Depending on where you sit as a fan, the merchandising at Star Tours is either the best thing ever or something giving you a little toy anxiety. (Hi, Ron!) This year at Celebration VI, Disney previewed Droid Factory, new Star Wars Muppets, Vinylmation, and-- get ready for this-- Star Wars Disney-Pixar Cars. Yes. Darth Mater.
The panel was one of the more packed collector-oriented panels we saw, and rightly so. There were dozens of exciting reveals from t-shirts to die-cast, but let's focus on the toys. A Starspeeder 3000 and Starspeeder 1000 2-pack is limited to 2,500 pieces to celebrate 25 years of Star Tours. A holographic Princess Leia Vinylmation variant was shown to celebrate... really big ears. This celebration is continued with the leaked second series, although the real excitement comes from series 3 characters like Admiral Ackbar and an oversized Jabba the Hutt with mini Salacious Crumb set.
Customizable name tags were on sale at the show, allowing you to print your name in Aurebesh as well as your "home planet." Phone cases for your iPhone 4 were shown including nice pre-made designs and some "D-Tech" print-on-demand models which include embossed art in some cases. These go well with the Carbon Freeze Experience.
On the Hasbro front, the Lightsaber customization station will be augmented along with Droid Factory. Disney people confirmed that parts for Droid Factory will continue to be rotated in and out, hinting that new things may be on track for 2013 and that Anaheim's Disneyland should see Droid Factory at some point in the future. This is, obviously, fantastic news as Galactic Hunter's trip to the Droid Factory at Disney's Hollywood Studios yielded a very expensive less-than-complete set. While Hasbro claims to not have involvement in this project, we can confirm that the figures do have Hasbro copyright markings on them.
As an added bonus, a poster of the first year's worth of droid parts was handed out to attendees of the panel.
Numerous other Muppet and Disney items can be seen in our slideshow, including Bean Bunny as Wicket the Ewok, but one of the most exciting items is a Thermal Detonator "Hot Potato" game featuring sound effects from the movie. A unit was demoed and it sounds really cool so far. Joining it is a latex wire armature Salacious Crumb, which seems to be a high-end, large (if not life) sized collectible figure.
The big new license reveal is Pixar Cars Star Wars, with Mater as Darth Vader, Lightning McQueen as Luke Skywalker, and others too. Pictures are in our archives, so be sure to check those out.
--Adam Pawlus, photography and story by Adam Pawlus