Welcome back to the second installment of the collecting column: “Old Fossils & New Acquisitions”. First off, I promised a title this time and I was able to deliver. It mimics two lines of great dialogue from the OT and covers what we are going to talk about with these articles.
I really wasn’t expecting to put anything up again this soon, but not long after our first post, Hasbro hit us with our first glimpse of their 40th Anniversary line of figures. When the press release went out, and I was able to take in the pictures for a bit, I knew I wanted to put up my first impressions.
The press release covered a few new lines that will be hitting shelves pretty soon, but for this article, I just wanted to focus on the 40th Anniversary line.
To start off with, I want to put it out there that I really love the “special” figure releases lines like sneak previews(prequels), mail away figures(vintage and modern), and specific focus lines( anniversaries or concepts). I think it’s a great way for Hasbro or any licensee for that matter to really pull out all the stops when it comes to sculpts and packaging and really show respect for the property and the fans who keep the sales coming in on a regular basis. The figures that I have in my collection that fall into these categories are some of my favorites just because they tend to stand out in the crowd. That’s why with the 40th Anniversary of ANH this year, I was excited to see what Hasbro was going to do. To be honest I was getting worried that they were not going to do anything because we were not hearing any plans at all until now.
So we will talk about the simple one first. A new SW Monopoly set with a new board, pieces and box art with the 40th anniversary logo on it. Its cool looking and the new pieces are a draw but I have a few different sets that get played from time to time so I’ll probably pass on this. No big deal.
Now with the figures, Hasbro is giving us six new 3.75”diecast figures from the “Titanium” line of characters from ANH. They look like new sculpts with dual sided backgrounds to represent different settings from the movie and figure stands. Each figure comes with what looks like an accessory “effect” that can be placed on the figure for added accent.
I really like the accessory effects that come on with these figures. I especially like the lightsaber “flashes” for Ben and Vader. The blaster bolts for the other figures are cool and add nice accents. The stands are a cool touch and without knowing what the packaging will look like, they are nice display feature.
Now a few criticisms. If these are the final sculpts, then… ugh. The poses for Luke, Han and Leila are dead on screen accurate, but the faces are flat out horrible. We know that Hasbro can do better, so why for THIS line would they not work out better sculpts? For goodness sakes, the Han looks like a young David Hassellhoff to me, but in my defense, my wife and I have been watching a lot of Knight Rider lately.
Oddly enough the Ben and Vader have almost the exact opposite issue. The sculpts are better but when in that movie did either of these character strike such dynamic poses. Vader with his outstretched hand and one handed grip on his saber looks more like a Rogue One pose that ANH. All I’m saying is that if these figures are meant to honor this movie, they should represent the characters from the movie better.
One of my biggest complaints is that they seem so familiar to the 25th Anniversary two packs from 15 years ago. Character wise, we are only missing Chewbacca. Han is practically posed the same and Luke’s figure is taken from the same scene they used in the sets from 15 years ago. Obi-Wan and Vader have sabers in hand and even look like they are dueling when they are sitting side by side. I realize there are differences but how many iconic scenes from ANH could they have used for these characters instead of ones that they have already produced.
It just seems really unimaginative to me for Hasbro to mirror those old sets from 15 years ago as the kick off for the 40th Anniversary line. They could have produced another series of two-packs, with other characters or different scenes from the movie. Personally, I have always wanted to see figure sets based on the more iconic behind-the-scenes photos from the original movies. Yea, I realize that’s a long shot at best and is an extremely abstract concept, but at least it’s a something different that has never been done.
I think these would make killer figure sets!
I understand that these are the first photos of these pictures and we still have not seen the packaging yet so to judge this line too much is a little unfair right now. I really believe this is only a small part of what Hasbro has planned and am looking forward to the upcoming announcements from Toy Fair in NYC and Celebration Orlando in regards to this line and I still have hope that Hasbro has got something cool to bring to fans.
I will come back to the modern line after more information is released through those announcements at those shows. I won’t be going but if anyone that’s reading this wants to chime in with their impressions of the toys from the showroom floor I’d love to get the point of view from someone who is actually there.
What do you guys think? Do you like these figures or not? What are some of your ideas that would make a great anniversary line of figures? Comment below or drop a line with your opinions. Thanks for reading and May the Force Be with You!