Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Star Wars - The Original Trilogy Collection (Hasbro)



We've got just two days left until the Star Wars Saga hits Blu-Ray! Amazon has updated their site to say that if you order it in the next fifteen hours and select two day shipping, you'll have it the day of release. Of course there are going to be plenty of retail shops hosting midnight releases - Some of which are offering incentives for buying from them.


The Original Trilogy Collection can be broken up into three categories;

1) New Figures
2) Repacked Figures
3) Vintage Figures

While the series contains about a 50/50 mix of new figures to repacked figures, the repacks aren't that offensive to collectors because the packaging is so fresh and original. Unlike most toy lines (Star Wars included) which showcase the same card over and over with changes made simply to the name of the figure inside, The Original Trilogy Collection did something totally unique by making each card showcase a different background which was relevant to the figure inside. To date it's some of the most beautiful packaging I've ever seen for a toy line.

Despite being titled The Original Trilogy, figures from the Prequels were also incorporated into the line which lasted throughout 2005.

To help familiarize you with the lingo we'll be using for this post, please make note of the following abbreviations;

ANH - A New Hope
TESB - The Empire Strikes Back
ROTJ - Return of the Jedi
TPM - The Phantom Menace
AOTC - Attack of the Clones

BASIC FIGURES

Luke Skywalker came with two variant packaging. The first had the figure standing, while the second had him in a hand stand position to mimic the scene from the film.


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Luke Skywalker (Standing) (TESB), Luke Sykwalker (Hand Stand) (TESB), Yoda (TESB)
Spirit Obi-Wan (TESB), R2-D2 (TESB)


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Luke Skywalker (ANH), Luke Skywalker (ROTJ), Han Solo (ANH), Chewbacca (TESB)
Princess Leia (ANH), Darth Vader (ROTJ), Scout Trooper (ROTJ), R2-D2 (ANH)


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C-3PO (ANH), Boba Fett (ROTJ), Obi-Wan Kenobi (ANH)
Stormtrooper (ANH), Wicket (ROTJ)


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Princess Leia (TESB), Cloud Car Pilot (TESB), Lobot (TESB)
TIE Fighter Pilot (ANH), Greedo (ANH), Tusken Raider (ANH), Jawas (ANH)


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Snowtrooper (TESB), Luke Skywalker (TESB), IG-88 (TESB), Bossk (TESB)
Darth Vader (TESB), Gamorrean Guard (ROTJ), Bib Fortuna (ROTJ), Lando Calrissian (ROTJ)


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Princess Leai (ROTJ), Darth Vader (ANH), Han Solo (ROTJ), General Madine (ROTJ)
Lando Calrissian (ROTJ), Imperial Troop (ANH)


In 2005 the cards changed slightly. "The Original Trilogy Collection" logo was dropped, and while the name of the character remained in the top center area, the bottom area where the logo originally placed was utilized to explain which part of the films the character was from. For example, the card for the figure Dannik Jerriko has his name in the top middle box, and then says at the bottom "Cantina Encounter". Thus explaining where you can find this character in the film.


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Pablo-Jill (Geonosis Arena) (AOTC), Yarua (Coruscant Senate) (TPM), Sly Moore (Coruscant Senate) (TPM), Queen Amidala (Celebration Ceremony) (TPM)
Rabé (Queen's Chambers) (TPM), Feltipern Trevagg (Cantina Encounter) (ANH), Myo (Cantina Encounter) (ANH), Dannik Jerriko (Cantina Encounter) (ANH)


It is rumored that a version of the repacked Luke Skywalker from Dagobah can also be found in a hand stand position. I have never personally found one, and all my research has never turned up a photograph of one.


TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT
Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Training) (TESB), Darth Vader (Death Star Hangar) (ANH), Stormtrooper (Death Star Attack) (ANH), Scout Trooper (Endor Raid) (ROTJ)
Sandtrooper (Tatooine Search) (ANH), Yoda (Dagobah Training), Chewbacca (Hoth Escape), Han Solo (Mos Eisley Escape)


VINTAGE FIGURES

One of the greatest, yet most disappointing thing that Hasbro ever did was put out a series entitled "The Vintage Collection." It was great because the original cards from the vintage figures were utilized to package figures. It was dissappointing because most collectors had hoped that when the line was announced that the actual vintage figrues were going to be reproduced.

An interesting add on that Hasbro added was a clear, plastic card protector with the Rebel and Empire logo. This did two things. The first is that it protected the cards from any possible damage. The second thing it did was give the figures a false sense of rarity and collectability. The latter unfortunately tricked several unaware consumers into thinking the items were limited, and thus they bought them up hand over fist.


TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT
Ben (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker


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C-3PO, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, Yoda


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Boba Fett, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Stormtrooper


EXCLUSIVE FIGURES

Because Entertainment Earth launched its Clone Trooper exclusive packs in 2004, it's difficult to pinpoint whether or not these packs were released to coincide with The Original Trilogy Collection, or the Saga series. You will therefore note that I have incorporated them into both posts.


TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT
Clone Troopers (Colors) (Entertainment Earth), Clone Troopers (Entertainment Earth)
Clone Troopers (Colors - Blast Marks) (Entertainment Earth) Clone Troopers (Blast Marks) (Entertainment Earth)


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Emperor Palpatine (Transmission) (Star Wars Shop), Holographic Princess Leia (2005 San Diego Comic-Con), Wedge Antilles (SWS.com)
Action Figure Display Diorama, Bounty Hunter Pack (Previews)


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Press Kit, Darth Vader (Toys R' Us)
Holiday 2004 Edition (Jawas) (Entertainment Earth), Darth Vader (Star wars Shop)


COMMEMORATIVE DVD COLLECTION FIGURES

Walmart offered three Commemorative DVD Collection sets for the series.


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A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi


SCREEN SCENE FIGURES

The Screen Scene sets returned for The Original Trilogy Collection, but seemed to have taken a step back in their evolution. While the sets were designed to be combined with the other sets, they just didn't seem to do so in an as impressive way as before. These sets seemed bland, and more like an excuse to release multipacks of rehashed figures as opposed to actual scenery.


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Jedi Council 1, Jedi Council 2, Jedi Council 3, Jedi Council 4
Mos Eisley Cantina 1, Mos Eisley Cantina 2


MULTI PACK FIGURES AND CARRY CASES

Toys R' Us returned to the multi pack exclusive scene with two new sets, while Hasbro hashed out some repainted carry cases as molded from the vintage releases. Each case came with two figures.


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Endor Ambush (Toys R' Us), Naboo Final Conflict (Toys R' Us)
C-3PO Carry Case with Chewbacca and Han Solo, Darth Vader Carry Case with Boba Fett and Stormtrooper


VEHICLES

Finally Hasbro seemed to start caring about the vehicles being released with the figures, and put forth some great effort in the paint jobs of the vehicles making them match the outstanding detail of the figure counterparts.

While nothing that was necessarily new was released, the paint jobs themselves were enough to make these vehicles a must own item for collectors.


TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT
X-Wing Fighter, TIE Fighter, Millennium Falcon
Millennium Falcon with Six Figure Bonus


The Jawa Sandcrawler was originally slated to be a Target exclusive, but for whatever reason was dropped, and picked up by Previews who released it.


TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT
Slave I, Jawa Sandcrawler with Jawas and RA-7 (Previews Exclusive)
Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, TIE Fighter and X-Wing Pack, Y-Wing Fighter with Pilot


Despite the huge potential for The Original Trilogy Collection, Hasbro cut the series off abruptly and focused all its attention on the Revenge of the Sith line which quickly followed.

It's a shame really because between the packaging, and incredible detail that Hasbro started putting into the toys themselves, this line had the potential to continue growing into something bigger and better - Not that it isn’t great as it is.

Join us September 16, 2011 for a look at the toys of the final film in the Saga, Revenge of the Sith, and don't forget to grab your copy of the Saga on Blu-Ray!

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