Super Battle Droid (No. 12) - Hasbro - The Clone Wars [blue] (2008)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

Disney

Disney is always working on new tech to improve the experience of theme park visitors. One of these new technologies is an actual retractable, illuminated lightsaber that activates just like you know it from the movies at the push of a button. Guests who will book a stay at the Galactic Starcruiser hotel (scheduled opening is in 2022) will actually get a chance to wield these brand new lightsabers in something like a lightsaber dojo. It is not yet known if an actual toy will be made with that tech that can be bought anywhere or if this is something you’ll only see in parks for the time being. Click through to see a short clip of the new lightsaber in action and find out how it all works!

She is just happy to see you… before she’ll cut you down with her brand new, fully retractable lightsaber!

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ShopDisney.com Star Wars Day Deals

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ShopDisney.com has launched their Star Wars Day shop with new merchandise and deals. Click through to check out their offerings. They have a lobby set up to mitigate traffic issues, so be prepared to wait in the virtual lobby for about 10-15 minutes. Happy Hunting!

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ShopDisney.com has also added the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge First Order Short-Range Evacuation Vehicle (with 3.75″ astromech droid).

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New Star Wars Trading Outpost Opens in Downtown Disney Anaheim

One of my favorite Disneyland blogs, Endor Express, shared some wonderful photos of the new Galaxy’s Edge trading post in Downtown Disney, Anaheim.  Will you be going to the outpost any time soon? What exclusive items would you like to buy the most? Let us know in the comments!

Images courtesy of endorexpress.net

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Construction for the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience (aka the Star Wars hotel) is underway in Orlando, Florida. The Disney Food Blog released an article about the construction a short while ago and they feature photos taken on location by Jeff Vahle, the President of Walt Disney World Resort. Check out this one photo of the bunk beds posted on Vahle’s Instagram. Click through for one more photo of the room!

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Bunk Beds

Photo: Jeff Vahle via his Instagram

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The Latest Wave Of Toybox Figures Available On ShopDisney

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ShopDisney.com has the next wave of Star Wars Toybox figures. Click below for the order pages for Darth Vader (19), Stormtrooper (20), and General Grievous (21).

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Droid Factory BB-H20 Now Available At ShopDisney.com

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You can now pick up the 2020 edition Droid Factory Holiday droid at ShopDisney.com. Thanks to JTA reader Mark for the alert!

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About one year ago Disney seemed invincible. They dominated the worldwide box office, their theme parks, despite some hiccups because of price hikes, earned them a lot of money, Disney+  launched with much fanfare and everything seemed fine. And then everything changed in 2020. And now Disney has to lay off 28,000 people from their Parks, Experiences and Products division, or about 1/4 of all employees there. Click through for more.

South Park: Mickey Mouse in his office

Mickey has seen better days (scene from South Park)

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JTA reader and friend Scot G. pointed out to me yesterday that the back of the Jango Fett Toybox figure shows two upcoming releases which look to be the standard Episode IV Stormtrooper and the Mandalorian!

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ShopDisney has put the Elite Series R5-P8 and Toybox Jango Fett figures up for order on their site. Thanks to JTA reader Scot for the alert!

      

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Disney Droid Factory BB-BOO20 Available For Order!

MyDisneyShop.com has the upcoming BB-BOO20 Droid Factory figure available for order as of this post!

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Disneyland Hong Kong Is Closing Again

While Hong Kong is far away it may be of interest that Disney will have to close their Disneyland in Hong Kong once again. It had only re-opened about a month ago, but a surge of new Covid-19 cases in the city, 52 on Sunday, to be precise, resulted in renewed social distancing measures ordered by the local government. Disney will have to close the theme park on July 15th. Meanwhile, re-opening plans for Disneyland in Anaheim, which was meant to re-open in July (just like Disney World in Florida) were postponed indefinitely, actually, California announced a new lockdown on Monday. That leaves Disney World in Orlando for those mouse enthusiasts who like to live dangerously.
Disney depends a lot on revenue from their theme park division, it was 26 billion USD in 2019, which is almost 44% of total revenue. And without any meaningful revenue from movies or cruises, Disney doesn’t have too many sources of revenue left, licensing, merchandise, TV networks, and Disney+, although the streaming service won’t generate any profits for years to come.
It may actually be a long time before theme parks open again across the world or can operate at full capacity, which makes revenue based on merchandising and licensing all the more important, even though it’s only a modest source of revenue usually for Disney. Disney will release their numbers for the quarter in early August. Analysts believe net loss for the quarter may be about $1.4 billion USD. That’s a lot of Star Wars figures Hasbro would need to sell extra to make up for the missing theme park profits…

Disneyland Hongkong

Mickey, Minnie and friends will have to wait for visitors

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Disneyland and Walt Disney World To Re-Open In July

The Disney theme parks in the US will re-open in July, with several caveats however. Click through for more details!

Crowds at Disney World

A sight you will not see for some time

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In a disconcerting and troubling move, Disney’s Galaxy Of Adventures’ latest installment recreating the Battle of Hoth removes General Rieekan from the story and promotes Princess Leia to a general without explanation. (Well, unless this is explained in a Disney Star Wars source I don’t know about.) What is going on over there? It seems that everything from The Empire Strikes Back would be preserved to celebrate its 40th Anniversary accurately. Is this the new canon for The Empire Strikes Back now? No General Rieekan? Determining what is canon and what isn’t when stories are conflicting with one another is creating a complete mess.

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shopDisney was having some site issues earlier, but (so far) it seems to be up and running now. Make sure to stop by and check out their newly added items, including their Imperial Probe Droid The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Die Cast figure. And, if you are into their special edition Disney items, they also have their exclusive Star Wars Day Key available.

 

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shopDisney Star Wars Day Merchandise Listed

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Stop by shopDisney.com to check out the new listings they have for Star Wars Day, including their The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary line.

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We talked about the original plans for Galaxy’s Edge a few months ago. Back then it was reported that the Star Wars theme park was to be about the Original Trilogy, and that Bob Iger changed his mind when The Force Awakens was released, when he saw first footage. Now it turns out that this is not the whole story. Former Walt Disney World Vice President Dan Cockerell was a guest on the WDW Radio podcast and there he talked about how events unfolded. And it turns out that the reports from a few months back left out one important detail: a meeting Bob Iger had with Kathleen Kennedy. Click through for more!

Galaxy's Edge with the Millennium Falcon

Galaxy’s Edge with the Millennium Falcon

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Could Disney Be In Real Trouble Further Down The Road?

Perhaps you already know that Bob Iger announced his (most likely temporary) return as quasi CEO of Disney last Sunday, he’s taking over again from Bob Chapek so he can steer Disney through very stormy waters. But Bob Iger’s return is not what I want to focus on. I want to talk about Disney’s current situation and how and if it might affect their future. So please click through for a discussion! 

Hello there, I’m back!

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Several European governments have asked Disney to reduce the video quality for Disney+. The service will launch tomorrow in several major European countries, however, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, several governments are afraid that above average usage of streaming services by people told to stay at home may congest the internet. Even though German internet providers reassured that there’s more than enough capacity, at least in Germany, Disney complied and the service will reduce the bitrate in Europe for the next few weeks. Furthermore, France asked Disney to postpone the launch of the streaming service. So now Disney+ will launch two weeks later in France.
Disney is not the only company to reduce the video bitrate in Europe, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Netflix also reduce bitrates. So you may get somewhat less than optimal video quality in Europe for the time being. Maybe some European countries need to upgrade their internet infrastructure. According to reports Switzerland is even considering to disable video streaming services in the country until further notice. At least that is not an option in the other European countries. If you watch videos on various streaming platforms in Europe you may see some artifacts here and there. It’s not you then, it’s the streaming service!

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The Entertainment Crisis

Covid-19, better known as the coronavirus, has the world firmly in its grip. And the Walt Disney Corporation is no exception here. Like all other entertainment companies Disney is facing stiff challenges, challenges that may, to a certain degree, also affect Star Wars. Movie releases get postponed, most theaters in the US are closed anyway, worldwide most countries have shut down all movie theaters, tv and streaming series productions are on hold, theme parks are closed, Disney cruises are shut down at least for another two weeks. But chances are the crisis won’t be over in two weeks and that whatever counter measures are in effect now will still be in effect in April and maybe even May and June. First analysts theorize that now may be the perfect time for Apple to buy Disney, Disney’s stock price is falling and it will most likely continue to fall. So what exactly is going on right now and what does it mean for us, the consumers? Click through for more details!

Mickey Mouse is panicking

Mickey Mouse has seen happier days

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On March 24th Disney+ will launch in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Other European countries will follow later in summer. Click through for more details, including infos about a six month free trial period in Germany for Deutsche Telekom customers!

Disney+

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The ongoing coronavirus crisis has now reached the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Today it was announced that the park will close its gates on March 14th and that it will not reopen for the remainder of the month. The hotels will be open until March 16th (Monday) to allow guests to plan for their departure. It is unknown if Disneyland Anaheim will actually reopen in April or not. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida remains open for the time being. Nevertheless the coronavirus will certainly hit Disney’s theme parks division very hard and 2020 may turn out to be a horrible year for the company. Because not only theme parks are affected, but movies as well. Pixar’s latest movie “Onward” had the worst opening of a Pixar movie ever. Other studios postpone the release of their movies. Perhaps Marvel Studios will be affected too. Black Widow will be released in late April / early May, but if things have not improved by then its release may be postponed as well. Bob Chapek certainly has his hands full now managing the crisis. Let’s hope Disneyland will actually reopen in April and that things will improve. However, in all likelihood, the epidemic will get worse, we have not reached its peak yet according to several experts. Stay safe!

UPDATE: Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland Paris in France will also shut down now!

Disneyland Anaheim

Disneyland will shut down on March 14th until the end of the month

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BREAKING NEWS: Bob Iger Steps Down As CEO Of Disney

Bob Iger steps down as CEO effective immediately, he will be an executive chairmain through 2021. Bob Chapek, who used to oversee the Disney parks, will be the new CEO of Disney.

Not much else is known at the moment, we will update this article once more details emerge.

No longer CEO of Disney, Bob Iger

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If you have been waiting for Disney+ and you are from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, or Switzerland, you can now pre-sale Disney+ at a discounted rate. Click here to check your rates! Disney+ Will go live on March 24 for Western Europe!

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Bob Iger Talks About Star Wars At Earnings Call

Disney presented their Q1/2020 earnings yesterday (their Q1 is the fourth quarter of 2019). I will not dwell on the numbers, instead I want to talk about what Disney had to say about Star Wars. Bob Iger didn’t reveal all that much, but a few interesting details were mentioned in their report and earnings call, including plans for The Mandalorian. Click through for more!

Walt Disnes Company Logo

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