• UPDATE: Hasbro Unveils 'Star Wars: The Black Series' Line

      UPDATE: Official Hi-Res photos and details!
      Star Wars
      action figures are growing up with their audience. After 35 years of fantastic plastic standing tall in pop culture at 3¾ inches, Hasbro is releasing the Star Wars Black Series this year, beginning a new set of 6-inch figures that will feature more articulation and an increased attention to detail.



      Scroll to the bottom for the update!

      Priced at $19.99 each, eight figures are planned for 2013 — Hasbro will primarily draw characters from the original Star Wars trilogy of films while also bringing in key players from the prequels.

      The first wave of four, due out in early to mid-August, includes Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing Fighter flight suit, fan-favorite droid R2-D2, bad guy Darth Maul and an Imperial Sandtrooper.

      "We consider them the best figures that Hasbro's ever produced for Star Wars that meets the sensibilities of romancing the character as well as the playability and poseability that fans really appreciate," says Derryl DePriest, Hasbro vice president of boys marketing.

      Hasbro has had success with the scale before with the 6-inch Marvel Legends figures based on Marvel Comics heroes and villains. In terms of Star Wars, though, the Black Series will act as a transitional point between the 3¾-inch toys — "which is rooted in the childhood memories of generations of now-grown kids," DePriest says — and the 12-inch Sideshow Collectibles figures for adult collectors.

      The current "vintage"-style line of 3¾ figures will also continue under the Black Series banner.

      In creating something new and different with Star Wars, the color black became an inspiration for toy designers, DePriest says. "It's one of the main colors of Star Wars all the way back to the beginning, and it's the approach that Lucasfilm has taken with their collector-oriented product line. We're bringing that simplicity and essence and focus on the character now to the toy aisle."

      The Black Series appeals to those newbies who want to start a series from the start as well as those hardcore collectors who gobble up anything having to do with the words "Jedi" or "Empire" and "are looking for something new and their interest isn't as piqued by the 15th cantina alien we have yet to do," DePriest says. "We realize folks want their iconic characters delivered up in a new way."

      With Star Wars: Episode VII coming from new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams in a couple of years, as well as comics, novels and other media adding to the universe George Lucas started in 1977, it's a good time to figure out different scales and toys for the next generation of Star Wars fan, according to DePriest.

      Before then, however, the Black Series also gives a chance for parents to connect with their own little Star Wars fans.

      "Our focus here is the adult collector, the dad," DePriest says. "We know they have their own generation of youngsters they like to share the adventure with. It can be something for dad, and the 3¾ world can be something for the kids to share."

      via USAToday.com

      UPDATE: Hasbro has sent hi-res photos and the official description of "The Black Series" line:




      STAR WARS ® BLACK SERIES 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES
      (Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages: 4 & up; Available: Fall 2013)
      In 2013, Hasbro takes collectible STAR WARS action figures to the next level with the introduction of the BLACK SERIES action figure line! For the first time ever, Hasbro is introducing a 6-inch scale of the greatest characters from the STAR WARS universe. This exceptional collection of figures features incredibly accurate design and a high level of articulation. Each sold separately.


      There will be 8 Star Wars Black Series 6-inch action figures available in 2013, with the first wave—Luke, R2-D2, Darth Maul and a Sandtrooper—hitting in August.
      Buy the hottest collectibles from: BigBadToyStore.com and BriansToys.com.


      Comments 55 Comments
      1. Neuroleptic's Avatar
        Neuroleptic -
        I'm very interested to see what the rest of the wave looks like.
      1. sebillba's Avatar
        sebillba -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        We had an interesting conversation about this last year, MSP posted this Essential Characters Poll for "what if we started over again": http://www.sirstevesguide.com/showth...all-over-again

        Luke X-wing and R2 made my list of essentials, but the Sandtrooper did not because I wanted a Stormtrooper instead. Luke X-wing however did not make the final ANH top 12, and neither did the Sandtrooper, so those are somewhat bold choices on Hasbro's part - variations of major characters that aren't in strongest demand and have limited time in the saga.
        This reminds me of that Titanium series of figures.... I may be wrong, but I seem to remember the only Luke in the line was either X-Wing or Snowspeeder pilot, and there was a sandtrooper but no stormtrooper.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Quote Originally Posted by sebillba View Post
        This reminds me of that Titanium series of figures.... I may be wrong, but I seem to remember the only Luke in the line was either X-Wing or Snowspeeder pilot, and there was a sandtrooper but no stormtrooper.
        Which makes me think that Boba Fett, Bossk and Darth Vader aren't very far behind. IG-88 seems like an almost sure thing as well.

        It seems like someone at Hasbro has a definite liking for Sandtroopers, X-Wing Luke and Bossk. Which is great, because I have a definite liking for those characters as well.
      1. JetsAndHeels's Avatar
        JetsAndHeels -
        I've gotta have Boba Fett. Gotta.
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        It's Hasbro. You're practically guaranteed Bossk, Greedo, Aurra Sing, and Momaw Nadon in the early waves.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        It's Hasbro. You're practically guaranteed Bossk, Greedo, Aurra Sing, and Momaw Nadon in the early waves.
        We never got a 12" Momaw Nadon though. And 12" Greedo was originally only available through J.C. Pennys.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Quote Originally Posted by Beast View Post
        We never got a 12" Momaw Nadon though. And 12" Greedo was originally only available through J.C. Pennys.
        Greedo was a pretty crappy 12" figure too. His pistol was molded into his hand.

        I've read some complaints on how we used to only pay $20 for 12" figures and now we gotta pay $20 for figures half the size. But I think people are forgetting that most of the early 12" figures were just soft-goods clothing on generic doll bodies with roto-molded heads. Much less of a tooling investment on Hasbro's part than this new 6" line, which will require 100% new tooling on every figure for at least the first few waves.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Greedo was a pretty crappy 12" figure too. His pistol was molded into his hand.

        I've read some complaints on how we used to only pay $20 for 12" figures and now we gotta pay $20 for figures half the size. But I think people are forgetting that most of the early 12" figures were just soft-goods clothing on generic doll bodies with roto-molded heads. Much less of a tooling investment on Hasbro's part than this new 6" line, which will require 100% new tooling on every figure for at least the first few waves.
        Exactly. It's kinda apples and oranges. Plus prices have gone up quite a bit since the days of the 12" line.

        I'm sure if they rolled the 12" line out they would be closer to $30 now. IIRC they hit $25 before the line died.
      1. sebillba's Avatar
        sebillba -
        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        It's Hasbro. You're practically guaranteed Bossk, Greedo, Aurra Sing, and Momaw Nadon in the early waves.
        I would definitely be in for a Greedo. Greedo and Yoda are pretty much my only guaranteed buys. I'll probably be very tempted by others, but the first wave selections aren't really grabbing me, though Luke does look like a very nice figure. I don't really want to start collecting these, but I know I'll have a hard time resisting if I see them in stores over here.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Quote Originally Posted by sebillba View Post
        This reminds me of that Titanium series of figures.... I may be wrong, but I seem to remember the only Luke in the line was either X-Wing or Snowspeeder pilot, and there was a sandtrooper but no stormtrooper.
        Snowspeeder, and that's quite an interesting comparison I wouldn't have thought of, very good point. I wonder if that choice is conscious or unconscious on Hasbro's part.


        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Which makes me think that Boba Fett, Bossk and Darth Vader aren't very far behind. IG-88 seems like an almost sure thing as well.

        It seems like someone at Hasbro has a definite liking for Sandtroopers, X-Wing Luke and Bossk. Which is great, because I have a definite liking for those characters as well.
        I would hope they'd have a longer game in mind here, but you're probably right. This is one of the problems with a "definitive characters only" line though, it's easy to run out of steam with A-listers before you get through the worthy B-listers.


        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        It's Hasbro. You're practically guaranteed Bossk, Greedo, Aurra Sing, and Momaw Nadon in the early waves.
        Ugh, really hope they don't expect to make money off Aurra Sing figures.


        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Greedo was a pretty crappy 12" figure too. His pistol was molded into his hand.

        I've read some complaints on how we used to only pay $20 for 12" figures and now we gotta pay $20 for figures half the size. But I think people are forgetting that most of the early 12" figures were just soft-goods clothing on generic doll bodies with roto-molded heads. Much less of a tooling investment on Hasbro's part than this new 6" line, which will require 100% new tooling on every figure for at least the first few waves.
        And the cut-n-sew on those 12" figures was really just taking advantage of massively out of balance manufacturing payrates in Asia in the '90s. No, your argument is exactly right on, and that's what worries me about this line, can Hasbro keep this line from going off the rails in its pricepoint?


        Quote Originally Posted by sebillba View Post
        I would definitely be in for a Greedo. Greedo and Yoda are pretty much my only guaranteed buys. I'll probably be very tempted by others, but the first wave selections aren't really grabbing me, though Luke does look like a very nice figure. I don't really want to start collecting these, but I know I'll have a hard time resisting if I see them in stores over here.
        I can't see paying $20 for a tiny Yoda figure on its own, can you? I'd definitely need every accessory imaginable to make up for his tiny stature, from cane to snake to stewpot to backpack.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        I can't see paying $20 for a tiny Yoda figure on its own, can you? I'd definitely need every accessory imaginable to make up for his tiny stature, from cane to snake to stewpot to backpack.
        They'll probably do what they did with that one 3 3/4" Yoda figure. Or even the original POTF2 one that included the Dagobah Luke Backpack. Yoda can absolutely be packed out with enough stuff to justify the $20.00 price point if they go that route. Yoda's Lightsaber, Cane, and Luke's Lamp. And if they put Dagobah Luke out in the same wave, the backpack. There's other alternative pack-ins as well. His lil hoverchair from the PT.
      1. sebillba's Avatar
        sebillba -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        I can't see paying $20 for a tiny Yoda figure on its own, can you? I'd definitely need every accessory imaginable to make up for his tiny stature, from cane to snake to stewpot to backpack.
        Absolutely I would! As Beast says, there are a wealth of accessories from both OT and PT that could be included to beef up the VFM. But aside from that, I would expect Hasbro to finally make a SA Yoda, with the now standard 14 POA - no swivel joints this time! And also to sculpt a decent likeness, which they don't seem to have managed since the first POTF2 figure. I would also be persuaded to buy Bespin/Dagobah Luke if he was in the same wave, and the backpack was included with Yoda.

        Yoda is my favourite SW character, and size matters not when it comes to a potential purchase. I recently bought the Jedi Attack Fighter set for £19, predominantly for a tiny figure, which was all-new (and not badly painted compared to all the other examples I've seen). Sure, there was a ship included, but I don't really collect vehicles, and wouldn't have bought this if it wasn't for the figure. Having said that, I've wanted Yoda to have his own ship since 1980 (used to make them from Lego), and I'm pleasantly surprised how much I love this set!
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        From Rebelscum: Interesting info on the line.

        Black Series 6-Inch

        The Black series 6-inch figures will start with four characters, Luke X-Wing, R2-D2, Sandtrooper and Darth Maul. The six-figure case ratios will be managed to ensure more popular characters are packed in greater quantities. At this time, the plan is to go with 75 percent Original Trilogy to 25 percent Prequel Trilogy character ratio. The focus of the line is fan favorites and best of characters. At this time secondary and tertiary characters are not in the plans, and neither are Clone Wars or Expanded Universe characters, but as the line progresses the possibility to introduce these character exists. The opportunity to introduce beasts (Wampa, Dewback, Tauntaun) and small vehicles (Speederbike) also exists depending on how the line is received by collectors.

        Six inch figures will use both soft goods and plastic with the final choice being given to the designer creating the figure. This means some figures will come with soft goods, while others—such as the Darth Maul—will come with plastic robes. Hasbro hinted that a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive will be a Boba Fett with Han Solo in Carbonite two pack, but didn't confirm it. We also asked Hasbro who on the team loves Sandtroopers, since we've seen a lot of them in both the 3-3/4 and now 6-inch scales, and they told us everyone!
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        I had to laugh at that last sentence about the Sandtroopers. I find it funny because I love Sandtroopers too.
      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        I'm very disappointed and have no plans to buy any product shown at Toy Fair.
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