Tag Archives: action figures

First look: Hasbro’s Maz Kanata action figure

maz-toy-01Entertainment Weekly has revealed Hasbro’s Maz Kanata action figure, which will debut at Toy Fair this weekend.

Sadly, for the established collectors, Maz won’t be available on her own. She’ll be released this spring as part of a “Takodana Encounter” playset along with Rey, BB-8 and Finn, for $19.99. Two female characters in one pack? Hasbro, you’re trying!

Rebels Leia figure coming from Hasbro; New report claims lack of Rey merch guided by Lucasfilm

rebels-leia-hasbroHere’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.

In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:

The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.

“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”

Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.

Today in The Force Awakens: The review embargo is in

tfa-kylo-finn-reyWe’ll be seeing the first The Force Awakens reviews on Wednesday, December 16th at 12:01am PST. Plan accordingly. In Hollywood, things are shaping up for the Monday premiere, which will have “Academy Award levels” of security and crowd control.

The Force Awakens will be featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in the preview video we get to hear some of John Williams’ new score.

→ Today’s best bet: Samuel L. Jackson and Gwendoline Christie chat for Interview magazine.

→ J.J. Abrams has more praise for coffee enthusiast Pablo Hidalgo from in the Toronto Sun. Elsewhere, he talks about The Raid stars with /Film.

→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan on Kylo Ren’s helmet for Time.

Vice News did a half-hour piece on Adam Driver’s Arts in the Armed Forces organization. (Guess what made the headlines?)

→ Also: Phasma and Rey action figures flying off the shelves, Lupita Nyong’o was on GMA this morning, and Anthony Breznican on Bobbajo.

Hasbro design director on The Force Awakens, embracing female fandom

hasbro-evans

Fast Company has a profile of Hasbro Star Wars design director Steve Evans, focusing on The Force Awakens rollout. Of special interest to us, some words on the changing market:

“I’m actually very, very fond of the three-and-three-quarter inch Rey figure,” Evans says. It’s an appropriate choice, and not just for the fact that Rey is one of the main characters in the next Star Wars chapter. That figure symbolizes a radical shift in the action figure market—and the Star Wars toys market in particular.

“It’s because of what it stands for,” says Evans. “Just because of the way it’s embracing girls into the brand more. I have a son and two twin daughters and my girls are infatuated with Rey. They think she’s brilliant.”

Back in the ’70s and ’80s Star Wars action figures were thought of as something to be made just for boys. But Evans says that’s all changed now. And not only are the artificial gender action figure barriers are coming down, now they’re designed to appeal to people of all ages.

As for The Force Awakens, “as we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released,” says Evans. “There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”

Did The Force Awakens merchandise just reveal a plot secret, or is it only marketing synergy?

tfa-artoo-lighter

Start prepping your theories, because according to Jedi Temples Archives an unexpected original trilogy figure will be a part of The Force Awakens action figure line. Now, it’s not someone so unexpected that I think one really needs a complicated theory, but fandoms gonna fandom. Still, ‘Qui-Gon’s Noble End’ this isn’t.

→ Since today marks exactly one month until Force Friday, we’re seeing a few bits about the toy launches. Making Star Wars has some fuzzy Walmart signage pics, and Toys R Us put up a press release – though with no direct mention of The Force Awakens. (Expect that shoe to drop closer to September.)

→ Even Del Rey got in the spirit, with pics of Aftermath book covers being printed.

→ And finally, Simon Kinberg talked a little about the Story Group – apparently the very early days, as Michael Arndt is mentioned – to Entertainment Weekly.

Sabine Wren only female finalist in Hasbro Fan’s Choice poll

sabine

Well, the votes are in, and Rebels’ Sabine Wren was the only woman to make the finals in the Hasbro Fan’s Choice poll, up for vote now on StarWars.com. The other finalists are Ben Kenobi (A New Hope,) Lando Calrissian, Darth Revan from the Knights of the Old Republic games, General Grievous, a Gamorrean guard and a snowtrooper. When I voted, Revan had a strong lead, with Obi-Wan second and Sabine in third.

The winning character, to be announced at SDCC, will be made into a 6″ Black Series figure.

Several other women made the finals at individual sites: Mara Jade was #1 at Topless Robot , #2 at Making Star Wars and #3 at Yakface, among others. Asajj Ventress and Ahsoka Tano (The Clone Wars version) also made a strong showing – here’s an informal countup of all the sites that posted their results publicly.

Want more Star Wars ladies, in action figure form? We’ll have to vote one in

A Leia in Boushh disguise is one of the few women featured in the 6" Black Series line so far.

A Leia in Boushh disguise is one of the few women featured in the 6″ Black Series line so far.

We’ve bemoaned how hard it is to find action figures of Hera, Sabine, and well, pretty much anyone that isn’t Slave Leia. Sure, there’s a 6″ Rebels Ahsoka figure in the pipeline, but what else can be done?

Seems like Hasbro themselves has an answer – well, sort of. They’re doing a Fan’s Choice poll for a 6″ Black Series figure, in collaboration with several Star Wars collecting fan sites, and all characters (except for those from The Force Awakens) are eligible at this point. All you have to do is submit a name – via the comments at Jedi Temple Archives and Rebelscum, or via email to Yakface. (Also: Jedi News, Making Star Wars, ComicBook.com, Sir Steve’s Guide, Topless Robot, FlyGuy, Yodasnews and Galactic Hunter, Jedi Business.) The top choices at the fan sites will be used to create a top 6 that will go up for a vote on StarWars.com next month, with the winner announced at SDCC.

This is a great opportunity to show Hasbro that there is an interest in more female figures – remember, a Fan’s Choice Poll was how we got that last Mara Jade figure, though that hasn’t stopped at least one fan from making a case for a 6″ Mara.

(H/T to The Mary Sue.)

First (official) look at The Force Awakens toys: I hope you like stormtroopers!

Hasbro Black Series 6" stormtrooper (SDCC exclusive)

Entertainment Weekly has our first official look at The Force Awakens toys, but they’re all stormtrooper-themed, so it feels a little underwhelming. (One of them, Hasbro’s Black Series 6″ stormtrooper above, has already shown up on eBay – and as it’s the SDCC exclusive, expect it to show up again.) Wake me up when we get the details on that remote-controlled BB-8.

Hasbro delays one of their few upcoming Princess Leia figures

UPDATE: Apparently the figure is only being delayed “due to a production issue with Princess Leia’s robe.” She’ll be back on shelves “later this year.”

hasbro-yavin-leiaSo hot on the heels of the last dustup over the lack of female figures, Jedi Temple Archive reports that Hasbro has pulled the Ceremonial Princess Leia figures from Wave 7 and Wave 8 of the Black Series, replacing her with… A stormtrooper and a clone trooper.

Yakface, one of the first to bring this to the attention of the wider fandom, started the #whereisleia and #wewantleia hashtags.

Devin Faraci at Badass Digest wrote about looking for action figures for his niece, the latest in a familiar refrain:

The fact that Hasbro is canceling one of its few Leia figures means that they’re only keeping the status quo. Would more girl toys sell now, as the demographics of fandom shifts dramatically? No one can know when the toys don’t exist. I wanted to go and spend my money on female characters for my goddaughter, but I was not offered the opportunity. Young female fans should be able to walk into Toys ‘R Us and find a toy based on the largest and most popular stories in our pop culture that speaks to them. It’s as simple as that, and when the only option is a sexualized and subservient variant – why would they want to buy that? Why would their parents want to buy that for them?

Sure, there’s that Ahsoka figure coming and it seems like Boushh disguise Leia is still on, but canceling any of the few Leia figures they were hyping just over a month ago isn’t exactly fostering good faith in their intentions.