Welcome back! It has been a busy few weeks lately and I haven’t taken much time to work anything up but I had some follow up thoughts from the last column and I thought I would share.
I know I was pretty negative about the set of die cast figures from Hasbro last month and that opinion hasn’t changed. Also, if you have seen the main line of Black series 40th Anniversary figures that were released soon after my last column, you can guess that I wasn’t too thrilled with those either, mainly because the majority were repacks and a card design that seemed a little off. That’s just my opinion and I know that a lot of people have had the same opinion but changed it once they actually laid hands on them. So who knows, once I get to see them in person I may change my mind.
My issues with Hasbro center more on their creativity and lack of focus, and with not being as in touch with the fans as they once were. I will probably be addressing those in a more detailed fashion at a later point but not today.
I feel like that’s way too much negativity and complaining so, I thought I would take this opportunity to recognize some companies that are really doing cool things with their Star Wars products. These are not in any particular order or anything and some are not even “toys”, just some really neat stuff that have come our way as collectors and fans lately.
This company has been producing Star Wars merchandise for years and has consistently put out great sets from small pieces centered on a movie scene or specific vehicle to massive sets Like the Death Star set or Jabba’s Sail Barge. I always love to check out the Lego isle at stores because you really have no idea what new set might be coming out. I think they have a nice release schedule with new releases on a regular basis and release sets from every movie and TV show so whether you like The Clone Wars, Rebels, Prequels, Originals or TFA, there’s something here for you.
You know. Considering that Hot Wheels just produces small vehicles, I think they show up with some of the neatest ideas around. I really love they concept of making vehicles based on characters, and when you look at them, the design actually reminds you of that character. In addition to that, they produced a set last year with Ralph McQuarrie artwork on the vehicles and the card backs that is just great. Their die cast vehicles are really on point and make nice display pieces both in and out of the package. This is just some really out of the box thinking that, for me, makes them stand out.
These can pretty pricey but are still very nice high end collector pieces. Granted they are not what I would consider “toys” but they probably fit the technical definition. They are distributed here in the states by Sideshow but don’t carry as high a price tag as those pieces. The sculpts and modeling of these pieces are amazing and always come with great accessories that allow to display them almost any way you want. For a budget collector, they are pricey but worth it if you find one that you really want and I guarantee that you will!
If there is one company that has come on strong over the past several years to make a name for themselves it’s Funko and the POPS line. I can’t really say enough good things about these things. They are just so cute and make great little shelf pieces that look good almost anywhere you put them. I’m not sure there is a property that has EVER existed that they don’t make toys for, and make them look awesome. (Any company that can make a vomit covered, demon possessed, Reagan McNeil bobble head look cute has really got a handle on their business!). When it comes to Star Wars, Funko seems to give a little extra focus with variants, store specific exclusives, more character selection that you can imagine, and they even offer a Star Wars specific monthly subscription box called “Smuggler’s Bounty” that provides exclusives for the customer. These are automatic fan favorites and are the definition of a “rabbit hole” because when you buy your first one, you’re hooked!
Positive, I promise! Hasbro is the “bread and butter” for most toy collectors. They put a lot of product out for us and do a good job with most. I was skeptical at first with the decision to shift to 5 POA (points of articulation) with the release of The Force Awakens but I really like a lot what they have been producing in the 3.75” inch line. It’s a simpler looking form that kind of reminds of the vintage line. I also like that they kept the Black Series alive in the 6” format as a collector’s line and are producing some nice figures and vehicles in the 6” figure scale!! The best step they have taken is bringing back the fan poll for figures and I hope that that is a sign of things to come with Hasbro reconnecting to the fan community.
There are tons of other companies doing great things with Star Wars product and merchandise and I love to look at it all and maybe add it to the collection.
Face it, this is a great time to be a Star Wars fan with so much coming our way and if you don’t like one product, rest assured that something is coming your way that will like so we can just sit back and enjoy the fun!
What do you think? Did I miss one of your favorite lines or not mention a piece from these companies that you love? Let us know. Happy hunting!