Well, Celebration Orlando has come and gone and has left with a lot to talk about whether it be movies, television, books, comics, and of course toys!
First let’s get a few things out of the way.
• I loved the teaser and thought it was great to finally get a glimpse of “The Last Jedi”.
• That teaser poster is one of the most beautiful pieces of Star Wars poster art in years.
• Rebels Season 4 is set to be epic and I hope they don’t come up short.
I know there were no surprise announcements and that disappoints me greatly, but I like what I saw so I guess we take what we get. Go and check out the other articles and podcasts on the site for great breakdowns and speculations.
Now, for the toys! I am going to focus on Hasbro because like I’ve said, figures are the “bread and butter” for the collector. Plus I think they had the best reveals from the show. They came out with the release of a completely new line, brought back an old line, and showed us what they have in store for “The Blacks Series”. So let’s get started.
Forces of Destiny
Honestly, I would have rolled my eyes at this line if there had not been the product and cartoon shorts to back it up the concept.
Looking at it from a Disney standpoint, a line of toys centered Disney princesses seems like a no brainer. They definitely have a “Barbie” look to them, which will obviously appeal to the target audience of young girls. So far we have seen heroines from all era of the saga and a few heroes with Luke and Leia. I hope they eventually produce some female villains to flesh out the line. Just imagine Asajj Ventress, Zam Wessell, or Aurra Sing in this format. So far, the figures and packaging look great and I’m looking forward to them hitting the shelves. I know I’ll be picking up the Luke with Yoda figure.
He cartoon shorts are what have me the most intrigued. I have always been a fan of the 2-d animation style and with Felicity Jones, Daisy Ridley, and others coming back as voice talent make them a little more legitimate as a normal toy tie tie-in. They remind me of the original Clone Wars series that came out as cartoon shorts in 2D animation also.
I would like to see this line get a lot of support from the fans and maybe Hasbro would make these the standard 12”figure line.
The Black Series
• Fans Choice Poll Winner Jaina Solo
This is a great looking figure! There are those characters from the old EU that fans will always have a strong connection too and Jaina Solo, “The Sword of the Jedi”, is one of them. Sculpting her in her pilot gear is something that I honestly didn’t see coming but adds so much more to the figure. The great accessories like the removable helmet and flight jacket, purple lightsaber, and a top notch sculpt make this one of the best 6” figures ever. My favorite part of this figure is the face and how Hasbro used a composite of Harrison Ford’s and Carrie Fisher’s faces to arrive at the face sculpt for Jaina and it shows!
• SDCC Exclusive Grand Admiral Thrawn
Grand Admiral Thrawn has become a sweetheart of current canon with a starring role in Rebels S3 and the upcoming S4, a brand new novel to explain his origins, and now Hasbro has hit us with one of their SDCC exclusives, a 6” figure and package that opens up to reveal his quarters from Rebels, complete with much of his collection that is seen in the background. The packaging and accessories are what make this figure stand out and will make it the hottest item for star Wars fans in San Diego this year. It comes with two Ysalamir, Hera’s Kalakori, lightsabers, a Jedi Temple Guard mask, Gree’s helmet, and Filoni’s little inside joke from the show: the Holy Grail from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. This would be an amazing display piece on anyone’s shelf. I can’t wait until they hit the secondary market to see what fans are willing to drive the price up to. Fortunately I’m sure Hasbro will releases a retail version of the figure much like they did with the Ben Kenobi last year. Unfortunately, I’m also sure that Hasbro we will cut out all the great accessories that it come with much like they did with the Ben Kenobi set. Still I’m happy that we are going to get this 6” version of Thrawn considering that he’s finally back in the Star Wars universe.
• Toys r Us Exclusive Commander Gree
I know this is another exclusive but I wanted to talk about this figure for the great paint job. During the presentation, Hasbro made it a point to say that this figure had around 300 different paint applications on it. It also went through a few design changes from the film. It’s a great looking figure and deserves a mention.
Hasbro also gave us a look at the next two vehicles that they are coming out with in the 6” scale: Rey and her speeder from Jakku and Luke with his speeder from Tatooine, which is the other SDCC exclusive. Personally I think that this is the best way to go with these vehicles, focusing on the smaller ones that more friendly to our wallets and shelve space. That TIE Fighter was very cool but it was too massive.
The Rey is brand new sculpt and looks great sitting on her speeder. The speeder itself looks pretty detailed so this should be pretty popular set with fans and collector’s when it hits retail. The Luke with Landspeeder looks great to but is a SDCC exclusive for this year. I really hope that they do a re-release at retail for this. The figure looks great with a new head sculpt and they went with the poncho costume for Luke with the binoculars and floppy hat from the deleted scenes of ANH. The package looks great too with the large front window for display.
Hasbro is having a lot of luck with the Black Series line of vehicles and I hope they keep them going. I would love to see a Luke and his Snow Speeder from ESB, Anakin and his hot rod speeder from AOTC or pod racer from TPM, or any of the Jedi from ROTS with their Starfighter.
The Return of the Vintage Collection!
Not much info was released about what was to come with this return, but I’m super excited about this. The Vintage collection is one of Hasbro’s best line of figures ever and I really think that they will take good care of it. I see this as Hasbro telling collector’s that they are paying a little more attention to what we as collector’s what.
We know that we are going to get a Jakku Rey figure because it was pictured in that awesome announcement video. Later, we found out that the winner of the new Fans Choice Poll will be released under the Vintage Collection line instead of The Black Series which I’m ok with. Speaking of the Fans Choice Poll…
Fans Choice Poll
We also found out that Hasbro will be keeping the poll for another year which is great. Short of us speaking with our wallets, I believe that this is the best way we, as fans, can have a voice straight to Hasbro. As I type this, the characters are being narrowed down to the final six. If I have my dates right, the vote will be up on starwars.com for the final selection. Go and vote and make your voice heard!
So, yea, I was pretty happy with what I saw from Hasbro this year at Celebration. We didn’t see anything from Ep. 8, but I didn’t think we would. Leaked pictures will start rolling in pretty soon anyway and September is not that far off.
Exclusives aside, this IS a saga film release year so Hasbro has got some stuff ready to go that they can’t show yet. I just hope that Hasbro fixes their distribution model so we can actually get some of this product instead of just seeing photos of it. Darth Revan, I’m looking at you.
That being said, what I didn’t see are any long term plans to show Hasbro’s vision past 2020 when their current contract with the Star Wars property runs out. I just really thought they would address that in some fashion. We still have some pretty cool product to look forward to in the meantime.
Let me know if I missed something that you are really liked. Hit us up in the comments and let me know what you think about any collecting announcements that came out last weekend. Have a great day!