• 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. Darth Metalmute's Avatar
        Darth Metalmute -
        This is interesting news. I think I would like to buy some of these based on the first preview, however Wave 1 is not very inspiring. I guess they are trying to keep interest by only releasing one main character at a time. I really want the R2, but I can easily pass on X-Wing Luke. I would rather see a Stormtrooper first than a Sandtrooper, but I will probably pick one up. However the Maul is a terrible decision and just proving but opinion that Hasbro wants to shove Maul down our throats by the bucketful. I only hope that they stay away from the exclusive route.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        1 Main Character? Luke, R2-D2, and Maul are all pretty main character.
      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        I thought of 3 I'd buy if they went with my Unleashed: Snowtrooper, Luke Bespin, Qui-Gon, The last who I'd like but would be a major pegwarmer.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        I would love to see Bossk in this scale. I could actually see abandoning the 3.75" line almost completely if this line continues on for a while. I've been selling off my collection anyway and I'm currently down to a grand total of 35 action figures, which is likely to get significantly reduced even further. So this new scale is really coming along at a perfect time for me.

        As for Vader, I'm hoping that he's not in this first wave because Hasbro is really planning to pull out all the stops and give us an amazing 6" Darth Vader figure.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Where you been selling them BibB? On Ebay?
      1. Maradona's Avatar
        Maradona -
        If 6" figure lines across the toy world are an indication, this line may not stand the test of time. DCU/Marvel Legends are few and far between, MOTUC and DCUC figures are subscription based small lines, DC Collectibles (formerly DC Direct) are collector aimed (small production) and not mass marketed despite having characters currently in use. Star Wars characters outside of Clone Wars are not currently in the public eye. Hasbro could have gone for a 6" line in the heyday of Marvel Legends and LOTR when that scale was a more viable and dominant part of the toy aisle.

        At $20, they shouldn't roll out too many figures, maybe 8-12 a year. At that rate, it will take a bunch of time to get the line wide base of figures for traction. There are only a couple of years before the sequels to the OT start and become the focal point of the line. Maybe Hasbro just sees this as a filler line until the sequels start.

      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Quote Originally Posted by Beast View Post
        Where you been selling them BibB? On Ebay?
        Yeah, I've been using eBay for most of it; but I also used Craigslist to sell off the big stuff like my BMF and BAT-AT. I don't currently have anything listed, but I need to get something up for sale before the end of the week.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        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.

        For $20, they better make that Sandtrooper screen-accurate instead of what they've pulled in the regular line, no more of this "just take the Stormtrooper and put a pauldron and backpack on him" stuff, the armor has a lot of little differences that need to be emulated to get my coin.
      1. Darth Metalmute's Avatar
        Darth Metalmute -
        Quote Originally Posted by Beast View Post
        1 Main Character? Luke, R2-D2, and Maul are all pretty main character.
        Maul only had 15 minutes of air time so I don't really consider him a main character. While Luke is a main character, I would be more excited if the Luke was Dagobah, Besbin, RTOJ, or Tatooine. Without an X-Wing for Luke to fly, Luke in X-Wing gear is kind of useless.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by Darth Metalmute View Post
        Maul only had 15 minutes of air time so I don't really consider him a main character. While Luke is a main character, I would be more excited if the Luke was Dagobah, Besbin, RTOJ, or Tatooine. Without an X-Wing for Luke to fly, Luke in X-Wing gear is kind of useless.
        He's still a pretty main character. And has a large fan following.

        And I don't think Luke: X-Wing needs an X-Wing to earn being made.

        We don't have a Rebel Blockade Runner for Captain Antilles either.
      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        We should, Beast. I even built 1 I felt so strongly about it
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
        We should, Beast. I even built 1 I felt so strongly about it
        Yeah.... but you're an extreme crazy pants collector.
      1. Darth Metalmute's Avatar
        Darth Metalmute -
        Quote Originally Posted by Beast View Post
        He's still a pretty main character. And has a large fan following.

        And I don't think Luke: X-Wing needs an X-Wing to earn being made.

        We don't have a Rebel Blockade Runner for Captain Antilles either.
        If you going to start a new line though, and use Luke as your big name, wouldn't you use Jedi or Tatooine Luke over X-Wing Luke?
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Quote Originally Posted by Darth Metalmute View Post
        If you going to start a new line though, and use Luke as your big name, wouldn't you use Jedi or Tatooine Luke over X-Wing Luke?
        Jedi Luke... eh, maybe. But Tatooine Luke is actually kind of boring looking because he's just wearing white baggy clothing. With X-Wing Luke, at least Hasbro can produce a highly detailed figure with lots of cool little gadgets on his suit, a helmet, blaster and a lightsaber.

        Personally, I think X-Wing Luke is just a more eye-catching design.

        If Hasbro has started with Tatooine Luke, then I would still be excited about the potential of the line, but he would instantly go into the "definite pass" category for me. Just not interested in another toy of that outfit, no matter how iconic it is. For me, X-Wing Luke is in the "most likely purchase" category (which is just shy of the "definite purchase" category).
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Yeah... Tatooine Luke isn't really a figure that you can show off cool sculpting with.

        Plus in the 3 3/4" line he was made so many times he was a huge snooze each time.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Honestly if Hasbro had premiered this line with "obvious" choices like Tatooine Luke and a plain Stormtrooper alongside R2 and Darth Maul, then I think that would actually not bode well for the future of the line and I would probably be significantly less excited about the announcement. Because it would feel like Hasbro was just going through the motions and wasn't really invested in the new line.

        When they start out with secondary outfits like Luke's X-Wing Pilot uniform and the Sandtrooper, then it gets me excited because they seem to be thinking more "out of the box" and not just doing what everyone expects them to do.
      1. Beast's Avatar
        Beast -
        Same reason I'm glad they didn't hit the ground with Luke: Bespin or Luke: Jedi Knight.

        Those two are huge fan favorites and seeing them roll out so early would worry me.

        Luke: X-Wing and Sandtrooper does exactly what you said. Shows Hasbro has faith in the line.
      1. Darth Metalmute's Avatar
        Darth Metalmute -
        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Personally, I think X-Wing Luke is just a more eye-catching design.
        He does look great, there's no denying that. I guess I'm so used to Hasbro pulling the plug on a line I enjoy that I would rather have the iconic figures out first so I can't say, "Man, I wish I had that one...".

        I do hope that case assortments are not uneven.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
        My concerns:

        1. Quality in sculpt and detail are NOT sacraficed for the 3 3/4" line.
        Wait a minute... you're the guy who's still displaying POTF2-era He-Man Luke, Han, Vader, etc. and you're worried about quality sculpting and detail?

      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        Good point. Those 95 figures have nostalgia for me
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