One year after the Walt Disney Co. announced the $71.3 billion merger, it’s official. The deal, which closed Wednesday at 12:02 a.m. Eastern time, reshapes the media landscape and makes Disney an even greater entertainment behemoth. In bolstering its trove of characters and stories, the acquisition also puts Disney in a stronger position to take on Netflix and other streaming companies when it launches its own service, Disney+, later this year. (more….)
What is Captain Marvel doing on the front page of Jedi Temple Archives, you may ask. The reason is simple: the success of Captain Marvel is probably very good news for Disney and their Star Wars franchise. Which is why we may want to discuss how that is so. So click through for some thoughts about the fandom… and bubbles.
You certainly remember Mark Hamill’s remarks about The Last Jedi. How he was less than happy about the choices Rian Johnson made for the character of Luke Skywalker. Most famous is Mark Hamill’s remark that his character in The Last Jedi was not the Luke we know, but “Jake Skywalker”, someone else. Expect much less of these remarks leading up to Episode IX, however. In a recent interview Mark says that he vowed not to talk about the movies anymore, because it got him into trouble. Read more after the jump!
Every now and then I come across some really weird, odd or interesting Star Wars merchandise in my excursions to what our grandparents used to know as “retailers”, these places are kind of like Amazon, only you have to push a real shopping cart around or carry some actual bag or basket with your own hands and you have to put stuff in all by yourself and actually walk around using your own feet. Quaint, I know, anyway, this is not about retailers, this is about random Star Wars merchandise. And I found this Rey USB stick at a department store very recently. And I wondered: who wants a Star Wars USB stick? And who thought it’s a great idea to make Star Wars USB sticks? When I googled the company I found out they have a whole collection of them. There are close to 30 Star Wars USB sticks, covering all eras, there is Han and Chewie, Yoda, there are Clones, Admiral Ackbar even, but not Luke or Leia, however Poe, Kylo and C-3PO. Actually, they look kind of cutesy, well designed really, and might almost be collectibles all by themselves. But at 20 euros (or a little more than $20 on Amazon US) for each stick this is one very expensive collectible. Have you found any interesting, weird or funny Star Wars merchandise recently? Share it in the comments!
If you haven’t seen Star Wars:¬†Always, the latest fan trailer making its rounds, take a well-deserved 5-minute break and enjoy…
‚ÄúWe haven‚Äôt met with Toys ‚ÄėR‚Äô Us yet ‚ÄĒ we remain open-minded, but no conversations yet,‚ÄĚ Goldner told Yahoo Finance at the company‚Äôs annual toy fair presentation. Hasbro and its rival Mattel were hit hard by the disappearance of Toys ‚ÄėR‚Äô Us in 2018. (more….)
Hasbro will have their Toy Fair event on Saturday. There are rumors (Skiff-sized rumors) of what we might see, but maybe there are also a few surprises in store. So… what are your hopes for tomorrow? What would you like to see? And what is it you expect to see? What we will most certainly not see is any product for Episode IX, unless Disney has changed their tune and eased up on their secrecy, which is very unlikely.
Today is Valentine’s Day. But maybe instead of just subsidzing the flower industry to show you care for your loved one, why not also talk about our love for Star Wars action figures? Between Hasbro’s Q4 financial reports and somewhat thoughtful articles only a short while ago, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves why we are into this hobby in the first place: action figures we love! So what is your current or alltime favorite Star Wars action figure? Scale does not matter, Hot Toys or Funko Pop, anything goes! Click through for my pick and then let’s see what your favorite figures are!
The new owners of Toys ‚ÄúR‚ÄĚ Us want to bring the brand back to the United States. But they can‚Äôt say when it will happen. The troubled toy company found another life last month as Tru Kids Brands, roughly half a year after Toys ‚ÄúR‚ÄĚ Us closed the last of its stores in the United States. It is now owned by the company‚Äôs former creditors. More than 700 American Toys ‚ÄúR‚ÄĚ US stores closed last spring. But the company kept 900 stores open in Europe, Asia and India. The new owners have plans to open another 70 stores overseas ‚ÄĒ mostly in Asia ‚ÄĒ by the end of the year. They‚Äôre also considering plans for the US market, including brick-and-mortar stores and online sales, though it‚Äôs not clear when a relaunch would happen. FOX6 has the full story.
Last night, Hasbro’s Solo: A Star Wars Story line was featured on the Simpsons very briefly. While competing in a “toy store shopping spree” contest, Bart and Mulhouse crash and lose while trying to avoid the Solo toys (and Ralph wins). You have to wonder there if there is some intentional subliminal statement somewhere in this very brief scene about the state of Star Wars and collecting. I wouldn’t put it past Matt Groening. He’s a brilliant man. Special thanks to JTA reader Aldo for the alert and image.
JTA reported on Kiri Hart’s sudden absence from the Lucasfilm website a short while ago. Now it’s been confirmed that Kiri Hart is no longer with Lucasfilm and will merely be a consultant to them going forward, whereas her main job will be to work for a brand new company, Rideback TV Incubator, that aims at helping experienced TV drama writers with diverse backgrounds to come up with successful TV show pitches. Kiri Hart will act as the creative advisor, helping the writers polish their potential series. Read the full story on the Variety website!
With the perplexing case assortments and character selection of Hasbro Star Wars toys, fans have surmised that perhaps Lucasfilm is more involved in the process than expected. How many of us wondered why a case assortment contains the characters it does, or why other characters get released in every scale and format possible. But now a three-year-old video of Kathleen Kennedy speaking at the “The Most Powerful Women” event for Fortune has resurfaced and interestingly reveals what many have speculated. It is an interesting and illuminating video. And from where we stand it seems to have had an impact on merchandising of the new Disney Star Wars films. Let‚Äôs take a closer look at what Ms. Kennedy said.
Lucasfilm’s SVP of Development, Kiri Hart, profile is no longer listed on Lucasfilm’s leadership page. She also (as of this posting) is not listed on the company’s leadership team page. This development could mean a couple of things. Does it mean nothing? Does it mean that she’s been promoted to another role at Lucasfilm and they’re updating her page? Or does it mean she parted ways with the company? Time will tell to see what’s happening here. Special thanks to JTA reader Craig P. for the alert!
Today, GameStop, the largest independent seller of video games in the USA, announced that they will no longer try to find a new buyer. The company had started looking for potential buyers back in June 2018, a search that ended today “due to the lack of available financing on terms that would be commercially acceptable to a prospective acquiror”, according to GameStop. In other words: not one of the potential buyers considered GameStop a good investment or having a viable business model.
Why exactly is GameStop in trouble? Click through for an explanation!
Ok, so here’s a riddle! JTA regular Darth Rizzen went to a local toyshop in France and scanned a Star Wars product to see how much it costs. You can see the result pictured below: 16 euros, which is a little more than 18 USD.
Now… what product do you think was scanned by Monsieur Rizzen? A discounted vehicle? A discounted Black Series Figure (Finn? Jyn?) Click through for the solution!
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!
There is a new development in the closing of Toys R Us. Ollies, who purchased most of their remaining inventory, is now taking over some locations and leasing them out. How bad shape TRU must have been in if a discount chain has enough liquid cash to take over both their inventory AND real estate. CNN has the full story. Special thanks to friend Martin M. for the alert to this news.
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!
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 York Post has run an article about the most returned Christmas gifts this past holiday season. You might be surprised that Star Wars toys have made the list. Special thanks to JTA reader John J. C. for the alert!
Jedi Temple Archives wishes everyone who reads here a very Happy New Year! The big news for Star Wars is the release of Episode IX in December. It will be interesting to see how well it performs! Have a safe and wonderful day today!
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!
Sears, America‚Äôs iconic but bankrupt department store chain, passed a critical milestone Friday when a deadline for potential buyers to submit bids on its assets passed. Before the 4 p.m. ET deadline its former CEO, Eddie Lampert, had proposed buying the struggling retailer in full for $4.6 billion through his hedge fund ESL Investments ‚Äď including 500 Sears and Kmart stores, store inventory, the Kenmare and DieHard tool brands and other assets. As part of the deal, ESL would also forgive $1.8 billion of debt that the retailer owes the hedge fund. But the deadline passed without word of an official bid. Fox Business has the full story.
The Amazon of yesteryear has been killed by the Amazon of today. The retail apocalypse continues. As you know, Sears was a founding Kenner partner and offered the world some of the most significant Star Wars exclusives we ever saw for our collections. We’re sure many of you who grew up with the original Kenner line feel a bit melancholy to see this retail chain finally bite the dust. There is a chance a confidential bid is out there, but right now it’s looking very grim.
New Year’s Eve could be a bit less celebratory for Verizon Fios TV subscribers if the pay-TV provider doesn’t come to an agreement with Disney. The two media companies are negotiating a new contract to keep Disney’s channels including ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC stations in New York and Philadelphia among subscribers’ channel choices. But the current contract expires Dec. 31 and both sides are currently playing hard to please. USA Today has the details.
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!
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!
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.
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.
The report, titled “A Nightmare for Workers,” shows findings from campaign groups China Labor Watch, ActionAid, CiR, and Solidar Suisse, who sent undercover investigators to four factories that produced toys sold at Walmart, Costco, Target and other international retailers. (more….)
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.
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