The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were merchandising killers. There I said it. (more….)
You can deny the anecdotal evidence of Sequel Trilogy toys piling up at your local retailers or finding them multiplying at discount chains like ROSS, TJ Maxx, and Burlington. You can ignore the complete disregard of Star Wars at shareholder meetings. You can disregard the pallets and pallets of undelivered toys heading for the recycling plant.
But one thing no one can deny is that Episode VII and Episode VIII killed merchandising, and more specifically, killed the 3.75″ mainline. What a shocker it is to not have any 3.75″ action figures from The Rise Of Skywalker aside from a handful in The Vintage Collection. I know Hasbro was burned with all of the unsold toys from 2015-2018. The fact that more than half of retailer exclusives never ended up at their respective chains should speak volumes to everyone.
Yes. We live in different times. Yes, kids are more interested in devices than action figures. But Hasbro also alienated the largest population of the market buying toys: 40-50-year-old manbabies who have been waiting to drop thousands of dollars on the stuff we want to see in the Star Wars toy line.
So here we are. The Rise Of Skywalker has exceeded the expectations of many angry Star Wars fans, those that swore off Disney Star Wars forever. Heck, check out my review for example. And while we all can agree the film is flawed, the characters in it, the vehicles, and the environments all allowed for a remarkable toy line that was not produced, nor will ever get delivered. There are so many products lacking; it hurts.
Imagine a 3.75″ toy line, including a new C-3PO and Babu Frik. A revised Rose Tico (not overproduced like she was the next Luke Skywalker). Emperor Palpatine (in every configuration seen in TROS). A new Kylo Ren (with battle-damage). The First Order Royal Guards. All of the Knights Of Ren. The white Jet Trooper. Resistance Pilots of all shapes, sizes, and colors. LANDO CALRISSIAN: (Are you freaking kidding me, Hasbro? Where is he?!). Wedge Antilles. General Hux. And so many others. To be clear, these would all be required in the super-articulated The Vintage Collection line.
Don’t get me started on the vehicles. I am glad to see Poe’s X-Wing Fighter, but there are SO MANY others they could make too.
We’ll never see all of this stuff. It’s way too late. I don’t necessarily blame Hasbro. Had they known this film would be as good as it was (and merchandise-friendly), we might have a more representative toy line.
Your thoughts in the comments, please.
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