Hasbro’s Star Wars Portrait Edition line has produced some breathtaking dolls, especially those based on the elaborate costumes and hairdos of The Phantom Menace’s Queen Amidala (apparently Leia’s preference for elaborate and slightly weird hairstyles was inherited). Last year, when Star Wars was favored to be the hottest craze around, three dolls were released in this line (one Leia and two Amidalas). This year, they only managed to do one, and the orders were so low that as far as I can tell KayBee Toys is the ONLY place that had them, and at the bargain basement price of $14.99 (for a doll designed to retail at $70)! Check out your local KayBee’s (the web site seems to be sold out) or *sigh* eBay- I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!
This is one of those cases where the box really is destroying the doll. Underneath much of the dolls clothing is cardboard pieces, such as this lovely neck piece here. As you can see from the picture on the left, it was taped on so tightly it left a large dent in the doll’s neck. As if that weren’t bad enough, the pale white vinyl of her face has already acquired a variety of small red stains from the velvet of her overdress, shown at right.
Amidala has a lovely face, cast in white vinyl to simulate her ceremonial makeup. Her face paint is done strictly in accordance with the movie. The two large holes in her forehead are used to fasten her veil in place (the veil was also glued to her head). Her hair is absolutely amazing- the two braided buns on the top of her head appear to be rooted hair, not separate pieces. The rest of her hair is done in a long braid with two additional strands of hair braided around the main braid. Beautiful!
Amidala’s body reminds me a bit of the early Tyco Little Mermaid dolls- the torso is very tiny. Her arms are long and delicate, with fabulously detailed hands. Her legs are about Barbie length, and her feet are similar to Takara Jenny dolls (they can trade shoes). The body is an unremarkable tan pink color.
The Clothes Part 1
The under dress is very nicely done. The full skirt of dark plum has a distinctive waffle texture to it. The shiny lilac sleeves are designed with extra fullness on the outside, so they can puff out through the sleeves of the overdress. There’s a sewn in petticoat of matching plum tulle. My only real complaint is that the torso is done in a warm purple that does not go at all with the cool tones of the rest of the outfit. I realize you’re not supposed to see that part, but still…
The Clothes Part 2
The other outfit pieces are even more fabulously detailed than the under dress. That said, the overdress needs to be taken off the doll and soaked in vinegar to set the color! The red dye is easily leached out by the colorless vinyl of her face, and red stains are very hard to remove. The overdress is done in a deep grape velvet, with the royal crest of Naboo embroidered in a lighter shade. The entire overdress is lined in lilac satin. The veil is a rich grape material, and it also has the royal crest embroidered in lilac on the lower corners. It is attached to the doll’s head by the gold tiara. The veil also has puffy dangles of veil material wrapped with a shiny purple cord that simulates beading except on very close inspection. The final touches are the black panties and black flats. There is also a clear plastic crotch rocket stand included.
I’ve always thought that Amidala’s ceremonial face paint looked more than a bit Asian, and when I caught Amidala admiring the patterning on Singapore Girl’s uniform, I arranged for her to borrow it for the end of her photo session. It’s hard to hide those holes in her head, though… so eventually I just gave up.