Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Lucas Licensing's Chris Spitale moderated the Star Wars Collectibles Update panel. The panel kicked off "Star Wars Day" at the convention, where Star Wars takes over room 7AB for the majority of the day. The Collectibles Update panel is where licensees Kotobukiya, Gentle Giant, Sideshow Collectibles, and eFX Collectibles gave fans a taste of what's to come from each of their brands, plus Lucas Licensing mentioned a few other items, do a little Q&A, and also the chance to win prizes in the trivia contest at the end of the panel. Here's a rundown of the news out of the panel...
Dan from Kotobukiya was up first. The Japanese company's Star Wars silicone ice cube trays have been a big seller, and Dan went on to announce new entries in the line: deluxe-sized trays. These deluxe trays have 2 large cavities instead of 6 smaller ones, and will include R2-D2, Han Carbonite, and the Millennium Falcon (which was already on sale in their booth at the convention); each tray will carry an SRP of $15 and is expected to hit retail in the fall.
Another new addition to the ice cube trays was the large Death Star - assembling in 2 halves with a hole in the top to pour in water, the tray will SRP for $10 and is expected in September.
Switching gears slightly, the reveal of Kotobukiya's light-up lightsaber chopsticks has users twisting the saber hilt to light up the chopstick saber blade. The blades are detachable for easy cleaning, and have 3 replaceable button-cell batteries in the hilt. Expected in winter, the light-up chopsabers will come in Luke and Vader saber styles, each version looking at an SRP of $15.
Koto's ArtFX (plus) line has taken on with collectors to become one of their strongest selling lines. The 'Plus line is 1:10 scale and most figure kits come with multiple interchangeable parts, as well as magnets in the feet to attach to their bases. Coming up in the 'Plus line will be ROTJ Boba Fett with 2 sets of arms firing either his wrist gauntlet or blaster, look at fall for $50. Vader ROTJ will have multiple arms and an additional removed-helmet portrait, winter for $50. A Royal Guard 2-pack is looking at winter '13 for $65, and the samples in their booth looked great. Celebration VI will see an exclusive R2-A6 'Plus figure limited to 500 pieces, it'll come with different legs for 2- or 3-legged poses with magnets in the feet, and a collector coin with Maul and the Celebration logo as well as individual numbering, all for $30 at booth #903. Dan also treated the crowd to a sneak peek at a new 'Plus figure, Jango Fett who is still in dvelopment and is looking to hit fall of '13 to coincide with AOTC's 3D release.
ArtFX Bishoujo line finally comes to Star Wars. The term is Japanese for "pretty girl" or "beautiful woman", and is a natural to bring to the line. The first figure in the line was shown at their booth at SDCC - Jaina Solo in pilot attire, and the base on that will be changing to an M1-type base. The line is 1:7 scale and goes for $65, kicking off this fall.
One last Koto item shown in the panel was a teaser for Mara Jade in the Bishoujo line, and Dan wants fans to know that Koto wants to hear from those fans, both praise and criticism, through their website and Facebook.
During the Q&A, Koto was asked about their Japanese Star Wars neckties, but could not make an announcement at this panel as for now they were Japan-only.
Regarding the Mara Jade's saber color, no final decision had been made yet and maybe they'll do a swap-out with both options.
Next up was Ashley, the director of product development from Gentle Giant, ltd., and the company is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. Ashley presented a video which highlighted some of the great stuff coming up, you can see the stuff from the video in their SDCC booth which means it's in our SDCC Gentle Giant Photo Gallery.
During the trivia contest, Ashley mentioned that Gentle Giant's holiday release would be Wald with Jar Jar mini-busts. And during Q&A, she revealed that the AT-AT bookends shown would be 8-inch tall and a second AT-AT bookend would be offered with a smaller, whole AT-AT at either end which will be shown off at Celebration VI.
After that was Brant from Sideshow Collectibles. Sideshow's first message was... "1:6 scale is going nuts!" Obi-Wan from Episode I; Lords of the Sith Vader "Deluxe" because he covers both ESB and ROTJ, and will have a helmet reveal feature with its own separate stand for the helmet, as well as an illuminated base; Militaries of SW will have Cody's troopers, and dives into Hoth with Snowtroopers and the E-web cannon; there's also a Bossk and the exclusive is the snarling portrait.
Outside of 1:6 is their new line of statues, Star Wars Mythos, which will tell some new stories by letting the Sideshow artists delve into their imaginations to tell stories outside the screen, between the films. Obi-Wan highlights include Clone Wars accessories and tools you imagine were in that box he had in his hut. Darth Maul, dark disciple. Boba Fett with the biggest gun he's ever used. The Gamorrean warrior. Vader with lava flow reflection. Like their other stuff, these will come with switch-out hands and heads to tailor the display to your tastes.
Premium Format includes Shaak Ti from The Force Unleashed, and Darth Malgus from The Old Republic - Sideshow feels he's one of the best new villains in Star Wars, so they're doing him in a 1:1 bust, Premium Format, and 1:6. PF continues with R2-D2 and C-3PO, 3PO is very articulated to recreate Anthony Daniels poses, the eyes light up and the pistons move; R2's lights light up and his dome moves, there's also a panel with plug-in arm and other pieces.
A first look at their PF Chewbacca, they've been kicking around a way to do Chewie forever and have been waiting to strike; he'll stand 22-inches tall, and will have a swap-out rifle and bowcaster, plus other surprises.
Just that morning, Sideshow added to their booth downstairs their upcoming Life Sized Darth Vader statue, and were helped by Gino from eFX. Life Sized statues will add Boba Fett and Han Carbonite next year.
During the trivia contest, Brant said that Sideshow really likes the clones, and some of the trivia answers involved figures they'd be doing in the next year - Wolffe, Fives, and Echo.
For Q&A, asked about 1:6 Original Trilogy pilots, there was mention of a TIE Fighter Pilot , although an X-wing outfit would be a little later, but an AT-AT Driver would be a "yes".
About more 1:6 Indiana Jones, they've done some work for Short Round and looked a lot at Temple of Doom and some mine cart action, but right now it's "not quite active" though that could change in the future.
With 1:6 Darth Malgus, would there be any other 1:6 figures from The Old Republic? That's a yes, and they're looking at other SW video games too, Darth Revan came up in the answer.
Bryan and Gino from eFX Collectibles were delayed but did make the panel, Bryan apologized for being late, as he put it, "like always". Lightsabers, they had a Starkiller replica with them from The Force Unleashed, and were looking beyond the movies to go into gaming. They're going to be adding electronics to some of them, Starkiller's has a light-up red crystal on the switch; there also was a special edition The Old Republic saber replica for Bioware and eFX will be doing their own version for the mainline as well, looking at wood and pewter for the materials to use there.
On their Reveal Lightsaber hilts, while the ROTJ one they did was based on the one from the missing scene, the ones they are doing next will have more freedom to come up with internal designs to add to the sabers, and 2 sabers mentioned for this line were Vader and Obi-Wan.
eFX will be taking on the Mini Lightsabers, picking up from the .45-scale line that Master Replicas previously put out, currently doing the ones from before but looking to add electronics at the next level.
The Legends line will get a Darth Maul Lightsaber hilt, this piece was cast from one used by and given to Ray Park. It's molded plastic over a rod just like the original, and there's a misconception that any Maul sabers used to shoot TPM were metal when it turns out none were, only the ends were metal. This piece will be authentic in every way to the construction of the original prop.
The Biker Scout helmet gets the Legends treatment, cast from the version in the Lucasfilm Archives. The only Biker Scout helmet priror was the Don Post piece and Altmans in Australia, so there hasn't been this helmet since the '90s. The original ROTJ molds were allowed to be used for eFX to make their prototype.
Legends continues with plans for a Yoda puppet replica. This is a huge undertaking for eFX, they've been trying to find original castings and parts for about 4 years now, and have come up with most but not yet all. However, the piece is in the pipeline.
Slave I will get a replica taken from the FX model, that original FX model has been on tour in Asia for the last 3 years but is now back in the archives for eFX to study so they can continue on the piece.
During Q&A, eFX was posed the question of other X-wing pilot helmets, and they mentioned that the Wedge helmet is in their display, although that is only their paint master, but they are working on it and will do others as well.
Also, this reporter was very lucky to be the only person in the room to know the answer to eFX's final trivia question, and walked away with one of their awesome Luke X-wing helmets (the knowledge almost ironically coming from an incident 2 years prior where this reporter choked on Kotobukiya Dan's similar trivia contest question).
While usually that'd be it for the collectibles panel, Chris (remember, from Lucas Licensing, the moderator?) had some more details, a sneak preview for what's going to be shown at Celebration VI.
The first 10 audience members in the room who had already purchased their tickets to C VI got exclusive T-shirts.
Each day at C VI will sell a different mini-statue in limited quantities, these were originally going to be offered through Star Wars Shop but they didn't get the chance before it closed. The statues include a Zombie Stormtrooper, Quinlan Vos, Mara Jade, and 1 more.
Mark Mancini art from vintage production pieces and even concept works will be offered, they're looking at offering on T-shirts and other applications.
Comic Images has produced a Tauntaun hobby horse, that's a plush Tauntaun head on a stick for those unfamiliar with the concept of a hobby horse.
Think Geek will share an item with C VI, it's a Gamorrean Guard piggy bank, they're trying to figure out the size but the concept got a good reaction from the room.
The final item shown was a Patrick Nagel-inspired Slave Leia art piece, this Art Deco-meets-1980s styled artwork is going to be part of a 12-month calendar and they're also offering it on a beach towel.
And that wraps up the 2012 Comic Con Star Wars Collectibles Update panel.