Almost all vintage Kenner Star Wars figures seem to have slight variations that set the hearts of adult collectors a flutter, but the 1980 Leia Organa is found with three major variations – crew neck, turtle neck or the rare gold neck. Identified as the “Bespin Gown” figure thanks to a spectacular decorated vinyl cape that does an excellent job of representing the cloak that Carrie Fisher wore on Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back, my crew neck version is possibly the easiest to track down, but being the most movie-accurate rendition, is definitely my favourite.
In this version the neck is actually painted a flesh colour - the gold neck version is painted gold and the turtle neck has a skinny unpainted neck. All three figures share a gold trim on the collar and gold piping on the edges of her reddish-brown clothes, although what remains of the gold on the body of this figure is very faint.
Whilst there are signs of paint wear on the hands, feet and face – the eyebrows have almost entirely disappeared, for example - I rather like the thought that this undeniably girlie Princess Leia figure has seen some serious play action! There are also some known versions where Leia wears lipstick, but I prefer this slightly more tomboy version without make-up.
My Leia comes with her wonderful original cape, albeit in very delicate condition and repaired in places, although her blue Princess Blaster weapon is missing. The copyright information is spread over two lines, with Hong Kong, the country of origin, and “1980 L.F.L.” (Lucas Film Ltd) stamped on the back of her left leg.
A must-have figure for any vintage Star Wars action figure collection!