There's been a lot of talk about Star Wars this year, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not going to get any better between now and Dec. 18. Actually, I don't think it's bad news at all, but that's because I'm clinging to the hype train with all my strength, hoping just to make it through the next few weeks without falling off. One of my coping mechanisms for not having The Force Awakens beamed directly into my brain has been playing Disney Infinity's Star Wars content with my wife. Soon, we'll have even more Drunk History versions of Star Wars' narratives when Disney Infinity's The Force Awakens play set arrives.
The existing Star Wars content for Disney Infinity has been decent, giving me the ability to play as my favorite characters from the prequel and original trilogies, as well as Rebels, but the stories have been seriously wacky. Maybe not the Clone Wars/Rebels era stuff, but the Rise Against the Empire play set has a narrative that's eerily reminiscent of a child who's only seen Star Wars once trying to explain the whole story while her parents capture the moment on a cell phone. It's silly fun, and makes the experience feel fresh, even if you are laughing the whole time at the inaccuracies from the original story. I'm getting that same vibe about The Force Awakens from this trailer.
Following on the heels of Funko's Marvel Collector Corps subscription box, the collectible company slid comfortably over to Disney's other big pop culture phenomenon, Star Wars, for its latest venture. The Smuggler's Bounty adheres to the formula established by the MCC, and gives those who subscribe a handful of exclusive items, including shirts, pins, patches, and a few coveted, limited Pop figures. With so much hype and hoopla surrounding the arrival of a new Star Wars movie for the first time in 10 years, Funko positioned itself well to capitalize on all the excitement.
However, despite the promise the Smuggler's Bounty held, the First Order box, based on the villains of The Force Awakens, it lacks the significant punch of its Marvel brethren. In fact, were it not for the inclusion of the first fully-chromed out Captain Phasma, the Smuggler's Bounty would have been a great disappointment.
Since launching a full-on barrage of Star Wars merchandise on Force Friday, Hasbro's had its hands full. As the first new film-based Star Wars toys and collectibles in a decade, anything with The Force Awakens branding on it has been a hot commodity at retail. It's nearly impossible to find all the figures in stock, and what you do find has been picked clean by eager fans and collectors hoping to be among the first to complete the new collection. Sure, there have been a few pieces that linger (mostly Chewbaccas in any size in my part of the country), but for the most part, if you don't have an inside tip at FedEx or UPS, you're often left scrambling in the hopes of getting anything from the latest shipments.
Fortunately, being a member of the toy collecting press does come with some perks to help take the pressure off. Back when Force Friday kicked off, Hasbro reached out to a number of outlets and asked editors to pick either Light Side or Dark Side. There was little else in the communique to hint at what we might be making this choice for, but it wasn't a very hard decision to make. Though the good guys are the ones you want to root for in the movies, Star Wars' bad guys have always had some really cool designs, and have typically made more interesting toys. I mean really, which would you rather have, an old man in a brown robe or a bad-ass in green armor with a jet pack? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Boba Fett wasn't always the Mandalorian armor-wearing bad-ass that made it into the final films. Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie originally envisioned Fett as a sort of super-trooper (meow) in the Imperial army. The concept also stemmed a bit from the original ideas for Darth Vader, though we all know how that turned out. The Fett we saw on screen was a further modified version of McQuarrie's concepts that was finished off by Joe Johnston, who was an art director at Lucasfilm at the time. While the white armor even made it so far as to be screentested, the final version deviated from McQuarrie's original plans quite a bit.
There have been a few different figures and collectibles over the years to commemorate Boba's original all-white armor, but none that were based solely on McQuarrie's original design. That's where Sideshow Collectibles steps in. As part of its new Star Wars Concept Art series of premium format figures, the Boba Fett that had previously only lived as a painting or sketch will soon be realized in 3D.
Few characters from the Star Wars saga truly transcend the franchise. Most everyone knows Darth Vader, and the recent media barrage means they probably know a few other characters, too, but Han Solo is a rare character indeed. Not only is he one of the most memorable rogues in cinematic history, but since his appearance in Star Wars in 1977, dozens of films and stories have tried to capture that very same essence of character Harrison Ford portrayed. Even nearly 40 years later, Han Solo has endured, which is more than you can say for a lot of fictional heroes throughout history. That's why adding this Hot Toys Han Solo figure to my collection was a no-brainer, even if it's not quite up to the company's usual standard of likeness excellence.
It's actually hard to believe Hot Toys never dabbled in the Star Wars universe before, but until this year, the company didn't have a hand in arguably the biggest license in the collectible market. However, that all changed this year with the arrival of The Force Awakens. Since the deal was announced, Hot Toys has not held back in the least when it comes to announcing new figures for the line. There's been a solid mix of classic trilogy characters mixed with some of the new blood, but to this point, there haven't been many unmasked characters released. There have been Stormtroopers a plenty, but when it comes to the faces of the franchise, Hot Toys' selection has been a little light in that department.
If you're wondering how long it takes to build a Millennium Falcon, the answer is, "About three Star Wars movies." Well, that's for a Lego version anyway. I couldn't really tell you how long it takes to actually build a Corellian YT-1300 freighter because trying to measure build time in the Star Wars universe isn't exactly easy.
Though we picked up this new Force Awakens edition of the Millennium Falcon back on Force Friday, things were just too hectic until recently to put the Falcon together. After spending a few weekends assembling the Lego Marvel SHIELD Helicarrier, I wanted to make sure we had ample time to devote to getting the Falcon finished in a reasonable time.
Typically, Star Wars and Batman aren't two topics you'd freely associate. Though both are clearly very big players in the genre geek space, the closest you'd come to a crossover of any kind is in some fan art or fan fiction that mashes the two iconic properties together. However, that's not always the case, and sometimes the universe comes together in spectacular, unexpected ways.
This past weekend at Rhode Island Comic Con, both Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle were on hand for a "Voices of Batman" panel. It's one thing to get to see the longtime voice of Batman and his futuristic successor in person to chat about their experiences playing different versions of the Dark Knight. It's another entirely to witness them act out one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history as Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis. That's just what happened when a Batman cosplayer approached the mic, and asked the dynamic duo if they'd re-enact Darth Vader's and Luke Skywalker's exchange in Cloud City.
2015 is undoubtedly the year of Star Wars. In addition to the highly-anticipated debut of The Force Awakens, Marvel began releasing a new line of Star Wars comics earlier this year, including solo character books for Darth Vader and Chewbacca, and Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Shattered Empire. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up some of these titles yet, you’re in luck: Marvel is giving away a free sampler featuring previews of the first issue of several of their Star Wars comics.
The hype levels surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens may have reached critical mass, but that hasn't stopped fans from clamoring for more. Fortunately, to sate some of those appetites, there have been trading cards and comics and books and toys to hold the hunger for the actual film at bay. I'm as guilty as anyone for jumping head first off the moving bandwagon onto the hype train, and a large part of that is due to the new bad guys we've seen in promotional materials. Apparently I'm not the only one, as trying to find any merchandise with Kylo Ren and the Stormtroopers has been a challenge. Even they can't hold a candle to the desire seemingly everyone invested in Star Wars has for Captain Phasma.
Captain Phasma has appeared in footage and images, but hasn't uttered a single word. The only thing we know about her is that she's played by Gwendoline Christie and has the bossest set of armor. The fan fervor surrounding this character has already pegged her as the successor to Boba Fett. Now that's not from an actual coolness standpoint, obviously. We have no idea how cool she'll be in the movies. That's strictly from the point that any bit of merchandise that she's on becomes more coveted than the Ark of the Covenant. It's been especially true for all the figures Hasbro's made thus far, and it will likely be true for the upcoming Hot Toys version, too.
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