Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars The Black Series - Phase II (Hasbro)



Star Wars The Black Series - Phase II
Hasbro
2014 - 2015

We touched on the origin of the series above in our Phase I post, so we'll jump right into Phase II without further delay.

Phase II of the Black Series brought with it a whole new packaging design for the 3.75 inch scale figures, incorporating a pretty cool (if we may say so ourselves) TIE Fighter Pilot motif. Much like Phase I, Hasbro seemed intent on rehashing figures that most collectors had already gotten from prior series. The end result was less popularity for the line, and only three waves between 2014 - 2015. Still, there were some gems to be found. They were just few and far between.

R5-G19*Luke Skywalker*Darth Vader

Darth Malgus*Starkiller (Galen Marek)*Yoda

Darth Vader*Stormtrooper*Captain Rex

Jon "Dutch" Vander*Chewbacca*Clone Commander Wolfe

Clone Commander Doom*Imperial Navy Commander*Commander Thorn

C-3PO*Princess Leia Organa (Boushh)*Mosep Binneed

Han Solo*Jawas

With Phase II came the first vehicle and creature to be released. Both were Toys R' Us exclusives, and contained multiple figures packaged in. Rather than be named after the vehicle or creature, Hasbro instead entitled the sets after the scenes they depicted.

Battle on Endor*Jabba's Rancor Pit

The heart of the line was definitely the six inch figures, which fans went to great lengths to obtain. What was commendable on Hasbro's part was that they re-released the Sandtrooper figure for fans that couldn't get their hands on one in the prior Phase. Unfortunately for those fans, they changed the paint deco, making it just as desirable to those who did get one of the originals. The end result was still a scarce figure.

The packaging was only slightly updated from the Phase I style. Rather than sporting an orange banner up the right side, it now showcased a blue one. This would in turn lead to fans also differentiating the series by the names "orange" and "blue", and not strictly by the Phase number.

Sandtrooper*Darth Vader

Luke Skywalker*Chewbacca

TIE Fighter Pilot*Yoda

Clone Trooper Sergent*Obi-Wan Kenobi

Han Solo*Bossk

Hasbro showed that despite their desire for higher quality figures that they weren't shy of continuing to nickle and dime fans. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker's heads on Stormtrooper bodies was nothing short of a cash grab, and a cheap way on Hasbro's part to pad the series.

Emperor Palpatine*Luke Skywalker

Clone Trooper Captain*Clone Commander Cody

IG-88*Princess Leia Organa (Boushh)

Jabba the Hutt, which initially began as a SDCC exclusive (see below) also made an appearance on store shelves. Unfortunately it didn't include Salacious Crumb - Such as the exclusive did. As such, it wasn't as desirable to fans as the SDCC version.

Jabba the Hutt

Hasbro introduced several deluxe figures which included creatures and vehicles. Detail and care was definitely taken with these, and they remain some of the best pieces in the line.

Speeder Bike with Biker Scout

Han Solo and Tauntaun

Luke Skywalker and Wampa

You know what's a bad idea? Taking two peg warmers, packaging them together, and throwing them back on the shelf. For some reason, both Hasbro and Toys R' Us felt this was a brilliant idea, and that's exactly what they did with Han Solo and Greedo. The end result was a deluxe two pack that sat on shelves until they were clearenced out.

Cantina Showdown

Fortunately other retailers had better ideas when it came to their exclusives.

Imperial Shadow Squadron

Boba Fett

Jabba the Hutt

The Black Series continues with Phase III, which encompasses the new The Force Awakens characters. Based on its current popularity, the series is most likely bound to see a Phase IV and beyond. We'll make sure to catch up with the current and future Black Series lines at a later date.

For those of you who have seen, or are planning on seeing the new film today, have fun! For those of you holding off for the crowds to dwindle a bit - We're right there with you. For those not seeing the film, what's wrong with you?

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2 comments:

  1. Great coverage! I've always seen these in stores, but never bought any (I have too much TMNT stuff already!). It's nice to know the history and future of this series. Although I don't plan to get them, I love the figures & the line overall. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading. The six inch line is probably the best stuff out of the series, but they do take up a bit of space - and of course cash.

      Delete

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