|In putting together all of the recent Kenner Indiana Jones reviews, I realized something. The folks working on the line really cared about what they were doing. Compared to the Star Wars figures from the same era, the attention to detail is just that little notch bigger. I once read George Lucas said the reason he made “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was that it was a movie he wanted to see. I would guess these figures were made because the Kenner folks wanted to play with them.
The vintage Marion is dressed in the outfit she was wearing when she was unceremoniously dumped into the Well of Souls.
This review is missing one thing. Marion’s companion monkey. For the life of me I can’t find him. I have almost all of my other Raiders accessories, except the monkey and Indy’s notebook from the Map Room. Perhaps the monkey is in a forgotten box in my storage room waiting to be discovered. Figure collecting isn’t an exact science, you know.
I would guess “Well of Souls” Marion was the picked for support of the playset. That makes the monkey an odd choice of accessories, though. A torch would have been better. All things considered, it still surprises me this figure got made. Consider, it was obviously a line targeted at boys. This isn’t a real action scene in the movie for Marion. The Market Place set got a Marion that’s a hunk of plastic. I would have picked that scene for an “action figure.” Or the Marion from the bar, but that would have different issues. Hasbro picked the market Marion for a couple of the modern releases.
Past that, look at her. She’s obviously a damsel in distress. Small hands and little feet. The feet are small enough she doesn’t stand particularly well on her own. The feet have shoes that have open toes that match the ones in the film. Nice little touch.
The soft goods skirt is another of those things that seems out of place in a boys’ line. It’s a neat piece with an underskirt with three layers of lace sown in a cascade over the top. There some elastic at the top to keep the whole thing on. This is where the soft goods lose out a bit. The skirt looks bunched at the top.
Marion’s dress was a sexy little thing for the time, and was a lot more form fitting that this one is. Again, the attention to detail really sets her apart from say, Hoth Princess Leia. There’s a flower at the back of the skirt similar to a bow on the film dress. The texture on the sculpted portions of the dress, the small sculpted bow on the front, and the Belloq mesmerizing open back all add to this figure.
The only down side is the head. I’m not sure that Karen Allen would go around telling people this is her. There’s just no detail to make you think it’s her. The hair is passable for an early eighties figure. Especially if you consider, it’s a cut neck joint that isn’t really restricted by the hair.
I know we’ll probably see this version of Marion from Hasbro at some point. My guess is you’ll see the bar version first. But, you never know. They made a number of Padme figures that I was surprised to see.
On a side note, I kind of wonder if she was inspired a bit from the Glamour Gals line that was out around the same time. That line was something of an attempt by Kenner to get action figures in the girls’ aisles. They were bigger, more of a four inch size. They also had a number of fabric accessories and small (but different) clear plastic bases. Here’s a link to “Brik’s Glamour Gal Page” for the truly geeky vintage toy connoisseurs.
Alright, I hinted at it above, Marion’s not much of an action figure in this dress. Shoulders, hips and head are the extent of the articulation. She’s one of the few figures in the Indiana Jones line that can’t ride the horse in the line.
That’s mainly due to some hip articulation that leads to another issue. With the skirt on, you really can’t move her legs. So, if you want Indy to say, catch her, it doesn’t look very dramatic. Without the skirt, she can sit. This leads to the legs opening up. The problem then is flesh tone painted on the white body makes her look like she’s an amputee with mannequin legs up next to her. Mrs. Nerd gave me some grief for this picture. I’m hoping not to offend anyone. But considering some of the things out on shelves today, this is pretty tame.
Marion’s right hand has a small bit of grip to it. Not enough to be really useful, but a little. The left is in a “Rose Bowl pageant queen screwing the light bulb in” wave pose. I guess to say “adieu” to Belloq. Wait, that’s a different gesture.
Besides the missing monkey, Marion came with her skirt and small clear display stand. It’s possible to get her to stand on her own without the small disc, but it isn’t easy. I remember thinking as a kid, it would be awesome if you could get little stands like this for Star Wars figures. The nice thing about this stand is that it’s not much bigger than her skirt and is fairly well covered by it.
“Well of Souls” Marion is not a perfect figure, but I think was a bold choice for the time she was made. I took a little bit consideration for the era she’s from in her score. Compared to the vintage Hoth Leia, she’s a 9 or a 10, though. Just keep that in mind.
I’ve said it before. I wish this line hadn’t fizzled out. Kenner obviously had some big fans of the film working for them at the time who were keen on getting this one right. Considering some of the Indiana Jones items that came out after these figures, you can really tell the difference between folks care about a licensed property and others just wanting to make a quick buck.
BTW. If I can find the monkey, I’ll amend this at review at some point in the future. Maybe I should check the trunk on the Mach 5….
Engineernerd Score: 85/100