Darth Vader (With Interrogation Droid) - Hasbro - The Power of the Force [FlashBack/CommTech] (1999)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

The Vintage Collection Smokescreen

If you would have asked me whether the return of The Vintage Collection would be the most exciting event of our lifetimes as collectors after Hasbro’s “Is Paul Harrison still conscious” Star Wars Celebration Orlando presentation announcing it was coming back, I would have told you that it was. And almost two full years of getting one repack announcement after another, I could honestly say to you that although I was disappointed, I still kept the faith. (more….)

Last year when Hasbro announced Jabba’s Sail Barge (the Khetanna) as their first HasLab project in addition to long-awaited updates to Saelt-Marae and Klaatu (Skiff Guard) in what was part of Hasbro’s most magnificent Toy Fair presentation in over a half-decade, my faith was reassured and restored that good things were to come. In fact, we posted about it every single day on the site. We also received a lovely  “thank you” letter from Hasbro and Hasbro Toy Shop expressing gratitude towards Jedi Temple Archives specifically for bringing and directing to them so many “backers” in this successful project. (We framed the letter.) And in all fairness, some great things did come and are still forthcoming in The Vintage Collection. Sadly, it’s just not enough of them.

Then something happened. And the something that happened was NOTHING happened. With a litany of more straight repacks intertwined with some all-new Solo figures and two Walmart exclusives that NEVER showed up at brick and mortar, it’s evident that The Vintage Collection hasn’t been in a healthy state for quite some time, perhaps since its relaunch. How can a line this collector-focused be so mismanaged? New Star Wars Entertainment still forces its way into the very few slots allotted for The Vintage Collection. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it kicks out the stuff we desperately want to see released. And while we commend Hasbro for squeezing in long-awaited additions to the line like Saelt-Marae, Chewbacca from A New Hope, and an all-new Stormtrooper, there remain countless holes that feel like they’ll never be filled. It’s anxiety creating.

When I look back at the first year of The Vintage Collection’s return, the amount of squandered opportunities is enough to clench your heart. Why aren’t the same risks taken with The Vintage Collection that aren’t second-guessed with unneeded lines like Forces Of Destiny, Star Wars Command and so many other failed sub-lines? It feels like we live in an alternate collecting universe sometimes. As each month moves forward, I lose my spark of excitement with Hasbro’s The Vintage Collection. There should have been about 35-50 straight repacks released by now from the first phase of the line. New fans wanted to invest their time, energy and money into this line, and to date, only the Gamorrean Guard is coming? Someone, please pinch me that this is indeed the truth. How is this remotely possible? It’s unbelievably pathetic that the hottest figures in the line aren’t part of some ARCHIVE line for TVC. And all we’re getting again (so far) is a smart repack choice that’s an online exclusive. Oh, there are others, but apparently, they’re international exclusives. Sigh. Fans who already have them would gladly rebuy them with photorealistic technology applied too. Once again, these are all squandered opportunities.

And then there are the ignored figures that we’re dying to buy. How do we not have a confirmed Emperor Palpatine and Sim Aloo yet? (Sure, they’ve been featured on my sources rumor lists for almost a year now, but how are they not confirmed RIGHT NOW?) Where is Fozec? Where is the puppet version of Sy Snootles in addition to an all-new definitive Max Rebo band? Where is my freaking dang Lars’ homestead Power Droid? How hard is it to paint a mustache on their Cloud City Wing Guard figure or use another head with a mustache already on it? This isn’t an entitlement. Fans of The Vintage Collection have watched all other newer collectors get almost everything they’ve wanted. And in all honesty, we’re happy for them. But we’ve arrived at the last hurrah as far as The Vintage Collection is concerned, and now we want “our TVC.” I want my TVC! The repacks have completely killed the fun, enjoyment and case assortments for this line. And the kicker is that Hasbro was warned plenty (and years in advance) by the collecting community who supports the line that this was a catastrophic misstep. We may not all have MBAs, but Hasbro should sometimes listen to what we’re saying. We’ve been obsessively doing this for almost quarter of a century now.

Anyway, just a couple of surprises are expected for Toy Fair this year. A few things might interest you, but you’ll likely be scratching your head over may of the announcements. Hasbro, if you don’t want to give The Vintage Collection your full and deserved attention, elbow grease and blood, sweat and tears, then please allow someone else to take it over who will. Oh, and thanks for Jabba’s Sail Barge once again. You probably won’t be able to surprise more than that thing did. But I want you to know I am NOT ungrateful for that.

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