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Tag Archive: Star Wars 40th anniversary


Just when you thought you’d stop collecting Star Wars action figures…

Entertainment Earth announced today pre-orders are now being taken for not only Wave 1 of the 40th anniversary retro-packaging Star Wars line of 6-inch scale action figures, but Wave 2 orders will be taken starting today.

Check out the Entertainment Earth website now at these links: Wave 1 or Wave 2, featuring original-style oversized packaging from the original rounds of figures available back in 1978.

And May the Fourth… be with you!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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Perhaps it is in part because of the influence of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, but it looks like finally, after decades of 100 male Star Wars action figures for every one female figure for kids to play with, times may be changing.  It was sad for two generations of girls–and boys–that you could quickly list all the named women characters of Star Wars, both from the original trilogy: Leia, Aunt Beru, and Mon Mothma, and only a few more with the prequels: Padme, Shmi, Adi Gallia, Zam Wesell, Dorme–and Beru again–with even fewer made into toys that would allow kids to see themselves in Star Wars characters.  Disney was surprisingly slow to integrate Daisy Ridley’s Rey into all the various toy lines early last year, but recent announcements indicate the franchise is trying to catch up.  A new line of 11-inch format dolls from Hasbro looks to be a step in the right direction.

One of this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration 2017 announcements is Disney and Lucasfilm’s Forces of Destiny, a series of animated shorts highlighting the heroism of the women of Star Wars.  Although it would seem adding the women of Star Wars to each of the other toy lines in the franchise also makes sense, Forces of Destiny attempts to bridge action figures and the traditional Barbie-type 11-inch doll.  The release announcing the new doll line made clear that these toys aren’t about make-up, mirrors, and dresses.   “Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage or Ahsoka’s tenacity,” said Kennedy.

The toy line is also taking a cue from a successful G.I. Joe toy series, calling the toys “Adventure Dolls,” which will feature hands that can hold weapons and feet that aren’t pointed like traditional dolls (that were intended to allow for high heels).  The Forces of Destiny dolls will be anchored by a web series of animated features in July, followed by an eight-part series on the Disney Channel this Fall that will include the voices of the actual Star Wars film actresses, including Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens’ Rey), Felicity Jones (Rogue One’s Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars Rebels’ Ahsoka) with narration by Lupita Nyong’o (The Force Awakens’ Maz Kanata).

Here is a preview for the new Star Wars Forces of Destiny:

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Star Wars Celebration 2017 is almost here.  This year the convention will take place in Orlando, Florida, April 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center.  Hundreds of exclusive licensed collectibles will be available at this year’s show in light of the franchise’s 40th anniversary celebration.  But Gentle Giant wins the nostalgia award for its choice of throwback exclusive ideas–a reproduction of the Dianoga from the 1978 Star Wars Death Star Space Station playset in a jumbo format.

First unveiled at the Gentle Giant booth at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010, the toy company began to re-create the original line of 3 3/4 Star Wars Kenner action figures in the size of the original large-sized action figures–about 12 inches tall.  The company releases limited numbers of each figure with card backs and packaging reflecting the style of the originals.  The company creates the jumbo figures from digital scans of the small figures.  So if you fondly remember your first figure was C-3PO, you could purchase a giant version of the figure to display, or play with, at home.  We at borg.com awarded Gentle Giant’s prototype, rocket-firing jumbo Boba Fett the best action figure release of the year here back in 2013.

So taking the first Star Wars creature toy ever released and offering it again in this anniversary year is inspired.  The Dianoga was the only included figure in any of the regular release original Star Wars playsets–all others had to have been purchased separately (the only other “monster” from the movie to be made into a toy in the early years after Star Wars would be the Dewback).  The Dianoga came with its own “garbage”–three sheets of yellow, blue, and white Styrofoam broken into bits, to soften the fall of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca from their famous fall into the trash compactor.  Gentle Giant advertises this new exclusive release, too, will include foam garbage.

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leia-40th-card luke-40th solo-40th

Hasbro announced fourteen Star Wars action figures will be released this year with re-creations of the original Kenner packaging from 1978 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars.  At this week’s New York Toy Fair 2017, Hasbro announced it initially will release the original twelve action figures in their classic cardbacks from 1978: Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, C-3PO, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Ben Kenobi, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Stormtrooper, Jawa, Sandpeople, and Death Squad Commander.

We’ve all seen these figures not only in their original 3 3/4-inch size with this packaging, but in re-releases over the years for various editions.  The difference is the new 40th anniversary editions will include new sculpts in a six-inch format.  This size difference explains why you might notice the new versions don’t exactly match the original bubble card placement.

r5-d4-40th r2-40th ben-40th-card

In addition to the original twelve figures, three figures will be released as exclusives: R5-D4 will only be available at Gamestop stores on retro card, the AT-AT Driver will only be available at Wal-Mart stores in the standard Black Series box, and the X-Wing pilot Luke foil edition on retro card will only be sold at Star Wars Celebration 2017.  A Snowtrooper will also be available in the same size in the standard Black Series box.

c-3po-40th stormtrooper chewbacca-40th

Darth Vader will also be sold with a recreation of the infamous Kenner Early Bird Certificate set, the empty cardboard box Kenner sold in Christmas 1977 to meet the demand for Star Wars toys after the movie’s surprise success.  The original Early Bird Certificate granted purchasers a voucher for figures of Luke, Leia, R2, and Chewbacca and had a special cardboard display set to display the first 12 figures.

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Happy New Year!!!!

woodstock-2017

We at borg.com want to wish you a festive and safe New Year’s Eve and a spectacular 2017.  We’re entering our seventh calendar year of daily updates here, and we want to say thanks for reading.  We wish everyone a great new year.

We can all look forward to plenty of anniversaries ahead in 2017:

In the film industry John Ford, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, and Bela Lugosi had their film debuts 100 years ago.

Charles Schulz’s Woodstock from Peanuts turns 50.

The comic book characters Ghost Rider, Barbara Gordon, Deadman, Blue Beetle, and Ronan the Accuser turn 50.  Huntress, Cerebus, and Judge Dredd turn 40.

Valerian, the lead character in the new Luc Besson movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, turns 50.

Star Wars turns 40.  Look for a volley of marketing from Disney about this throughout the year to rival Star Trek’s fiftieth observance last year, including 48 variant covers from Marvel Comics, like this Stuart Immonen artwork:

stuart-immonen-sw-2017

Image Comics turns 25 in 2017.  Look for some titles including The Walking Dead to drop to 25 cents for the month of February.

The Jungle Book, The Dirty Dozen, and the original Casino Royale turn 50.  Along with Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind turns 40. E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Blade Runner, Tron, and The Dark Crystal turn 35.  Predator, The Princess Bride, and RoboCop turn 30Unforgiven, A Few Good Men, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and My Cousin Vinny turn 25.

Fifty years ago–in 1967–The Beatles released its Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP, and Rolling Stone magazine published its first issue, and Marx Toys released their line of Best of the West toys, including Geronimo and Fighting Eagle, and the Fort Apache metal playset.

In science news from 1967, the world’s first heart transplant was performed, and NASA faced one of its lowest points as astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffey, and Ed White perished in the fateful launch of Apollo 1–all 50 years ago.

So there’s plenty to reflect on throughout 2017.  But back to New Year’s… Six (yep, six!) years ago we posted a YouTube clip we thought we’d re-post here to welcome in the new year, from Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and it’s now been watched nearly 18 million times!):

Thanks for coming back and thanks for following borg.com on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, or subscribing to daily updates, or just dropping by now and then to see what’s new.

Happy New Year!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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