Why Hasbro Chose the Six-Inch Format for Its 40th Anniversary “Collect All 12 Figures” Rollout

February 23, 2017 – In yesterday’s article, we asked, “Is this the end of the 3.75-inch line?” for Star Wars action figures.

Today we have a more definitive answer thanks to an interview with Steve Evans, Design Director at Hasbro. The interview was published today at StarWars.com. It provides some useful insight into Hasbro’s decision-making process for its 40th anniversary observance of Star Wars and explains why Hasbro has declined to release commemorative 3.75-inch super-articulated figures.

The first five 6-inch figures will include Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi and R2-D2 (MSRP $19.99 each) in Kenner-inspired vintage packaging. All humanoid figures will have at least 20 points of articulation. All figures come with various accessories. (Photo credits below: Lucasfilm/Hasbro) sw40-han

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You can expect the above five figures to be released sometime in April, 2017.

For the collect-all-12 campaign, Hasbro is offering an additional seven 6-inch figures: C-3PO, Chewbacca, Death Star Commander, Jawa, Stormtrooper, Sand People (Tusken Raider), and Darth Vader. The 12 figures were selected to mimic the original 12 Star Wars toys first released in 1977-1978.

No release date has been announced for the seven action figures pictured below. (All photo credits: Lucasfilm/Hasbro)

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Here are some excerpts from the interview which illuminate why Hasbro has decided to migrate more firmly to the 6-inch format:

StarWars.com: Where did the idea come from to celebrate the anniversary this way?”

Hasbro: We wanted to celebrate the 40th anniversary in a very special way, but in a way that also included newer members of the Star Wars ‘family’ … So the idea of merging newer toys and collectable formats with evocative vintage characters and packaging art was a natural way to accomplish this.”

[Editor’s Note: “Newer toys and collectable formats” can reasonably be interpreted to mean Hasbro is opting for the 6-inch format for the foreseeable future. The first Black Series 6-inch figures appeared in August, 2013, so the writing has been on the wall for the last 3 1/2 years that the smaller format was about to be supplanted.]

StarWars.com: We’re also getting new figures in the Black Series line. This will complete the ‘original 12’… Was this especially exciting for the team to do at this time?”

Hasbro: It really was an easy decision. We wanted to honor the fact that Star Wars started with 3.75-inch figures but also nod to the fact that we now have 6-inch figures too. The fact that we were already so close to having the first 12 (1977) figures in the modern day 6-inch Black Series made it just such an obvious project.”

To read the full interview, click HERE.

For collectors still debating whether to embrace the larger format, here is one coming product that may help to seal the deal:

The Legacy Pack includes a "Special Edition Darth Vader" figure, an action figure display stand, a reversible backcard and instructions. (Est. availability: June 2017)

The Legacy Pack includes a “Special Edition Darth Vader” figure, an action figure display stand, a reversible backcard and instructions. (Est. availability: June 2017)

The Legacy Pack, with its strong sentimental echo of the first Early Bird special from 40 years ago and its nifty contents (a new Vader! a figure display stand! reversible backdrop!), will be hard to walk away from.

Star Wars‘ 40th anniversary only comes once. And then it’s gone. So choose wisely.

Star Wars 40th Anniversary Collection: Is This the End of the 3.75-Inch Line?

February 22, 2017 – Hasbro’s latest announcement of collectible six-inch figures, in honor of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, has some fans cheering and others perplexed.

The following video provides a good visual preview of some of the newest 6-inch figures, including the first five (Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-Wan, R2-D2), to be released this spring:


What We Like


● The new packaging, with its vintage Kenner-inspired look, is visually appealing and a respectful nod to the past. While we enjoyed the Black Series’ black boxes in the past for their sleekness and easy stackability, it is time for a change.

● If you want super-articulated (SA) figures, Hasbro has essentially been forcing fans and collectors to choose the 6-inch line. The release of SA 3.75-inch figures – or even 5POA figures for that matter – has been so sporadic and wanting, that many fans have walked away from collecting.

Other collectors have simply refused to engage the 6-inch line. A collector who began since Day One would by now have nearly 2,000 3.75-inch figures. And so it’s hard for some collectors to switch gears, whether for reasons of space, money or an understandable refusal to be “forced” into the 6-inch line by Hasbro.

And yet the vintage look of Luke, Leia, Han and friends will be difficult to walk away from. Plus there’s the guarantee of 20 points of articulation per humanoid.

● The accessories provide extra value and appeal: Han Solo comes with two weapons and an alternative pair of gloved hands. Luke has a blue lightsaber and macrobinoculars. Leia has two different-sized blasters. Artoo has seven doohickeys (sensorscope, lightsaber hilt, tool extensions).

● Additional characters we all want: While the first case wave is limited to Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-Wan and R2-D2, other popular figures are now confirmed: R5-D4, Death Star Commander, Tusken Raider and a Jawa.

The Darth Vader Early Bird Legacy Pack should be available sometime in June. If you missed the original Early Bird offer 40 years ago – because you weren’t born yet or were asleep – here is your chance to grab this re-imagined set.

The Legacy Pack includes a "Special Edition Darth Vader" figure, an action figure display stand, a reversible backcard and instructions. (Est. June 2017)

The Legacy Pack includes a “Special Edition Darth Vader” figure, an action figure display stand, a reversible backcard and instructions. (Est. June 2017)

● Hasbro has fixed Princess Leia’s puffy face: If you picked up the 2016 Black Series “Princess Leia Organa” #30 6-inch figure, you risked being sorely disappointed by her unrealistic face sculpt and poor paint app. The 2016 version was too round, too chubby and bee-stung.

Thankfully, the 40th Anniversary version appears to have struck gold with an admirable likeness of the Princess Leia we know and love. Compare:

2016 cherubic Leia (left) versus 2017 40th Anniversary Collection Leia (right) Image Credit: JediTempleArchives.com

2016 cherubic Leia (left) versus 2017 40th Anniversary Collection Leia (right) Image Credit: JediTempleArchives.com

What We Don’t Like


● From its earliest days, Star Wars action figures have followed the 3.75-inch format. The size made sense for all sorts of reasons: The size was compatible with small children’s hands and could easily be applied to larger vehicles and playsets. Kenner/Hasbro could produce mass quantities at reasonable cost, vendors could fairly easily manage large quantities of these figures, and consumers would be all too eager to snap them up.

So it’s regrettable that Hasbro has chosen to ignore the traditional 3.75-inch line for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. While it is possible that Hasbro has determined that the 6-inch line is more profitable (but who knows, the financial numbers are a closely-guarded secret), Hasbro risks forever losing a large slice of past and future customers.

● Some of these are repacks in new packaging: Luke, Leia, Artoo and so on. True, if you missed picking up R2-D2 the first time around, here is your second chance. But there are so many more classic characters we would love to see.

● Case assortments, here we go again: The Wave 1 case assortment is perplexing because it under-produces the most popular, in-demand characters (such as R2-D2), and over-produces potential peg warmers (Luke).

EntertainmentEarth.com, among other vendors, is offering a pre-order option now. For $164.99 U.S. and free shipping, EE’s website states you will receive:

“Case includes 8 individually packaged action figures:
1x SW E4 HAN SOLO
2x SW E4 LUKE SKYWALKER
2x SW E4 BEN OBI WAN KENOBI
2x SW E4 PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA
1x SW E4 ARTOO DETOO R2D2
(subject to change)”

Predictably, there will be a shortage of Artoos and Han Solo’s, so grab them while you can.

The End of the Line?


During the annual New York Toy Fair (Feb. 18-21, 2017), a Hasbro representative made a very cryptic remark to the effect that “a good story has a beginning, a middle and an end”. But what does that mean?

Hasbro did not reveal any SA 3.75-inch figures to honor Star Wars‘ 40th anniversary, to the great disappointment of longtime collectors. While Walmart has some repacks headed for its store shelves, Hasbro has nothing new to offer in the traditional line.

An optimist might point out that we are at the beginning of 2017, which promises to be a very busy year: With the Rogue One toy line coming to a close, the 40th Anniversary now rolling out, Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April, “Force Friday II” announced for Sept. 1st, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiering Dec. 15th, we could have a flood of product.

Six-inch Star Wars figures at New York Toy Fair 2017

Six-inch Star Wars figures at New York Toy Fair 2017

By contrast, a naysayer might turn Hasbro’s beginning-middle-end story metaphor on its head. As one commentator, Rivesjunctionite, has noted, perhaps this year is the end – at least for the 3.75-inch line:

“Beginning: 1978-1985
Middle: 2009-2012
End: 2017”

If there is to be a headstone or grave marker for the old line (1978-2017), perhaps we have already seen it: Just two weeks ago, Hasbro announced the future release of its 3.75-inch diecast figurines (see story HERE).

Diecast … as in zero articulation.

We certainly hope Hasbro will surprise us with a revived 3.75-inch SA line. After all, the Star Wars universe has many more decades of story-telling to present. Where the toy line goes from here, however, is anyone’s guess.

New Cast Members Announced for Han Solo Movie

February 21, 2017 – Lucasfilm today released the following cast photo for the second Disney-era prequel to Star Wars (the first prequel was Rogue One). The photo reveals some interesting tidbits.

L to R: Woody Harrelson, Christopher Miller, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Phil Lord and Donald Glover.

L to R: Woody Harrelson, Christopher Miller, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Phil Lord and Donald Glover.


Chewbacca is now played by the Finnish basketball giant Joonas Suotamo (born Oct. 1986). He replaces Peter Mayhew, who has been sidelined by health (walking) and related age issues. While Mayhew did receive screen credit and screen time in The Force Awakens, Suotamo had already begun taking over some of the more active film scenes in The Force Awakens.

British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge (born July, 1985, and pictured next to Woody Harrelson above) is rumored to play a CGI-character in the Han Solo anthology movie, due out on May 25, 2018. However, there is no confirmation yet as to her exact character, and the May 2018 premiere date may yet be bumped to as late as the 2018 Holiday season.

Another British actress, Thandie Newton (born Nov. 1972 and not pictured above), was also confirmed to join the cast. She is best known as a host robot on HBO’s Westworld.

Emilia Clarke (born Oct. 1986 and pictured in the center, above) is another British actress to have secured a role, though her character identity is still a secret.

The young Han Solo, to be played by Alden Ehrenreich, and Lando Calrissian, to be played by Donald Glover, have just begun principal shooting.

The upcoming anthology film will focus on Han and Chewie’s adventures prior to the original Star Wars (1977). The movie does not have an official title yet. If we had to vote, “Han Solo: A Star Wars Movie” would work.

X-Wings Movie Trailer (Parody)

February 12, 2017 – What happens when you cross Disney-Pixar with Star Wars? You end up with this fan-made trailer for a movie that does not officially exist:

If you have watched Cars and Planes in the past, then you can better appreciate this parody and its intentionally-awful humor. The goofy style imitates what we see and hear in the Pixar movies.

According to Wikipedia: “Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was acquired by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986. The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion; the transaction made Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.”

40th Anniversary of Star Wars: The Hasbro Strikes Back

February 9, 2017 – Well, it looks like Hasbro gets the last laugh. After enduring years of criticism from the fan base, Hasbro has released its first preview of products to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. And many fans will not be pleased.

Hasbro's 40th anniversary line of 3.75-inch Titanium diecast figurines.

Hasbro’s 40th anniversary line of 3.75-inch Titanium diecast figurines.

In response to requests from fans to abandon its 5POA (five points of articulation) approach to action figures, and to return to the glory days of super-articulation, Hasbro has done the exact opposite: The 40th anniversary figurines revealed today have “zero” articulation. Nul. Nil. Nada. Zip. Aught. Zero. A big fat egg.

These are not action figures as you cannot alter their single pose. They are more properly called figurines, to be looked at and admired.

But curiously, if Hasbro’s intent was to appeal to collectors, the toy company may be missing its mark. Judging by reaction on social media, few collectors appear interested (at least for now) in acquiring the new diecast line.

And with the most important playability factor missing – moveable limbs and joints – a great many kids may decide to ignore this new line altogether.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of "A New Hope", the first wave of figurines will include Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.  No word yet on whether future figurines will be forthcoming.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of “A New Hope”, the first wave of figurines will include Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. No word yet on whether future figurines will be forthcoming.

To be fair to Hasbro, at first glance some of the figurines do have an aesthetic appeal. Priced at $15.00 each, the 3.75-inch diecast figurines are posed on a plastic base and come with a cardboard backdrop. Certainly some collectors will be tempted to give these a closer inspection.
The frozen-in-action poses are reminiscent of the "Star Wars Unleashed" line from over a decade ago, albeit in 3.75-inch scale.

The frozen-in-action poses are reminiscent of the “Star Wars Unleashed” line from over a decade ago, albeit in 3.75-inch scale.

Gizmodo was among the first sites to report Hasbro’s 40th anniversary reveal: “(The figurines) also feature accessories like FX pieces for their weapons, as well as their own special backdrops. The backdrops include two different inserts, a backdrop from the movies, and also character art that can be connected to other Titanium series figure stands to complete the full scene.”

Some of the painted figurines (Vader & Obi-Wan) look fairly accurate in resembling their on-screen characters; the others (Luke, Leia, Han), not so much.

Close-up view of Vader and Obi-Wan shows a good resemblance to their movie characters

Close-up view of Vader and Obi-Wan shows a good resemblance to their movie characters

The faces of Luke, Leia and Han look a bit off.

The faces of Luke, Leia and Han look a bit off.

As far as Hasbro is concerned, it appears the last two decades of super-articulated figures is over (1995-2012). 5POA had become the new normal for the 3.75-inch line. And now we are gifted with static, immobile diecast figurines.

Hasbro has a near-monopoly license on Star Wars figures and vehicles, and with its introduction of a new 6-inch line several years ago and now some diecast figurines (mimicking Disney’s diecast figures as well), the plastic 3.75-inch standard appears to be in jeopardy.

Speaking of monopoly, Hasbro has also revealed another product: 40th Anniversary Monopoly:

The Star Wars 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Monopoly ($30) comes with six tokens: Luke’s X-Wing helmet, a sandspeeder, a Stormtrooper helmet, R2-D2, the Death Star, and the Millennium Falcon.

The Star Wars 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Monopoly ($30) comes with six tokens: Luke’s X-Wing helmet, a sandspeeder, a Stormtrooper helmet, R2-D2, the Death Star, and the Millennium Falcon.

The special edition Monopoly board shows an iconic Star Wars poster at its center as well as scenes from the original movie. 40thanniv-monopoly

Expect these 40th anniversary products and more to hit retail later this spring.

Star Wars Land to Open in 2019

February 7, 2017 – The Walt Disney Co. announced today, during its 2017 Quarter One earnings call, that Star Wars Land at Disneyland (Anaheim) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando) will open sometime in 2019.

Ever since Disney first erected construction walls at both parks in the first third of 2016, Disney has never committed to a specific opening date for either Star Wars Land. Despite today’s announcement, however, no soft- or hard-opening dates have been revealed.

The promise of a 2019 opening is more credible for Disneyland because vertical construction has been well underway for several months. By contrast, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has not witnessed any major vertical construction and is moving at a snail’s pace.

The following video filmed Feb. 3rd at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by YouTube user TheTimTracker shows some repositioned construction walls and points out some logistical theming problems. How, for example, will Disney be able to seamlessly connect Star Tours Adventure with the new Star Wars Land, when the Muppets’ Courtyard stands between them?

An overhead shot of the future Star Wars Land in Orlando shows the bare beginnings of the new themed area:

Taken Jan. 21, 2017, this aerial photo of Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios shows only some foundation work. The road at bottom is the main entrance road, and the pink building at right is the Muppets Vision 3-D attraction. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Bioconstruct)

Taken Jan. 21, 2017, this aerial photo of Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios shows only some foundation work. The road at bottom is the main entrance road, and the pink building at right is the Muppets Vision 3-D attraction. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Bioconstruct)

Adjacent to Star Wars Land in Orlando is the now-under-construction Toy Story Land. Judging by the quicker pace of construction there, it appears that Toy Story Land will be opening well before Star Wars Land.

Other higher priority projects, such as “Pandora – The World of Avatar” (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, opening May 27th) and the expansion of various Disney Vacation Clubs (i.e., timeshares), may explain part of the reason for the slower pace at Star Wars Land.

By contrast, Disneyland’s Star Wars Land in Anaheim is showing a lot of heavy equipment on site, vertical construction and fairly rapid progress:


May 24, 2019, by the way, is the announced premiere date for Star Wars Episode IX (no official title yet). As that movie will conclude the third trilogy, Disney may be feeling some pressure to open its newest themed lands before fans drift away.

Artist's concept of Star Wars Land (Image Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Artist’s concept of Star Wars Land (Image Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Who Is “The Last Jedi”: Official Title Announced for Episode VIII

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January 23, 2017 – Lucasfilm announced today the official title of the next episode of the Skywalker saga: Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Scheduled for release on Dec. 15th, 2017, the eighth episode is written and directed by Rian Johnson, produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.

Some quick observations about the official title:

● Gone is the sequential numbering (“Episode VIII”) which was traditionally used in past Star Wars movies. For purposes of shorthand reference, however, we will occasionally still refer to the film as “Episode VIII” or “Ep. VIII”.

● The red-black-white logo is a departure from the traditional gold or yellow lettering of Star Wars. Black and red are used extensively by the First Order. In our world, the color combination of red-black-white can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt. In more modern times, the Satanic religion has used the colors black and red.

Anthropologists note that across most cultures, humans perceive black, white and red foremost among all colors for symbolic purposes. More discussion HERE.
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● Following the release of The Force Awakens, actors John Boyega and Carrie Fisher had reported that the script for Episode VIII was “darker”. The Last Jedi will not be a feel-good movie at all as it sets the stage for a final confrontation in Episode IX.

● So what does the title mean? Who or what is “the Last Jedi”? At first glance, most fans would probably think that the title refers to Luke Skywalker. With the First Order ascendant and Luke in seclusion and hiding, that guess would seem reasonable.

But what if the title refers to someone or something else? Our favorite Jedi hero cannot live forever, and like his masters and trainers who have passed before, Luke too must eventually die.

Alec Guinness (born 1914) was 63 years old when Star Wars: A New Hope debuted in 1977. Mark Hamill (born 1951) is now 65 years old. In other words, Luke “the young farmboy” is now older than “that old wizzard”. Let that fact sink in.

The label “the Last Jedi” could well pass to another character. A newly-trained Rey, perhaps? A redeemed Kylo Ren, who must bring balance to the Force? A third character we have yet to learn of?

Photo Credit: Blizzard Force Customs

Photo Credit: Blizzard Force Customs

Another possibility is that Luke is indeed the last and final Jedi, and all the Jedi arts and secrets will perish with him. This does not mean, however, that the First Order will have prevailed. A good team of writers could re-order the galaxy and turn the Force on its head.

For there to be “balance” in the Force, this must mean that neither the Jedi nor the Sith, that neither the Light side nor the Dark, can remain supreme. Similar to the yin and yang of our world, the two opposing sides need each other in order to exist. But their co-existence also means constant conflict and never-ending battles.

Thus the paradox. The Jedi can never destroy the Sith, and hence the First Order, without undermining their philosophical pursuit of balance.

Another twist: What if the Jedi are evil, from a certain point of view? Others have speculated that the Jedi are the true villains of the galaxy, driving this ceaseless conflict. (Google “what if the Jedi are evil” or “Jedi are bad guys” and you will see numerous articles on this topic.)

If this new truth suddenly dawns on Luke Skywalker, his biggest contribution could be his own voluntary demise. Such a sacrifice would give deeper meaning to the title, “the Last Jedi”.