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SDCC 2013 – Star Wars Joygasm Overload

I’m fairly certain I haven’t felt this much excitement for a toy line since Masters of the Universe Classics was announced. Star Wars was the first proper toy line I collected, hitting at the right time and at the right age to be a foundation of my childhood. In 1995 I jumped on the new figures and was soon knee deep in figures. But it got to a point where I had to get out. Part of it was the prequel figures and part was that I just never seemed to get that “perfect” representation I was after; the figures were always lacking some articulation here or there or whatever. Eventually it just felt like I was tossing money at the property and I had to get out. So I did.

But now I’m ready to dive in fully. A new scale and the chance to get that “perfect” figure the first time. I feel that white-knuckle enthusiasm and have been feeling it ever since the line was announced — coincidentally a week after I finally bought the original soundtracks to the first three movies, something I’ve meant to do forever, but had somehow never managed to do.

Since this is the Internet and the Internet leaks like a colander that’s been used for target shooting, there were no real surprises at SDCC. Instead, we were treated to our first full looks of figures that we had heard were coming. With five figures already shown (wave 1 and Boba), we were able to get a sense of aesthetic and approach, but it’s different actually seeing someone like Han Solo for the first time in 6-inch scale.

Han and Greedo in a wave together is poetry. Forget what George told you in his revised vision of his universe — Han shot first. He’s no sucker waiting to be a victim; he’s a proactive scoundrel who’s managed to stay alive by being smart and knowing how to control the cards. And that includes shooting some pucker-faced alien who he knows is going to waste him.

Han is sweet perfection. It would be enough if he came with his trusty blaster, but what makes him even better is the fact that he comes with a Stormtrooper belt and rifle and an alternate pair of gloved hands. Little details like that make me feel that Hasbro is really dedicated to bringing out “ultimate” versions of the Star Wars Universe.

Slave Leia may seem like an odd choice for the first Leia of the line, but Leia’s gold bikini is a cultural icon, and you know that if any other version were made, there would be a loud faction demanding to know “where’s Slave Leia?” so this gets that out of the way sooner rather than later. She comes with a pair of weapons stolen right from Jabba’s guards. Her skirt is fabric, and though there’s a divisive split in fandom about “soft goods,” I will tell you right away I don’t like it when my figures have hindered playability, and if having fabric on some of them is the way to go, I’ll greet that fabric with a smile. I think it’s well done anyway, and I’ll gladly give up any aesthetic nitpicks to have a Leia that’s fully functional, regardless of wardrobe.

Greedo is probably the winner of the wave. His presence this early is a surprise, and a clue as to how deep they intend to get with the line. Greedo’s screen time was small, but in that short time he left a very noticeable mark on the property and served to highlight Han’s character beautifully.

Greedo has an immaculate sculpt. His face is dead-on, his costume is leagues ahead of that original figure I got as a kid, and he looks as though he’s about to ask Han if he’s going somewhere, in some strange subtitled language. Greedo’s existence makes me happier than any other figure
we’ve seen so far — and that’s including Boba — just because it shows how much love this line is going to get.

The final reveal was a sneak-peek at a wave three figure — young Obi-Wan. It’s a natural choice, and while the prequels as movies really didn’t live up to years of anticipation, the characters themselves have always been great characters in need of a great movie, so the prequel figures that will be sprinkled in throughout the Original Trilogy ones are welcome. Darth Maul needs someone to fight, after all, and I’m sure Qui-Gon will be by to help sooner rather than later.

The last tidbit of news that really excited me is the announcement that the Speeder Bike would be the first vehicle for the line. It’s probably the most obvious choice, since these are larger figures and a Speeder lends itself the easiest to this scale. I love the idea of Speeder Bikes in 6-inch scale. I need Ewoks, I need a Leia and Luke that can ride them, and, above all else, I need the Biker Scout. I love the stripped down, aggressive look of the Biker Scouts and their evil-looking helmets.

I’m all in on this line, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming down the line.

Thanks to Matthew K for taking such great pictures at the convention. You can see more of his coverage of the Star Wars figures here.