By Adam Pawlus
Photography: Michael Sullenger and Adam May
(NEW YORK, NY, February 15, 2004) This year is a huge year for Hasbro, with Star Wars being prepared to be unleashed upon the populus through a DVD campaign the likes of which you have never seen, but from their showroom and presentation, this is not immediately obvious.
The good news is that most if not all of this stuff will be out by early Summer, with the target dates on the Original Trilogy Collection (OTC from here out) being June or July. The bad news is that there isn't all that much of it and they're keeping a lot of it under wraps until later. The worse news is we have yet to hear how the Sandcrawler is doing, so we'll have more on that if and when we get some information for you.
This is what you want to read. Trust me.
The Vintage Action Figure Assortment will come in several waves, each of which is only shipping once. If you miss it, you're out of luck, so toy runs and preorders may be in order for these action figures. If you recall the individual reissue Masters of the Universe figures from a couple of years back, it's a little like that since the reproduction of the original packaging is replicated right down to the Kenner logo, and then inserted in a large plastic clamshell. If you're having a hard time picturing this, the final product will basically be like a figure that ships directly from Hasbro in a Star Case-style plastic box and will also have some sort of insert with the modern Hasbro information on it.
These figures will start to hit this Summer and have an MSRP of $9.99, which, when you get a good look at them, seems fair. Keep in mind, you're paying for the packaging, which is nearly identical right down to the old style blisters. The back is new, though, and keep in mind everything we're showing is in prototype form and subject to change.
The A New Hope assortment will start with four figures, three of which were revealed last week. Finishing up the first series will be an ANH-styled Princess Leia Organa in her original white outfit, and the other three are of course Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. The figures bear a very strong resemblance to their vintage counterparts in some ways, especially Han.
The second and third assortments will be from the other two films of the trilogy, and according to Hasbro representatives on hand, the figures have not been announced yet. The prototype cardbacks did list additional figures, though. From The Empire Strikes Back, the figures are Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, C-3PO, and Yoda. From Return of the Jedi, it looks like we can expect Chewbacca, R2-D2, Boba Fett, and another Han Solo. The other Han is a bit of a surprise, and since Hasbro was mum and the packaging is in prototype stages, you'll need to take this with a grain of salt, although not a very big one.
As far as normal, $4.99 basic figures go there wasn't much new to say other than the figures will move to the vintage-esque cardbacks with backgrounds this June/July. Prices are expected to remain the same and the only new announcements were something old, the return of our old pal the Scout Trooper and Wicket. Since many fans didn't get their fill of the Endor Imperial in late 2000, this will probably be a welcome addition to the assortment. Wicket has previously been sold at the $5.99 price point packaged with Logray as "Ewoks" in 1998, and with an Endor Leia as part of the Princess Leia Collection the same year.
The display didn't reveal all that much that was new, but it did give us a glance of Lando (General) up close. Which was nice.
12" Action Figures
The 12" assortment this year is going to be smaller and more expensive. Only three figures are planned for 2004, and they are Luke Skywlker, Boba Fett, and the Stormtrooper as announced earlier.
These will be part of the OTC, with vintage-style boxes and slightly higher prices. Hasbro's suggested price is about $29.99 a pop. At this time, we do not have additional information about the packaging.
The figures, in person, looked really great. While opinions on them have been all over the place in terms of what we've heard, the product on display looked pretty great and will definitely appeal to the collector, which, well, is a good thing. While it is sad to see the reduce quantity of figures this year, it looks like they're making a few improvements to the ones that we are getting, and since the packaging is really slick that's another big plus.
No new pieces were displayed or discussed, but you can see their setup.
The line is continuing, but apparently future releases will be announced later. Bossk has recently been confirmed, and we hope to have more to show you in the very near future.
It's 1978 all over again, minus the Landspeeder. The Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighter, and X-Wing Fighter return to stores this Summer. Prices are expected to be $60 for the Falcon and $20 for each of the smaller ships. Changes seem to be made to all of the ships, but what we saw were not final product.
The X-Wing is based on the earlier versions, meaning no removable droid and questionable proportions. This piece is in addition to the upcoming Toys "R" Us Exclusive X-Wing which is based on the Dagobah and FX versions.
The flagship (no pun intended) of this new line of OTC product is the Millennium Falcon. This is a retooled version of the classic vehicle originally sold from 1978-1984 and again from 1995 onward. The toy shown here is merely a prototype, and is far from finished. The light-up engines do not appear here, but you can see the retooled cockpit which was been designed to hold the OTC Vintage figures. This means that compatibility with other figures is questionable, but at least we know that some figures will be able to fit inside.
Again, this vehicle is due this Summer and will cost about $60. While we did overhear some questions about other exclusive vehicles, it seems this information isn't ready for mass consumption just yet. Numerous rumors are floating around this year, none of which were mentioned at Toy Fair, including a newly decorated Y-Wing Fighter. We'll have more as it comes in.
Other Hasbro Items
Also shown were a few games, role-play toys, and the return of the Jedi Master Yoda toy. The appearance of Yoda raised a few eyebrows, but we've since found out this has been a big seller for Hasbro and stores and as such, its return in a Trilogy-heavy year makes a lot of sense.
The toys and prices are the same as before, but in spiffy new boxes so it ties in with the whole OTC theme.
As evidenced by the Yoda lightsaber, there's more than the original Trilogy in the OTC. Seeing as the character and the toy are such a hit with fans of all ages, this is a good thing and we're hopeful there may be some other prequel toys salted into the mix.
Wizards of the Coast
While no new card games were displayed nor spoken of, the same packages for the miniature game reported on previously were on display.
Representatives on hand, unfortunately, did not have much to divulge regarding which characters would be available, or about the various box designs. As such, enjoy the photo.
Last revised 10:00 PM Eastern on February 15, 2004.