The reason most of us are here! Since debuting in August of 1995, Star Wars has been the figure line to beat. Sure, Power Rangers have had many good years, but as us old people go, it's generally Star Wars that roped us into the toy hobby (or business) and to some extent kept us on board until we found some other thing. Knowing this, Hasbro is bringing back more Vintage packaging beyond just action figures-- two small vehicles are coming as Target exclusives this year. A new Tauntaun, and a redeco Landspeeder. Not announced (but previously confirmed through Hasbro's PR department) was another Tauntaun, in a set with Han Solo and a Rebel Trooper.
The big news was a surprising lack of news for 2011, which may mean Hasbro is holding back stuff for New York Comic Con in October, at which point a number of items may not only have leaked, but hit store shelves. We'll have to wait and see. They were kind enough to share some really neat 2012 previews, specifically a wave of deleted scene figures based on Return of the Jedi, and the beginning of its onslaught of new product for the 3D release of The Phantom Menace that
none of you are sure to see come February. (It's over Toy Fair so... yeah. Priorities, man. Plastic's gonna win.) Numerous Vintage figures confirmed back at Toy Fair were pushed back, so it looks like most-- and possibly not all-- of the stuff we say in February will not hit store shelves before the year ends. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.
If you're a fan of The Clone Wars, a number of neat exclusive figures are on deck. Wal-Mart will be getting more DVD 2-packs, this time each of which will have one different enough to be interesting Clone Trooper in each set. Toys R Us will be getting a set with a pair of Clones and a vicious probe droid from the "Droid Attack on the Coronet," which is theoretically due this month. A new Force Unleashed II pack was also on display, and as of early August, is in stores.
The meatiest previously-unseen item is a half-new set called the Death Star Trench Run, a $100 gift set meant for the Toys R Us big toy book catalog coming out later this year. It boasts a retooled X-wing fighter with a new interior and additional firing weapons alongside a redeco Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, this time with the top hatch seemingly matching the deco on the rest of the ship. (You may recall this being an issue on the 2006-2007 release, which, otherwise, was pretty gorgeous.) In addition to pilot Luke and an R2-D2 based on the 2008 Wal-Mart Droid Factory sets complete with Battle Damage, there's a Darth Vader figure included based on the ubiquitous 500th figure design. While the price point may seem a little high-- 3 $8 figures plus a $50 vehicle plus a $20-$25 vehicle does not $100 make-- remember Hasbro puts these big-ticket gift sets on sale numerous times over the holiday season. Normally I would not advocating for a discount, but I saw the Slave I set last year drop over $30 below what I paid for it being a good early adopter, and you know, we can't let that happen again.
The panel made mention of a few odds and ends-- like the missing "mini-rigs" from Toy Fair are still on deck, rare Vintage like Wedge Antilles will be coming back in 2012, and so on-- but there was no word on a new big-ticket Slave I from The Empire Strikes Back or another large-scale item beyond what has been previously announced. Of course, they can sometimes surprise you, and from the look of things there are plenty of new Ultimate FX lightsabers, Jedi Force Adventure Heroes toys, and new mini Star Wars Transformers for everybody throughout the remainder of the year.