Now it’s time to address the bantha in the room: the Star Wars Black 6-Inch Series.
As many of my toy geek friends can tell you, I’ve often stated that a 6″ Star Wars line would bankrupt me. I’ve probably said that on this very site. In response, a number of SW collectors told me it would never happen, that Hasbro was too committed to the 3¾” scale.
Well, they were all wrong.
STAR WARS ® BLACK SERIES 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES
(Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages: 4 & up; Available: Fall 2013)
In 2013, Hasbro takes collectible STAR WARS action figures to the next level with the introduction of the BLACK SERIES action figure line! For the first time ever, Hasbro is introducing a 6-inch scale of the greatest characters from the STAR WARS universe. This exceptional collection of figures features incredibly accurate design and a high level of articulation. Each sold separately.
There will be 8 Star Wars Black Series 6-inch action figures available in 2013, with the first wave—Luke, R2-D2, Darth Maul and a Sandtrooper—hitting in August.
I’m still digesting this news. This is exactly the sort of reveal that immediately sends me head-over-heels into a new toy obsession – it happened with MOTU 200X, it happened with Mezco’s Hellboy Comic line, it happened with DCUC and MOTUC.
The only reason it may not happen this time is because my obsession for this line has been pre-empted by a toy line that I never even imagined could exist: S.H.MonsterArts. But things could change once I have the figures in my hand. I suspect I will really get into this line, though it may not happen until I get my ANH Han Solo and Boba Fett. Then all bets are off. After that, PGPoA may have a new SW-inspired design and I could be writing SW fan fiction.
The first wave of figures include X-Wing Pilot Luke, R2D2, an Imperial Sandtrooper and Darth Maul. Maul is obviously the odd man out, though still a fan favorite of sorts. I’m not big on the X-Wing Luke – we’re never going to get an in-scale X-Wing with this line – but I suspect we’ll see this body sculpt again, and again, and again as we get the rest of the Red and Rogue Squadrons. The R2D2 and Sandtrooper should be great, but for $20 I sure hope Artoo comes with some cool accessories (preferably related to the original trilogy and not jetpack-extensions from the prequels).
We only have pics of Luke so far, though I’m sure that will change after Hasbro’s Toy Fair event tomorrow. But the Luke sculpt looks great (so much that I’m wondering who’s doing this – Phil Ramirez, maybe?) But it’s a prototype, and we should all be prepared for how the production versions might come out.
Articulation-wise, this figure reminds me a bit of the Mattel Ghostbusters figures, but that could just be because it’s a guy in a jumpsuit. I’m still not a fan of the swivel-elbow joint as opposed to a proper biceps swivel and hinged elbow, and I’m concerned about how well the hips will function, but I’ll just have to see how the figure is in hand.
My main concern about this line is the price point ($20 apiece) and availability. These figures are six inches tall and are designed for adult collectors. Between a perceived smaller market and the higher production cost, I suspect there will not be nearly as many of these figures as any given SW 3¾” figure. The problem is every existing SW collector and a whole slew of previously non-SW collectors like me will be going after these toys. I’m guessing these will have DCUC-like problems with availability. Long story short: pre-order these online if you want to make sure you get them all.