This year marks the 40th anniversary of the film that set the galaxy on fire, Star Wars. To celebrate this occasion Hasbro has announced the 40th anniversary collection of merchandise. With the most exciting, in my opinion, being the 6 inch line of action figures focusing on the first film. What is exciting for me is the wonderful homage to the vintage Kenner style of the packaging. Which in most collectors minds is the best cardback design ever made in the history of Star Wars toys. Great black and silver card with a huge picture of the character on the front looks amazing then and will again this year.
Now vintage style carded figures are nothing new as Hasbro had a fan favourite and very successful Vintage Collection release. The line ran from 2010-2012 and featured 115 individual carded 3 3/4 figures. Also featured in the line were 3 packs, vehicles, online exclusives, mail away figure, and convention exclusive 2 packs. What was great about the line was it covered every aspect of Star Wars at the time from all 6 films, video games, and expanded universe. One of the fun aspects for me was seeing prequel characters on vintage cardbacks, especially Phantom Menace. These cards popped off the pegs and shelves whenever you saw them at a store or toy show. Just seeing this design takes you back to the days of being a kid and walking down that action figure aisle and seeing star wars figures as far as the eye can see.
Well Hasbro is now taking that vintage style we love and using it on there 6 inch figure line. Announced in February at New York Toy Fair to celebrate the 40th anniversary. Like the good old days of Kenner the line will feature the original first 12 figures released back in 1978. The collection will feature 2 waves of figures, 2 exclusive figures, and a legacy pack. Here is the breakdown of the line and which characters will be released:
Wave 1: R2-D2, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa
Wave 2: Chewbacca, Death Squad Commander, Jawa, Sand People, C-3PO, Stormtrooper
The two exclusive figures in this line are R5-D4 (Gamestop, but possible EB games in Canada) and Luke Skywalker: X-Wing Pilot Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017. Now Luke X-Wing was not an original 12 release but came later in the Kenner line. Also this cardback will be different from the others as it will be foiled.
Last but certainly not least is the Legacy pack that will come with Darth Vader and a recreation of the original action figure display stand. Like the vintage Kenner one this will be a cool display for your figures, well depending on if you open these ones up.
Another good thing about this line is that most of these figure are repacks of older releaeses. Which is good as some of these such as R2-D2 are pretty pricey on the secondary market. Now with the popularity of the 6 inch line the main question is how hard will these figures be to buy. With the history of poor distribution Hasbro has had over the last few years it’s going to be tough to say. But with no major releases in the line until summer it should be the only release on shelves. Again keep your collectors fingers crossed that most major retailers will have loads of stock. Also there is a rumour of a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, my guess would be Boba Fett.
So a great way to celebrate the 40th anniversary with this release and a nice trip down memorylane.