The headline of this article pretty much sums up what I think The Vintage Collection would say right now if it could speak. As someone who doesn’t swear, nor condones swearing, I apologize for the “crude” expression, but I can’t think of any other metaphorical saying that suits The Vintage Collection better. (more…)
Drew Barrymore plays the role of The Vintage Collection well!
Do you feel the collective excitement in the air about Star Wars collecting now? Do you feel the positive vibes of pure elation and joy surrounding your every being? There’s a reason for it.
Since 2015, Hasbro has shafted 3.75” super-articulated collectors. There’s no other way to put it. Treating these action figures like they were the bubonic plague of the Star Wars brand did long-lasting damage to their bottom line. And the change has been rough and hard and difficult from which to bounce back. We see the results of Hasbro’s quarterly earnings. We see brick and mortar deader than the Dead Sea. And unfortunately, we see a new breed of collectors that gain more joy from tricking a Target or Walmart employee or self-checkout register to get the newest batch of 6” figures for $.03 than they do from the actual figures inside of the boxes. And then in the darkest hour, Hasbro announces the return of The Vintage Collection only to be peddled one horrid Sequel trilogy repack after another. Add to that a series of Disney Star Wars films that lost “half” of its audience and you have to see that things were spiraling downhill fast as clearly as can be.
But then 2019 arrived. And although we knew the stuff was coming in 2018, it wasn’t until 2019 that collecting became a visceral experience again. Those long-gone emotional components of Star Wars collecting came rushing back, and in a short amount of time the energy, the excitement and the overall happiness of Star Wars collecting and future anticipation have officially returned. It wasn’t because of the Sequel Trilogy. It wasn’t because of Disney Star Wars. And it wasn’t because Hasbro released a 6” version of Vice Admiral Holdo. No. 2019 saw the returned respect of the Original Trilogy after a half-decade of pretending it didn’t exist. Hasbro made the Original Trilogy, Return Of The Jedi in particular, such an intense focal point of their release schedule that it almost feels as if we’re reliving 1983 and 1984 all over again. Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) was released, a vehicle that is blowing us away and making us realize once again what Hasbro is capable of producing. But it doesn’t end there.
A new Skiff is coming. A new Skiff Guard three-pack is coming. The Jabba’s Palace Adventure Playset is happening (with two older figures we desperately need in The Vintage Collection packaging). And more like them are coming. And rumors of more giant playsets from Episode IV and Episode V are said to be coming soon as well. There is so much Original Trilogy goodness “out there” now that those ready to throw in the towel are now coming back. It’s almost like Hasbro decided they wanted to save their target audience with extra spending cash who haven’t spent anything in five years on their brand are now dumping hundreds to thousands of dollars into their bottom line once again. And what’s terrific about this is that there’s evidence to support the hunger for the renaissance of Original Trilogy focused Star Wars toys. Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise) sold out in minutes. The Retro Collection sold out in minutes. Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard) sold out in minutes. The Hasbro pulse orders sold out in minutes, and they keep restocking them, and they continue to sell out. When Jabba’s Palace goes up for pre-order, it will be the quickest sell-out we’ll see this year. (I hope Hasbro warned them to order a ton and not base the crappy cardboard playset sales on this item!)
I don’t see 6″ exclusives selling out with the same regularity now. But of course, that’s anecdotal.
I heard in early 2018 that great things were coming in The Vintage Collection, but one repack after the other made me lose hope. I should learn to trust my sources better. It took a long time, but 2019 is proving all of these rumors and theories correct, and for that I am thankful. It will be interesting to see if Hasbro keeps this momentum going. They have to feel the same excitement in the air from the Star Wars collecting community as well. Here’s to hoping the great stuff continues. And Hasbro, don’t slow it down just because Episode IX is around the corner. Keep the focus on the things that will sell, not the stuff that will rot on shelves. We have money, but we’re reserving it for classic Star Wars stuff. Thank you.
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