We finally have an answer about why Sideshow Collectibles has not made figures from The Fifth Element — they’re too scared to even look into whether they could! Here’s the exchange from their recent Q&A:
Has Sideshow ever considered making 12-inch Figures from the movie ‘The Fifth Element’? I personally would love to see the Diva Plavalaguna, Leeloo, Ruby Rhod, Corbin, Zorg and even a Mangalore immortalized in plastic and this would be a perfect scale to see them in. I’d especially be interested in a Diva figure, as she is such an iconic as well as exotic Sci-Fi character. Has Sideshow ever given any of these some consideration?
To the best of our knowledge, no company has ever successfully released figure products based on the 5th Element. Rumors behind the failures range from rights issues to alien abduction, but they have kept us from investigating too seriously. It’s a movie that we love too, but we’re unlikely to license 5th Element anytime soon.
…And my comment is:
Fifth Element (Leeloo anyway) would be a must-buy. Very sad to hear that Sideshow won’t even look into it (!) simply because one previous company (N2Toys) failed to get the licensing rights. That’s really lame. I recall a video game with Leeloo, so apparently there’s no problem in getting the rights to her, the star of the film. Nor is there any problem with the aliens, since the Mangalore and Mondoshawan bobbleheads came out.
It comes down to: does anyone care if Bruce Willis is not included? I don’t. I don’t even mind if Gary Olman is not included. Leeloo is the main character of the film, she’s the one with the outfits, she’s the one with the style. Get the rights to Leeloo. That would be enough.
P.S. Someone mentioned Blade Runner as similar to The Fifth Element in the rights-issues respect. In fact, after Sideshow gave a similar response about why they haven’t made Blade Runner figures, I asked the producer of the recent ultimate edition about it, and he said they’d hoped and wanted for some companies to make products to coincide with the release — but that none made an effort, even though all the ownership matters had been fully identified to make it easy (well, relatively easy).