The mid-February weekend marks every toy nerd’s favourite time of year – New York Toy Fair. Each year the big guns of the toy world set out their wares for the next 6-9 months, giving us our first glimpse of how our collections are going to take shape.
Last year’s NYTF was a disappointment for this collector as far as Star Wars was concerned; the repack heavy and entirely cynical 40th Anniversary Black Series line failed to hit the mark. Meanwhile the Tatooine themed Black Series 3.75″ wave (more repacks, but at least ones I would buy) looked good but didn’t even make it to these shores.
We already knew that the Vintage Collection was coming back at some point this year while the first wave of 6″ Solo: A Star Wars Story figures were revealed this week, but we didn’t know how the rest of the line was going to shake out. Would Hasbro bring the goods to make a success of things this year?
The answer was a resounding yes. Click through to see the most exciting Star Wars reveals from NYTF 2018!
7. Imperial Hover/Assault Tank (The Vintage Collection)
This was my #1 most anticipated upcoming release after SDCC last year, and now seeing it in the plastic makes the need all the more real. The incredible bulk of the vehicle, the excellent weathering, the cockpit details and the myriad little features (kyber crystals, anyone?) make this vehicle a must for anyone who loves Rogue One. I agree with some online that it’s a touch undersized, but it still fits the bill for the revitalised Vintage Collection.
Throw in the 3.75″ super articulated Hovertank Driver and the battle of Jedah is going to come to insurgent life in geek caves all across the globe.
6. Princess Leia (Hoth) (Black Series)
If you ask, then so you shall receive. Princess Leia in her Hoth attire is the second character from the GCB Black Series Most Wanted List 2017 to make it into plastic (following the Rebel Fleet Trooper), and she looks fantastic.
A brilliant likeness of Carrie Fisher in pretty much everyone’s favourite Star Wars film, the addition of her goggles and spanner make her perfectly suited for fixing that 6″ scale Millennium Falcon that we’re definitely going to get one day. When Leia hits shelves the Hoth crew will be complete!
5. Commander Wolfe (Black Series)
Back in the day (let’s say about 10 years ago) clones were as divisive as The Last Jedi is today. Since then we’ve all had plenty of new Star Wars to hate and so, as a community, we’ve started to accept the many Jaangos as the part of the saga that they are.
Personally I love me some clones. Some day I’ll get around to watching Clone Wars from start to finish and appreciate each CT as the character they no doubt grow to be, but for now I just love how they serve as kick ass space commandos in a war against robots. And that’s something that Wolfe here looks like he does with aplomb.
4. Mimbam Stormtrooper (Black Series)
So let’s get this straight. You take one normal Stormtrooper, make him filthy from the ground up, give him a black cape (because Captain Phasma – it rhymes), and voila: you’ve made a new kind of Imperial that people are going to go nuts for and squad build? Screw you Lucasfilm, you crazy geniuses – it just might work!
Is it the most exciting toy revealed this year? No way. But no matter what Solo is like (the film, not the man), these figures are going to generate so much great action figure photography that I can’t wait to see them hit shelves.
3. Han Solo (The Vintage Collection)
Troops aside, the Black Series reveals for Solo: A Star Wars Story haven’t been particularly enthralling. That was why it was such a great surprise to see the film get a strong showing in the relaunched Vintage Collection, with an Alden Ehrenreich-style Solo joining a 3.75″ Mimban Trooper and Range Trooper in the new VC line.
And it’s a great looking figure, no doubt. There’s something about the saturated browns and blues that places this character firmly in the OT era, while the boots, Correllian blood stripe pants, belt and holster make this unmistakably Han.
2. Range Trooper (Black Series/The Vintage Collection)
As alluded to above the Troopers for Solo: A Star Wars Story have both looked exceptional. However, it’s the way that the Range Trooper blends the Hovertank Driver and AT-AT Commander’s armour (topped off with heavy duty mech legs and a fur coat, of course) that make this design such a winner. It’s a bit of a cheat putting both the Black Series and Vintage Collection Range Troopers in this spot, but both figures look ace in their own right; the VC version is a stocky, well sculpted powerhouse of a trooper, while the 6″ version achieves the rare feat of making soft goods look good.
It’s unlikely that they’ll get loads of screen time, but as long as they’re not complete chumps I think any Star Wars collector will be hard pressed not to put together at least a small squad of these.
1. Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) (The Vintage Collection)
Wow. Who saw this coming? Fans have been asking Hasbro for years to get into a crowd funding model to deliver the biggest items such as Jabba’s Sail Barge, and now with the Haslab project the big H has delivered – and asked fans to stop moaning and start fronting.
At 4ft long the Khetanna, from Return of the Jedi, is the biggest Star Wars toy vehicle ever made and it looks mighty. The imaginative playset features an exclusive Jabba, an armoury, a kitchen, a prison (with emaciated Ithorian corpse) and even a two-figure seating cockpit. The roof features two cannons and plenty of Skywalker hack ‘n’ slash room, and it’s all topped off with soft goods sails. A hidden compartment, prison cell trapdoor and opening shutters round out the rest of the features to make this the greatest looking playset that Hasbro have produced since the Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon.
It’s a Star Wars collector’s dream vehicle, and it can be yours for only $499.99 (plus tax and 4,999 of your friends committing to do the same). Oh, and it needs to reach that target by April 3rd 2018.
If it does get over the line it won’t be coming my way for a few reasons – cost, space, and the fact that it’s so far only available in the US being the main factors. But that aside, it’s great to see Hasbro throwing down the gauntlet; either we get an awesome toy, or the more obnoxious voices in collecting get a reality check. It’s a win-win either way.
Visit the Haslab site to view the dream, and share the link far and wide to try and make it a reality.
You know, it’s much easier to differentiate between scales now that the Vintage Collection is back – no more BS 3.75″ required when a simple TVC will do. Hopefully there will be more upsides to the all-but-certain associated price rises, right? And no, recycled old card back designs don’t count.
The Haslab project is a great idea on Hasbro’s part that I sincerely hope works. It could enable fans to get the vehicles, diorama pieces and exclusives that wouldn’t see release any other way, while it also re-opens a long dormant community dialogue. However, 5,000 is a heck of a stretch goal for something so expensive. I get why they launched with such a big ticket item but with the number of backers not even in four figures at the time of writing, it may well struggle to get there. Furthermore, at $499.99 and with no lights, sounds or electronics, it’s definitely in keeping with Hasbro’s recent sky high pricing policy – and that’s not a good thing.
All the same, this year NYTF marks Hasbro finally turning back to engage with collectors. From Haslab to Solo to TVC and the proper return of super articulated 3.75″ figures (damn, doing it again), it looks like 2018 will see Star Wars toys getting back on track.