Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Toy Line: S.H. Figuarts
Release Date: June 16, 2017
MSRP: 6,264 yen
Current Price: eBay
Accessory Details: E-5 Blaster Rifle, Alternate Head, 2 Cradle Hands, 2 Open Hands, 2 Trigger Hands
Articulation Details: 26 – Head, Neck, Shoulders (Hinge and Swivel), Elbows, Wrists, Hands, Torso, Waist, Hips (Swivel and Hinge), Knees, Ankles, Toes, Blaster Holster, Left Hip Pouch
“No, I call it aggressive negotiations.” – Padmé Amidala, Attack of the Clones
For most Star Wars fans, Attack of the Clones is their least favorite film in the saga. Bandai’s Tamashii Nations clearly doesn’t agree with that assessment. This S.H. Figuarts Padmé Amidala figure is the eighth figure produced from AOTC – far and away the most represented film in this collector line.
I’m at peace with the Prequel Trilogy. As I gotten older, I appreciate them more as time goes on for what they are and what they aren’t. It is all one large Star Wars story at this point from my viewpoint.
One of the best parts of an expanding Star Wars universe in multiple mediums is that there is something for everyone. It’s perfectly acceptable to love everything, only like some parts or dislike most of it.
I’m not sure Bandai is trying to send a message with their focus on Attack of the Clones, but as a Star Wars fan – it is great to see at least one licensee buck conventional wisdom. For the second consecutive month, a Tamashii Nations web exclusive was the only S.H. Figuarts figure released. Anakin Skywalker was released in May, and now we have Padmé Amidala for June.
There was considerable hype surrounding this figure. From the time the early images were shown late last year, there was a scramble to preorder Padmé from online retailers with the ability to secure this exclusive release. The final product did not fail to meet expectations.
The hype for Padmé drove up interest and the prices on the secondary market are already higher than expected. I’ve seen some hardcore collectors express disappointment that the figure may not be worth what the current market price is dictating. That value proposition could occur with any figure, not just this one.
Disappointment aside, this is a solid figure. The likeness to Natalie Portman is spot on. It also marks the first time that Bandai has created a female Star Wars character in the three years since the line was created. This offering gives hope for exceptional editions of Leia and Rey in the near future.
Part of the disappointment for this figure was the lack of accessories for a web only exclusive. Padmé only came with an E-5 Battle Droid Blaster Rifle, a spare head with different expression and the standard three sets of hands. Prior to opening the brown shipper box, I wondered how Bandai was going to have her grip the over sized blaster rifle with the hand guard in the way. The Geonosis Battle Droid had the ability to grip around the handle. The handle and actually detaches from the bottom of the rifle and then can be inserted back in after she grips it. The insert tab is small and I struggled to keep the rifle together at times.
As I mentioned before, this was the first Star Wars female character that Bandai has produced in this line. Just like the Anakin exclusive released just last month – the S.H. Figuarts human faces and sculpts have been superb. The digital print technology looks just like Natalie Portman on both heads included. There is hardly any pixelation upon close inspection. My minor gripe about each head is that the hair is very flat brown. From far away it looks decent but under a bright light or up close it is too shiny.
I can rationalize why this particular outfit was used since it is fairly iconic and shows Padmé kicking some butt and taking names on Geonosis. Even though her midriff is showing – the figure is still done tastefully. The weathering on her outfit is well done and there is plenty of fine detail. It even has the slash marks from the Nexu on her back. Her blaster holster and left hip pouch are both movable. There is tons of detail packed into her boots with the shin design and the tread on the bottom of them.
Before I get into the articulation, I have to mention some of the issues I had with swapping out the two different heads. This is the first S.H. Figuarts figure that I’ve looked at that where the neck ball joint would stay lodged in the base of the head versus staying at the top of the neck. Every time I swapped out the head, I needed to use tweezers to pull out the connector and plug back into the neck. I also managed to pop out each shoulder socket on accident when trying to move the arm slightly above 90 degrees horizontally.
Those issues aside, this figure was a blast to pose for these action shots. Even without a figure stand, the balance was good enough that I could be creative and not have the figure remain stationary up and down. A few times the blaster rifle did separate itself from the handle but that was quickly fixed. Most of the articulation was fairly standard and was boosted by the pouches on the belt that could be adjusted as well as the drop hip hinge.
The demand for this figure was high at the time I did this review. The prices on the secondary market validate Padmé’s popularity and it hard to see the prices return to the suggested retail prices. These web exclusives have a limited supply and with a high demand – the casual collector gets stuck paying a premium.
As with this figure and any other exclusives that may catch your eye – try to preorder as early as possible. The price will only go up as the days, months and years go by. The S.H. Figuarts line is too new to determine if these figures will hold or gain value in the future. If the craftsmanship and level of detail is any indication – they’ll be a centerpiece to your Star Wars collection for a long time.
I can find only a few minor items to nitpick about this figure, otherwise it is a solid collectible overall. If you are a fan of Padmé’ Amidala – this is worth adding to your collection.