I don’t know about you, but I miss the era of walking into a store and finding new figures… sure it still happens, but now you usually preorder months and months ahead of time. Remember when Power of the Force II Star Wars figures were putting a much smaller dent in your wallet than the current figures? I do, and I loved walking into a store with no knowledge of what was coming. I was especially intrigued when I stumbled upon the purple carded figures from Shadows of the Empire. At that time, it was great to have a brand-new story with the Star Wars originals that not only garnered action figures, but also its own soundtrack. It went beyond that too, there was a PC and console video game and plenty of additional merchandise. It was a BIG deal.
We were introduced to all-new characters including Dash Rendar, the dashing scoundrel to replace Han Solo while he was a wall decoration at Jabba’s Palace. The big bad was Prince Xizor, a crime lord for an organization known as Black Sun. The figures made up a solid assortment from the novel as we were offered Chewbacca in Bounty Hunter disguise, Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard disguise, Leia in Boushh disguise, Prince Xizor, and Dash Rendar. There were even ships and 2-packs made. Dash Rendar’s Outrider, Boba Fett’s Slave I and a new vehicle — a Swoop Bike featuring another new figure were the talk of the galaxy.
I loved the story, and played the game on the N64, even though it was a GIANT pain in the rear to control the action. The soundtrack is also pretty great. I had always wished for an actual film or even animated adventure, but more so… a series 2 of the figures. So many great ones didn’t make the cut. You see without spoiling anything, Lando was with Luke and also went undercover as an Imperial Guard, such an easy custom to make, and even for Hasbro to make, but they never did. We also learned that Xizor had an agent working for him to do his dirty work — a cyborg named Guri. Guri was deadly and stunning, yet she was never granted an official release in plastic. Years after Shadows of the Empire came out, Hasbro revisited the series with their Comic Pack line. BTW, the Comic Packs were by far some of the greatest releases during the modern era. One comic pack featured an updated Prince Xizor and Princess Leia as seen in the Dark Horse comic book adaptation of the story. Ironically, Hasbro missed yet another opportunity to deliver something the fans wanted as Guri was without a doubt the figure people wanted from the story.
During the novel and the comic Guri wore a few different outfits. One was similar to the Leia figure that was released, another was a blue and gold combo with a flowing hip skirt. The other outfit that you’ll see most of if you search for the character is more of a body suit, not too much different than the one Dash Rendar wears.
Let’s fast forward to 2021. I was looking at my parts bin to see what I had and wanted to sort things out. I had used a combination of a few figure to do my last few customs that you’ve seen posted here. The parts I had left over didn’t really look like anything useful, until I laid them out on the table and saw something come together. The figures I had previously used were Black Series Jaina Solo, Black Series Hoth Leia, Black Series Padme Amidala, and the Pink Power Ranger S.P.D.
Here’s the test fit with a little primer on the parts before I painted and finalized the figure.
Here’s the recipe:
- Head: Pink Power Ranger S.P.D.
- Hands, Arms and Upper Legs: Black Series Hoth Leia
- Upper Torso, Holster: Black Series Padme Amidala
- Lower Torso, Lower Legs: Black Series Jaina Solo
- Weapons: Marvel Legends Madame Masque
- Shoulder Pads: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Gold Ranger
This was a pretty easy parts swap, the only parts I had to do a little work on were the shoulder pads, they were cut from the wrap around shoulder armor from the Gold Ranger. I also had to shorten Padme’s belt to better fit the figure and provide the appearance of the double belt Guri has on her outfit.
Here is the final figure. I love how it turned out, just in time too as Xizor was recently brought back into canon in the latest Marvel Comics. Maybe, just maybe we’ll get modern Shadows character in the Black Series and Vintage Collection… only time will tell.