The “Heroes & Villains” Facebook page has posted photos of two upcoming 12 inch Rise of Skywalker figures. The Sith Strooper and Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. It seems these figures are bought by someone? Or is Hasbro just fulfilling contractual obligations here? Anyway, the duo was spotted at Walmart, who, like Meijer, don’t really seem to care about embargos and street dates, at least when we talk about putting top secret toys that no one must know about on shelves for us mere mortals to see.
Will you buy these figures? How long do you think it will take until you find them at Ollie’s / Ross / 5 Below?
YouTuber Hello Greedo released a video yesterday, which is an obvious parody of various “doom and gloom” reports about Star Wars being dead or dying. Hello Greedo focuses mostly on the toy business, he cites various “doom and gloom” articles from the prequel era about the toys to convey a clear message: it was apparently mostly hyperbole then (we still have Star Wars toys in 2019, after all) and it’s most certainly hyperbole now. So, is it then? Let’s take a closer look at things and see if the sequel trilogy era is just the prequel trilogy era reloaded. Click through to continue reading!
… and Mark Hamill appends an 11th quote on Twitter…
It seems Mark is still not all too happy about the extent of his role and number of lines in The Force Awakens, even after all those years. Chances are he will talk more in The Rise of Skywalker again, being dead is barely an inconvenience for a Jedi, after all. And who knows, maybe the movie will even add another timeless Luke Skywalker quote. What could it be? “Rey, you are my aunt?!?! That’s not true! That’s impossible!”? “Don’t call me Shirley!”? or “If only I had picked up those power converters at Tosche Station!” What do you think could be a great Luke quote for Episode IX? Leave your constructive thoughts and helpful suggestions (JJ is still editing the movie, maybe he needs some inspiration for last second pick up shoots!) in the comments! Let’s have some fun!
It’s leak season. While Disney insists on an embargo things leak left and right. We know of the regular First Order Jet Trooper. Not a leak for a change, the costume was on display at D23. And now the red Sith Trooper variant of the Jet Trooper has leaked. It’s safe to assume that we will get a figure of him eventually. The Sith Jet Trooper was revealed on a t-shirt, actually, but the print is pretty detailed and also provides a first glimpse at the actual jet pack itself! I appears the Sith Jet Trooper, while very similar in design to the regular Jet Trooper, shares some design elements with the regular Sith Trooper, which makes sense. It seems all Sith Trooper variants will feature the grooves on the armor.
Would you add the Sith Jet Trooper to your collection?
Click on the image below for the full version!
It’s the weekend, not much to do, we have time, we can have some fun. Before the next figure leaks on ebay or Instagram we can take a look back at last week when at D23 trailers for both The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker (not technically a “trailer”, but still providing new footage) were released. How has the reaction on the internet been so far? Google Trends is a useful tool to gauge online popularity of search terms, the rationale here is that the more people search for something, the more it is talked about or the more interest in something exists, both positive and negative. So how do the Mandalorian and Rise of Skywalker compare? Click through to find out!
It looks like the TSA has mistaken the Galaxy’s Edge Coke bottles for thermal detonators and now they’re banned on any flights. Esquire has the full story!
A user on Reddit found out an interesting detail about the newly released The Rise of Skywalker teaser poster. The shadowy image of Emperor Palpatine is not a photo of actor Ian McDiarmid in makeup! Instead the artist(s) who created the poster used a Hot Toys figure of Emperor Palpatine! Is that a first that an official Star Wars movie poster uses an action figure instead of the actual character? Are there no decent promo photos of Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker? Either way this is certainly flattering for Hot Toys. Lucasfilm must have thought that the figure looks so convincing that it can stand in for the real character. However, several people had remarked – before it was known that a figure was used – that something seems to be off about Palpatine in the poster. At least now we know why.
The Star Wars timeline saw a few cosmetic changes yesterday at D23. The three eras, that we, the fans, usually refer to as PT, OT and ST, have been given new names. Star Wars now has three “ages”, there is the Age of Republic, the Age of Rebellion and the Age of Resistance. You can also check out the potato cam quality photo of the presentation slide below, which indicates where each show and movie is on the timeline . The timeline also tells us that the new Kenobi show is set at the same time as the Solo movie, which could mean, in theory, that some characters from that movie might make a guest appearance. Perhaps Crimson Sun had business on Tatooine with the Hutts.
So, will you adopt the new names for the three major Star Wars eras? Or will it still be PT, OT and ST to you? It’s certainly shorter and less confusing than AoR, since all eras are now “AoR”. Also, it’s not entirely clear in what age The Mandalorian is set, this particular time period doesn’t seem to have a name yet, since the Age of Rebellion seems to end two years before the Mandalorian is set, or three years after Return of the Jedi.
The first Star Wars Roll Out story came to a conclusion with the 3rd episode that was released yesterday, amidst all the exciting D23 news.
After the third Roll Out episode we can observe that each episode seems to be doing worse than the one before. There are fewer comments as well for each episode. So who knows how much of a future this web series has. It’s cute, it’s fun, it has its charm, but it doesn’t seem to excite all that many people, in fact a good percentage of the comments wonders why no new Galaxy of Adventures episodes are released instead. Anyway, in the 3rd episode BB-8 and friends defeat the big bad spider creature. You can watch the conclusion of BB-8’s jungle adventure by clicking on the screenshot below!
The costume for the new Jet Trooper is on display at D23. The photo was posted on Reddit! And yes, we will get this trooper as an action figure, and also as a Lego Minifig (but please pretend you don’t know any of that, to make Disney happy on Triple Force Friday), so expect to see more of him after Triple Force Friday! How do you like the design of the new trooper? Helmet seems to be all new, armor design seems to be similar to the Sith Trooper, but the breastplate is new as well, it seems. Will you add him to your collection?
In Pennsylvania, there are over 14K children in the Foster Care System. 4K-5K of those 14K are in my immediate area of Philadelphia. Through no fault of their own, these innocent victims get bounced around from house to house, and most have literally NOTHING in the form of earthly possessions. (more….)
In light of recent articles, not just on JTA, but also on sites such as Bloomberg, I would like to talk about one more time about Star Wars and kids. According to Bloomberg Star Wars has problems reaching kids. I believe everyone agrees that Star Wars, like any other franchise, needs young fans, not just adults. Lucasfilm has tried various things in recent times to reach kids. Hasbro too, tried several things to get kids to buy or want the toys. Forces of Destiny failed. Resistance has disappointing ratings and will end with season 2, the toyline was cancelled already. And most famously Force Link figures, which were always meant to be played with by kids, were discontinued in favor of an all new 5 inch super articulated Galaxy of Adventures toyline. It remains to be seen if this new line will meet more success. So maybe it’s time to look at how the source material has been doing on YouTube. Is Galaxy of Adventures a success? How does it compare to Forces of Destiny? And how is the latest web series, Star Wars Roll Out doing? Click through for a look at Lucasfilm’s kid oriented entertainment.
And the adventure continues… if last week’s first episode seemed to end very abruptly, this week’s episode shows us why. Apparently Roll Out will spread a single story across several episodes. So BB-8’s jungle adventure continues. He meets a shapeshifting critter which scares him and while on the run he gets attacked by a giant spider that wants to eat him. All the while the droid friends from last week are on their way to rescue BB-8. This episode also ends on a cliffhanger, so more is yet to come most certainly.
The first episode has 16,742 clicks after one week. The new episode is at 2,520. I wonder what Lucasfilm’s expectations for this web series are.
Watch the video by clicking on the screenshot below!
The Hollywood Reporter has an article about the new deal between Netflix and the former Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff & Weiss. According to Hollywood Reporter sources Netflix is not worried about Benioff & Weiss’ Star Wars schedule. The Hollywood Reporter goes on and says that according to their sources, all that Benioff & Weiss will do for Star Wars is to write a treatment and to write the script for at least one movie. They were originally supposed to write all three scripts for the new trilogy, so according to whatever sources Hollywood Reporter has, something seems to have changed here.
How involved will Benioff & Weiss be with Star Wars? Will Lucasfilm once more have different teams write the scripts for the follow-up trilogy? In other news it seems Rian Johnson still thinks he will work on Star Wars after Knives Out, so maybe Lucasfim will have Johnson write and direct whatever movie comes after the 2022 release of the Benioff & Weiss’ penned movie? Perhaps D23 will tell us more.
Anyway, it is very likely that Benioff & Weiss will not be involved with Star Wars for the next decade or so, the final movie of the new trilofy would likely be released in 2026. Netflix would certainly not pay them $250 million if they had other time consuming obligations that keep them from developing shows for the streaming service. And Netflix wouldn’t state they aren’t worried about their Star Wars schedule, if Benioff & Weiss would be deeply involved with Star Wars beyond 2022.
“Hasbro has a message to the Trump administration after the decision to put off imposing tariffs: Thanks for listening.” (See the full story at MSN.com.)
The first Star Wars Roll Out episode was released on August 9th. In the pilot BB-8 goes on a jungle adventure and meets the plants and wildlife, much to his chagrin.
So what is Roll Out like? Click through for a few thoughts about the show!
Toyworld Magazine has published an interesting survey about what toy companies in the UK think about the current situation of licensed toys in the UK. Of special interest was how they view the collaboration with licensors. And while this is UK specific it’s certainly applicable to other countries as well. And there is even info about Disney hidden in the survey that should be of special interest to all of us. Also, the toy companies say how they really feel about embargos. So click through to find out how happy toy companies in the UK are about licensors!
Sigh. The retail apocalypse continues. Walgreens is to close another 200 stores per report at CNBC.com. Check it out. Special thanks to JTA reader and friend Martin M. for the alert!
A comment for one of the recent JTA articles made me think. A reader said this, and I paraphrase here: ” I am not buying a single thing on Triple Force Friday. I will find all of that merchandise at 80 to 90% off early to mid next year”.
So I wonder… what are your plans? Do you plan on buying everything at full price on October 4th and the days and weeks following that? Or will you patiently wait for the toys to get the usual huge discounts at Walmart or to eventually show up at Ross, Ollie’s and dollar stores for even less?
I think the trend of recent years, to see that again and again expensive sets are inevitably discounted to ridiculuous levels (the TVC Assault Tank for $12.99? Really? TBS Rex figure for less than $5?) may convince more fans than Hasbro would like not to buy anything on Triple Force Friday and to wait until everything is much cheaper.
So what are your plans? Buy everything on release? Or patiently wait until 2020 to find most or even all the toys for cheap? I think both Hasbro and Disney need Triple Force Friday to be a huge success. I believe this could make or break Star Wars toys or at least shape the future of the toyline. Hasbro still hasn’t announced anything concerning the license. We can only guess what keeps Disney and Hasbro from announcing the extension. So Triple Force Friday and toy sales for The Rise of Skywalker may be the deciding factor here. But if many fans decide to play the waiting game revenue may be seriously affected. So tell us your plans in the comments!
Bloomberg released an article earlier today that talks about a lof of the things that have been discussed in the fandom for quite a while now. One of the things the fandom has talkes about is the apparent lack of appeal of Star Wars to kids. The article cites declining toy sales and underwhelming theme park attendance as symptoms. They even call fans who are critical “dedicated fans”, this seems to be a new and different tune, especially from mainstream media outlets that usually paint fans who are critical of the sequels in a somewhat different light. Please click through for more details!
An all new series of animated shorts is coming to the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel on August 9th. “Star Wars Roll Out” re-imagines Star Wars characters as BB units. Hence the name, “Roll Out”. The show is based on an original idea by Hideo Itoyanagi who created an animated retelling of The Force Awakens for Japan. His approach, however, was different: in his short each and every character was a BB unit, even the humans. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy loved the idea so much that she hired Itoyanagi and tasked him with creating the new show for the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel. Featured characters will be, according to the trailer at least, Rey, Finn, Maz Kanata, Phasma, BB-8, Chewie and the Porgs. But other characters will certainly also make an appearance. Now the question is if the Galaxy of Adventure shorts will also continue, it would be odd if no new shorts would be produced when an all new toyline will soon be launched. It seems “Star Wars Roll Out” is aimed at even younger kids, so maybe Lucasfilm wants to try out new things and will pursue various ideas and projects on the YouTube channel. The following quote elaborates on that idea.
Lucasfilm vice president franchise content and strategy, James Waugh, says this about the show: “One of the wonderful things about our Star Wars Kids channel is that we can experiment to see how far we can stretch the franchise to a new expression, while still being totally rooted, recognizable, and authentic.”
Read the full story with more background on Starwars.com, you can watch the very short trailer on Youtube! Thanks to Matt Z. for the alert!
We’re in the lull before Triple Force Friday. Not much is being released, more like nothing really. It’ll be another month or so before the SDCC exclusives will be available on Hasbro Pulse, another two months before we can buy new toys (that are not repacks) and more than four months before we all find out how the Skywalker saga ends (until it is rebooted in 10 years from now). Time, to play a game perhaps. And today’s game is quite easy. Just imagine you were in charge of Hasbro’s Star Wars team, tasked with making as much money as possible, but both Disney and Brian Goldner also tell you in no uncertain terms that catering to just adults will not cut it, you absolutely have to get kids to want Star Wars toys again as well. 2018 probably saw the lowest Star Wars toy sales in the 21st century. Your job is to make things better again. So if you had the power: what would you do? How would you fix distribution and increase sales? But remember, retailers will not buy from you what they don’t like and soliciting obscure background characters from the OT only may not really convince them to buy all that many toys from you. And consumers will happily wait for discounts, no matter how great you think the toy is. How do you change that? Get creative in the comments!
Maybe Hasbro will read the comments and hire you (ok, maybe not).
Friday nights are usually quiet here on JTA. Maybe the right time to discuss some crazy things. By crazy I mean “fun”, not meant to be taken seriously. So please don’t be upset or think any of what I will post after the break is true, or necessarily real. But I learned about a wild The Rise of Skywalker theory tonight, that sounds so crazy… that it might be true, if JJ Abrams and Chris Terio maybe smoked one too many while writing the script 🙂 So please click through for the theory. Stay away if you don’t want to discuss potential spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker!
Two weeks after SDCC the two current Haslab projects seem to be in the doldrums. While that is normal for most crowdfunding campaigns (anyone remember all the angst about the Barge which was absolutely unnecessary?), it seems the Transformers and Sesame Street Haslab project are facing a somewhat steeper hill than most other campaigns that succeed. Actually, most successful campaigns reach their funding goal in the first few days.
As of now, Unicron is lagging the Barge. Now, the Barge had this huge, huge boost on the finishing line that elevated the project close to 9,000 backers. So Unicron might still make it, but it seems like it will be a close call, the project is at 27%. But the Cookie Monster seems to be dead. I really doubt it’s going to make it in the remaining three weeks. The project gained 73 backers in the past 9 days, which is the last time I posted an update. He still needs another 2,607 backers, or 86.7%. There must be some overwhelming love for Cookie Monster in the final hours of the project for it to be successful, in my opinion.
Which leads to the question: what happens if both projects fail? I certainly hope both will succeed, both projects are fun, Unicron is actually impressive even. But what would it mean for future Haslab projects should both the Transformers and Muppet collecting community fail to support their Haslab project? Click through for a few thoughts!
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