloth and other materials is right up there with the industry's finest, but some times it just doesn't quite click-- this is one of those times. The mostly pink-and-pearl outer covering has a little bit of silver that helps to highlight her very pale face, which sits on a ball-jointed head. The very long wrap also prevents her from using some stands particularly well, but it is removable or easily reshaped if you're patient.
So, with the gown off, what do you think? Have you seen a figure like this before?!?
Visually, this will no doubt remind fans of the ceremonial outfit Princess Leia wore at the end of A New Hope which was no doubt the intent of the filmmakers. There's very little deco here, but that's good-- there shouldn't be too much. The white gown is very close to what we saw on screen, and added decoration would probably come in the form of some sort of wash that could bring out more detail, but frankly, this doesn't ask for detail. As such, it's good as is. There's a little paint here and there for designs that look like a Jabba the Hutt tattoo in one place and a cross between a Republic symbol and some floral thing in another. These add to the gown nicely, and it's nice Hasbro didn't leave these out-- odds are most fans wouldn't even notice.
This set includes the traditional stand and a "globe of peace." I just type what it says on the box.
The base is nothing new-- but it is welcome. This figure can stand just fine all by his lonesome, which means the base is just gravy.
The "globr of peace," as the package calls it, is a little mostly unpainted ball that the Queen can hold in one hand. This is assuming she is undisturbed and you don't bump the shelf or table, otherwise it's coming down and it's like she's ready to go bowling. It's a good accessory and really the only one appropriate to the figure, and as such we're very happy to have it here. Just be careful not to lose it.
Since Hasbro decided to stick with what worked, we're getting more OTC-esque cardbacks. Hooray! It won't last so enjoy it while it does.
There's a lot to the packaging, surprisingly. The double-border is just like the original Kenner packaging, and the black background is also very similar to the old toys. Since it's a prequel figure, the OTC logo has been dropped but the remaining design elements have remained in place. Which is a good thing.
The city of Theed makes for a nice background and helps this figure look just a little bit better than it could have-- a black burst would be dull, but the City of Theed is rarely used for packaging backdrops for whatever reason. As there truly is no other locale short of a ceremonial backdrop that would have worked, and frankly, we like this better.
The nameplate for the figures is a sticker, and the plastic bubble is grooved so it fits snuggly in place and won't be off-center. Customizers will probably have a field day with this packaging, as there are a lot of generic elements you can easily change out andcreate a package that's very specific to your tastes.
It came out a few months ago and seems to have already left the retail distribution for this line. As such, prepare to hunt, order online, or trade for this one unless some magically appear in your area... which they seem to be doing this week in my area.
Well then! Good job Hasbro! We didn't expect you to do this one anytime soon. The Phantom Menace is still an untapped resource for figures, and the Queen has so many unmade outfits it's quite astounding Hasbro didn't crank out a few more of them. This is a good figure but is more or less a statue-- a statue with a ball-jointed head and a couple of arm joints. If you like the design, you need this-- it's a good figure to add to your stash and one of very few female figures as of late.
Our review sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in October 2004.