Is it a dark day for the new toy republic? Hasbro had their impressive new 6-inch Star Wars Black line on display at their exhibit as well as some of their less impressive product offerings. While fans have long waited for a 6-inch Star Wars line, it may not be enough to distract them from the weird direction being undertaken by Hasbro's other Star Wars line.
By now you've probably seen the meme, jokes, and so forth about Hasbro taking the Star Wars line back to 1977. A portion of Hasbro's Star Wars line has definitely fallen into the dark side as this new 3.75-inch eschews both quality and articulation (dropping to five points!) in favor of a US$6 MSRP. The reduced-everything lines seem to be part of a larger trend with toy companies lately, where the industry has decided to work around rising costs by producing an inferior option aimed more at young children. However, I expect that this segment will also appeal partly to collectors of the original line who have a nostalgic hunger for the simplicity of the figures with which they grew up. In addition to the 3.75-inch offering, there will also be a line of larger 12-inch figures which surprisingly look even worse.
But wait! All hope isn't lost! Remember that the sort of 3.75-inch figures we had been getting will be re-branded into Black Series as well. So even if the other line disappoints, it doesn't necessarily affect collectors. These 3.75-inch offerings will continue at the new normal US$10 price point.
The news that I imagine most care about, however, is the new Star Wars Black Series 6-inch offerings. Hasbro had all four of the new figures (R2-D2, Darth Maul, the Sandtrooper, and pilot Luke) on display but those were probably almost instantly forgotten when the news broke that they would soon be joined by a Boba Fett as well. Boba Fett, who has always had the ability to steal the spotlight despite only minimal involvement, will apparently be receiving a San Diego Comic Con special edition that features a Han Solo in Carbonite accessory (better known as the high point in Boba Fett's career in the Star Wars films). Unfortunately, no images are available of Boba Fett just yet but I imagine that hardly affects our resolutions to buy this figure.
Now that I've officially lost your attention, I'll mention that the new Darth Maul comes with an alternate piece to give him his robed look (as opposed to the often fabric robes seen in the smaller line) and that R2-D2 features the sort of pop-out gadgets that we've come to expect from the hardy little astromech droid.
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