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Slave Leia/R2-D2

Galactic Heroes
by Artemis

I confess I don't really see the attraction of the Galactic Heroes line, or its equivalents in other ranges. Sure some of them turn out kinda cute, but for the most part they just seem to be collectables for collectables' sake, like trading cards and those little toys you get from chocolate eggs - no matter how extensive your collection gets, they're still not really that impressive. Then again, most people would probably say the same of action figures. C'est la vie.

Braving the dangers of Jabba's palace in her quest to rescue Han Solo, Leia knew she could face torture or death if captured. Though she did not anticipate the gruelling experience of serving as Jabba's slave girl, she endures her captivity with fierce spirit and keeps ready to turn on Jabba when the time is right.

Slave Girl Leia. If you could dissect a geek's libido, you'd probably find, at its very core, the image of Carrie Fisher in her metal bikini, either lounging around, or - for those of a more S&M bent - baring her teeth in fury as she heaves on her chain and strangles the life out of Jabba the Hutt. Oh yeah. Still, Galactic Heroes are (nominally at least) intended for the youngsters, so it'll be a few years before they start having Slave Leia fantasies - and probably a few more before they get sophisticated enough for the auto-erotic asphyxiation ones - so this Leia figure isn't really one of the ones you put on your shelf and drool at.

Still, she's fairly faithful to her on-screen appearance, just interpreted through the "Hero-scale" style - and if your sexual tastes run to cartoony features and oversized hands and feet, you're probably already nursing a semi just from looking at her. Feel free not to share.

Being soft plastic the sculpt isn't as sharp in the fine details as you'd expect from a regular figure - even allowing for the smaller size overall - but all the necessary sculpting is there with regards to the gold metalwork on the outfit and its various accessories. Leia's face is fairly generic, but that's the Heroes style for you - for what it's worth, it's the same face other Heroes incarnations of Leia have, so at least she's consistent. One notable tweak of the design is that the lashaa silk loincloth is quite generous, covering almost the entire width of her legs from both front and rear - no doubt to minimise how titillating she appears. She's armed with a stylised, squat version of the vibro-pike she wielded during her escape.

Paintwise, I'm sorry to say, she leaves a lot to be desired. She's too simple a figure for sophisticated shading, but though all the necessary flat colours are in place, their application isn't up to scratch. Most notably, the burgundy of the loincloth slops over the metal bikini bottom both in front and behind quite badly; there's also coverage issues with the gold detailing, with a lot of areas either showing the base colour through, or slopping over their edges. The printed eyes and eyebrows, and the silver blade on the axe, are about the only really clean paint on the whole figure.

Articulation is non-existent, of course, and Leia doesn't have any accessories. She does have peg holes in both heels, which could be useful - depending on how carefully she was packed, the heavy head of the axe can be bent backward a crucial couple of millimeters, causing her to overbalance.

Astromech units are standard droid types, and Jabba's personnel found a fitting that would allow R2-D2 to serve drinks onboard Jabba's sail barge.

Accompanying Leia in this forced-into-Jabba's-service set, we have the one and only R2-D2, droid hero of the Rebellion, currently waiting tables. Well, life's like that, ask any actor. Since he's already made of simple shapes, R2 is far less modified for his Heroes version than any of the humans - he's a bit shorter, his eyepiece is larger, his legs more stocky, but all in all he's not far off being the same droid he always was.

All of his various panels are sculpted on - though his holo-projector, extendable sensor, and that scope thingy on the back of his head are just represented by bumps - and there's some fairly intricate metalwork sculpted onto his drinks tray. On the down side, solid masses of plastic at this price point have been known to suffer from deformation - this R2 has part of his back unnaturally flattened due to a casting defect, so check your packs before you buy.

R2's painting is roughly on a par with Leia's, with all the right colours in the right places, but slop here and there. One of his interlink arms (the blue bars across his "chest") is a bit sketchy, the cables on his feet are pretty rough around the edges, and some of the blue panels on his head suffer from inadequate coverage. Since the tray is a separate part - and can even be removed from R2, though it leaves recesses in his "shoulders" where it plugs in - there's no erratic paintwork on the divide between the gold tray and white legs, and that actually contributes to the figure looking a bit better than it really has cause to.

On the tray itself, each of the cups has had a blue-grey paint app slopped onto it - there's still gold around the bottom of them all, so they wind up looking more like inset candles than separate glasses. R2's drink-serving attachment is plugged securely into his head - it can be turned to reach any of the seven cups, or removed entirely - but on mine it's stuck fast. It can be turned, since it's soft plastic, but it settles back to where it was. Since it's attached to the droid by only a slim rod, you risk tearing it if you push it too far, so I wasn't willing to risk breaking it by pulling really hard. R2 has no articulation of his own, and a single peg hole in his left foot, though what with the oversized legs and feet he's perfectly stable on his own.

So there's some Galactic Heroes for you - they're cheap, but judging by these ones you get the quality you pay for. If you feel like collecting the little tykes, hey, more power to ya - but I'll be sticking with action figures, thanks.


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