Variety has a big story on a bunch of new movie release dates from Disney. Of particular note, the as-of-yet untitled Episode IX has been given a date of May 24, 2019. For those of you keeping track, the as-of-yet-Untitled Han Solo movie is set for May 2018 (still), and that's only 6 months after The Last Jedi hits theaters in December of this year.
We don't know exactly why they're changing seasons for Star Wars, although it might have something to do with getting the heck out of the way of Avatar sequels or positioning Star Wars to take over for Marvel, which may be undergoing a retool of its own. Indiana Jones 5 was also delayed to July of 2020.
From a toy business perspective, this could actually be really good news for Star Wars fans.
A few years ago we got a glimpse into a pretty cool Starspeeder 1000 from Disney, showing that they can make vehicles for the theme parks when Hasbro wasn't so inclined. Now according to Jedi News on Twitter, it looks like they're going to do a Sandcrawler. Start saving, it's going to be an expensive year for droid fanatics.
More! It looks like D-23, Halloween, Christmas, and whatever season BB-8 represents will be getting more exclusive figures at Disney parks and events. According to Vinylmation World, D23 will get R5-D23. Halloween gets a killer clear green R3-B0017. BB-8 will show up at Disneyland during D-23. R3-H17 is this year's Christmas Day of the Robot. Vinylmation World has more in a tweet.
Adam gets another ulcer! New Protocol Droid Factory announced at Hollywood Studios! Vinylmation World posted some interesting stuff in the last day, including this tweet showing a new series of Protocol Droids launching, apparently, today! Exactly how many and which parts are there remain to be seen, so if anyone can catalog everything available so we can beg friends to help us out, that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to my pal Shannon once more, the droid R2-H16 is here in the office! He's at Disneyland and other Disney parks now for pennies under $13. He also has an all-new hat. You won't want to miss this festive fellow, as he'll likely disappear from the parks before the new year. Get yours, read on!
Happy Halloween! R2-B00 is - or was - at Disney theme parks as I type this for about thirteen spooky dollars. It'll be a beast to find them now that R2-H16 is shipping. I bet they'll skeleton of them. You could say it's pretty ghoul. Rather than torture more words in this intro, why not read on?
Hot - or cold - on the tail of last year's robot is the new R2-H16. This festive fellow has a hat with ear flaps, which is reason alone enough to buy one as 3 3/4-inch scale droids seem to have become the new Vinylmation as our hobby as concerned. The official Disney Parks site has a feature on this and other new items, including a Bluetooth Stormtrooper Commlink for your phone, new plush Ewoks based on the 1980s cartoons - seriously!, and other goodies.
Ultimate Studio Edition Star Wars Collectibles are now up for grabs at http://collectibles.starwars.com/. This new product line is yet another prop replica maker, with one key difference - these ones boast even more authenticity, and are priced (and packaged) accordingly. Eight pieces are up for grabs now, all from The Force Awakens, including Vader's melted helmet (pictured) as a limited edition of 500 for $3,500.
Reader Frank chimed in to let us know/warn us that four more droids were added to the action figure part bins at Disney World in Florida. No new bodies are available yet - but these four domes are. Here's what he had to say:
"I am an avid fan and love my astromechs! I stopped out at WDW Hollywood Studios today and happened to browse by the Droid Factory counter at Tattooine Traders. Not expecting to see anything, just more of the mismatched 2015 domes series when I did see exactly that!! More mismatched domes and some that I had not seen before. I have not seen reports of these new additions. I found 4 new domes, but nothing new in the legs or bodies from before. Maybe they are on their way? Or maybe 4 domes is all there is?? Not sure when these hit the retail floor, but it looks like there are new parts coming for 2016. The 4 different domes are pretty evenly distributed out there, no shortage that I could tell. Just wish they had some matching parts to make coherent looking droids. Most interesting is the new black R4.5 [?] dome. If I learn more here I’ll send it in."
If you like new droids, Yakface.com has some exciting news for you - the Holiday 2015 droid aptly named R2-H15 is out now! Actual pricing was not reported, but other droids in this line have been $12.95 and eBay prices (and mark-ups) seem to indicate that's about the going rate. Good hunting!
Reader Matt wrote in to let us know that Disneystore.com is now selling the theme park exclusive Droid Factory Box Set - Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a ridiculously good $29.95. The set has 4 3 3/4-inch scale droids including some you haven't seen as toys before - considering the going rate of a droid is usually $10-$13, that ain't bad.
What's more, there's also this 25% off $75 coupon that expires today. If you need more than one set - or shirts - this is quite the deal.
This is new! No, really! This R4-M9 is new for 2015 and is on sale right now at a Disney park near you as part of a four-pack that is ultimately worth getting. (And it was $29.95 when I got mine - a real bargain!) He comes with R5-X3, R2-Q2, and a new R0 droid. And yes, we'll be looking at them all soon. Read on!
Hasbro or not Hasbro? We're still not 100% sure, but we do know that a new Droid Factory Boxed Set has popped up at theme parks and on eBay. Reader Michael passed along the details - $29.95 gets you four droids (a real bargain!) including the first-ever R0-4LO and the first action figure of R5-X3 - this was previously sold as a Tomy RC droid and was slated for the axed Legacy Collection.
Also included are R2-Q2 with a different paint job - seriously, new panels and all - plus the first new R4-I9 since 2002. The box boasts they're from the new movie, but I'm curious to see if this is true.
Thanks once more to my pal Shannon, we've got a R2-Series Astromech Droid Grey and Green (not R7-A7) - plus a bunch more as part of the second wave of figures. With this one there's a fine line between "proper configuration" and "I need one of each part," so you're seeing the "I need one of each part" configuration. How does Ahsoka's droid translate to realism via theme park? Read on!