The fourth movie in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was pretty much a dud. I personally loved it, but the box office numbers and diehard fans didn't share my appreciation. One positive thing that definitely arose from that film, though, was a major resurgence of Indiana Jones merchandise in the toy aisles. In one short year we received figures based on each film in the series (and in multiple formats, too!) Just like the famed "Bond Girls," the women in the Indiana Jones films are really integral parts of the plot. Whether they play a vile villain, a tough ally, a devious double-crosser, or a typical damsel in distress, each character is very memorable and really set the tone for each movie. It was hard for me to get on board with collecting these figures when they were first announced because I knew Hasbro would never produce all four ladies, right? Wrong. Each of the ladies received a 3.75" action figure as well as a 2" figure in their Adventure Heroes line (not to mention all the Lego minifigures produced). Let's take a look at all these amazing figures below!
I will be reviewing these in film order.
First up is
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - Hasbro 2008
Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen) is the daughter of Indy's mentor, Dr. Abner Ravenwood. She owns a rough tavern in Nepal and is very rebellious and feisty. She also has a romantic history with Indiana and it's safe to say they're the loves of each others' lives.
Marion was released as a single figure and as a two-pack. The Two-Pack figure has an additional monkey accessory and the cuffs of her red pants are painted to look dusty.
Both versions of Marion come with a frying pan and a scimitar blade. I couldn't find mine in time for this review, so here is a pic swiped from eBay. All the figures in the 2008 series came with a cardboard "crate" with an archaeological treasure hidden inside. Hers is the headpiece of the Staff of Ra.
Marion Ravenwood was also released in Hasbro's Indiana Jones: Adventure Heroes line. This format was extremely popular for a few years and I sorely miss it. All of Hasbro's main properties were done in this style: G.I.Joe (Combat Heroes), Transformers (Robot Heroes), Star Wars (Galactic Heroes), and Marvel (Superhero Squad).
There have been three LEGO Marions so far. She is in the unique position of having been in two films, so she gets so additional play in the toy aisles.
Prior to 2008, Marion was the only female Indy character to be made into a toy.
Here is the 1982 figure from Kenner (on the Left), and the 2003 Disney figure (on the Right)
Here's a last-minute addition that a reader reminded me of (thanks Jedd!). There was a cancelled figure of Marion in her "Well of Souls" outfit. Although this never saw release in the stores, there happens to be an unpainted prototype of this figure on eBay right now (if you feel like dropping $150). I love the Torch and cluster-of-snakes accessories. It's a shame she was never released.
Next up is
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Hasbro 2008
Willie Scott (played by Kate Capshaw) is an American lounge singer working in Shanghai who gets wrapped up in Indy's adventures. She is essentially a damsel in distress character with more comic relief wailing than any real plot advancement, but she still made quite an impression (enough so that Steven Spielberg eventually married her).
Willie also got released in the Adventures Heroes line wearing her red lounge singer dress
(as opposed to her sacrificial ceremony dress above).
Both of her trademark outfits were represented in LEGO form as well.
Next up is
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Hasbro 2008
Elsa Schneider (played by Alison Doody) is an Austrian art professor who is seeking the Holy Grail along with Indy. She is smart, seductive, and devious - a far cry from the comic antics of Willie in the previous film.
Again, the Adventure Heroes line is amazingly thorough for toys ostensibly aimed at preschoolers.
Here's LEGO Elsa with the hair I've seen on one-too-many minifigures at this point.
And finally we have
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Hasbro 2008
Irina Spalko (play by Cate Blanchett) is a straight-up villain. No deception. No uncertain introductions. She's badass from the start and I find that very refreshing for a change. She is a Soviet Colonel (with psychic powers) on a mad quest for ultimate knowledge and power.
And here's the most adorable little tyrant you'll ever see.
While the LEGO version looks appropriately disgruntled.
Alrighty. Time for some group and Comparison Shots!