By Michael Sullenger
Photography by Michael Sullenger
(ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS, August 8, 2003) As Hasbro wraps up their summer convention tour in Wizard World Chicago, the prevailing questions going through collectors' minds are "Where are the toys?" and "When will we get more Original Trilogy characters?" While the former is certainly an ongoing dilemna this year---one that has frustrated many and more than likely impacted Hasbro's bottom line---the second question was answered two weeks ago at Comic-Con San Diego and now shouted out loud and clear in Chi-town, as Big H not only unveiled some new Clone Wars and Prequel swag, but also offered a glimpse of what's to come in 2004. Needless to say, the stuff is---for lack of better humor---very Hoth indeed.
L to R: Hasbro's Paul Palmer, Andy Espenshade, and Ham Woodhouse
The last two figures for this offshoot line were shown. Although there are currently no plans to continue Clone Wars, there are rumors in the air that a line based on the cartoon series may soon become a reality....stay tuned.
Kit Fisto (Clone Wars)
Looks like Kit's been hitting the Soloflex machine at the Jedi Temple. This new "shirtless" version of the Jedi Master comes with a lightsaber (not shown).
Saesee Tiin (Clone Wars)
To further emphasize that the Clone Wars is far from a gondola ride for the Republic Forces, Hasbro decided to give Tiin a broken "battle damaged" horn. Also comes with a communication headset, lightsaber, and soft goods skirt.
Durge With Speederbike
The ancient bounty hunter with Wolverine-like healing powers comes in a custom new bike with the kind of junky weathering and messy paint job one would expect from an ancient bounty hunter.
Clone Trooper with Speederbike
We could call this a reissue of last year's model, but the bike's been repainted and now comes with a firing missile. The Clone remains the same.
Role Play Electronic Lightsabers
Also shown were boxed samples of the repackaged for Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku Electronic Lightsabers. With lightsabers remaining a strong seller for its category , why not?
Hasbro continues their interconnecting modular bases with the release of characters from the Outlander Nightclub in Episode II. But the biggest eye catcher at the convention was the preview of 2004's Hoth assortment and and Tatooine C-3PO. As we reported at Comic-Con, Hasbro will begin basing their waves on themes from each film. Collectors jonesing for more Original Trilogy are already making their checklists for 2004, and Hasbro aims to please by giving us all new versions of secondary characters and significant redos from POTF2.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Coruscant Night Club)
Obi-Wan Kenobi is either waving the "peace out" sign or ordering two additional shots of pimp juice. Well, it's actually the venerable Jedi Master waving the old mind trick on a death stick dealer to "rethink" his life---but pimp juice works too. Includes a bar glass for said pimp juice and a section of the bar counter.
Elan Sleazebaggano (Coruscant Night Club)
The weak-minded Death Stick dealer gets his own figure complete with Death Stick Lab Kit and section of the Outlander bar which connects with Obi-Wan's. The prototype shown at the convention is missing his antennae for some reason. Since the photo posted at Hasbro Star Wars shows the figure with them on, we assume the Chicago sample lost them during transit.
Ayy Vida (Coruscant Night Club)
The half-naked orange Twi'lek chick lives La Vida Loca with sexy curves and a barstool. Yes folks, we've actually been up all night writing this and actually said La Vida Loca.
Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack)
Here's Luke hanging out at the Wampa cave as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. An all new sculpt and definite step up from the POTF2 version, Luke also comes with a lightsaber, removable goggles, and a section of the Wampa the cave.
Imperial Dignitary #2
The second Imperial Dignitary was shown featuring a new head sculpt and fashionista head gear.
Hmmm...that head sure looks familiar. Why...could it be? YES! That's Hoth Han Solo's head plugged on a new Hoth Trooper body! If it's not, there definitely is a likeness and we leave it to your keen eyes to judge for yourself. The character itself is one that's been long overdue for a resculpt, and this new version has a blaster rifle, removable side arm, and base.
The red Hoth protocol droid comes with its own interconnecting base.
Part of the Tatooine wave coming in 2004, Threepio comes with the Tantive IV escape pod and a new R2-D2---sold seperately--- also planned to come along for the ride.
The Hoth snow beast features a new, more dead on sculpt and a piece of finger lickin' good Tauntaun to chomp on. The packed-in section of the Wampa cave interconnects with the new Hoth Attack Luke.
A former Fan's Choice candidate, Rieekan gets immortalized in plastic with amazing likeness and detail. The Rebel General includes a spiffy tactical display map.
More photos are available for your viewing pleasure in our Wizard World '03 Hasbro Image Bank!