There have been Star Wars toys on the shelves at retailers consistently since the mid-1990s. With the re-releases of the classic trilogy and the actual releases of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars has managed to not only stay hot for collectors, but thrive at retail in ways many other toy lines that started in the 1970s could only dream of matching.
This year is a big year for Star Wars movies, in case you hadn't heard. That also means it's a big year for Star Wars collectibles. It's such a big deal in fact, that an entire day, Force Friday, was built around the new toy releases themed around the upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
With figures from the upcoming film in high demand, it's a wonder the team working on Star Wars at Hasbro has any free time at all. Fortunately, we caught up with Hasbro's Star Wars team after getting a look at some of the new Star Wars Black Series collectibles coming later this year.
Since 2006, fans have flooded the Javitz Center year after year for New York Comic Con, but until this year, they've never been witness to magnificent pieces Sideshow Collectibles offered. Sideshow does its fair share of shows, but 2015 marked the first time the company made an appearance at NYCC. Though the booth may not have had the same square footage as Sideshow's SDCC presence, it was still packed with loads of incredible sculptures featuring many fan favorites and some of the company's own creations.
Most of what was on display at NYCC had been seen before at other conventions, but the more diminutive booth allowed for a more focused presentation. Where the SDCC collection was three or four times larger, that also meant there were that many more products vying for your attention. While it was definitely cool to see so many new things a few months ago, there was definitely some "cool stuff" overload happening. Notably missing from the NYCC booth was a great deal of Hot Toys, which was represented at New York with a handful of First Order Stormtroopers, and that's it. Sideshow put the spotlight on its own goods, including the DC and Marvel premium format figures due to arrive over the course of the next year, and its outstandingly creepy Court of the Dead line.
Though New York Comic Con isn't typically a show where Kotobukiya reveals many new items, you can always count on the company to tease a handful of never-before-seen pieces. This year, the pickings weren't robust, but they will make fans of Koto's Bishoujo series for statues happy. While there were some nice Star Wars figurines at the booth as well, the primary source of new statues came from the "beautiful girl" series.
Both the Harley Quinn and Spider-Gwen teased with silhouette's back at SDCC were given the concept art treatment at NYCC. Harley will be represented by her New 52 Suicide Squad look, which we knew was coming, but is still slightly disappointing. The second version created by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti is much more interesting, and doesn't make you want to cringe just by glancing at it. Shunya Yamashita's design does the best it can with what he's got to work with, but this piece is already shaping up to pale in comparison to the classic Harley Quinn.
I've often thought about what it would be like to actually take part in the Battle of Hoth. In The Empire Strikes Back, we saw only a glimpse of the chaos that ensued once the Imperial Army found the Rebel base on the icy planet, and didn't truly get an idea of the conflict that broke out. It makes sense considering the films follow such a small cast of characters, and can't just spend hours on showing the ins and outs of one space battle. That's why I was excited to dive head first the galactic civil war with Star Wars Battlefront later this year. At least, until I played a little bit of the beta this week at New York Comic Con.
Now, don't take that to mean that I've lost all my interest. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm just not all that interested in living out the Battle of Hoth from the Rebel perspective anymore. While the films and comics and books have always talked about the strength and power of the Imperial side of the conflict, you don't truly grasp how daunting a task it must have been for the Rebel Alliance to pull out such tremendous victories until you're planted firmly in their boots. It's impressive that any of the ships escaping Hoth made it out of there alive, especially if any of those Rebel troopers fought as poorly as I did.
Though it was announced as part of the Disney Infinity plans quite a while back, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens figures and Play Set hadn't been shown or teased at all beyond its mere existence. Today, Disney Interactive finally unveiled the first four figures planned, though they shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to the Force Awakens release plans since Force Friday.
Heroes Rey and Finn will be included with the Play Set itself when it arrives on Dec. 18, with Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron being offered as separate figures on the same date. Little is known about what we'll be doing in the Play Set itself (shocking, I know), but it will be compatible with all the other Star Wars figures that have been released to this point. So yes, you will be able to team Darth Vader with the man rumored to be his biggest fan, and give Rey a chance to hang with Han and Chewie before they had so much gray in their hair.
Though much of Hasbro’s upcoming plans for Star Wars remain under tight lock and key, the company did preview a handful of new figures during New York Comic Con. It’s not surprising that so few Star Wars figures are being shown considering just how secretive Disney and Lucasfilm are being about the upcoming sequel. Very few characters not shown in trailers or official photos have been teased or released previously, but that didn’t mean there weren’t a few exciting reveals this week.
To this point, the only classic trilogy character to get a new figure for The Force Awakens lines has been Chewbacca, but the Wookie’s best friend and co-pilot will soon join him. Old man Han Solo was the centerpiece of Hasbro’s Black Series unveilings at NYCC this week, and rightfully so. The iconic smuggler with a heart of gold has long been a fan favorite, and he’s one of the few returning heroes to have made an official appearance in promotion for The Force Awakens. Sure, there were some characters on display, too, but it’s hard not to feel a bit sentimental for a Han Solo figure based on a aged Harrison Ford.
Welcome back to All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments. This month we'll look at Hutt fanboys, killer cat-people, Sherlock Holmes in Space and a muder-bear celebration.
In this installment, we cover Star Wars #9 by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen, Lando #4 by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev, Kanan #6 by Greg Weisman and Jacopo Camagni, issue #9 of Darth Vader from Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca and the debut issue of the post-Return of the Jedi miniseries, Shattered Empire, by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto.
So far, Hot Toys' Star Wars: The Force Awakens line has been and endless array of bad guys. Well, at least we think they're the bad guys. We haven't seen the movie yet, but everything we've read and seen so far seems to indicate the First Order is taking the place of the Empire in the new film and universe. Though we've gotten figures based on the supposed heroes of The Force Awakens from a few other companies, Hot Toys has been reticent to show off characters like Finn, Rey or Poe to this point. Instead, it's been First Order soldier after First Order soldier.
The Stormtroopers and Snowtroopers can now count the TIE Pilot amongst their numbers. Revealed this week for the first time, Hot Toys' First Order TIE Pilot brings the sleek, black spacesuit you might recall from the original trilogy into a more modern era. Like the standard Stormtroopers before him, the TIE Pilot draws quite a bit of inspiration from the classic design. The helmet ditches the "mouth," instead opting for a cleaner faceplate. He does have a weird top on there, which doesn't appear to serve any purpose. If it was a flip down visor, there likely would have been at least one picture with it flipped down so we could see what it looked like.
It's a great time to be a fan of Star Wars and comic books. Not only is there a host of great titles being published by Marvel, but now the galaxy far, far away is expanding into international webcomics with a new digital series that aims to show the events of the Original Trilogy through the point of view of farm boy turned galactic hero, Luke Skywalker.
The web series, simply titled Star Wars, launches today for American audiences on LINE Webtoon, a popular portal for webcomics operated by Korean Internet company NAVER.
With October just around the bend, that means it's time for cooler weather, cooler costumes and the biggest comic book convention on the east coast. Yes, New York Comic Con is bearing down on us faster than we're prepared to deal with it, but that's okay. We'll make do. In addition to incredible amount of stuff happening at the show, there will be a lot of great stuff up for grabs.
As busy as Funko was at San Diego Comic-Con, its plate looks to be equally as filled at NYCC this coming year. This week, Funko is unveiling all of its planned exclusive items, with a new batch coming every single day. While the availability of each is likely to be a bit more open than it was at SDCC, these things will still be limited. If you're hoping to get any, definitely plan ahead and around any and all panels you hope to make it to this year.
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