- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic-book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures. With tongue in cheek, let’s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in Zad’s Toy Vault.

Leia (Hoth outfit)

With its latest Star Wars Vintage Collection, Hasbro is taking a nostalgia trip to the days when Kenner ruled the toy galaxy far, far away.

The 3-inch gems feature current sculpts of some classic characters from “The Empire Strikes Back,” including Bespin Luke Skywalker, Echo Base Han Solo, Darth Vader, Cloud Car Pilot, Princess Leia and bounty hunter Dengar.

The packaging, however, is pure retro, right from the 1980s toy shelves, with cardboard backs and designs from the original display cards.

Mezco Toyz' Batman and Joker Mez-Itz and Wild Planet's DC Universe Squatz Wild Planet (Photograph by Jacquie Kubin/Special to The Washington Times)
Mezco Toyz’ Batman and Joker Mez-Itz and Wild Planet’s DC Universe Squatz ... more >

Figure profile: From StarWars.com — Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, the Alliance had set up a new base on the frozen world of Hoth. Princess Leia was one of the commanding members of Echo Base. When the Imperials attacked Hoth, Leia took the initiative and acted in a number of command roles, ordering the evacuation of the base. Leia’s access to her own escape transport was cut off, but she managed to escape in Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.

Accessories: This miniature version of Princess Leia kind of looks like actress Carrie Fisher (the braided hair is dead-on) and can be posed through 12 points of articulation.

She comes with a slightly large Rebel blaster and removable jacket vest to show off the detail of her cool painted snow gear.

For a more complex “accessory,” fans can buy five of the vintage figures and send the UPC codes (plus $6.99) to receive a rocket-firing 1980s Boba Fett figure to chase Leia across the galaxy.

While we’re on a spending spree, and for those willing to open the package, I would buy the Darth Vader figure featuring cloth garb and a three-piece, breakaway helmet that can be removed to reveal the scarred head of Sebastian Shaw, the actor who played old-man Anakin before actor Hayden Christensen jumped aboard the saga.

Price: $7.99

Read all about it: Dark Horse Comics compiles Marvel Comics‘ adaptation of the 1980 “Star Wars” sequel into a trade paperback with Classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back ($9.95), starring the classic team-up of writer Archie Goodwin and artist Al Williamson.

What’s it worth? A fan’s age obviously will determine this figure’s fate. Older collectors immediately will encase the packaged Leia in plastic to slip next to their original figure, while younger owners will simply rip open the card to start new adventures with their Star Wars friends.

Tony Stark (Mech Test)

Hot Toys’ 12-inch collectible figures offer highly articulated, detailed versions of pop-culture stars. The Movie Masterpiece series includes Apollo Creed from “Rocky,” Silk Spectre from “Watchmen,” Barney Ross from “The Expendables,” the T-1000 from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and Iron Man’s alter ego caught in the middle of testing his latest high-tech device.

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