Never had a vintage Star Wars action figure look more feminine than the Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) figure, and none to come out after could hold a candle. Even though one could argue that a girl figure in a pretty gown isnít much of a draw for little boys, whatever it lacked in playability, it easily made up for in style. With little more than a printed vinyl cape and a little blue Princess Blaster, this figure is the quintessential Leia figure for the vintage collection.
Though all vintage figures have minor variations, the Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) action figure has three proper major variations.
Crew Neck: This version, is the most correct of the three, and features a flesh colour painted neck with a gold trim on the collar separating it from the neck.
Turtle Neck: This version, which is still rather easy to find but not as common as the Crew Neck version, has no paint on the neck save a gold collar. This version is very easy to spot and distinguish, but to further verify its authenticity; one needs to look further than the mould of the neck, which is noticeably skinnier than the other two versions.
Gold Neck: incorrectly referred by many as "the Green Necked
Leia", based on a chemical reaction that created a green stain not un
like that found on brass. In truth this version, which is the scarcest
of the three, is most intriguing because of the painting process used in
its creation. Unlike the other two versions where there was a small gold
spray op that split the neck from the shirt, the Gold Neck
version was initially painted from the collar up with flesh coloured
paint and then, in the front only, painted completely again with gold
from collar to top. The mixture of the two paints reacted in most cases
creating the staining. There is no record whether this happened
immediately or over time, but judging by the MOC 31 back pictured here,
it is certain that this was an earlier -if not the earliest- version
produced, and it stands to reason that the chemical reaction was
instantaneous and quickly altered. Though this is based on research, it
most be noted that it is only a theory. To date, this version has not
been documented on any card later than The Empire Strikes Back 48
back. It is important to note that not every one of the Gold Neck
figures suffered the chemical reaction, as the loose example here
indicates. Though this variation is fairly easy to forge, an easy way to
tell it's authentic is to turn it around. From the back it can be
observed that the gold paint, which was clearly applied by a machine, is
only on the front half, therefore the back of the neck is still flesh
In all cases, the Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) action figure featured the gold trimming, but it didn't really bond well to the plastic and came off with the slightest touch. In the case of the lips, which appear to have been randomly painted, all three variations have been found with and without lipstick.
Text & Photography by D. Martin Myatt.