Q&A: Big Hasbro Star Wars Figures and Where Prototypes Go to Die

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 16, 2022

1. Way back in 2002, we got the wonderful Attack of the Clones 12" deluxe Jango Fett with attachable armor and accessories (seen here: http://www.rebelscum.com/saga12jango.asp).

Any idea if Hasbro is planning something similar with Boba Fett, since the new series premieres this week, and he's one of the most popular Star Wars characters?

Seems like it'd be a slam-dunk if they could keep the price point right.


That deluxe figure with a cloth outfit came out before Sideshow and Hot Toys got the license. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro no longer had the contracts to make that kind of product. But what about the other 12-inch figure formats they make all the time?

Who can predict Hasbro? The Titan Hero Series size and format has been quite popular, and after 10 years we've seen no 12-inch Boba Fett, Jango Fett, or The Mandalorian in there. The format just withered after The Rise of Skywalker, but I don't know why - it still seems to sell, and Marvel and G.I. Joe and Power Rangers still do well with it.

There is very little else going on with 12-inch figures with Hasbro, and as of my writing this no big Boba toys have been announced. I'd do it if I were them, but I'm not, and the lines in recent years are counter to what you would expect from a mass-market toy line. (For example, no big launch of Mando Season 1 toys for the second season of the show, no Boba stuff on shelves, and so on and so forth.) It might change! It might not. Your opinion may vary, but I was taken aback by the lack of toys for The Rise of Skywalker until I saw the movie, at which point, I went "oh, they knew what they were doing." Conversely I do not at all grasp the lack of The Mandalorian stuff, and it remains to be seen how fans will like The Book of Boba Fett when it concludes in about a month. I assume demand will still be there, but for all we know they might make it undesirable to want more Boba toys.

In 2002, Hasbro's Star Wars line was dirt cheap. Figure prices dropped to $5, the Gunship was $40, and you could get some really spectacular stuff for what was comparatively peanuts compared to the previous four years. The 12-inch Jango was $40 back then - I assume Hasbro would charge you $80-$100 for a similar toy today were they to make one, if not more, given how we've seen them treat collector-specific deluxe purchases. After all, their 8-inch figure line - which ended before we saw a Boba Fett or anything exciting - were $80 a pop with no cloth and minimal extras beyond hands.



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2. Adam, who do you think gets to keep the prototype Black Series Rancor prototype? Surely, that would be an incredible item for a collector as it is 1 of 1.

Can you think of any other items that are truly 1 of a kind? I remember hearing that description on Pawn Stars for a rocket firing Boba Fett, but I thought that more than one of those were made.

How many of these unique Star Wars items are there?


I assume there are thousands if not more Kenner or Hasbro action figure-related concepts, abandoned or otherwise, that you'll never hear about or see. There are items from The Power of the Force 1995-2000 era that are still a mystery - I would assume that Kenner's 1978-1985 line is also packed with things we'll never see or hear about. But, maybe, some day, someone on some forum will collect stuff and put together a Lost Toys Wiki or something.

We don't know how many prototypes they made of anything - there may be paint master samples, articulation samples, 3-D printer tests, or other stages of development. Back in the day we were told these either went in some sort of prototype morgue or were destroyed. Some items got smuggled out or otherwise liberated. (I don't know why Hasbro doesn't just auction everything off for charity. They could raise a fortune.) If an item gets to the point where you see it, it's a safe bet there's more than one. We even saw packaged samples for Star Wars Amp'd. Does anyone care but me? Probably not. (But it would be a neat thing to revisit in light of Mission Fleet.)

It would not surprise you to hear there are a lot of items that were conceived over the years and exist as sketches, foamcore board prototypes, or other stages of development. Marketers, designers, engineers, buyers, licensing people, and others have seen these (and hundreds, if not thousands) of other items every year. Some come out, some don't - and if you're not a hardcore fan of a property, it probably doesn't even register that you saw a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at something that would never come to pass. (I mean, there are entire lines for movies where neither the toy nor the film got released. It happens!)

Supposedly a few dozen 1970s rocket-firing Boba Fett samples exist in various colors and stages of breakage, but there's no central archive of those things. I've seen a few, and pictures of a few more. (I do not have one.) I couldn't even begin to tell you how many prototypes exist of things, because there are things we'll never even hear about until someone writes a book. And unless they have a collection of photos (or samples), we may never see any of them - a Playmates sculptor has been posting some of his 1990s work to Instagram and there have been some Star Wars concepts in the mix. There were some 1970s Kenner things that didn't show up until some of the later 1990s Tomart books. There are things from the 1990s the general public still hasn't seen, and may never see.

The closer something gets to production, the more of them there are. Fully-painted (and in some cases, carded) salesman samples of Droids and Ewoks samples were made and it is assumed 20-30 (last I heard a number, anyway) was an estimate. But sometimes a designer may sculpt something as a side project over lunch, or cobble together a concept that went nowhere. It might be in a trash heap somewhere. I think the level of secrecy is kind of goofy, but I've also seen a lot of fans demand packaging variants that were announced (and not released) and a lot of "you can't have this!" "well now I want it!" exchanges on all sorts of items over the years. It's probably for the best that some items go unrevealed, and all kinds of toys - from all kinds of licenses and makers - generally fall under a "no photography" rule if anyone from outside the companies get to see them. Also "no talking about them." So if you want to see these things, you're going to have to hope someone is writing a book or is a former employee with a desire to be famous in toy social media and an ignorance of any legal problems that could come from showing off some concepts and pitches.





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New York Toy Fair 2022 is over, finished - there was a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes stuff (public mentions of rumors, but companies started pulling out last year before announcements were made) and quite a few buyers, sellers, press people, and such made the decision to not go. And many were still going! It's all quite complicated, but the long and short of it is the toy business is doing very well right now and teleconferencing has never been easier. (Maybe too easy.)

Many big events like Anaheim's Star Wars Celebration, The 56-Year Mission in Las Vegas, San Diego's Comic-Con International, New York Comic Con, C2E2, and Emerald City Comic Con are all currently on the books - but you can bet not all will happen. And it remains to be seen how many will be virtual, or postponed, or actually take place in person. I for one can't fathom going to San Diego's 200,000+ person event until we're a year or two out of our current situation, but I'm kind of lazy and kind of hate being sweated on in a crowd while trying to get to a meeting. (But the people, the toys, there's nothing else like it.) Last year New York Comic Con happened while cases were down a bit, and kept people to just one day, and didn't sell any of the good exclusives at the convention, all of which are the kinds of factors that would lead me not going to a show. (No toys? Why should I get on a plane?) But I digress.

Hasbro will no doubt continue its PulseCon events - most likely outside the traditional Toy Fair time frame - as well as its nearly-weekly roll-outs of new toys. Funko can't go more than a couple of days without a toy reveal. Super7 has something awesome every couple of weeks (or more.) LEGO has so much good stuff, and Playmobil is making two things I would've killed for when I was a little kid. (And no I'm not counting the Knight Rider set.) I know I keep saying this, but you have a lot of reasons to be excited this year.

Unfortunately, I won't be seeing any of my collector friends, industry pals, or co-workers for a while. I'm still not hopeful for 2022, but hopefully I can be proven wrong. Until then, at least we've got stuff to watch, and write about, and complain about.

--Adam Pawlus

Got questions? Email me with Q&A in the subject line now! I'll answer your questions as soon as time (or facts) permit.



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