Unproduced Princess Leia (Bespin Gown) Doll: The four 12" dolls planned, but not released, for Kenner's ESB line of products are among the most notorious of all unproduced Star Wars toys. The four, which were to include Luke in his Bespin fatigues, Han in his Hoth outfit, Princess Leia in her Bespin gown and Lando Calrissian, made it far enough along in the production process to have boxes printed for them. Little else exists, however, to prove that these dolls were in development--they weren't even featured in any Kenner catalog literature of the time, a fact which suggests that they were never formally offered to retailers. In other words, the Star Wars line of 12" figures had performed poorly enough to dissuade retailers from re-ordering them, let alone an entirely new assortment of dolls. In truth, there wasn't much work on Kenner's part required for them to produce these new doll prototypes; three of the four are simply the old figures jazzed up with new outfits. Lando, of course, represents the only entirely new toy of the bunch. It is, however, uncertain that his head ever made it past the hardcopy stage.
The pictures you see here come from promotional literature issued by French toy licensee, Meccano. For some reason, they jumped the gun and advertised the dolls as being among their upcoming releases. None of the unproduced ESB dolls were released in France or anywhere else.
This, of course, is the Princess Leia in Bespin gown doll. In my opinion, it is the nicest of the unreleased four, primarily because of that shimmering dress they made up for her. As you've probably noticed, the head is largely the same as that used on the standard Star Wars Leia doll. Due to the different hair style of the ESB Leia, however, the hair on the prototype dolls that have surfaced is rooted in a different pattern, the holes on the head being arranged in a different manner than they are on the standard product. It's a bummer this one was never released. You can see the box it would have come in here.
Description: Ron Salvatore