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.”
If $150 is a bit steep for your blood (or you don’t want to hand kids your smartphone,) there will also be a significantly cheaper Hasbro version that comes with a controller. But who are we fooling here? We know the audience for this, and it’s totally us.
Youtubers from Disney’s Maker Studios will be unboxing The Force Awakens toys live on Force Friday. The official Star Wars Youtube stream will host the events, which will begin with Bratayley in Australia on September 3 at 7:45 a.m. local time (5:45 p.m. EDT on September 2) and finish up with Chris Pirillo in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday.
→ With Entertainment Weekly, J.J. Abrams reiterated that we won’t get a new The Force Awakens trailer at D23, or at all until fall. There’ll be no TFA footage at all, “behind the scenes or otherwise,” he said. Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t get something, like another character reveal or a new poster. (Not to mention things regarding the Parks…) And I’d bet actual money is still that we’ll get something for Rogue One.
→ The Force Awakens scoring sessions are “beyond anything I have experienced musically in my life,” a source tells the John Williams Fan Network.
→ More juice for the theory/hope that Episode VIII will return to film on Skellig Michael at The Star.
→ I won’t be tracking every TFA merchandise leak this month, but here are a few interesting ones: A Micro Machines Millennium Falcon playset, Black Series Finn, Chewbacca and < href="https://twitter.com/Sompeetalay/status/630494610574458880">Kylo Ren and Funko Pop Vinyl figures. My favorite, though, is a lunch bag with some new-to-us Captain Phasma art, which I love because even though she is 100% in armor, the way she’s standing is badass yet makes it absolutely clear that the character is a woman. Men don’t stand like that!
Could it get any more 80s than Artoo and Darth Vader themed Trapper Keepers? Now, I went to a Catholic school that actually outlawed Trapper Keepers during the decade, so I never actually got to have one until the mid-90s… Only to promptly discover that they were kind of annoying to actually use. Still, it’s hard to deny the appear of these. (via)
To the surprise of, well, everyone, there weren’t a whole mass of The Force Awakens toy reveals at the Hasbro panel at SDCC. But what they did show was pretty cool – and rather large: A 6″ scale TIE fighter, with “elite” pilot. (There’s a pretty neat display case recreating a scene from the trailer on the show floor now.)
As expected, Knights of the Old Republic‘s Revan won the 2015 Fan’s Choice poll by a landslide, but the results for Rebels Sabine Wren were so good that she’s going to be made as a 6″ Black Series figure, too! They also revealed that a Kanan Jarrus figure is coming to the Black Series as well. Other new 6″ figures include Rebels Ahsoka, a Tatooine Luke Skywalker, a Jango Fett, and one of the new Inquisitors (the dude) from S2 of Rebels. Check the StarWars.com liveblog for pics (very small, with bigger ones coming) and other details.
We’re now six months out from The Force Awakens, Jason Ward at Making Star Wars points out. Six months! Crazy. And will we really see a full-sized Falcon at SDCC? (They did have a Hasbro-themed one at the China Toy Expo in 2013, but that rumor does feel awfully familiar… Still, now that we’re in the real run-up to the movie, it’s hard to predict exactly how high they’re willing to go.)
→ Speaking of highs, The Force Awakens’ second trailer was one for the record books – literally. Guinness World Records today said that the trailer set a new world record: With 30.65 million views in it’s first day, it’s the most viewed movie trailer on YouTube in 24 hours.
→ Emerging yesterday on Jedi Temple Archives was a TFA toy list with not a single recognizable name – No Kylo Ren, no Rey, no Finn, no Poe, no Millennium Falcon. Bizarre, no? I wondered if it was a prank at the time, but it appears they may be in code. Phew.