According to Kotaku EA just cancelled its single player open world Star Wars game which was in development at EA Vancouver since late 2017. EA had cancelled a previous iteration of a single player Star Wars game before when Visceral Games was closed. This is the second time now a single player (and open world) Star Wars game is nixed by EA.
EA went on record previously that they don’t really like open world (single player) games and prefer games as a service (i.e. Battlefront II that encourages you to pay a lot of money on top of what you pay for the initial game). So it seems that Star Wars will have to wait much, much longer before fans can have their Star Wars version of Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man or God of War. Open world single player games that did incredibly well in 2018 and broke several records.
Jedi: Fallen Order is still in development though and is supposed to be a single player game. But probably not open world and much more linear. Not much is known about the project.
My comment is that I wish Disney would give the Star Wars games license to any other publisher. What do you think about all this? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
The Walt Disney Company released its proxy statement for the full year 2018 last Friday, January 11th. And it may surprise no one to learn that Star Wars earned less money for Disney in 2018. I took this opportunity to not only look at the current report, but also at past reports, to see what has been going on. So click through for a more detailed look and some insight into the reasons for decreasing revenue. Straight from the Mouse’s mouth!
Last week COTY, a manufacturer of luxury perfumes, with Calvin Klein being one of their brands, sued German discounter ALDI. COTY didn’t want ALDI to sell several of their perfumes anymore and a court found that COTY is in the right. The presentation and retail environment at ALDI stores hurt the brand image and thus the court ruled that ALDI has to stop the sale of COTY perfumes.
Now, what does that have to do with Star Wars? Very simple, whatever is going on with Star Wars toys at the moment, figures for $2.99, figures for $0.03, toys found at Ollie’s or Five Below are nothing that Hasbro would have to accept, unless they are ok with it.
Click through for a very brief primer on distribution and my own thoughts about how Star Wars toys should or could be distributed in the future.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the future of Star Wars, both as a whole and more particular as something that makes people buy action figures. The ultimate question is: will Star Wars either fade away, become less significant once the people who grew up with the original and prequel trilogy move on, or will Star Wars find new love and enthusiasm in a new generation, despite a much more competitive environment than we had 20 or 40 years ago? Click through for some musings and for which I hope will launch a fruitful discussion about the future of Star Wars!
Mark Hamill posted a current photo of himself on Instagram. He was finally attending The Mousetrap play in London, which he originally meant to do back in 1976 when he was in London for A New Hope. But what is of note here is Mark Hamill’s look, it’s almost youthful. He is clean shaven and his hair is short with little grey in it.
So let the speculation begin… will Mark Hamill be de-aged for Episode IX and a flashback sequence? Do Force ghosts have barbers? Or did he get a new haircut and finally shaved his beard only after filming wrapped? The production in Pinewood has come to an end recently.
Hot Toys has announced their upcoming Orson Krennic 1/6 scale figure!
Apart from the usual hands and stand Krennic will come with his blaster, two code cylinders, an Imperial officer’s hat and two sets of rank insignia to replicate his look from early in the movie.
Check out a lot more photos on the official Hot Toys website! Expect pre-orders to go up very soon!
The Episode IX rumor mill is spinning once more… there is a potentially huge rumor for Episode IX that, if true, could either be considered the best thing ever or maybe yet another desperate attempt to undo some of the perceived damage of the previous sequel movies. If you want to know more, just click through! If not… just don’t click! It’s really that simple!
Update: Now with bar chart!
Jazzinc Dioramas has posted a first teaser image of a prototype 6 in scale Tantive IV hallway diorama earlier today. Downpayment is $50, Jazzinc Dioramas is aiming for a $150 price tag for the finished piece.
If you want to pre-order your Tantive IV hallway for the Black Series (or SHF, of course) just head over to the Jazzinc Dioramas homepage, click on contact and you will find the mail address. Just write a short mail that you want to pre-order the set and you will receive an invoice for the downpayment. Jazzinc has produced a 1/6 scale version of the set, which you can also check out to see what the finished 1/12 scale version will probably look like. Thanks to JTA regular Matthew Cohen for the alert!
Either the filming of Episode IX is finished or at least it has finished filming at Pinewood, either way, a British modelmaker posted a few pics of the crew gifts she received as a thank you on Instagram. It appears you’ll get a thank you note, a “IX” branded bag, a t-shirt with a Bad Robot logo (plus some other shirt with a boombox print), and a crewjacket with a “IX” logo. Click through for a few more details!
The new year is fast approaching, only two more days and 2018 will forever be history. No one knows yet what 2019 will bring us, but we do know what 2018 gave us. So I thought it’s the appropriate time to look back at a year 2018 that was less than great for Star Wars, but still brought us some great Star Wars toys. Click through for the things you love most, bar charts and lots of text, you will not regret it!
JTA regular Matthew Cohen provided us with a photo of the brand new X-Wing Luke in the Archive line. As it turns out, the production figure looks different and better than some of the promo photos in which Luke had quite red lips. The actual figure looks a lot more lifelike. But see for yourself!
Will you get X-Wing Luke? I do think the original release is still pretty good and X-Wing Luke is the one figure that needed an update the least. Now Bespin or Jedi Luke on the other hand…
Japanese Santa Claus came to me today and brought me a present from Japan. How nice of him! In the package was the brand new S.H. Figuarts Princess Leia, as seen in A New Hope. Click through for a few photos and some general thoughts about the figure!
The YouTube Disney Parks channel released a behind the scenes video for the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attraction on Christmas. The video gives a good overview about some of the things you can expect. Click through for more details!
While we are still a few weeks away before Hasbro will release their numbers for the 4th quarter and full year there are already some early numbers and estimates that paint a rather grim picture for Hasbro, especially when it comes to action figures and here especially Star Wars. Click through for some very interesting numbers that may be reason for concern.
US toy company Mattel suffered quite a loss earlier this week. Warner Brothers decided not to extend the DC Comics boys’ action toys license with Mattel and instead gave the license to Canadian toy manufacturer Spin Master, beginning in 2020. Spin Master is a much smaller company compared to Mattel, their revenue in 2017 was 1.55 billion USD compared to Mattel’s 4.88 billion USD (Hasbro made 5.21 billion USD). You may know Spin Master from toys such as Air Hogs (there were a few Star Wars Air Hogs) and the more recent Hatchimals. Now, why exactly is Mattel losing most of its DC Comics license news on a Star Wars website? Let’s click through for a discussion and also for some speculation!
… and Jon Favreau even has a small present for you!
He posted this photo on his Instagram earlier today, wishing everyone a merry Christmas! Thanks, Jon!
Oh, and in other news, it was rumored before, but now it seems to be all but confirmed that The Mandalorian will feature some very well known bounty hunters! Thanks to JTA regular Darth Rizzen for the alert!
An article in Empire magazine reveals the timeline for Episode IX. Now, if you want to know more, just click through. If you want to know nothing, well, then don’t click through. It’s as simple as that!
The year is coming to a close. 2018 was not an easy year for Star Wars. Solo flopped. Merchandise sales are declining all across the board and we have to sit by the wayside and watch as Marvel takes the action figure crown. Also, instead of a new Star Wars movie around Christmas we get Mary Poppins. But despite all that some really great Star Wars action figures were released in 2018. So let’s finish the year on a high note! And let’s talk about what your favorite Star Wars action figure of the year is. You may even name several figures if you’re into top 5 or top 10 lists! Let’s all have some fun! Click through for some more words and my pick(s).
George Lucas is the number one! Number one wealthiest US celebrity, that is. Forbes released their annual list of wealthiest US celebrities (not considering people like Bill Gates or Marc Zuckerberg who made their money in tech and not entertainment/sports) and the wealthiest celebrity by far is George Lucas with a fortune of about $5.4 billion! Most of that money comes from Disney who bought Lucasfilm from him in 2012. You could say that Star Wars fans made George very rich. And he deserves it. He gave us something wonderful in return. The number two on the list with a fortune of $3.7 billion is Lucas’ buddy Steven Spielberg.
Go to the Forbes website for the full list!
The official Star Wars website announced the composer for the upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian earlier today. And his name is Ludwig Göransson. The Swede is known for composing the Black Panther soundtrack (The Mandalorian sure has a few people from Marvel on the team now), he also composed the soundtracks to the Rocky spin-offs Creed I+II, and most recently you could hear his work in the movie Venom. His TV resume includes Community, New Girl and Happy Endings. Göransson is also a producer for Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) for which he received three Grammy nominations. Thanks to Martin M. for the alert!
As tech magazine The Verge reports Sphero will not renew it’s Disney license when it expires in 2019. This means Sphero BB-8, R2-D2 and other licensed toys/gadgets will cease production. Sphero will sell off remaining stock and app support is guaranteed for the next two years.
According to Sphero demand for the toys simply dried up. It was very high when BB-8 and his comrades were released, but, at least according to Sphero, every fan who wants a BB-8 already has one. In other words, no one bought the toys anymore.
What I would like to add: while Sphero is certainly telling the truth, they may not reveal the full reason for not renewing the Disney license: the fees. Now, we don’t know how much Sphero had to pay for its three year license deal, but it’s very likely that the fees were quite high that renewing the license and waiting for Episode IX may have been simply unprofitable for them. So no more Star Wars droids or Lightning McQueens from Sphero.
Make no mistake, we have come quite a long way in the 6 inch Black Series action figure line. The line is undoubtebly at its best now in 2018, finally. Photoreal was a game changer. However, after 5 1/2 years some things have not changed, and some things could be addressed by Hasbro and improved upon. What things? Click through for my list of Black Series pet peeves.
Lucasfilm took their time to officially reveal what was known for quite a while now. But the official Star Wars website finally reveals some of the cast members for The Mandalorian and it is confirmed that Pedro Pascal will be the titular character in the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series. Also confirmed was that Carl Weathers, Gina Carano and Nick Nolte have roles in the series. However, there were also some new (some of them rumored before) cast members announced! Click through for more!
Amazon lowered its price for the TVC Combat Assault Tank once more. Now you can get it for $29. If you still haven’t bought the vehicle yet, now may be the right time to add it to your collection. Or you may always wait for the inevitable $10 price tag that virtually any Star Wars vehicle will have sooner or later. So much for thinking that $37.99 was the end of price cuts for this set. Thanks to JTA friend Steven for the alert!
Earlier today the EU parliament signed the trade agreement between EU and Japan, JEFTA. In short, almost all trade tariffs between the EU and Japan will be abolished. The agreement will come into effect on February 1st. This means that collectors in the EU who import Star Wars figures from Japan won’t have to fear customs anymore. Which in return means that total prices (selling price with added shipping and fees) for Japanese Star Wars figures will drop. Until now Japanese etailers often marked down prices on customs forms, so that the collector won’t have to pay fees. This only worked if you ordered maybe one or two figures at once, otherwise customs would open and inspect the package and demand their fees. This will no longer be the case soon and collectors won’t have to put up with customs anymore when importing from Japan.
JTA reader Ashley has forwarded us an email conversation with Hasbro UK that could potentially be bad news for collectors in the UK and possibly all of Europe. Ashley wanted an update on the availability of the Khetanna in the UK and received a potentially troubling reply. Click through for more info!
UPDATE: Ashley received yet another email from Hasbro UK which should give reason to be somewhat more optimistic again. Read the article for the update!
Variety reports in an exclusive article on their website that the score for Solo: A Star Wars Story composed by John Powell with some new themes by John Williams has been disqualified from the upcoming Academy Awards.
The reason? The score was entered too late. Deadline was November 15th and apparently Lucasfilm/Disney missed it. You wonder how that can happen. I don’t think Solo’s score would have had any realistic chances at winning the award, but it’s still quite embarrassing to miss the deadline.
Hot Toys announced an all new Luke Skywalker (Endor) figure today. You can either get the standard or the deluxe version. The deluxe version will exclusively include an additional head sculpt with an interchangeable all-new hair sculpture, an extra piece of interchangeable battle damaged right hand, dark grey tunic with belt, and the Tatooine sandstorm goggles and cloak as seen in the deleted scenes. Click either of the links to see lots of photos.
I am really busy playing Red Dead Redemption 2 these days. Which is why I have little time for other things at the moment.
But while playing RDR2 or other, similar open world, story based single player games such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Witcher 3 or Tomb Raider (the reboot) one thought always crosses my mind: why are there no single player, open world, story focused Star Wars games? Click through for some thoughts!
Stephen Schiff will be the showrunner for the upcoming and as of yet untitled Disney+ Star Wars show about Cassian Andor (Diego Luna will reprise the role, as you remember). Schiff was, among other things, a writer/producer for the excellent show “The Americans”. He also wrote a few movie scripts, among them the 1997 adaption of “Lolita”, the Clint Eastwood movie “True Crime” and the Oliver Stone drama “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”. So even if that means that Schiff has no experience with genre work, he has experience writing both Hollywood movies and tv shows. Maybe he’s a Star Wars fan, and if not, he has plenty of time to get acquainted with the franchise.
Nothing else is known about the Cassian Andor series yet. I suppose we’ll learn more about Stephen Schiff’s plans for the show next year. We’ll keep you posted!
The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive report about Nick Nolte joining The Mandalorian. Nothing is known about his role on the show. Pedro Pascal is the lead character, Gina Carano (you saw her in the first Deadpool movie) was announced a short while ago and Carl Weathers was apparently hired as well. Nothing is known yet about plot or who exactly the actors will be portraying. I suppose we will have to wait a few more months before we get more details. The Mandalorian is projected for a late 2019 release on the Disney+ streaming channel.
SHF showed a few all new Star Wars figures at the Tokyo Comic Con. And they also showed some things we had glimpsed before. Fans of the Japanese Star Wars line have many things to look forward to, when and if SHF ever decides to officially announce the figures! Click through for quite a few photos from the show! And thanks to Matthew C. for the alert!
Steve Evans will no longer be on Hasbro’s Star Wars team. He has taken on a new position at Hasbro as Creative Director, Consumer Products. Steve posted this on his Instagram:
To say I have loved every single minute working on Star Wars for the past 5 years would be a massive Death Star-sized understatement. But I have recently decided to take on a new role at Hasbro as Creative Director, Consumer Products. Which means I will now be spending my days with Optimus Prime, Applejack and other new friends. I feel it important to take a moment here to say THANK YOU to all of you. It truly has been an honor to be part of this incredible community, and I will forever look back at this chapter of my career with the utmost pride and fondness. It truly has been a childhood dream come true for me to be part of Star Wars toys, but I am excited for this new opportunity ahead! So… Until we meet again. MTFBWY
Good luck, Steve, and have fun with Optimus Prime and all the other new friends! It’s not known yet who will replace him on the Star Wars team.
British politician Boris Johnson (former mayor of London, former Brexit minister) made a quite odd, or let’s say “interesting”, remark at a political speech he held recently in Northern Ireland. He said this:
“Which was the biggest grossing movie last year? Star Wars and where does George Lucas propose to make a follow up about Obi-Wan Kenobi? Northern Ireland.”
Now, Boris Johnson is not exactly known for conveying facts. And it’s more likely than not he has no clue what he’s talking about here. But if it were true, then that would be quite sensational news. Of course, nothing official is known. Should Lucas actually direct another Star Wars movie we should learn about it one way or the other sooner than later. Until then, don’t hold your breath!
This will probably surprise no one. Marvel Comics has informed comic retailers that the “Shadow Of Vader” comic, which was supposed to be released early in 2019, has been cancelled. As you may remember, Chuck Wendig was originally hired to write the comic but was let go a few weeks ago by Marvel because of his behavior on Twitter. Wendig had already written three volumes, but Marvel will neither use the already written material nor will they hire someone else to finish the comic. Vader fans will have to wait for something new from Marvel. The Vader comics are relatively popular. The regular Darth Vader comic series is among the top 20 best selling Marvel titles, on par with the regular Star Wars comic. So the Dark Lord of the Sith will most certainly be featured in upcoming projects.
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