Hasbro has announced a number of new figures, both individually and in battle pack style boxes today in their Fan First Friday livestream on Facebook including a double sided Tantive IV playset
In my opinion the best item shown today is the Tantive IV Hallway ‘playset’. This was one of the forerunners in the rumour mill for the upcoming Haslabs project, so this reveal narrows that field even more. The styling is fairly accurate, so it will make a good backdrop as a shelf display but there are a couple of major drawbacks.
The first concern is that Hasbro have followed on from the Bespin Playset by again selling us half of a scene, and encouraging us to buy a second set to complete the experience. The Tantive IV playset can be connected in a number of ways so if you really want you can buy multiples to increase the size of your diorama or play experience. The second thing to note is that Hasbro describe this as a playset, but the only feature on show is a manually operated sliding door. The Tantive IV set comes with a pack in exclusive Vintage Collection Rebel Fleet Trooper, on a Rogue One card. To be honest, it’s a really nice figure and I hope it gets released on its own at some point in the future.
Also on offer from The 3.75 Vintage collection was a standalone Hondo figure, for anyone not looking to buy the Galaxy’s Edge Millennium Falcon. Great character, great sculpt, and a nice update from the previous Clone Wars version.
The last Vintage figure revealed was a huge disappointment, yet another Darth Vader. This one is on a Rogue One card and looks good, but its just another Vader, which is a massive missed opportunity for all the other characters in Rogue One that haven’t been released in TVC, or in any range at all.
Next up was a confusing launch of a line called Celebrate The Saga. This is a line of Battle Pack style box sets, featuring 5POA (Five points of articulation, arms, legs, and head) figures which have all been released in recent years and in many cases just sat unwanted until dumped on clearance. This line is being released for a limited time, and in limited quantities, and then “going in the vault”. This was clarified by saying Hasbro intends to continue with higher articulation figures (read TVC) and Galaxy of Adventures (a line nobody asked for, which is currently clogging up retailers shelves around the world). When you think about it, this is being sold as a retirement of a venerable line in favour of its superior quality offspring but given what was shown today, there are very few products coming in the TVC range to continue the 3.75 scale.
This only serves to reinforce the consensus amongst collectors that Hasbro would prefer to produce The Black Series as it’s main figure range and hope that collectors just swap scales and forget about TVC/3.75 as an ongoing line. They made sure to clarify that the Retro line will continue, probably because it has been massively popular, despite it being 5POA.
The packs feature an assortment of figures which have mostly been released in the last five years or so within the movie ranges, and boxsets for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Solo, and The Last Jedi. These figures all look quite serviceable, and are getting Photoreal face upgrades but there is little reason for most collectors to pick these up. They have already been purchased once when those movies came out, or left on the shelves if they were unwanted. One reason you might consider buying the Jedi Order box is Ahsokas droid R7-A7, now available in the standard Astromech style, previously in the Clone Wars cartoon style. Another figure of note is R5-P8 (Hondo’s droid) added into the Bounty Hunters box. My favourite is the Sith box, with a great Emperor sculpt and the Emperors Protocol Droid TC-4.
There were a couple of Black series figures revealed, one of which leaked this week already, and a new Black Series Palpatine Lightsaber featuring the improved tech featured on the Kylo re-release and the new Revan Saber. It’s nice they are continuing to improve this line and I can see more Sabers will be re-released like Lukes Jedi Lightsaber, and maybe one day we will get a Jedi Rey, who knows.
A last piece of news is the confirmation that a Star Wars Haslabs project is indeed coming soon, and the reveal is set for September, so be back here in a month to find out if the rumours of a Dagobah playset are true. The other frontrunner for most rumoured, is a Death Star playset of some kind. Either one could be good if done right but only time will tell if that is the case.