Friday, May 11, 2012

Star Wars - 12 Inch Collector Series (Kenner/Hasbro)



With the death of the original 12" Star Wars "dolls" occurring so quickly in the early 80's, it was a surprise to many collectors to see Kenner re-launch the series with the Power of the Force II line.

Unlike their predecessors, these new dolls showed a great amount of articulation, and were pretty impressive in detail from the figures to the clothing, and especially to the accessories.

The "official" series ran from 1996 to 2000, and while considered to be part of the Power of the Force line, it is actually known as the Collector Series - A series unto itself.

The first wave of four dolls release in 1996 include one of the most difficult dolls to find (back in the day), Obi-Wan Kenobi. This doll was packed one per case, and within weeks of its release was garnering $50.00 or more on the secondary market. Not bad considering the $19.99 suggested retail price.

The Luke Skywalker figure can be found in numerous variations. Some include the macrobinoculars on his belt, others in a bubble next to his head. Others are package variations such as gold foil logos, and dark blue backgrounds.


Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi


The second assortment contains one of the two only "real" variant figures. The Tusken Raider was release with both a blaster rifle and a gaderffii stick.


Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues), Tusken Raider



Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Stormtrooper, Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot Gear)



Chewbacca, C-3PO, Admiral Ackbar, TIE Fighter Pilot


One of the things that really pushed the series (and also in our opinion killed it) was the impressive amount of exclusives that were made available. It seemed like every retail store out there wanted a slice of the Star Wars pie.

From the three main contenders, Toys R' Us, Target, and Walmart - To the more obscure Service Merchandise, and FAO Schwarz - Everyone wanted an opportunity to sell exclusive Star Wars merchandise.


AT-AT Driver (Service Merchandise), Doikk Na'Ts (Walmart), Figrin D'An (Walmart)


Nothing screams "Buy Me" like the same figure released six times with a different instrument and name (we hope you caught that sarcasm). That's what Walmart went for with the release of these six dolls based on the Bith species.

A fun little fact about the six cantina band members is that for the longest time, people (Lucasfilm included) seemed to have forgotten (or simply just didn't know) that there were actually six band members. It wasn't until a letter to Star Wars Insider from a fan who claimed he thought there were six members in the scene of A New Hope, that this sixth member was finally remembered.

Ickabel (Walmart), Nalan (Walmart), Tech (Walmart), Tedn (Walmart)



Grand Moff Tarkin and Imperial Gunner (FAO Schwarz), Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise (KB Toys)


Unlike all the other two pack exclusives, FAO Schwarz was the only company to really kick their packaging up a notch with flip up front "covers". All others were simple window boxes. This made the FAO Schwarz ones a little classy in our opinion.


Han Solo and Tauntaun (Toys R' Us), Jedi Luke Skywalker and Bib Fortuna (FAO Schwarz)



Luke Skywalker Vs. Wampa (Target), Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Darth Vader (JC Penny)


JC Penny, a company long since out of the toy business (with the exception of their holiday catalogs) even got back into the Star Wars toy game with their 12 inch Greedo doll, and two pack Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.


Sandtrooper (Diamond Comic Distributors), Greedo (JC Penny)


By 1998 the line had found a fairly stable foothold in the toy isle, and several more dolls were released. To cut down on costs, the packaging was redesigned to resemble those (the majority) of the two pack exclusives. By that, we mean window boxes with no flip covers.

Some dolls can be found with a Kenner logo on the front of the package, while others have it on the back.

Oddly enough, a good amount of figures which were released the prior year as exclusives were re-released (with paint jobs) under the regular line. This in turn really killed the value of the exclusives on the secondary market.


Grand Moff Tarkin, Greedo, Sandtrooper, Luke Skywalker (Ceremonial Outfit)


The second "real" variant figure from the line is the Snowtrooper which can be found with both a white and blue chest plate.


Han Solo (in Hoth Gear), Luke Skywalker (in Hoth Gear), AT-AT Driver, Snowtrooper


When people saw the first edition Chewbacca from the 1997 assortment 4, the majority of them cringed. To help ease the suffering of these people, Kenner released a second Chewie doll. What someone in quality control seemed to miss was that this new doll wasn't any better.


Barquin D'An, Chewbacca (in Chains), Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine


Not all the characters stand at approximately the same height in the Star Wars universe. Thus the 6 inch line was created to compliment the line, and give these characters their chance to step into the spotlight.

In our opinion, these are probably the best "dolls" to come out of this line.

Out of the six released, three were exclusive to Walmart.


Jawa, R2-D2 (Walmart), Yoda, R5-D4 (Walmart), R2-D2 (with Utility Arms), Wicket The Ewok (Walmart)


By this time, Star Wars books had become a major staple in the expanded universe of Star Wars. This lead to the combining of both toy and literature in the Masterpiece Editions.

Each 12 inch doll was packed with a book which gave an in depth history of the character, and/or faction they were involved with. The books themselves were not a bad read.

Aurra Sing, who made a brief appearance in The Phantom Menace during the podrace was the newest character to capture the minds of fans. So it was only fitting that the character received a back story in the Masterpeice collection. She was the Boba Fett of the Prequels.

Due to the price of the sets ($75.00 to $100.00 each), the line failed to find much success.


C-3PO, Anakin Skywalker, Aurra Sing


Kenner tried their hand at two electronic talking dolls which while they found success with collector's who had endless mountains of cash at their disposal failed to impress the majority of toy buyers.


Boba Fett, Darth Vader


Exclusives remained a large part of the series throughout 1998. Several stores returned with a second batch of dolls, though the majority of them were simply repacks.


C-3PO and R2-D2 (Toys R' Us), Boba Fett (KB Toys)



Emperor Palpatine and Royal Guard, Hoth 4 Pack (JC Penny)



Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter (FAO Schwarz), Hero 3 Pack (KB Toys)


The FAO Schwarz Princess Leia and R2-D2 two pack was the first doll released under the Princess Leia Collection. While there would only be one more doll in this particular sub series, the line would be carried over to The Phantom Menace line for Queen Amidala.


Princess Leia (in Hoth Gear) (Service Merchandise), Princess Leai (as Jabba's Slave) and R2-D2 (FAO Schwarz), Han Solo and Carbonite Block


By 1999 Kenner had sold to Hasbro, and the packaging was redesigned to closer resemble the new 3 3/4 inch figures. While this would help establish the two lines as one collection, it wasn't enough to boost sales.

1999 was the last year that single pack dolls were official released in conjunction with the Power of the Force line.


Luke Skywalker with Dianoga, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ponda Baba


Just when you thought Chewbacca dolls couldn't get any worse, Hasbro released this all plastic monster.

They also helped kill the collectability of the FAO Schwarz exclusive Princess Leia by releasing a single pack retail version.


Chewbacca, Han Solo (in Trench Coat), Princess Leia (as Jabba's Slave)


As mentioned above, there was only one more doll released under the giese of the Princess Leia Collection.


Princess Leia in Ceremonial Dress


2000 saw the final two figures released, one (in our opinion) being the best released for the 12 inch line, the Speeder Bike with Scout Trooper.  Both were exclusive to two seperate stores.

Sandtrooper with Dewback (Toys R' Us), Speeder Bike with Scout Trooper (Target)


New dolls have trickled out as sub sets to current toy lines, though to date, not in the abundance from this particular line. It seems that these days they are more of an after-thought for when Hasbro wants to get a quick infusion of cash.

While the 12 inch dolls may not be as popular as the 3 3/4 inch figures, they certainly have found a home in many a collector's hearts. Probably the biggest nod that this particular style of toy gets these days is from Sideshow Collectibles who focus on delivering only the highest quality 12 inch dolls - Though the price is often times a bit too much for the average collector.

Join us Monday as we continue our Star Wars 35th anniversary celebration with our look at Star Wars Micro Machines.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

***UPDATE***

Thanks to Christopher H. who wrote in to advise us of a couple of errors, and one ommission on December 21, 2012.  We've since update this post with his additional information and corrections.  He also let us know that our opinoin of the 2000 Biker Scout with Speeder Bike was wrong, as it was not an opinion that this was the best release in the twelve inch line, but indeed a fact.  Thanks, Christopher!

The fun of Hasbro's 12 inch offerings don't end here. For a look at Hasbro's 12 inch series based on Episode I, The Phantom Menace click "HERE"! For a look at Hasbro's Power of the Jedi 12 inch Legacy Collection, click "HERE"!

30 comments:

  1. Although I am no fan of the Star Wars prequels, it would have been cool if Kenner/Hasbro had released an "ultimate" 12" C-3PO with removable outer panels, to simulate the "naked" look from The Phantom Menace.

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  2. While they didn't make one with removable panels, they did make a "naked" C-3PO for the 12 inch Phantom Menace line. We have a post of those "dolls" scheduled for later down the line.

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  3. i brought a 12in bobba fett form 1997 the collector series
    for 30.00 was ith worth that price and how much do i got for

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    1. If you can find a buyer, the 12" Boba Fett typically sells for $40 to $50 these days. Unfortunately only you can answer the question of whether or noth the $30 price tag was worth the price.

      You can put a price tag on anything, but if nobody is going to buy it, it's not worth anything.

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  4. Thanks for all the info. I just bought two of the 12" and will be looking to finish the entire collection.

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    1. This is definitely a fun line to collect. Best of luck to you in your hunt.

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  5. I always found the Collector Series Stormtrooper to be actually 'Rather short for a Stormtrooper'.

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  6. I have the Barquin D'an doll from 1998. I am trying to research where they mistakenly put "Glow in the dark lightsaber" on the box can you tell me more. I saw one on Ebay going for $1500.00.

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    1. Thank you for the question, Amy.

      We’ve personally never seen a Barquin D’an doll with the sticker which indicated there was a “Glow-in-the-Dark Lightsaber Included.” If one did exist, and if it was by chance accidentally released by Hasbro, then the answer as to where it came from would be as such;

      In 1998, Hasbro released both the Barquin D’an doll and Jedi Luke Skywalker dolls. The Jedi Luke did indeed come with a glow in the dark lightsaber, and this was denoted by the same sticker as seen in the referenced auction for the Barquin D’an doll. With that in mind, since it is no more than an adhesive label, it would have been easy for an employee of Hasbro to make a mistake on the factory line and slap the sticker on the box. How many times said employee made that mistake would be unknown.

      Take that answer with a grain of salt because after all, it’s just speculation, and it is just a sticker on the box. The beauty of stickers is that they can be removed from one package, and adhered to another to create what people claim are factory errors. Even if the mistake was made at Hasbro, again, we’re talking about a sticker, and personally we wouldn’t put much value in such a variant – Let alone $1,500.00.

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  7. I bought a1996r2d2&obi-wan kenobi w light ups n sound also on r2light up sward on obi and box isnt a sticker its printed on the box itself.then1997 luke skywalker&emperor palpatine w light up sword n bolts all hv remote dueling action also.i need to find the price value of these where would i go asap...

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    1. Value is not something that can be determined without a buyer. We recommend that if you're trying to find a baseline of what people are paying that you look at completed ebay listings to see what prior buyers have paid over the past three to six months.

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  8. So i've got a huge collection of all these.....you think it'd be worth selling them all or hold onto them? Probably have just about the entire collection.

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    1. You bought them for a reason. What was that reason? If it was because you enjoy having them, then hold onto them. If you bought them as an investment - You've missed your window.

      Very few toys produced after 1995 have much value on secondary markets. The reason for this is because of over saturation. What makes a Luke Skywalker figure from 1979 so valuable is due to supply vs. demand. For every one hundred collectors that want a mint on card version, there are probably only two to five figures available. Thus the massive price for carded ones.

      However, when Star Wars made a resurgence in the toy isle in 1995, everyone came out of the woodwork buying them up because they had the mentality that Star Wars toys equaled future retirement. These people were wrong. How do you sell something to a group of people who already have it?

      This is the problem you face with you 12 inch collection. Yes there are a few pieces here and there that you could squeeze some dollars out of someone for. Unfortunately for the most part, you're going to be begging someone to buy them - So to speak. Look at ebay's completed auctions listing for Star Wars 12 Inch Collection. The ones that sell don't even reach the original value of retail. A fair amount of them don't even sell.

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    2. Amendment - I intended to add to my original reply the following;

      The only "new" toys that seem to hold much value are current lines, and only with a very small window of time. For example - People wanting the new TMNT figures sometimes pay upwards of forty to sixty dollars a piece for them the moment they see them on ebay.

      This value is driven by nothing short of impatience of a select crowd of collectors. We refer to them in the community as the, "Gotta Have It" folks. They have no patience to wait for mass retail releases, and feed into the massive scalping market that is collectibles. In short, their impatience hurts the rest of us.

      Once said item sees a massive retail release, prices once again plummet to below or right around retail prices, and the scalpers move on to the next hot items that people want. In total, each item sees about a month or two of value.

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  9. Oh and also do you know where I can find what they are all worth at?

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    1. You can search ebays completed auctions. The ones that sold will give you a decent benchmark.

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  10. Is there another link on your BlogSpot that continues with pics of the 12 inch figures after the power of the force?

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    1. We did Power of the Jedi.

      http://thetoybox1138.blogspot.com/2012/05/star-wars-power-of-jedi-12-legacy.html

      We started an Episode I post, but never finished it.

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    2. Yes, This is a great page! Exactly what I asked for! Too bad you didn't continue with Episode I and onward! These pages are very informational and fun to look at! I can pick and choose what I have already have and what I would like to track down on Ebay! Thanks again for these great pages! If you happen to pickup with Ep I and move forward, let us know! :D

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    3. You're welcome. We sadly don't have our photos anymore of the Episode I 12 inch dolls, so we're not sure if we'll be coming back to them in the future. But we're glad you like what you've found so far here.

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    4. We should have posted this a while back - We finally completed a twelve inch post on Episode I.

      http://thetoybox1138.blogspot.com/2015/12/star-wars-episode-i-aka-phantom-menace.html

      Delete
  11. I will gladly send you photos of any figures you might need to finish this great blog. I have every 12 inch figure produced from 1996-2005

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    1. That would be a very welcome gesture. We've compiled the complete 12 Inch Collector's Series, and Power of the Jedi. Anything after those lines we don't have photos of. Thanks again! The photos you send can come to us at thetoybox1138@gmail.com.

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  12. What's sad now is that Hot Toys and Sideshow make 12 inch we can't afford. Most average collectors can't. And the 10 and 11 inch toys suck nowadays.

    They also needed 12 inch EU characters. Mara, Jacen/Caedus, Jaina, Ben, Tahiri, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Saba, Kyp, Corran, Jedi Leia, Grand Master Luke, Krayt, Cade. Alonna, Ania, Anakin Solo, Revan,Imperial Knight,Yuuzhan Vong figures, Bane, Tenebrous, Plageuis, Talon, Starkiller...Ben Skywalker...so many we'd have ate up. And now Disney certainly won't do it. There was a Thrawn high end one and Japanese Mara and Jaina but those two were statues.

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    1. Agree 100% with you on this. The budget friendly 12 inch "figures" being produced today are of the quality that even pales in comparison to that of past decades.

      There is no denying that Sideshow and Hot Toys makes great quality large scale figures. However, between limited quantities and high prices, 12 inch collectors that don't have unlimited funds at their disposal are often times left out in the cold.

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  13. This is a really cool blog site, it's been years since I've been interested in my SW Doll collection. Nice to see such a comprehensive timeline on the series and the releases. I have a complete collection minus the original first run, (by the time I started these were already pricey and hard to come by). Thanks for your efforts and hard work here - I appreciate it!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, and for stopping by!

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  14. WOW this blog Is amazing! I just started collecting these figures and today I bought a really nice Scout Trooper with the Speeder unopened. I also have a Tarkin and an Obi Wan. This blog Is going to be muy guide!

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    1. Glad you found us, and liked what you read! If you're looking for a source on the other 12 inch lines such as Power of the Jedi and Episode I, we have covered those as well.

      Happy hunting!

      Delete

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