NOTE: At the bottom of this page are full size high resolution photos.
In what has been heralded as the "Imperial cruiser of Star Wars conventions", the Sci-Fi Expo was held this past weekend at the Shreveport Exhibition Hall. Home to over 100 exhibitors and merchants such as Ultarama and Yestertoys, the Expo marked the first time since Toy Fair that Hasbro had taken their wares on the road. The main attraction at the event was the impressive Hasbro booth, hosted by Brand Manager Paul Palmer, veteran designer Mark Boudreax and Audrey DeSimone from Hasbro Corporate Communications. The display showed off a bit of what Hasbro has in store for the coming fall, as well as answer fan and collectors' questions. Lucky show attendees were able to pick up an official and limited Hasbro "Power of the Jedi Tour" pin. This was the first of three pins commemorating the Power of the Jedi Tour - one for each stop on the tour (Shreveport this past weekend, San Diego ComicCon this July, and Chicago's Wizard World in August).
Hasbro Q & A: Mark Boudreaux and Audrey DeSimone had a nice Q & A session after which the POTJ Tour pins were handed out. Badges, tickets or wristbands were punched to ensure pins were given out fairly to fans.
Amanaman: On display behind the action figures were presentation boards showing off the Duros development, as well as the progress on fans' choice #2 Amanaman. All the pieces you see in the right hand Amanaman board will come with Amanaman.
Darth Vader; Emperor's Wrath: Appearing for the first time in the Power of the Jedi Tour, Hasbro showed off the upcoming Darth Vader: Emperor's Wrath action figure. Modeled after the Dark Lord's appearance near the end of Return of the Jedi, this version of Vader features a translucent body revealing Anakin Skywalker's skeletal structure. The effect is quite impressive and best appreciated up close.
Han Solo; Death Star Escape: Also shown for the first time, Han Solo: Death Star Escape, capturing the character in his daring escape from the Empire's ultimate weapon. The figure features a terrific new head sculpt and articulation capable of achieving two very distinct poses. In one position the figure can be posed holding his Imperial blaster with two hands. The other pose captures the character as he was fleeing Stormtroopers, running with blaster held behind his back.
Luke X-Wing Pilot, New Sculpt: Hasbro also showed off their re-sculpted Luke X-wing pilot. This time around the figure will offer a movie accurate sculpt from A New Hope and a removable helmet. Finally, for the first time since Toy Fair 2000, Shmi Skywalker rounds out the Hasbro's standard action figure exhibit.
12" Luke and Speederbike: Utilizing the awesome Speederbike model from last year's Scout Trooper set, Hasbro and Target will offer the Action Collection 12" Luke Endor with Speederbike later this year.
Tie Interceptor: The Toys 'R' Us exclusive TIE Interceptor was in attendance, offering an updated take on the vintage mold, and comes complete with a more articulated TIE Pilot.
Tie Bomber: The Wal-Mart exclusive Bomber marks the first original vehicle produced from Hasbro Direct. The model features an entirely new body, while using existing solar panels from the Darth Vader TIE Fighter. Those attending the show will have the unique opportunity to see some of the development steps in the TIE Bomber lifecycle, including injection molds for various bomber parts, and a multi-colored TIE bomber test-shot.
"Hoth Peril Snowspeeder": The Hoth Peril Snowspeeder set, while using the existing mold, offers an entirely new deco and not one but two new action figures, Luke and Dak. This ship will look spectacular on display - the cardboard "crashed" environment is some of the best vehicle packaging we've seen.
B-Wing: While not entirely new, the B-Wing also made an appearance.
Next Action Collection Trio: It's been months since we first saw these three at the Dallas Import Toy Fair, but they were also shown.
Ultarama Display: Mort Simpson and Matt Mellott where on hand to show off their cool Ultarama diorama display stands. With a show special of just $20.00 for the stand and a set of backgrounds, business was good.
Very large photos (not reduced in size)
Tie Interceptor Box Front