Star Wars Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series – Princess Leia Organa (Endor) Action Figure

Promotional photo of Princess Leia Organa (Endor). Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Princess Leia Organa helped the rebels organize a plan to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star: knocking out the space station’s shield generator on Endor. Character description blurb, Princess Leia Organa (Endor)

In the summer of 2020, Rhode Island-based toy and game maker Hasbro released Princess Leia Organa (Endor), a six-inch scale action figure in the company’s popular (and long-running) Star Wars The Black Series collection. Based on the Rebel leader played by the late Carrie Fisher in 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is one of the three figures in the “Heroes of Endor” wave – the others being, of course, Luke Skywalker (Endor) and Han Solo (Endor).

Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

What’s in the Box?

For its 2020 production line, Rhode Island-based Hasbro redesigned the standard Star Wars The Black Series packaging, shedding the red-black color scheme used for most of that collection’s six-inch scale action figures since the mid-2010s. Accordingly, Princess Leia Organa (Endor) comes in a black/forest green box that measures 5 x 2 x 9 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces.

The packaging keeps some of the features from the older versions, including a large transparent front panel (or window) through which we can see most of the figure’s front and Leia’s slim-barreled blaster pistol, which is ensconced in its own “pocket” to the right of Princess Leia (Endor). On the sides of the box, we see an artist’s renderings of a blaster-wielding Princess Leia, sans Rebel-issue helmet but wearing her camo poncho, with the huge trees of the Forest Moon in the background and, overhead, the menacing – if incomplete- Death Star II fills the night sky like a malignant mechanical moon.

On the reverse side, we see the usual Star Wars The Black Series “info panel” stuff, with the character description blurb (Princess Leia Organa helped the rebels organize a plan to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star: knocking out the space station’s shield generator on Endor.) printed in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese along the left side, with a detail from the side panel illustration on the right. Below that, we see that this is figure 03 of this new line from Hasbro, plus copyright and product info in many languages, including Greek, Arabic, Polish, Italian, Greek, Romanian, Swedish, and Finnish.

The Figure

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is ready for battle against the Empire! Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is depicted in her Alliance general’s uniform – a short-sleeved olive drab military-style blouse, blue trousers, black boots, camo poncho, a black belt with a functional holster,  and helmet – and is armed with her trusty light target pistol. She also wears a wrist chrono – the Star Wars equivalent of a digital watch – on her left arm.   

Although I can’t honestly say that the figure’s facial features and hair (which are all sculpted and painted) are 100% accurate, Princess Leia Organa (Endor) does resemble the character played by the late actor-writer-memoirist Carrie Fisher. To its credit, Hasbro made sure that the figure’s expression is neutral or, at least, serious; one thing that dissuaded me from getting the larger 12-inch figure of Princess Leia back in the Kenner days was that the Ohio-based toymaker depicted the character with a perpetually sunny smile.  

Kids and collectors alike can imagine the biggest battles and missions in the Star Wars saga with figures from Star Wars The Black Series! With exquisite features and decoration, this series embodies the quality and realism that Star Wars devotees love. Star Wars The Black Series includes figures, vehicles, and roleplay items from the 40-plus-year legacy of the Star Wars Galaxy, including comics, movies, and animated series. –
Promotional blurb, Hasbro’s official website

Although Leia’s basic outfit – the short-sleeve uniform blouse, the trousers, the boots, and the chrono – are sculpted and painted onto the figure, the camo poncho is made out of fabric and – along with Leia’s belt and holster – can be removed. The plastic replica of the Alliance-issue “Special Ops”  helmet is also removable.

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this premium Princess Leia Organa (Endor) toy, inspired by the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi movie. – Promotional blurb, Hasbro’s official website

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is depicted as she appears throughout much of the third act of director Richard Marquand’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and – like most Star Wars The Black Series action figures – has four fully-articulated limbs that allow kids and adult collectors alike to pose the figure in more life-like stances than were possible with, say, the original Kenner 3.75-inch mini-action figures of the late Seventies and early Eighties.

This multifigure Heroes of Endor set was only available from Hasbro Pulse last September and sold out fast despite a steep manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $109,99, Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

This is also the same figure that Hasbro Pulse included in its exclusive Heroes of Endor multifigure set, which included Luke Skywalker (Endor), Han Solo (Endor), and Paploo the Ewok with a Speeder Bike.

My Take

Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

As a Star Wars fan and avid collector of action figures, I have been acquiring Star Wars figures since March of 1978. Naturally, I own – or have owned, as some of my figures and vehicles have been lost or stolen in the 43 years that I’ve been collecting – most of the different Kenner and Hasbro variants of Princess Leia Organa (Endor), including 1984’s Princess Leia Organa (in Combat Poncho) and Hasbro’s 1998 Star Wars: Power of the Force Princess Leia (Endor Gear) – the last one being a Toys R Us exclusive and one of seven figures in Hasbro’s Millennium Coin sub-collection.[1]

Ever since Hasbro acquired Kenner in the early 1990s and revived the Star Wars action figure line before the release of The Star Wars Trilogy – Special Edition (1997) and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), fans and collectors alike have seen figures evolve from the primitive (by 21st Century standards) Kenner “mini-action figures” of the late Seventies and early Eighties that only bore a superficial resemblance to the characters they represented to the more movie-accurate figures (in different size scales) of the 2000s and on to the present day.

Toy manufacturing has changed with the times, and so have the Star Wars action figures. New computer-aided design & manufacturing tools and methods make it possible for Hasbro to make little Princess Leia Organa figures that resemble the young Carrie Fisher in her 1980s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Rebel Army uniform for most of the Endor-set sequences.[2]

Hasbro states that these action figures are intended for the “ages 4 and up” set, but I bet you 1000 Republic Credits that the company knows that most of the Star Wars The Black Series figures are purchased by – and usually for – adult collectors who were kids either when the first two Star Wars trilogies were in theaters or when the Original Trilogy was only available on VHS (and in that awful “pan-and-scan” format!).

(This is quite a huge demographic group, spanning the decades from folks who were born in the Sixties and early Seventies, to the “next generation” of Star Wars fans born in the Eighties and early Nineties and were introduced to Star Wars either through the Expanded Universe/Legends books or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.)

Hasbro knows that collectors and Star Wars fans look for movie-accurate levels of detail, especially since many of them like to create elaborate dioramas based on scenes from their favorite films. As a result, the sculpts and paint jobs on figures such as Princess Leia Organa (Endor) are light-years ahead of their Kenner counterparts’.

Modern Star Wars The Black Series action figures have at least 24 points of articulation (POAs) that allow owners to pose them in life-like action stances. All four of the six-inch scale Princess Leia Organa (Endor) ’s limbs have POAs where a human being’s major joints are located, especially the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.

In stark contrast, her 3.75-inch Princess Leia Organa (in Combat Poncho) counterpart from 1985 only had 5 points of articulation: the neck/head swivel point, and the shoulders/hips on either side of the figure.

And, as I mentioned earlier, Star Wars The Black Series figures look more like the characters in the Star Wars films and TV shows than the first-generation Kenner figures ever could. This is not denigrating the folks who designed the 1970-1980s toys, whose imagination was far ahead of the available tech in the toy manufacturing industry back then. It’s a statement of fact.

I like the fact that Princess Leia Organa (Endor)  looks like Carrie Fisher when she played the character in Return of the Jedi almost 40 years ago. The sculpt/paint job is good enough that you recognize Fisher’s lips and the shape and even the color of her eyes. Her expression is neutral, but the sculpt is so good that it can convey various emotions that range from quiet courage to gentle compassion, depending how you pose the figure and with what other character you pose with Leia.

In any event, this is one nice figure, and I’m glad I bought it for my modest Star Wars The Black Series collection.

Well, that about wraps it up for this review of a new Star Wars The Black Series collectible figure. I had fun writing it, and I hope you will find it both enjoyable and informative.

Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and find joy in even the small things in life. (Including action figures!) And remember, the Force will be with you…always. 

[1] I’m not sure if I still have my Kenner figure, but I still have my Millennium Coin variant somewhere in my closet.

[2] In one sequence, Carrie Fisher was clad in a simple dress and wore her long hair loose after being rescued by Wicket the Ewok (Warwick Davis) and adopted by his tribe.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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