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.

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