Here is a summary of what we've learned from Hasbro during Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 about up-coming Star Wars action figures. All the information was gathered by interviewing team members, attending the Hasbro Star Wars panel and by talking to representatives at the Hasbro booth. You can also listen to the entire Hasbro Star Wars panel from Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 on episode #9 of Jedi Business Talk, and you can listen to the full interview on episode #10 of JBT.
The red Retro Collection circle on the front of the packaging was changed from being printed onto the card to a sticker. This was Hasbro's intention from the beginning but it was erroneously communicated to us during New York Toy Fair 2019 in February (listen to the NY Toy Fair interview on JBT episode #1). They don't know however if the sticker will peel off easily. When I asked them about including vehicles in the Star Wars Retro Collection they acknowledged that including vehicles wasn't their original intention, but because of the positive feedback, it's a possibility. The peg hole sizes in the bottom of the feet will be identical to original Kenner figures.
The only new figure shown at the convention for the Star Wars Retro Collection was Darth Vader (Prototype Edition), which will come in six randomly applied colors (yellow, orange, purple, red, green and blue). Because the colors will be applied randomly, you can't collect them all, because there are thousands of different color combinations. The figure will cost $12.95 and will be available on July 18, 2019 at Entertainment Earth's booth (#2343) at San Diego Comic Con. Limited quantities of this figure will be available at Target.com following the convention.
Hasbro debuted carded images of Luke Skywalker (Crait), the Imperial Assault Tank Commander, the Death Star Gunner and R2-D2. All four figures have gone up for pre-order at several online stores, we recommend getting them at Entertainment Earth however because of their MINT CONDITION guarantee. The case ratio is two per case, which is ideal if you collect one loose and one carded (EE has a full case available here, and one of each figure here).
There was some nice little background information provided during the panel about the packaging for those figures. For example the card art for Luke was taken straight from The Last Jedi and is not a composite. The image of the Death Star Gunner was taken straight from Rogue One, but they had to add some panels and lighting to fill out the entire card. Even though Hasbro has released several R2-D2 figures on Kenner-inspired cards, this is the first time that R2-D2 is being made available in The Vintage Collection on the original 1978 card.
All figures in the Skiff Guard 3-pack will be individually carded inside a bigger box. Vedain is an all new figure, and in order to create the card art they had to remove Lando Calrissian's arm and hand from the movie still, because he was wrestling with Vedain. They then had to recreate Vedain's alien hand and they added some sparks to the art for a more dramatic feel. Vizam's card art is straight from the film and for Brock Starsher they created a composite.
Like previously announced by Hasbro, Vizam will include a cannon which can be attached to the Sail Barge's railing, but now for the first time we saw that the cannon will be included inside the bubble together with the figure on the card.
Hasbro showed the packaging for the up-coming Skiff, which looks fantastic. For the box art's photo shoot they re-used the tentacles which were also used for the Sail Barge packaging photo shoot, this gives some continuity between both items.
The highlight of the entire presentation was likely the Original Trilogy JEDI DESTINY Luke Skywalker 3-pack. X-Wing Luke Skywalker is an all new interpretation of the character, Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper disguise has the correct grappling hook belt and he now has the correct height, and Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) has two new hands, a new head and a correct soft-goods cape. The set will cost $49.99 and will debut at booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July. Limited quantities of the set will be available internationally at Fan Expo Canada, PAX Australia, ACD Hong Kong, Comic Con Portugal, Comic Con Madrid, Salón del Cómic Barcelona, Luca Comics and Games Italy, MCM Comic Con London, Asia Comic Con Malaysia, STGCC Toy, Game & Comic Con Singapore and the Unboxing Toy Convention Mexico. After the conventions limited quantities may be available online at HasbroPulse.com. This item will also be available at select retailers in Asia.
The European version of the 3-pack will have different languages printed on the front, just like last year's Doctor Aphra 3-pack. It remains to be seen if there will be changes made to the packaging for the Asian market, or if Hasbro will simply apply a sticker.
The back of the packaging features a cool artwork which shows Luke's journey throughout the Original Trilogy.
Here is a look at what Hasbro's The Vintage Collection and Star Wars Retro Collection display looked like at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019:
A question to our readers here, how big of an issue is the packaging condition when you get your figures? We do see quite a few complaints about bent/warped and creased cards, especially when figures are ordered through mass retail and not a specialty online shop. We've had our fair share of experiences with this as well. Hasbro is aware of it and they are monitorning the situation. Obviously, if they were to ship figures out in protective clamshells it would increase the cost of the figures.
At Star Wars Celebration Chicago we saw first hand that damaged cards are an issue. The Han/Leia/Luke/Vader wave was sold out at the Hasbro Pulse store by Friday afternoon, but there was a big pile of damaged figures sitting right next to the register.
There were no announcements regarding either toy lines. The earliest we will find out if they continue will be at Tripple Force Friday on October 4, 2019. Keep in mind that there will be one more wave of Galaxy Of Adventures figures which was announced around New York Toy Fair 2019, which will include Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi from Episode III, Kylo Ren, General Grievous, Rey and Darth Maul. Here is the original reveal.
No new or old figures were on display and Hasbro didn't talk about them (and I didn't ask). It looks as if this line is dead.
It was a surprise to see not one, but three Disney Galaxy's Edge exclusive multipacks! All sets will be sold inside the Disney parks' Galaxy's Edge world only and the packaging will not have the typical Hasbro/Disney logos on it to stay in world. Even though Hasbro mentioned that the price wasn't finalized yet, one of the packaging had a $69.99 price sticker on it. Expect all three sets to be available when Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge opens on May 31st 2019.
The Smuggler's Run multipack will include Rey (Baatu), Hondo Ohnaka, two porgs and Chewbacca. Hondo is a brand new figure and a realistic interpretation of the cartoon character. The two porgs are new and different from the previous ones. Rey and Chewbacca appear to be re-releases, but with slightly updated paint applications. Chewbacca in particular seems to have a much lighter color on the head.
The First Order multipack will feature Kylo Ren, a Mountain Trooper, Commander Pyre and a Mouse Droid. Kylo seems to be a kit-bashed figure which has a lot of newness to it compared to previous releases, and all the other figures in this set are new.
The Droid Depot multipack will feature BB-8, C-3PO, R2-D2 and RX-24 "Captain Rex". BB-8 is a re-release but with new, more accurate weathering, C-3PO was given articulated elbows and more accurate thighs, R2-D2 is a re-release and RX-24 is all new. You can look at the full photo gallery here.
Besides Galaxy's Edge exclusive multipacks, Hasbro showed the Amazon exclusive Emperor Palpatine which comes with a throne, a second set of hands for Force Lightning and three heads with different expressions. Each head features Hasbro's photo real face printing technology. Even though the figure uses previous Emperor Palpatine parts, the figure now has soft-goods underneath which allows it to sit. The figure will cost $39.99 and ships in October 2019. Pre-order it here on Amazon.
Another highlight from this past weekend was the reveal of the Boba Fett Black Series 6" figure which will be a convention exclusive throughout the Summer. The color scheme on the figure mimics the original Kenner Boba Fett figure from 1979. The final packaging will have the foil look which you've seen on the Luke Skywalker Celebration exclusive and on the Celebration Chicago exclusive Darth Maul and Kenobi figures. Boba Fett will cost $24.99 and will be available at booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Just like the Luke Skywalker 3-pack from The Vintage Collection, this figure will also be available at a variety of different international conventions throughout the year and limited quantities might be made available on Hasbro Pulse online after the conventions are over.
We also got a look at the second wave of carded Black Series Archive figures which includes Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, the Biker Scout and Darth Maul. Each figure comes with the exact same accessories/weapons as before plus Anakin, Yoda and Darth Maul were given the photo real face printing upgrade. You can get one of each on Entertainment Earth. Hasbro also showed the boxed version of the Walgreens exclusive General Kenobi (from the Tartakovsky Clone Wars series) and the next wave of basic assortment Black Series figures with Tripple 0, BT-1, Doctor Aphra, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ezra Bridger and Chopper. Have a look here at Entertainment Earth to get your figures one by one or as a full case.
All in all Hasbro had yet again a very strong showing during the panel and on the show floor and we are looking forward to Summer and the rest of the year!
If you'd like to learn more about Hasbro's presentation at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 you can listen to our podcast Jedi Business Talk, episode #9, which features the entire live recording of the panel. You can stream it here. We will also publish the entire interview with Hasbro, please stay tuned to the archive page and our up-coming 10th episode.