Hollywood Expo Hasbro Displays
June 2000

Special Edition 300th Figure - Boba Fett
The figure is sculpted based on his appearance in ESB. That is, gray gloves with differently painted fingers... the detail is incredible. Extra articulation was added to allow the arms to swivel to hold the rifle in a sniper position, and allowed Fett to look down his sights similar to the Metal Gear Solid figure Sniper Wolf. In an even bigger surprise, the rangefinder was articulated, just like the original 12" toy. The cape is made of tattered cloth, and it looks spiffy. The backpack has a removable rocket that looks just like the one in the movie. It also has a second firing rocket that has a rounded tip, and is significantly longer due to safety reasons... it hangs out a small hole in the bottom of the rocket pack. A second removable gun is included in his holster. All in all, this is the best offering Hasbro seems to have had, ever. Even the packaging has a window to view the back of the figure, and a backdrop of Cloud City-and if that weren't enough, the side of the box has a large image of Boba on Cloud City.

He's due to show up in late October, and is said to be the 300th carded figure since the 1970s and not the 300th overall figure since 1995. The claim is Ewoks and Droids figures were developed before Han Solo in Carbonite. Mara Jade was listed at #200, and of course, at #1 is the ever popular Luke Skywalker.

Really Big Loose Boba Fett Photo
Really Big Back Of Package Photo
Another Really Big Back Of Package Photo

Jeremy, Meet The 300th Figure
A variety of Star Wars VIPs attended the Expo, as evidenced by the autograph lines and, of course, these pictures. On the left, Jeremy Bulloch stands alongside his alter-ego (Eric Rothlisberger of San Antonio) while taking time out to pose for us with the 300th Star Wars figure-and this was his first time hearing of the good news. Moving along, Jeremy stood alongside Mark, Principal Toy Designer at Hasbro since the early days at Kenner when he designed the first Millennium Falcon toy.

Display Cases
There were two display cases. On the left was an illustrated Royal Starship development process. On the right was the new figures.

Carded Figure Development Process
Conceptual charts, development info sheets and a figure development timeline were shown for the new Power of the Jedi packaging as well as the Chewbacca Dejarik Player figure.

New 12" Bounty Hunters
On the 12" line, the new 4-LOM, Bossk, and IG-88 were on display. All were totally new sculpts, however parts of C-3PO were obviously reused on 4-LOM. IG-88 looks fantastic, with added articulation (or a new pose) and just seems like the sure-fire favorite from the assortment. But yeah, Bossk still looks awesome too.

And Then There Was One

Power Of The Jedi
One of the most talked about aspects of Star Wars lately has been the long awaited revision of the POTF2 packaging after five years of a more or less basic design. After getting a rough idea of what to expect at New York's Toy Fair back in the winter, lots of names were tossed around for the line, as well as lots of designs, most of which never saw the light of day anywhere anywhere. In the end, Hasbro opted to alter what's worked. Green, over black, now dominates the package keeping in touch with the green coloring that's been a hallmark of the classic films since 1997. The name, for better or worse, was barely altered to the Power of the Jedi, which will probably be abbreviated POTJ until someone comes up with something snappier.

The actual card design is incredibly vibrant. The yellows and greens mix in such a way that these pop out of the otherwise similar aisles of action figures, which is always a good thing when selling to the kids. The design has the dark presence of Vader dominating the background of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andy let us know that this was a decision to incorporate the opposing themes of the characters, the Force, and all of that which makes up good and evil in the toy line.

While this is a refreshing change, it isn't quite as drastic as many have hoped. The design has more or less featured no real changes since 1995, and as many have said since the beginning, there is much room for improvement. While it would be nice to see the card have something that makes it unique in design other than the gimmick, well, don't mess with what has worked well for four of the past 5 years.

The bubbles of the packaging have been redone, leaving a front of the bubble that curves out just a little bit, similar to the recent Batman Beyond toy packaging. The ones we were shown were quite thin, although these were preproduction items and many changes will be made before the final toys hit shelves this September.

The line introduces a new gimmick in the Force Files, with Hasbro retiring the oft-maligned CommTech chips in favor of a price drop and, of course, the most important thing: the price drop. This packaging will most likely remain until Episode II. At that point, it's safe to assume some form of split will happen with new Episode II cards or some form of altered packaging for the new film.

Force Files

A little 8-page booklet is the latest in a long line of figure pack-ins, and is easily one of the best to date. Informative, packed with photos, and according to Hasbro, painstakingly researched, these represent hours of work and design work. Based on the mock-up for Chewbacca, it looks as if these will be worth looking at and infinitely more useful than Flashback Photos. How they'll get eight pages on Mas Amedda or Porkins is beyond me.
Other Plano Toy Information

Naboo Escape R2-D2
The latest version of the droid drops a feature we've seen on every version to date with the loss of the light-up eyeport. The toy has a very unique feel, much like the 1997 6" R2-D2, and his wheels spin quite nicely. The toy is very playable, however, the third leg is not retractable. Quite possibly the best R2-D2 ever.

Anakin Mechanic
More of the same? Well, almost. The sculpt has been altered to present Anakin in a new pose with added articulation in the knees and wrists. A tool is included, as is a brightly painted revision of the Pit Droid that was included with Ody Mantrell. For displays, this is the Anakin for you. Nicely done, if a little redundant.

Jedi Kenobi
While insanely similar to the Jedi Duel version, there are some differences in the cloaked version of young Ben. Beyond the typical six points of articulation, he's got swivels in his arms, but no wrist articulation. Accessories include the Qui-Gon Lightsaber and a cloak, and his hair is painted with some extra coloration to give the figure a little flair. It's a nice figure, but considering how many Obi-Wan figures have been issued in the past year, this is one to pass on if you're looking to save a few bucks, but with the upcoming price drop, why bother?

Blue Senate Guard
Nifty. Articulation has been added to the arms and a wrist to allow for more than one way to hold a rifle. The figure is nicely sculpted, stands well on its own, and well, you're gonna want to buy a few of these. No complaints.

Chewbacca Dejarik
While scene-specific things are nothing new, this figure does add a few things that might make it an A+ figure. First, the head is painted quite nicely. The eyes and face look a little bit better than previous Chewies if for no reason other than it is not cross-eyed. No weapons are included, however a Dejarik board with some translucent orange game pieces and a seat are included which does stand on its own, and does not plug into the CommTech chip since, well, no chips are included. It was unknown if the accessory could plug into the Falcon, but we remain hopeful. The knees are jointed, but the arms allow for him to attempt to cluck like a chicken or to enter some sort of post-victory pose. It's a well-made item and is well worth the six bucks.

Darth Maul Generator
Imagine a souped-up version of the two-pack Darth Maul. The lightsaber is a slightly different color, and the sculpt has been redone to be significantly slicker. It seems like a much higher-quality product than its forerunner, and the magnetic positioning is different-slightly. The thing that floored me, though, was the head. The face paint was magnificent, it was so sharp and vibrant that it makes this a must-buy figure. The horns were also more pointed than previous Mauls. Even if you have bought all 29 Darth Mauls, you'll probably still want to snag one of these just because-at least at this stage-it's just that cool.

Qui-Gon Jinn With Poncho
Hasbro's advance sample of the Qui-Gon with Poncho was missing the Poncho, a soft goods item to be added before it actually hits. It'll probably be like the Tatooine Accessory Pack version, but a little higher in terms of quality. The figure itself is like the existing Jedi Master (Soft Goods) Qui-Gon in terms of pose, however it has shoulder joints similar to the CommTech Stormtrooper and Spacetrooper. The "skirt" piece is plastic. The figure comes with his trademark lightsaber, and looks to be a good one to buy if you aren't already tired of seeing Liam Neeson in plastic.

Tusken Raider Desert Sniper
Slick. Flycore, even. This new version of the Tusken Raider has the best head sculpt on a Tusken ever, painted nicely, posed well, and yes, it's fun to mess with. Extra articulation is included for your convinience, as is the rifle shown. It's a well-made figure, the only thing this has going against it is the convenience, as is the rifle shown. It's a well-made figure, the only thing this has going against it is the possibility that you don't want to buy a third version of this alien. It's cool, though, and there's really no reason to pass on this figure.

Mas Amedda
Mostly harmless. Nothing to say, really, other than this is a really nicely sculpted alien that does absolutley nothing interesting. No accessories, no extra articulation, just a ultra-cool by-the-book Hasbro Alien figure. It's a sure-fire winner, be sure to snag one when you see it.

Red Security Battle Droid
You asked for it, now you've got it. Including a lever to move his right arm, this newest version of the Trade Federation's army allows you to have both hands on the gun, and yes, it looks like they actually improved the already great sculpt. Articulation is the same as the original E1 Battle Droid, and this seems to be an army-builder like no other.

Mega Action Figures
The figures formerly known as Jedi Power figures have been renamed Mega Action figures, and the line is currently at four. Shown were Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul, both have a variety of actions, cloth parts, and a ring and a lever on the back to allow for kids to really play with the figures. A transforming-yes, transforming-Destroyer Droid is on the way, however pictures were not available.

More General Line News
The new line of the Star Wars range is going to be the Power of the Jedi. After POTF2 and E1, I guess we needed a new abbreviation. So now we've got POTJ, packaged on very vibrant, very attention-grabbing green and yellow packaging. Each figure includes a fold-out Force File which features a bio, trivia on the character, lots of images, and a TransFormers-esque Tech Spec. Now you too can discover the strength and endurance of a Battle Droid. Each File is 8 pages, and the back of the package features a hole so you can read the bio of the figure without opening the packaging. Interesting trivia note: the advance samples of these guys came on trilogo Pokemon card stock with all-white paper Force Files.

Now, what's next. These ten new carded figures are due in September (formerly August) and the price drop will be effective as of their release. Prices should decrease by a dollar, and cases will ship with 12 figures in each. Upcoming figures for 2000 include Jek Porkins, Fode & Beed, and all the guys on the back of the packages, but K-3PO and the Mon Calamari just might show up before the holidays, along with the Biker Scout, if you're really lucky. Classic figures should make up about 65% of the 2001 line, and figures like Plo Koon, IG-88, Bespin Capture Han Solo, yet another Battle Droid and the Duro are still on the fast track to plastic for next year. Or so says Boba Fett.

Boss Nass (Gungan Sacred Place) [yes, that is the official name] was picked for production for many reasons, namely the fact that the first one was too small. The new one was made to be taller. The Dagobah Darth Vader is being done in translucent plastic, giving the figure an ethereal shimmer to make the good figure great. It was still unconfirmed if the head would be removable, but other sources point to yes - but don't quote us on that. New figures will be shipped in two collections, much like in late 1996 to mid 1997 because there is little if any correlation between assortments as to who goes where. Collection One features an orange logo in the upper right hand corner of the package while Collection Two sports a yellow tag.