Earlier in the week, a few Disney and Star Wars bloggers were whisked away by the House of Mouse to check out a number of upcoming toys in development for sale in The Disney Store retail outlets. An example of something taught in schools as "vertical integration," we now have a company absorbing numerous parts of a business - not only do they make the movie, own the rights, hire the actors, own the characters, and sell the product, but they're going to design and manufacture it in house, too. This article looks at the die-cast vehicle segment, which brings back metal in a meaty way with $10-$20 ships. Each has moving parts, is due later this year, and will likely remind the very older and infirmed of us of Kenner's lovely and memorable offerings from 1978-1981-ish.
With Hasbro, Galoob, Code 3, and Eaglemoss, we've had a decent chunk of metal vehicles over the last generation of Star Wars. We've had very big and expensive items, relatively cheap items, and there's a rumor of Mattel giving us Hot Wheels items that I actually haven't yet confirmed myself. The vehicles from Disney will come in two size classes - a $9.95 size, and a $19.95 size. The larger vehicles will include the Millennium Falcon, Star Destroyer (not shown to us), and the AT-AT. Each had numerous moving parts and pieces, like the Falcon's ramp and the AT-AT's side hatch which we never saw opening on screen but hey, it's still cool. The larger items are sized and priced similarly to Hasbro's Titanium Series Ultra vehicles (the $20 ones) from a few years ago. While packaging was not explicitly shown to us I did catch a glimpse of someone holding it and carting it off quickly - it looked like a closed box with a window in the front, with the lava line look, red and orange Star Wars logo, and a good solid look at the toy inside.
Also coming this Fall are smaller vehicles. We saw the Slave I, X-Wing Fighter, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, a Snowspeeder, a regular TIE Fighter, a Speeder Bike, and heard whispers of others like a Y-Wing Fighter and Landspeeder.
These ships felt a little more svelte, less chunky, and generally more attractive than some of the other previous offerings I've seen over the years. They don't feel like modified Action Fleet toys, which is good, because that's not what these are.
The emphasis on this line - and indeed their initial offering in general - was the original Star Wars film from 1977 and they see this as a way of introducing kids to the franchise through their retail stores. After all, some kids haven't seen it yet - so this is all new to them.
Of everything we saw, this may be the most interesting to older fans. The products look pretty good, but as we were looking at what felt like 3D print-outs that didn't feature final deco things might change. I was informed that - as one might hope - the Imperial ships will be a little cleaner, and the Rebellion craft should look a little more used.
Special thanks to Disney for the early look at these items! More articles from this event are still coming featuring 12 3/4-inch scale figures (not a typo), plush, kid's costumes, and more.