They tried to tell us, but I did not listen. Turns out Hasbro was not kidding when they said they would not have much new product to show at SDCC this year. Check out reactions to what they did show and watch me try and work through my disappointment after the jump!
I’ll start off with a couple things that I really did enjoy about Hasbro’s Star Wars presentation from SDCC this year. First and foremost, I was truly enamored of that diorama. I’m a bit of a diorama guy myself, so I loved going every day and seeing the new figure set up in the Jabba’s Palace display and a finalized Khetanna in use. This is the first time I’ve really had a chance to get up close and personal with the Khetanna and it’s even more impressive in person.
Jabba’s dais and the Carbonite Han display room looked fantastic and I loved all the little LED light accents across the display. The little Bib Fortuna really ties a Jabba display together, doesn’t he?
I also love the dungeon scene recreation with the droids and the cells. It’s a scene I don’t often think about when contemplating my most wanted figures. Honestly 8D8 and EV-9D9 aren’t high priorities for me, but seeing them in this context has got me thinking about them more.
The Rancor sculpt is really a thing of beauty. They don’t have plans right now to release it, but hopefully that display sparks a groundswell of fan enthusiasm for a Black Series Rancor. I know I wasn’t really considering it until I saw it in action.
I also liked getting a behind the scenes tour of how the display was built and I’m really inspired to start adding some LED elements to the dios I build in the future.
I wish I had time with that diorama in some good lighting for photographs! In general I found the whole thing inspiring.
The Boba Fett helmet was really cool looking, but not really my thing, though I appreciate the work they put into this. I think this will be the first one of these Black Series helmets I get because it looked killer.
The Hyperreal Luke is interesting because I couldn’t tell how it’s going to be accomplished. Based on the photo from the presentation, I’d say Luke’s outfit looks like it will be sculpted and cast in the flexible material that goes over the metal skeleton. I don’t know why, but all the soft goods on Vader made me think other figures would have similar soft goods. I’m curious to see a prototype on this guy and actually play with a Vader.
The Galaxy of Adventures figures look like they are worth a purchase. I wasn’t interested in the re-releases of the 3.75 inch figures in Galaxy of Adventures branded packaging, but these are 5 inch and based on the actual art style of the show so I’m a lot more excited for them.
Normally I don’t care for action features, but these might be fun for this one-off line. I especially like the Threepio figure because he has a very Droids cartoon feel to him that I like and his fall-apart action feature looks pretty hilarious.
The one Black Series figure reveal we did get was Dagobah Luke. It was pretty disappointing to see the the stats on those poll results. We were this close to getting Lobot, man!
The Luke sculpt turnarounds looked good, though I did notice they eliminated double knees in favor of a swivel hinge. If the knees have a more than 90 degree bend and they don’t eliminate the thigh cut, I’m not entirely against the swivel/hinge knee, but honestly this is not an articulation point that needed fixing.
The swivel hinge knee can look like you broke your knee cap if there isn’t a thigh swivel to go along with it. The above picture of Han’s knee from the Galaxy of Adventures line illustrates the awkward break I’m talking about.
The dearth of new figure reveals for SDCC is a bit unprecedented for the Black Series line. I understand that the next few waves of Hasbro figures are probably related to entertainment they can’t talk about, but even in previous movie years they showed us something. Ahead of The Force Awakens, they showed Black Series Jango, Ahsoka, First Order TIE Fighter, Tatooine Luke, and Kanan. In 2016, ahead of Rogue One they showed Sabine, Hera, ANH Leia, Qui-Gon and Lando. In 2017 ahead of The Last Jedi they showed Maz, Rex, General Leia, Dewback, and Rebel Fleet Trooper.
There was a bright spot in the panel for me that came from an unusual place. The QandA tends to be people asking for specific characters that Hasbro can’t comment on or complaints about distribution. That’s valid stuff, but not terribly interesting to listen to year after year. It did warm my heart this year to hear the enthusiastic crowd reaction to the customer who asked about Black Series Zeb release. Hasbro couldn’t answer, of course, but I liked hearing all the Zeb support from other fans.
One of the sculptors mentioned that Zeb is a really large character and needed a special release format which kind of puzzled me. He is taller than Kanan, but not excessively so. He’s a head taller than Ezra at least, but Ezra is short.
He’s shorter than Chewie, so I wonder why he would need to be deluxe. He is pretty bulky, so maybe that’s it or perhaps packing different versions of his bo-rifle might not fit into a standard box with the figure. However it happens, I hope we can get official word (and pics) soon!
In a somewhat related note, another bright spot was seeing GTP Toys and Collectibles at the show as an official Star Wars licensee. They had concept art for a new stackable LED-lit display that includes flooring and there are plans to expand in the future.
They also had a bunch of new barrels on hand in a couple new styles, some with printed decorations.
With a license in hand, I’m sure we can expect even more screen accurate backdrops from more environments from the Star Wars saga.
Overall, this year’s Star Wars showing from Hasbro was pretty disappointing. I get the sense that they are really at the mercy of the massive corporate marketing machine on this one, so I don’t specifically blame Hasbro for this and I appreciate the effort they made to entertain with that super cool diorama. I’m sure there will be a big froofaroo Triple Force Friday event online with exclusive reveals on different media outlets, I just missed my annual reveals and seeing the prototypes in person.