Toy Fair 2010: Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Toys (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
If you can believe it The Empire Strikes Back is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. By far it is the most popular film in the entire saga and rightfully so. It has the better ending, the full breadth of the Skywalker history is revealed and has bounty hunters in it too. Hasbro has teamed up with Lucasfilm this year in celebrating the greatest film in the Star Wars saga by focusing this year’s toys primarily on The Empire Strikes Back. All right, now stop skipping around and come back to your monitor or hand held device. The news and pictures on what they are going to release has this Toy Maniacgiddy with joy. There are some incredible re-releases on the list to be sure but finally we will all be able to get that one figure we never were allowed to get. Finally Boba Fett with a firing rocket pack will be available. However it won’t be as easy as going to the store or ordering one from Hasbro or Starwars.com. You’re going to have to mail away for him, just like in the old days.
There will of course be new figures for The Clone Wars TV series. Hasbro admitted during Toy Fair that they are playing catch up with the series and hope to have most if not all the fan favorites from season one out by the fall. However if you are following the current story line featuring the Mandalorians those figures will be out sooner than later.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars Hasbro released special clam shelled figures in modern likenesses of the original Kenner Star Wars line. To keep the tradition going they are releasing Empire figures in the same design. However this time there will be no clam shells covering the figures and the price will drop from $11.99 to $7.99. Each figure will feature the Boba Fett mail away offer. It will only take five proofs of purchase to receive a figure. It will come in a white box a la the old way and have two rockets; one to keep the original likeness in tact and the other to actually fire. Figures for this line will include: Darth Vader, a new Hoth Han Solo, a Bespin Luke Skywalker, Dak, a Cloud Car Pilot, AT-AT Commander, Boba Fett, Dengar, 4-LOM and Hoth Leia.
The greatest thing about Star Wars vehicles as a kid was how the figures fit perfectly into them. Hasbro has gone through several realistic designs of Kenner’s original run in the past. This year, in keeping with Empire’s anniversary, they are releasing the Ultimate AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport). Coming in at 24 inches tall, nearly 28 inches long, and 12 inches wide and able to hold twenty figures this new and improved AT-AT buries its predecessors. Complete with articulated legs and a cockpit that can seat six this AT-AT is the one you have waited for since 1980. It has all the sound effects you could ever want, a zip line for Luke and a trap door for him to bust open but it also comes with a rear hatch to launch a Speeder Bike. The downside is it only comes with one figure where as the previous one came with two. Back to the upside, it is priced at $99.99 which is cheaper than Hasbro’s last big ultimate release the Millennium Falcon.
There will also be re-releases of the Snow Speeder, completely appropriate, and a meaner Cloud Car. By meaner I refer to the amount of hidden weapons this seemingly peaceful looking vehicle has. If you are a true collector, look to Toys R Us for the original Kenner Empire Strikes Back packaging of all these vehicles.
As I mentioned before Hasbro will be playing catch up with the series in releasing new and fan favorite characters. It should come as no surprise that Pre Vizsla and his dark saber will be hitting the stores in the summer (August, Wave 1 to be precise). This will also include a few vehicles that have been seen in the series as well as Episodes 2 and 3.
Weapons and Masks:
Again it is all about Boba Fett. To tell you the truth I am surprised Hasbro hasn’t released a SFX Boba Fett helmet before. It was strange how Australian his voice sounded this time around. However, I wasn’t completely sure if it was Temuera Morrison or Dee Bradley Baker doing the voice for the toy. What was incredible to see was that Boba Fett’s rifle is finally being made into a toy. All you need is a little paint and some proper weathering and you are good to go on this bad ass gun.
At the San Diego Comic Con this year there will be an exclusive Darth Maul (with mechanical legs) and Owen Lars comic book 2 pack. Both likenesses are from Star Wars Tales. They will be available on Hasbro.com and Starwars.com after the convention in July.
At Star Wars Celebration 5 in Florida this year Cami and Fixer will finally have their action figure debut in a two pack. 4-LOM and Zuckuss will have a special two pack featuring their names the way Kenner misprinted them. The special two pack will also feature cards with their proper names.
For the last year of the original Star Tours at Disney World there will be an exclusive action figure set. The Star Tours boarding set will be released at the end of May for their first Star Wars weekend. If you are unable to make it down check Once Upon a Toy who handles most of Disney’s action figures.