LIBERATION 5: QUI-GON JINN FROM THE PHANTOM MENACE!
Liam Neeson may not have understood just what he was getting himself into when he agreed to play the part of Jedi Master Qui-Gon, but I certainly did- it meant there’d be a doll of the delectable Scottish stud. Hasbro has had some troubles in the past with their 12 inch doll line, which seemed full of odd faces that bore little resemblance to the actors. They must have hired a new sculptor or gotten better rights to Mr. Neeson’s likeness, though, because this doll is the spitting image. To satisfy the rabid SW collectors, who require ‘variants’ of everything to track down, the first box came complete with a quickly corrected spelling error. That just makes the corrected box easier to find for us deboxers….
As faces go, this one is a definite winner. They really managed to capture Liam Neeson’s features in this sculpt. Interesting note: this doll has the most detailed ears I’ve ever seen! The facial hair is all sculpted, but with a lot of detail which gives a great impression of actual hair. The hair is rooted mostly in brown, but with some grey hair mixed in to give it a great age-streaked look. Underneath the hair his head is painted grey, which adds to the streaky look but means his head will look awfully funny if you take out his ponytail. His neck is molded as part of the head, but has a nice ball joint where it meets the torso that allows for a lot more head movement than your average fashion doll. I’m a bit disappointed with the way they chose to paint his eyes: the black pupils are enormous, with only a very thin ring of blue. Oh well, that’s what the paintbrush is for.
Hee. I don’t know if these are the GI Joe body molds that have been generating a string of articles lately accusing action figures of promoting bad body image in boys, but I have to admit this is pretty scary. With muscles like that, would it really be possible to see the ribs near his abs? And was it really necessary to mold nipples? But the huge gap between his shoulder blades is the scariest, in my opinion. What is that? An old scar from when he tried to show his friends at the Jedi Academy how he could balance his lightsaber on his back? Brrr. As far as flexibility goes, this body mold gets high marks. There are full ball joints at shoulders, hips, and wrists, and the lower part of his arm rotates to assume a variety of positions. His knees have four clicks. The hands are designed to hold his lightsaber, which they do quite nicely, but they look a little odd empty, like a gunslinger poised for the draw. It would have been nice if one of his hands had been different. Interestingly enough, although this is considered the “12 inch” doll line, he is clearly 11.5 inches. Finally, someone Barbie can date without craning her neck!
I’m sure someone at Hasbro thought this was a brilliant way to handle the multiple layers of the Jedi costume. However, they were wrong. The shirt itself is okay, a nice cotton knit with an elastic waist for draping and some nice trim around the neckline with matching satin. But sewing the sashes together and to the shirt looks silly, interferes with the draping, and makes the shirt unnecessarily difficult to take on and off. And it’s fastened with velcro, too. Sigh.
The robe is another example of a good idea that wasn’t. Felt? What happened to the cotton knit? The hood is sewn out to the sides, which means it looks great when down but silly when up. And some idiot seems to have mistaken the flowing robes of the movie for rumpled robes. There is elastic sewn down the sleeves, across the waist, and along the bottom (see image above) that is designed to bunch up the robe at those locations. It’s easily fixed, at least. *snip, snip*
Style: A- (hey, I’m not going to argue with a Jedi!)
Execution: B (note: one letter grade was lost because of use of velcro)
The rest of Qui-Gon’s outfit consists of a pair of brown polyester pants, some really nice dark brown boots with black soles, a tan cotton waist sash, and of course, his Jedi belt and lightsaber. The belt is one solid piece with lots of molded and painted detailing and two closure positions. The lightsaber blade comes out, which probably makes the handle a choking hazard but means poses other than the ‘blade out’ position are possible. The detailing on the handle is really nice! They even remembered to put a a hook so you can hang it from the utility belt. If only they’d remembered to put a hook on the belt for it to hang from…
I have to admit that it was the fact that the belt can be fastened at a smaller size that gave me the idea. As you can see from Tara Lynn’s modeling, the Jedi outfit looks awesome on Barbie-sized dolls. The belt is a little big, but if you fasten the Light Saber on the inside of the belt it stays firmly in place. She gets lost in that huge outer robe, though. Qui-Gon is modeling one of Ken’s original Fashion Avenue outfits. I did have some trouble getting the sleeves of the jacket over the big hands, but once in place it all looks pretty fabulous. He can even wear Ken’s shoes. Or his tux! Hmmm…..