If you were collecting in 2008, you probably remember the bombshell breaking news story that our now-deceased friend, Adam May, broke the news of the "BMF." The "big" Millennium Falcon was part of The Legacy Collection line launch in July of that year, and designer Mark Boudreaux took the vehicle to places not before possible. With a new, larger scale, and a bevy of brand-new play features and electronics, 2008's TLC Millennium Falcon became one of the most sought-after collectibles of the year. Set with an MSRP of $149.99, it was out of the price ranges for many collectors. But retail included it in many promotions throughout the first six months of its release, and many added the Millennium Falcon for $100 or less. And then others are clearance vultures and found it for less. Once sold out, the Millennium Falcon quickly became a hot commodity of the aftermarket. Depending upon whether the Millennium Falcon was loose or packaged, it began commanding a premium on sites like eBay, easily double (and sometimes triple) its original MSRP. Soon aftermarket stock dried up, and collectors decided it was time for Hasbro to get it out again. Unfortunately, that call for the re-release wasn't answered until years later. At Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, Florida, Hasbro revealed The Vintage Collection Millennium Falcon complete in a mock-up Star Wars box for $249.99 as a Toys R Us exclusive. In typical collector fashion, fans bemoaned the significant spike in price.
A lot has changed since that glorious age within the Star Wars collector timeline. Disney took over Star Wars and broke the community in half. Hasbro started making the cheapest Star Wars toys imaginable. And when they did make quality toys, they reserved them for either The Black Series 6" line or charged 3.75" collectors an arm and a leg for all-new tooling for both figures and vehicle. As Rick Grimes once said in The Walking Dead, this is the hand we've been dealt. Unfortunately, when it comes to Star Wars collecting, it's sink or swim. While it's your right to complain about the price, today's more significant issue is if we'll ever get the things we've wanted for years in The Vintage Collection. After eight long years, Hasbro decided that the collecting community deserved another stab at the Millennium Falcon. But instead of basing the vehicle's packaging on the 40th Anniversary of the most popular Star Wars film of all time, The Empire Strikes Back, and they opted to base it on Galaxy's Edge, a theme park no one is visiting thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entitled Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run), The Vintage Collection TARGET exclusive release is a thing of beauty, perplexity, and a rough mix of joy and despair. Here are the positives. It's fantastic to see this classic Hasbro item available to purchase again. Hasbro decorated in beautifully. It's commemorative in a way as it celebrates Mark Boudreaux's retirement with Kenner/Hasbro. (He designed the mammoth beast.) And it offers up two new The Vintage Collection figures that most collectors probably want in their collections.
Somewhere in between positive an negative lies our opinion on the "improved" landing gear. They don't fall out if you look at them wrong anymore, but they still could snap it a little more firmly and securely! Here are the negatives. Many to most Star Wars collectors only experience Galaxy's Edge in photos, or vicariously through others. Galaxy's Edge doesn't have the notoriety or universal adoration as The Empire Strikes Back, and we needed The Empire Strikes Back represented on this vehicle's box art. What a missed opportunity! Although interchangeable with the classic version, the rectangular radar dish is rejected by most collectors who don't like the Sequel Trilogy. And Hasbro added new electronics that celebrate dialogue and exchange from the Galaxy's Edge park attraction. Thankfully, all it takes is a switch to change it from "Galaxy's Edge" to "Star Wars." You can literally "turn off" anything to do with Disney Star Wars on this release, so that's a plus for many. However, you'll find that Hasbro updated the decals with Smuggler's Run specific characters (like Hondo Ohnaka), and they will be permanent whether you have this in Disney Star Wars mode or Star Wars mode with the flick of that switch. Also, we must note something else negative. The new instruction booklet is a disaster. Hasbro cut off critical components of the images to follow for decal application and other steps to follow. We found 2008's The Legacy Collection manual very helpful in assisting us with the decal applications. For example, you'd never know that two of the stickers are for the shuttle instead of the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) by reading the 2020 manual. You can access the original manual by clicking the previous link.
So, what about that price? Well, it's egregious. $399.99 is no joke, and Hasbro effectively now creates a line for only collectors with disposable income. As much as we tried to justify the price, and we will, we can't reconcile that the value of the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) vehicle is worthy of the $400 price point. In 2012, The Vintage Collection Millennium Falcon was $249.99. We are now $150 above that with the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) release. What justifies that hike? If it costs that much money to produce a vehicle of this size, it makes perfect sense that Hasbro is reluctant to release them. Shipping was free for this item, but TARGET still had to pay to get it to us. We imagine that an oversized and bulky item like this would cost around $75 to $100 to ship, depending on how far it was shipped from TARGET's warehouse. So let's show some grace and assume it costs $100 on average to ship each unit. That brings the total down to $299.99. We are still $50 more. Do the new toolings required for Chewbacca and Hondo Ohnaka, and the new radar dish and electronics warrant the extra $50? We don't know, but if you subtract a "shipping cost" from the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) vehicle, perhaps it's nearing the mark of what it should cost. Still, it doesn't explain how this vehicle as $149.99 in 2008 and jumped $100 in 2012. We may never have a crystal clear answer on why this item's prices varied so much in a stretch of a dozen years.
Onto the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) vehicle! She's a beauty! Some complained about how dirty the vehicle looks, but we love it. We do see how Hasbro sought inspiration from the theme park attraction when it came to this vehicle's paint operations. You'll need to go through our Photo Gallery slowly image by image and take in how much detail went into this vehicle's paint job. It supersedes what Hasbro did on past releases. The "dirt" collects in every crevice, and the colorful red and gray panels make the vehicle pop. Hasbro added just as much detail underneath the vehicle as they did on top of it. There are no shortcuts here when it comes to deco, and we're thankful because a lousy paint job would have given us a buyer's remorse. The price tag is working hard to make us succumb to the buyer's remorse already. We don't need any other distractions. We noticed some ill-fitted removable panels. They don't appear to lay as flatly as before. We imagine that's because of age, and tooling gets worn over time. This issue isn't the end of the world, but you may notice it here and there. The exterior still has some fantastic features, including the glowing-white headlights, the bright blue exhaust, the firing cannons, the spinning radar dish, and our favorite, the slowly lowering ramp with yellow floodlights. The sound effects are incredible as ever, and everything holds up well over a decade later.
Inspiration for the vehicle's interior spans across the Original Trilogy films. You'll find the bed that Luke Skywalker rested on after losing his first battle with Darth Vader. You'll see the training remote and the Dejarik game table. You'll discover the console with a chair where C-3PO and Han Solo worked on during their escape from the Empire. And of course, you'll access the smuggler compartments to hide from the Imperials after getting pulled into the Death Star by its tractor beam. The spacious interior allows for a world of diorama setups and play, and it's nearly overwhelming how much it offers in these regards. The spacious cockpit has four chairs and welcomes four action figures in a seated position. There is an electronic button you can press to allow for dialogue, and two interior lights flicker and remain solid depending on how many times you press it. Hasbro also brought back the escape pod/shuttle feature. There is a cargo bay that opens up. You can jettison a miniature vehicle (Class I vehicle-sized) with an opening cockpit and some silly action features like sliding cannons and a firing projectile underneath. But now it's relevant that this is part of the Millennium Falcon when Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi made this feature canon as it launched Rey into the galaxy. It's truly remarkable to see this vehicle again in the modern era of collecting, price notwithstanding.
Collectors get two or eight pack-in figures with the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) vehicle, depending on your perspective. Chewbacca is based on the character's Sequel Trilogy appearance. Hasbro took 2004's VOTC Chewbacca figure, gave it a new head sculpt, and repainted it to be Disney Star Wars compliant. The figure also comes with a two-part bowcaster, cast in cheap black plastic. It doesn't maintain its shape and is much too pliable to use for the Chewbacca figure. Why can't Hasbro make better quality weaponry for their action figures? The new portrait for Chewbacca features Photo Real, and admittedly, the figure looks fantastic. Despite this mold's overuse, the Chewbacca action figure moves and articulates well, and interacts with the porgs excellently. We get six porgs. There are three different styles of them included here, and we get two of each. We wish that Hasbro would have given us new porgs with different poses, but they went cheap here and just repainted the one that came with the previous 5POA release. Hondo Ohnaka is a beautiful-looking action figure, complete with a stunning sculpt and tons of articulation. But it's a functional nightmare. The figure's swivel thighs are so loose that it makes posing the figure a relative nightmare. We have to say it. We're incredibly disappointed by the figure's lack of tight joints. Hondo Ohnaka comes with a blaster rifle, a removable coat shell, and still looks like a pirate. We'll talk more about this figure when it's released singly.
So that's about everything. The Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) release is a thing of beauty. It's for everyone who loves Star Wars. George Lucas "purists" can shut off the Disney Star Wars aspect of this vehicle. At the same time, Disney Star Wars lovers have the option to listen to the musings of Hondo Ohnaka and Chewbacca at Galaxy's Edge. The support for the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) release was overwhelming. The first time it went up for sale, it immediately sold out. The Star Wars collecting community then went berserk, and Hasbro must have worked with TARGET to get more units available for preorder. Where they got those additional units is unknown. Whether they were reserved for in-store (unlikely) or the parks (more likely) is something we may never know. After all of the units were shipped, the stock became available once again for this item. But if history tells us anything, once these sell out, the Millennium Falcon (Smuggler's Run) will likely exceed its MSRP of $399.99. The same people who didn't purchase it when it was $400 will be lamenting the so-called "scalpers" who are only selling it because it's no longer available from the original source. We admittedly love this vehicle. We're very disappointed by the packaging. The rectangular radar dish will either be destroyed with a hammer or thrown in the fireplace, but we do love everything else about it. The pack-in figures are only a slight disappointment. We hope Hasbro tweaks Hondo Ohnaka before it's available at mass retail as a basic figure. But the few small issues with this release are outweighed by the positives.
Millennium Falcon (Smuggler’s Run)
Assortment Number: E9648
Retail: $399.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Millennium Falcon (Smuggler’s Run)
Status: Millennium Falcon (Smuggler’s Run) is a repaint of 2008's TLC Millennium Falcon vehicle.
Features Count: TBD
Feature Details: TBD
Accessory Count: 29
Accessory Details: 7 projectiles, 7 landing gear legs, anterior quad cannon, posterior quad cannon, laser cannon, radar dish, 1 smuggling compartment panel door, 2 covers, 2 front mandibles, escape pod (miniature vehicle), cockpit canopy, side hatch cover, holochess aliens (Mantellian Savrip and Kintan Strider/houjix/k'lor'slug)
Date Stamp: 2008
Status: Chewbacca is a retool and repaint of 2004's VOTC Chewbacca figure. This time the figure has an all-new head sculpt and has been completely repainted
Articulation Count: 25 points (15 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-jointed mid-section (2), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 8
Accessory Details: bowcaster (2 parts), 6 porgs (2 porg A, 2 porg B, 2 porg C)
Date Stamp: 2004
Status: Hondo Ohnaka is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 30 points (17 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), reverse ball-socket neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: blaster, removable coat shell
Date Stamp: N/A