Stormtrooper (#09) - Hasbro - The Black Series [Phase I] (2014)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

General News

Riddle Of The Day!

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!

Price tag for a Star Wars product

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Disney's 2018 Annual Report Sees Star Wars In Decline

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!

Rey in The Last Jedi

Rey has just read Disney’s annual report for 2018

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Ollie's Is Buying Up The Remains Of Toys R Us

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.

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A Short Story About Distribution

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.

Star Wars Toys at Ollie's

Star Wars Toys at Ollie’s

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The Long-term Future Of Star Wars And Collecting

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!

Kids play with Star Wars toys

Mythological kids playing with mythological Star Wars toys

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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!

Prototype Tantive IV Hallway

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What Working On Episode IX Will Get You

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!

Episode IX crew gifts

Click for larger image

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Disney Acquisition Of Fox Finalized?

Entertainment Earth is reporting that the Disney/Fox merger is likely finalized. Click through to read their report!

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"Star Wars" Makes Most-Returned Holiday Gifts List

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!

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Happy New Year 2019!

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!

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A Look Back At 2018

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!

Coruscant fireworks

Happy Times

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Sears/Kmart On The Brink Of Liquidation

Sears, America’s 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 – 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.

UPDATE: There seems to be a reprieve from the liquidation. See the latest news at CNBC.

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Disney/Verizon Dispute Puts Channels At Risk For Fios Subscribers

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.

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Behind The Scenes Look At Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

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!

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What Is Your Star Wars Action Figure Of The Year?

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).

Star Wars Action Figures

Some of the contenders for figure of the year. Jyn was mandated to be in the picture by Disney. They threatened to kill and eat my pet rabbit! (Note: I have no pet rabbit, Disney did no such thing, also, they told me to tell you that or else they would also kill my cat!)

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George Lucas Is The Wealthiest US Celebrity 2018

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!

George Lucas and Darth Vader

The deal is getting better all the time!

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Sphero Will Not Renew Its Disney License

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.

Sphero BB-8

Insert sad bloop

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Good News For Star Wars Collectors In The EU

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.

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Chinese factory workers producing toys for Hasbro, Disney, Lego and Mattel and are being subjected to “nightmare” working conditions in the run-up to Christmas, an investigation has alleged.

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….)


It must be exhausting making all of that 5POA crap!

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Score For Solo: A Star Wars Story Disqualified From Oscars

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.

Composer John Powell

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Pre-orders For TVC Wave 20 Begin In The UK

Star Action Figures in the UK is taking pre-orders for The Vintage Collection wave 20 (yes, the Yak Face wave). Thanks to JTA reader Ruari W. for the alert!

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George Lucas To Direct Obi-Wan Movie?!!?

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!

Boris Johnson

The official Wikipedia photo for “Bad Hair Day”

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Happy Thanksgiving To All Of Our Readers!

Jedi Temple Archives is thankful for many things, but we’re especially grateful for our longtime reach and ever-growing readership. You make the difference here and we’re proud to host a site where everyone is welcome and also welcome to have differing viewpoints. We thank you for your continued patronage. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Toys 'R' Us Workers Get Severance Fund

The private equity firms that owned Toys “R” Us before its bankruptcy are each pledging $10 million to establish a fund to distribute severance payments to former employees. LinkedIn.com has the full story. Special thansk to friend Nick for alerting me to this article!

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Rises To Top Of Blu-Ray Sales Charts

The-Numbers.com has released their Blu-Ray sales estimates for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And the movie is the best selling Blu-Ray, or at least it was when the movie was released on home media several weeks ago. It always takes time for these estimates to be released.
And according to the estimates by The Numbers Solo sold 789,549 Blu-Rays in the US. That was more than enough to cling the top position in the sales charts. To put things in perspective: Solo sold about 42% of the Blu-Rays The Last Jedi sold in its first week. However, Solo only made about 34% of The Last Jedi’s box office in North America. So relatively speaking Solo does a little better on the home media market than its box office results would indicate, especially considering that physical disc sales are shrinking. Maybe the mostly positive word of mouth did convince a few more people to give the movie a chance at home. But overall, even considering a shrinking Blu-Ray market, sales are down and general interest in the movie can’t keep up with The Last Jedi or any of the previous movies.

Solo4K Blu-Ray Details

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Ollie's Finally Advertising $200M Toys R Us Liquidation Stock!

Although reported right before the summertime, Ollie’s discount stores are now receiving Toys R Us’ liquidated products. If you have a store near you, it might be worth checking out their stock. Apparently, they’ve acquired $200 million of Toys R Us’ stock, which is pretty astounding. Special thanks to JTA reader Monteleone for the image.

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Rumor: Matt Smith To Portray Palpatine In Episode IX?

Now, keep your salt shakers ready! But according to a rumor which was first reported by the Weekly Planet Podcast on YouTube (and subsequently picked up by several websites) an inside source told them that Matt Smith will play none other than a young Sheev Palpatine in Episode IX. Now what could that be? Flashback? A Clone? Or maybe just yet another baseless rumor? At least the source is not Mike Zeroh 😉
What do you think? Would you like to see Palpatine in Episode IX? Should he teach Kylo Ren a thing or two about being the Evil Lord of the galaxy?

Matt Smith

Matt Smith in The Adventures of Young Palpatine?

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If you saw the arresting and spectacular final “Rick Grimes” episode of The Walking Dead last night, you were officially introduced to actress Cailey Fleming (although she did appear in a couple of “flashback” episodes earlier in the series). Interestingly, Cailey played “young Rey” in The Force Awakens flashback scene and is now promoted to series regular in The Walking Dead as Judith Grimes as the series time jumps six years ahead. The Walking Dead has resurrected itself to its glory years, and last night’s episode proved that. Too bad stupid Chris won’t care.

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Comicbook.com recently released an article in which Clone Wars Boba Fett voice actor Daniel Logan is quoted as saying that Disney canceled The Clone Wars back in 2013 because the show would have become too graphic for them.
Logan said this at London Comic Con: “Disney, they cancelled it, I think it was getting a little too graphic — actually, it was getting really graphic. Boba was doing some really, really cool stuff. He started actually becoming a bounty hunter.”
According to Logan he recorded dialogue for several episodes which would have pitted Boba Fett against Cad Bane and would have seen him become the bounty hunter we know.
But instead of finishing The Clone Wars Disney created Rebels, a more family friendly show. We can only hope that we will get all the missing episodes one day, graphic or not, I think Disney should not insist that all of Star Wars must be family friendly, Resistance is good family entertainment, The Clone Wars can be more mature. Let’s all hope the show will be a huge success on the streaming service and convince Disney to finish all the episodes that have recorded dialogue!

The Clone Wars Bounty Hunters

Some less than savoury types

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Will Disney Strike An Exclusive Deal With JJ Abrams?

Variety has a new exclusive story: apparently JJ Abrams is seeking to strike a huge deal with an entertainment company, in an effort to consolidate his business. As of now, Abrams has a contract with Paramount (for movies) and Warner Bros. (for TV related work). Abrams wants to change all that and is seeking a deal that would encompass not just movies and TV shows, but also digital content, music, games, consumer products and even theme park opportunities. Click through for some more details!

JJ Abrams

“You want to make a deal with me!”

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Walmart Believes They Are America's Best Toy Shop

Walmart had dropped hints months earlier that they would try to fill the retail toy footprint abandoned by Toys R Us’ demise. But now Walmart appears to be a little too cocky for their own good. Billing themselves as “America’s Best Toy Shop,” it looks like they have bigger plans they can handle in mind. Or maybe it’s all a facade. Only time will tell. Click the image below to see their latest ad. Special thanks to JTA reader RB for sending it our way.

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How Retail Works (Probably Not As You Think)

Among Star Wars collectors a very common misconception seems to be widespread: that of the vendor or manufacturer that dumps some pegwarmers on unsuspecting retailers who then have to see how on earth they can get rid of all that junk they just bought. The vendor or manufacturer meanwhile leans back in their seat, counts the dollar bills, lights a Cuban cigar with a $100 bill and cackles maniacally while lightning and thunder fill the sky in the background. Ok, I may exaggerate a tiny little bit here, since the vendor is of course on a tropical island without any thunder and lightning. But one idea that is often found in comments is that of Hasbro simply dumping product on the doorstep of retailers who then scratch their heads and wonder how to sell the stuff and who then have to resort to deep discounts to clear shelf space to finally get rid of unwanted junk. Losing money in the process. The actual truth is very, very different. So click through to find out more about the complicated world of the retailer – vendor relationship.

Star Wars Toy Section

A well stocked Star Wars toy section

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Has Star Wars Lost It's Magic? [Spoiler: No]

YouTube Channel HelloGreedo released a short but informative video earlier today. He talks about that Star Wars magic we felt as kids and if it’s all gone now. In my opinion he makes some great points here. I believe it’s time to step back a bit and to take in the whole picture. We can get lost in debates about the handling of Luke in The Last Jedi, the distribution of toys, whether or not Kathleen Kennedy is the worst studio president ever, when in fact none of that matters that much or not at all even to the new generation. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t debate these things, we definitely should, but we shouldn’t think that this is something of utmost importance to everyone. So check out that short 4 minute video and maybe it will make you feel better about Star Wars again. Thanks to JTA regular Matthew C. for the tip! As always, leave your own thoughts in the comments!

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I Have A Good Feeling About This

Jon Favreau updated his Instagram account with some new photos a few hours ago and  look who came to visit for his birthday! It’s good to see that George is still around, at least visiting. Who knows, maybe he even gave Jon the one or the other piece of advice about Star Wars. No matter what he did, it’s nice to see the two of them together. Another photo shows the two with Dave Filoni who will, as you all know, direct the first episode of The Mandalorian. The show can’t come soon enough!

George Lucas and Jon Favreau

George Lucas and Jon Favreau smiling just for you

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A Closer Look At Star Wars User Ratings

Star Wars user ratings have been debated for quite a while now, especially following the release of The Last Jedi in December 2017. Now that Solo came and went I think it’s a good time to look at how Star Wars fares on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the three most popular sites for movie user ratings. I will also look at the user demographics – how does each age group rate the movies? Some interesting observations can be made. So click through for some lovely bar charts, I know you love them!

Porg

This Porg needs love

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