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

sw40-leia

sw40-luke

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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)

sw40-c3po

sw40-chewbacca

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sw40-jawa

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sw40-vader

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.

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