Disney’s “The Mandalorian” Receives 15 Emmy Nominations

July 28, 2020 – The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars series, has received a most impressive 15 Emmy nominations.

While lead actor Pedro Pascal was snubbed, guest star Giancarlo Esposito nabbed a guest-starring acting nomination.

The 15 nominations include:

Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance
Production Design for Narrative Program
Cinematography for Single Camera
Fantasy/Sci-fi Costumes
Prosthetic Make-up
Music Composition
Outstanding Special VFX
Sound-Editing in a Comedy/Drama Series (2 nominations)
Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (3 nominations)
Stunt Coordination
Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian has been a breakout hit on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.  Season 2 will be released sometime in October (Disney has not yet confirmed a date), and Season 3 is now in pre-production.

The 72nd Emmy Awards will be held September 20th, broadcast on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.  The Emmys honor the best in U.S. prime time television programming which were broadcast from June 1, 2019, until May 31, 2020, as chosen by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Who Is DJ R-3X?

July 25, 2020 – One of the newest droids in The Black Series 6-inch line, DJ R-3X, went up online for preorders just four days ago. The Target-exclusive droid ($24.99) sold out within a few minutes, but will no doubt be available again upon its 30 August 2020, release date.

But who exactly is DJ R-3X? More popularly known as “DJ Rex” or just “Rex“, the audio-animatronic spins tunes at Oga’s Cantina within Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland (Anaheim, California) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando, Florida).

Rex, a former pilot of a Starspeeder 3000 for Star Tours, was recently reprogrammed to be a DJ in Oga’s Cantina. (Photo Credit: Disney)

According to Wookiepedia, R-3X or Rex was “formerly known as RX-24 who flew a Star Commuter 2000 from Lothal to Garel five years before the Battle of Yavi.  The shuttle was used by the rebels from Lothal in their mission to steal arms from the Galactic Empire. The droid later went on to work for Star Tours, where he piloted a StarSpeeder 3000.”

The following video from 2009 shows RX-24 piloting the StarSpeeder 3000 in the older version of Star Tours, which itself was replaced in 2011 by Star Tours II The Adventure Continues:

Rex and his background are considered canon. Wookiepedia adds that “[a]t some point, Rex crash landed on Batuu, where he was reprogrammed into a DJ by Mubo at the Droid Depot, and his appearance was slightly altered. Thereafter, Mubo gave the droid to Oga Garra to pay off a debt, and ‘DJ Rex’ started providing the musical entertainment inside Oga’s Cantina.”

For fans of the animated Star Wars Rebels, you may remember RX-24 in Season 1, Episode 1, “Droids in Distress” (Oct. 13, 2014):

Comedian-actor Paul Reubens (b. 1952), who previously portrayed Pee-wee Herman, provides the voice of Rex.

Target Posts Landing Page for Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run

July 21, 2020 – Target has created a landing page on its website for the 3.75-inch scale Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run, which is patterned after the life-sized Falcon at Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim and Orlando.

If you missed acquiring 2008’s Big Millennium Falcon ($150), here is your second chance: Target will be selling the Galaxy’s Edge Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run for $399.

Listed as “coming soon”, the ginormous ship will sell for $399.00 and should be available 30 August 2020 both online and at Target stores.

As part of Hasbro’s The Vintage Collection, the box art and Kenner-inspired retro packaging are gorgeous.

The Falcon retains its original look from Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), including its original round antenna. But because Disney’s ride attraction, also called “Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run”, occurs during the Sequel Trilogy era, a rectangular antenna – as depicted in Episodes VII through IX – is included as well.

Two 3.75-inch scale action figures – Hondo Ohnaka and Chewbacca – come with the Millennium Falcon as well as an armful (that would be six) of Porgs.

Lots of play features will keep children (or your inner child) occupied for hours:

Save 5% (about $20) when you use your Target RedCard. Save 100% ($399) if you resist temptation and sit this one out. Tough choices ahead….

Heroes of Endor 4-Pack Coming in The Black Series Line

July 20, 2020 – It’s a bit curious to be honoring Return of the Jedi (1983) now, which hit cinemas 37 years ago. But, oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

Hasbro celebrates Return of the Jedi with its all-new six-inch line of figures coming in September, 2020. The boxed “Heroes of Endor” set includes four figures:

Luke Skywalker wears a camouflaged poncho, and he comes with a helmet and his green lightsaber

Han Solo comes with his trusty blaster, which easily fits into his holster

Leia Organa also comes with her skinny blaster and helmet. Oddly, however, none of the press-release photos indicate whether she has her camouflaged poncho.

Paploo – he’s the mischievous Ewok who stole one of the stormtrooper’s speeder bikes in the extended Endor chase scene

In addition, the boxed set also includes one speeder bike. Retail price is $109.99 U.S.

Paploo, from the Bright Tree tribe, gets to go joy-riding on the included speeder bike. (Image Credit: Hasbro/Lucasfilm)

Yahoo! was the first to announce the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set, which will be available from Hasbro Pulse in September, 2020.

 

 

The Black Series 6-Inch Scale Hoth Wampa Figure Coming in September 2020

July 20, 2020 – Yes, we’ve seen more than a few Wampa action figures released over the years ever since the onscreen snow monster knocked Luke unconscious in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

As part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Empire, Hasbro will be releasing a 6-inch scale version of Wampa to join the Black Series line of figures and vehicles.

The 6-inch scale Hoth Wampa is a cleaner version of an earlier “bloody mouth” Wampa sold in 2014. Price is $29.99. (Image Credit: Hasbro/Lucasfilm)

Screenrant.com was the first to announce Hasbro’s newest offering, which will be available in September, 2020, from Hasbro Pulse. MSRP is $29.99 U.S.

For some collectors, a large part of the appeal of today’s offering is the vintage 1980’s style Kenner-inspired packaging.

The vintage-style packaging includes a flap reminiscent of certain boxed Star Wars mini-rigs from the 1980s. Note, however, that the Hoth Luke figure and the tauntaun are not included. (Image Credit: Hasbro/Lucasfilm)

Hoth Wampa has fully articulated legs and arms. Available from Hasbro Pulse in September, 2020.

 

Hasbro Reveals The Vintage Collection 501st Legion Arc Troopers Three-Pack

July 20, 2020 – Cnet.com was the first today to announce Hasbro’s upcoming release of a new three-pack of 3.75-inch clone troopers.

They are boxed in the familiar, vintage-style box labeled “Special Action Figure Set”.

The Vintage Collection 501st Legion Arc Troopers three-pack includes Clone Wars heroes Echo, Fives and Jesse along with lots of accessories – helmets, blasters and rifles.

The set will be available from Hasbro Pulse in September and the cost is $50 U.S. That comes out to $16.67 per figure – a bit steep for some consumers. But knowing how incredibly popular The Clone Wars and all things clone-troopers-related are, these figures will no doubt sell well and sell quickly.

Image Credit: Hasbro & Lucasfilm

Image Credit: Hasbro & Lucasfilm

Select Galaxy’s Edge Merchandise Coming to Target

July 20, 2020 – Last month, reports began circulating that select merchandise from Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge locations were about to appear at Target stores in partnership with the Walt Disney Company.

And now Target has released a tweet over the past weekend which teases the arrival of the yet-to-be-confirmed merchandise.

Yakface.com was among the first sites to post a list of items and retail prices they expect to show up on Target’s shelves this summer:

If the price for plush creatures ($12.99 each) is correct, then Target’s prices will be considerably cheaper than those at Disney’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. However, the list of merchandise and prices are unconfirmed and speculative at this point.

For Black Series collectors, they may finally get an opportunity to pick up individual 6-inch figures, including Hondo Ohnaka (previously only sold as part of a 3-figure pack within Disney theme parks); Captain Cardinal (aka Archex or First Order Stormtrooper CD-0922); and Mountain Trooper (previously only sold as part of a 4-figure pack at Disney theme parks). MSRP is reportedly $24.99 each.

Composite of possible Black Series 6-inch figures coming to Target: (L to R) – Hondo Ohnaka, Captain Cardinal and Mountain Trooper

New Disney Store shops have been opening within Target stores nationwide (U.S.) in a partnership announced at the D23 Expo in 2019. A total of 65 Disney Stores are scheduled to open in various Targets by October, 2020. For a list of current offerings, click HERE.

Walmart Lists Curiously Imaginary Product While Advertising Its Own “Collector Con”

July 12, 2020 – Walmart describes itself as the “largest retailer in the world”, employing 2.2 million employees worldwide, including 1.5 million in the U.S. But when it comes to selling Star Wars toys and collectibles, the company has a poor and well-deserved reputation for failing its customers. Widespread complaints include:

Empty displays and non-existent Star Wars merchandise in its toy aisles

Sometimes crushed and damaged goods shipped in too-small boxes or non-protective mailer bags for online orders

Walmart “exclusives”, such as the Star Wars Retro Collection 3.75-inch Boba Fett, that sell out within seconds of release, never to be replenished or seen again

A wonky website and online ordering system whose restock notification button has never worked (in our experience) and whose product placements are sometimes head-scratching

Click on the linked example above: Walmart is currently listing for sale something vaguely called “Star Wars” (???), and it’s only $9.84, but we have no idea what we are actually ordering. Just awful.

Two of the customer reviews are snarky and funny:

And so with a mixture of trepidation and curiousity, we now learn that Walmart is holding its first-ever online “collector con”. The con, we assume, is short for “convention” and not some other word.

Click on the image above to see what all the fuss is about at Walmart.com

Beginning on 17 March 2020 at 7:00 AM (PST) / 10:00 AM (EST), select exclusive merchandise will be released for sale online.

Walmart’s first-ever online “collector con” will supposedly offer over 70 exclusives from brands such as Marvel Legends, Transformers, Star Wars and GI Joe. Whether the exclusives will be new, old, or both, we don’t know as information is scarce.

Like an abused co-dependent coming back for more, of course we will check out Walmart’s offerings on March 17th. See you there?

 

Arribas Brothers Bring Bling to Star Wars Collectibles

July 10, 2020 – The Arribas brothers – Tomas and Alfonso Arribas from La Coruña, Spain – have continued their 100-year-old family business as masters in the ancient techniques of Glass Blowing and Cutting. The brothers first met Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966) at the World’s Fair in 1964, where they represented Spain and impressed Disney with their finely handcrafted works of art.

In 1967 the Arribas Brothers began crafting and selling their works of art in a tiny shop inside the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Today, their artwork can be found at 19 Disney park locations around the world, including Anaheim (Disneyland Resort); Orlando (Disney Springs, Epcot, Magic Kingdom); Disneyland Paris; Shanghai Disney Resort; and Tokyo Disney Resort.

If you have (lots and lots) of change to spare, you can purchase handcrafted, limited edition Star Wars items that add amazing bling to your collection.

Darth Vader, under a foot tall, sparkles with 29,095 swarovksi crystals. Retail price is $16,250.

The stormtrooper head sparkles at $8,900 and the largest Darth Vader available bedazzles at $29,500.

If your budget or display area is more limited, Arribas Brothers offers more modest Star Wars figurines ranging from $239 (R2-D2) to $529 (Darth Vader). All six figures pictured below are approximately 3.75-inch scaled.

Why do the bad guys (Darth Vader $529; Stormtrooper $379) cost more than the good guys (Leia & C-3PO $325; R2-D2 $239)?

Finely cut and colored glass by trained artisans transform Leia and C-3PO into works of art.

If Star Wars isn’t your thing, you can always choose Disney’s traditional icons, such as Cinderella Castle.

This version of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World sparkles at $37,500.

There are many more figurines, glassware, vases, tiaras, and other works of art. Visit Arribas.com to view current offerings or ShopDisney.com to order online.

Stan Solo Creations on Etsy: These Are the Droids You’re Looking For

July 7, 2020 – After the umpteenth viewing of Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back, your curiosity is piqued about the aliens and droids that appear on screen for a fleeting second or two. Who are they and what are they doing there? And why hasn’t Kenner/Hasbro, after all these decades, released these obscure droids for sale?

After decades of waiting, eager collectors can now turn to custom builders (forget Hasbro) to fill the voids in their collections. Since 2019, Stan Solo Creations on Etsy has been producing brilliant 3.75-inch scale figures, some complete with heavy-duty cardbacks, of the obscure droids we have come to love.

Some of the custom droids, including those pictured above, start at $39.02 plus shipping from the UK. Customizers such as Chris Smith of Stan Solo Creations on Etsy cannot compete with Hasbro as to production and distribution efficiencies, and their one- or two-man shows reflect higher labor (time) costs, thus the higher sales price.

But the customizers are filling a niche in the demand-market. For collectors looking to expand their collections with these high-quality, limited-run droids, custom orders are their best option.

The grey Q2 droid, seen at bottom left in this clip aboard the Tantive IV in “Star Wars” (1977), has been reproduced at 3.75-inch scale by Stan Solo Creations (Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

K-3PO is busy at work on the planet Hoth in this still from “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980). Note that Hasbro has previously released their own version of K-3PO Protocol Droid in 2000’s Power of the Jedi 2 series and again in 2008 as part of the Hoth Recon Patrol battlepack.

The cardbacks are made from heavier, higher-quality stock than the flimsy, warping cardbacks in Hasbro’s Retro collection (2019-2020).

A search of the Etsy store reveals some unique items that you have never seen on the big screen – or at retail. A set of seven (7) glow-in-the-dark vintage style “swords” will set you back $26.01, and the B0-B4 droid – whose paint scheme easily mimics Boba Fett’s colors – will cost you $39.02 plus shipping.

As inventory changes, you shouldn’t wait too long to order. Some past items (carded Blue Snaggletooth or carded figures from the animated “Star Wars Droids”, for example) are no longer available at publishing time.

Check out Stan Solo Creations on Etsy here.

Two Reviews by Analog Toys and RetroBlasting