→ The New York Times had a great feature on BB-8 over Celebration weekend, revealing two things. First, that the version during filming was “a prop built on rollers” – not the fully functional one we saw on stage last week. As mentioned by Kathleen Kennedy onstage, Disney CEO Bob Iger connected the dots, bringing in Sphero to help produce a practical model. And secondly, that a mini toy version – about the size of an apple and controlled via smartphone – will be in stores this holiday season. Bigger versions will (naturally) show up at Disney Parks. Of course, if you can’t wait that long, you can always get a Sphero and make your own….
→ Also in the NYT, a nice look at the folks behind Celebration and Star Wars, including Mary Franklin and Matt Martin.
→ StarWars.com has posted many of the livestream bits (Day 1, 2, 3, 4) as standalone videos: Interviews with Bob Iger, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Peter Mayhew and John Knoll and a very beardy teaser breakdown
→ Tosche Station were MVPs this Celebration. They have a thank you to Kathleen Kennedy and a nice roundup of what we learned about The Force Awakens. They also recorded several panels, including John Jackson Miller’s Writing in a Shared Universe, an interview with Ashley Eckstein, the (painful) canon panel, Star Wars Journalism, Del Rey, the Aaron Allston tribute and What Leia Means To Me
→ Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight didn’t join us in Anaheim, but he did do some analysis of the teaser and other things we learned about TFA there.
→ An ode to Gary Fisher.
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.
“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.)
Last night brought Rebelscum with a listing of The Force Awakens toys that are currently being solicited. Hasbro has covered their tracks pretty well as far as Episode VII information – most everything is ‘hero’ and ‘villain’ and such – but Making Star Wars has some analysis. There is a remote control droid that I fervently hope is BB-8, because who doesn’t want that?
(And don’t forget, spoilerphobes, that we may have already seen a Black Series leak.)
In any case, don’t expect to see these toys legitimately at the upcoming Toy Fair in New York – Hasbro sent out a press release that they won’t be showing any of their The Force Awakens stuff. Pity, because certainly they have something that only ‘reveals’ the same things we saw in the trailer? Like, say, a remote controlled BB-8? An X-wing? Rey and her speeder? Perhaps they’re saving those sort of reveals for Celebration or SDCC?
StarWars.com’s Collectibles panel liveblog. Dan Brooks strikes again with this recap of what’s coming from eFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow. Kotobukiya has a Luke and Leia ARTFX+ set coming up, plus their next Bishoujo will be a female stormtrooper. Gentle Giant has an Amidala mini-bust and a Leia as Bouschh jumbo retro figure in the pipeline.
The Hasbro panel at SDCC seems to have been, well, a Hasbro panel. Dan Brooks liveblogged it for StarWars.com, and above you see the female figures: The Black Series Medal Ceremony Leia will be in the 3.75-inch line, and for Rebels, Hera and Sabine each come in two-packs with troopers.
Last night’s SDCC preview and Hitfix/Rebels party seems to have been big hits – at right, our first look at the Sabine and Hera figures from none other than Dave Filoni himself. Yakface and Jedi Temple Archives have Hasbro booth pics for you toy die-hards.
Hitfix themselves and The Daily Dot have writeups of the party and TFN collected preview night and party tweets. And for those who want to look beyond Star Wars, /Film has nice roundup of some other things on the floor.
It’s been a fairly slow month on the news front, but are we really doing individual action figure reveals now? For Rebels? Of a character we’ve already seen in concept art? Sure, why not.
For now, I’m just going to think of things like this as a dress rehearsal for Episode VII. Rebels seems like it might sell more toys than Shadows of the Empire, at least.
Here’s a sneak peek teaser of Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys, which will be available on DVD next month. And no nerds, those aren’t the final graphics… But a few familiar faces do appear!
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?