How Hasbro Celebrated 40 Years Of The Empire Strikes Back

12/26/2020 The Empire Strikes Back The Black Series The Vintage Collection

2020 was the 40th Anniversary Of The Empire Strikes Back, and Hasbro commemorated the event by releasing a ton of Star Wars action figures from the movie. Among the toys released were some vehicles, a creature, a Kenner boardgame, a playset and different scales of figures. Let's take a look! 

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary The Black Series

Hasbro's current focus is on Star Wars: The Black Series 6" action figures and so it was no surprise that the Black Series line saw the most figures released. 

Kenner-style single carded 40th Empire Black Series figures:

  • AT AT Driver
  • Boba Fett
  • Chewbacca
  • Vader
  • Han Bespin
  • Han Carbonite
  • Hoth Rebel Trooper 
  • Lando
  • Luke Bespin
  • Luke Dagobah
  • Luke Snowspeeder
  • Leia Hoth
  • R2 Dagobah
  • Snowtrooper
  • Tie Fighter pilot
  • Yoda
  • 4-LOM/Zuckuss 2-pack, but single carded inside
  • Honorable mention: Boba Fett (Kenner colors, released in 2019 with the 40th ESB logo on the card)

The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Kenner

Other Black Series 6" 40th Empire-Themed items:

  • Boba Fett Carbonized
  • Darth Vader Carbonized
  • Stormtrooper Carbonized
  • Luke Skywalker / Yoda 2-pack
  • Wampa
  • Probe Droid
  • Han Solo (Hoth) & Leia Organa (Hoth) 2-pack re-release at Target
  • Dack Ralter with Snowspeeder
  • Chewbacca/C-3PO (released in December 2019, but available throughout 2020)

Hasbro also re-released figures single boxed in the basic Black Series 6" assortment, which included Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker (Snowspeeder Pilot) and the Hoth Rebel Trooper.

If you'd like to look up Black Series figures have a look here: 

The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Kenner

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary The Vintage Collection

For fans of the 3 3/4" Vintage Collection things looked rather bleak with only a few highlights. Collectors were able to mark-off a brand new Carbon Freezing Chamber playset in Kenner-style packaging along with a newly re-painted Slave I vehicle and less than a handful of figures. 

Kenner-style single carded 40th Empire 3 3/4" The Vintage Collection figures:

  • C-3PO
  • Han Solo (Bespin)
  • Luke Skywalker (Bespin)
  • Stormtrooper (with Carbon Freezing Chamber Playset)

Figures which were already released in 2019 on a Kenner-style Empire card, but which Hasbro kept in rotation throughout 2020, included Han Solo (Echo Base), Princess Leia Organa (Hoth), Boba Fett and Darth Vader. If you were hunting for "Empire" figures in very early 2020 you might have also found the Target exclusive Cave Of Evil 3-pack with Luke Dagobah, Yoda and Darth Vader on clearance.

Other Vintage Collection 40th Empire Vintage Collection items:

  • Boba Fett's Slave I
  • Carbon Freezing Chamber Playset (also included a Han Solo in Carbonite Block)

If you'd like to look up Vintage Collection figures have a look here: Star Wars The Vintage Collection.

The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Kenner Vintage Collection

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary The Retro Collection

For fans who grew up with Kenner in the 70s and 80s and love the simplicity of those figures combined with the fantastic Kenner card art, the 3 3/4" Retro Collection is for you. Luckily Hasbro had some figures on tap for the 40th of Empire in 2020 which unfortunately were only sold through Walmart in the United States. 

Kenner-style single carded 40th Empire 3 3/4" Retro Collection figures:

  • Boba Fett
  • Han Solo (Hoth)
  • Lando Calrissian
  • Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigue)
  • Luke Skywalker (Snowspeeder)
  • Princess Leia Organa (Hoth)
  • Yoda

If you'd like to look up Retro figures have a look here: Star Wars The Retro Collection.

The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Kenner Retro Collection

As you can see, Hasbro went above and beyond for the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, let's hope that we'll see a repeat of that for the 40th Anniversary of the Return Of The Jedi in 2023, but with a bigger offering for The Vintage Collection.

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