What is being speculated as a new line is simply a blog post by one of Bandai's S.H. Figuart design team members known as Mr. Y. The text is about the Masked Riders event posted above, and the only reference to Star Wars
on the page states they will not release any new R2 die-cast info yet. And the Yoda Silhouette? Sadly, that is nothing more than a cool avatar used by Mr. Y when posting to the blog. The reports of a Star Wars S.H. Figuarts are not true.
At least not yet.
All of this begs the question of what would happen if Bandai were to produce a Star Wars
S.H. Figuarts figure line. First off, they have already produced an amazing Star Wars
toy this year with the Tamashii Nations 12-inch Perfect Model Chogokin figure
. So they do have the license to make figures, and they could
theoretically do that at some point.
The big question will be whether the figure line would see North American distribution. Bandai (Bandai Japan not Bandai U.S.A., which only handles domestic brands and does not involve itself in imports) stopped their in house export distribution some time back and now has all their items sold under the Tamashii Nations banner through a wholesaling distribution deal with Bluefin Distribution, the articulated Star Wars
toy license for products released in North America are held by Hasbro and to a lesser extent Sideshow Collectibles, and Bluefin would have to work a deal with Hasbro to see it happen.
While the C-3PO was brought in with a limited partnership with Sideshow Collectibles that allowed the figure to be sold under their license, can the same be said for the S.H. Figuarts products? First off, the S.H. Figuarts figures are between 6 to 7 inches tall
, and that would put them in the same, or close to the same scale as Hasbro's upcoming 6-inch Black Series collection. Considering the efforts Hasbro is making to create a new collecting scale for the dedicated 3 3/4-inch adult collectors, is it feasible for them to allow another product line to come into the North American market and compete for your money?
What could you expect if Hasbro says no to the North American distribution of a S.H. Figuarts line? Simply put, you'd have to rely on ordering from International retailers and online stores or go on eBay. Any of these options will mean you'll be paying inflated prices. Will that hurt the line? Probably not, since Star Wars
is cultural phenomenon the world over. would North American Star Wars
collectors pay the price for them? Historically speaking, probably not.