New Hasbro line gives action figures a growth spurt


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?

7 Replies to “New Hasbro line gives action figures a growth spurt”

  1. I’m hoping they come in under 20- they open the door for folks who like to collect, who want a bit nicer than the 3.75″ line, but don’t want to pay Sideshow prices. For that price, I would even be inclined to play with them. Neo meets Luke!

  2. So these new figures are supposed to be at the $20 price point. Weren’t the 12-inch figures in the late nineties at $20? (Do they even do 12 inch anymore?)

    With Transformers, they realized that they can sell different versions of the same characters at different age levels & price points, but Star Wars was more rigid because of the popularity of the 3 3/4 line – they could do deluxe figures, and they would produce lots of so-so popular character figures for the kids to subsidize the more detailed sculpts in the collector waves. Having detailed sculpting and articulation in a larger size hits the people who want small statues (the gentle giant and attakus collectors) but puts it in a toy store/big box instead of a collectibles shop.

  3. Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering about. The larger, detailed figures from other companies are usually sold directly to the consumer, with more limited runs and price points so high that they’re basically collectibles from the get-go. These figures are somewhere in between. And since Star Wars collectors have been very loyal to the 3 3/4 size (since that’s how they were in 1978, dadgummit!), I really don’t know if these will take off.

    But hey, at least they’re functional, unlike that pretty but useless Unleashed line.

  4. Collectors have been asking for a 6 inch line since the Spawn toys came out back in the 90s. These will sell well. I will probably buy them.

    I like 3 1/4 figures to be honest. But it got out of hand. I had to draw a line on collecting those. Now I mainly just collect vintage figures and prequel figures in vintage packaging.

    These look cool though. Buying 1 a month will be nice. I hope they keep it under control because if they do more than 12 a year, it will be too much.

  5. I don’t collect 3 3/4 figures but I have a few. I’ve long admired the premium format statues but don’t want to pay for them. I’m excited about this. It’s like a high end collectible that’s not going to cost me $100. And at the same time, it sounds like the pose-able/play factor is high so I can play with and display them.

    The last few months I’ve been admiring a couple of 3 3/4 figures here and there and thought about getting them just to display. I might just wait now to see what these 6″ figures look like.

  6. I’d like to get a bit of a closer look at them and find out what all figures will be available. The few 3 3/4 figures that I’ve bought in the past few years have been nice for their articulation, but hopefully this size boost will provide a good up-tick in the quality of the paint jobs and the face sculpts. That alone could make them worth their price point.

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