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.”
So 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.
Finally, a box tag that might beat the ‘slashing action’ Obi-Wan. Since last time, Hasbro woke the dragon (again,) we talked a lot about spoilers in general (no actual spoilers below,) and those Star Wars phonics workbooks got a workout. Also, a doggy!
“Hasbro feels they have released plenty of female characters in the line.” That’s the money quote, from a Toy Fair Q&A with collector site Jedi Temple Archives. Granted, it doesn’t seem to be an exact quote, but the sentiment is pretty clear in any case. UPDATE: The answer has since been revised, at Hasbro’s request, to namedrop figures released over the past several years – that Mara Jade figure came out in 2013 – but the problem still remains. The Mary Sue has a great response to this:
It’s not that there aren’t any female characters in their line, because of course that would be untrue—it’s that they clearly take a backseat to the male ones which Hasbro thinks will sell better to boys.
Hasbro also said have no more Leia figures planned at the moment. (Though I doubt that includes The Force Awakens, which they are very much not talking about yet. But then again, who knows?) Asajj Ventress is also in the “no current plans” category.
Does our only hope for more than a paltry handful of women figures rest solely in the hands of the new film? We know there are multiple women in the cast, but such is the case with Rebels, and that rollout certainly hasn’t been without issues. (Though the recent issues finding figures – all figures – is likely due to an ongoing labor dispute at west coast seaports.)
The Star Wars Bladebuilders line, launching this fall, lets kids create any ridiculous lightsaber they want with a variety of connectors, blades and other options.
Jedi News is all over toys today. They say there are Hasbro box sets of prequel and original trilogy stuff due out “to support the digital releases of the films.” That rumor has been floating around for a while now – last time it was fall 2014 – but if there’s any truth to the toy stuff, it’s a lot more evidence than anything else we’ve had lately. Capitalizing on May 4th makes plenty of sense.
Of course said box sets are completely lacking Padme and Leia figures, because that’s just how things are, right ladies?
But onto The Force Awakens – Episode VII LEGO stuff apparently has a street date of September 4th, and there will be a Millennium Falcon and an X-wing among them.
UPDATE: Making Star Wars has a source who backs up the release date, and adds something new: Kylo Ren will be on all the packaging.
Hasbro design director has been to the Episode VII set. Steve Evans made a few tweets from Pinewood, met J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan, plus “someone in the bathroom” we’ll “know soon enough”
Jedi Temple Archives is hinting that something “Big. It’s Massive. It’s Freaking gigantic” that is “sourced to Episode VII.” And it may be introduced at SDCC. Naturally we expect Hasbro will be making an Episode VII Millennium Falcon toy (since we’re pretty sure it’ll be in the film,) but does this mean it could be the first toy out of the gate for the movie? The first toy to be revealed? Or will we be seeing something in the vein of the the life-sized Falcon built at the China Toy Fair?
Okay, so it’s probably just a toy reveal, but let’s indulge in some overthinking: A Hasbro Falcon would be a big toy, but I’d hesitate to call it massive, even for a reveal. And a life-sized Falcon would certainly make an impression on the con floor… Not to mention the marketing budget, San Diego not being Shanghai, and the movie will still be more than a year away come July. Maybe for SDCC 2015? (Parts of the Shanghai one could be reused, and shipping overseas is doable, but U.S. safety regulations may be another matter entirely.)
In any case, as reveals go, it’s probably one of the few things they can show us without giving too much away too early.
In other rumors floating around this weekend, Zac Efron knows nothing, and there’s apparently some dude on Reddit (totally solid!) that claims he was told Episode VII will be shooting some scenes at the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Yakface has been experimenting with swapping out the head on Hasbro’s Black Series Mara Jade with two from various Black Widow figures. One fits perfectly and one requires a bit of work, but they both show a marked improvement over the original… Even if the hair is way too dark.
Yakface has posted a look at the new Black Series Mara Jade figure in their Toyguide. I’m afraid the 80’s hair isn’t much better in these pics.
There’s a hefty gallery that gives you a good look at the figure… We’ve already gone over our disappointment over the catsuit, but how does the new figure compare to the previous ones, in your eyes? They provided a picture to compare and everything:
The previous figure are from 1998, left, and 2007, center. Thanks to Yakface for permission to run a few of the pictures – head over to their gallery for many, many more.
UPDATE: Yakface has an easy fix for the, ahh, head issue.
Since we’ve had every other sort of announcement lately, I suppose some toy news was inevitable. USA Today got the scoop on Hasbro’s new Black Series, so named because the color somehow inspired their designers. (It reminds me of Jim Beam bourbon, but to each his own.) The big change here is that the line will contain a few 6-inch figures, in addition to the traditional 3¾-inchers. Never before has six inches been considered such an enormous upgrade.
Hasbro hopes the new line will appeal to both new buyers and adult collectors, which makes sense since the larger figs are priced significantly higher than the regular ones. They’re supposedly quite detailed and articulated, but I remember reading that the original Clone Wars line (based on the Tartakovsky series) didn’t sell because they weren’t the same size as the normal figures. Have times changed? Or are the clearance racks about to get a whole lot more crowded?