The first panel on the Collectors' stage on Saturday was not officially part of the collecting track, but did provide fans with a sneak preview of some forthcoming products from JAKKS Pacific, Uncle Milton and Spin Master. Anita Castellar, Licensing Manager, Hardlines at Lucasfilm, hosted the panel and introduced the three companies, with each discussing a single product that will be available later this year.
JAKKS Pacific covered the 48" Darth Vader Interactive Giant Figure that comes with a molded lightsaber and five points of articulation. Priced at $99 the figure features 2 modes, friend or foe, with a sensor on Vader's belt triggering corresponding messages depending on the selected mode.
Following on from their Force Trainer from 2009, Uncle Milton will be releasing The Force Trainer II Hologram experience later this year, and showed a short video to highlight the 3 levels of training available in the game. Working with a headset, The Force Trainer allows you to raise an X-Wing from the Dagobah swamp, find the crystal needed to construct your lightsaber, escape a wampa, duel Darth Vader and battle the Emperor.
The last company to present was Spin Master, and they also showed a video, giving the audience a sneak preview of their Legendary Yoda toy that will be available in Fall 2015. Coming with a cane and a lightsaber, the toy also features a real fabric robe, premium latex skin, full interactivity as well as 115 iconic phrases across 3 different modes. Fixing the cane to his hands puts Yoda into Wisdom mode, which offers voice recognition and responds to Yes and No questions, along with a dark side sensor and signature cane tapping. Force mode causes the toy to move back when you use a Force-push, and also features a glowing "Force blast" hand. Lastly, Warrior mode, which is triggered by giving Yoda his lightsaber results in the weapon lighting-up and sends Yoda on the attack with Spin Master's breakthrough motorized movement, and is quite a sight to behold.
Each of the items demonstrated offers something very different and it's great to see how licensees are continuing to innovate when it comes to future Star Wars toys and collectibles.