May 2012 Recap

Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in May 2012. If you missed any, or simply want to see them again, click on each "title" to be taken directly to that post. As always, thanks for reading.

Star Wars - Micro Collection
Star Wars: Super Deformed
Star Wars: 12 Inch Collector's Series
Star Wars: Micro Machines
Star Wars: Unleashed
Star Wars: Power of the Jedi 12" Legacy Collection
Star Wars: Droid Factory
Star Wars: Droids
Star Wars: Ewoks

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Star Wars: Ewoks (Kenner)

Somewhat of a continuation of our prior post is today's post, Ewoks. Much like the Droids series, this particular cartoon/figure/comic book series seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye.

In a continued effort from Lucasfilm to re-spark interest in Star Wars, an animated series based on the Ewoks was produced for Saturday morning Cartoons. While it was much more popular than the Droids cartoon, and even managed to go on to a second series of episodes (for a total of 26 episodes), it just wasn't enough to keep the dwindling flame for Star Wars burning in a generation that was quickly growing up.

Kenner produced six figures for the line, but due to poor sales ceased production almost immediately. Each figure came packed in with a gold coin, which remains the most valuable piece of each figure.

An interesting thing to note about the Ewok and Droids series is that while the Droids cartoon only lasted one season, it spawned more figures than the Ewoks series which ran for two seasons.

If you compare the figures that were produced in the Ewok line to the actual cartoon, you will note that there was certainly room to expand on the series as several of the main characters had yet to be produced. Why Kenner didn't focus their efforts on the clearly more popular show is a mystery to most people.

Lucasfilm once again was able to get Star Comics to produce a series of comics based on the show. While these too lasted longer than the Droids series, the books were cancelled after fourteen issues.

As is the case with the Droids figures, while the Ewoks figures hold a good value on the secondary market, they are not as highly sought after by collectors as other Star Wars lines.

The series ran for 14 issues between 1985 and 1986. The series stayed relatively confined to its own "world", crossing over only once in issue number ten with issue number 4 of the Droids comic series, which was also published by Star Comics.

Despite being two very different series Droid and Ewoks had several similarities. They both had an action figure line. They both had a comic book series, and both shows have never been released in a complete series on any format, but are available in incomplete compilations on both VHS and DVD.

The series has its following, to be sure, and fans have asked repeatedly for Lucasfilm to produce a completed series on DVD. To date those requests have gone ignored. Much like the anti-cherished Holiday Special, we will probably never see this series as a whole unless someone is offering a bootleg or originally taped versions from the 80's.

This wraps up our month long celebration of 35 years of Star Wars, but join us this Friday, June 1, 2012 where we have another special announcement, and don't forget to join us next Monday for our look at Toy Story 2 (Thinkway Toys)!

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Star Wars: Droids (Kenner)

It’s the 35th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope! Yes, all those years ago, back in 1977, George Lucas made movie history with his sci-fi masterpiece that has since gone on to influence decades of movie makers, and of course dominate the toy isle year after year with more toys ever imaginable. Though, it has had its share of rocky paths leading towards a fate unknown...

In 1985 the Star Wars well seemed all but pumped dry. The Power of the Force line was struggling to find sales in the toy isle, and for all intensive purposes, the days of Star Wars were over.

Despite his initial lack of success with television (in the form of the Holiday Special), Lucas cut a deal to produce two television series - One of which was Droids: The Adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2. While back then the series didn't fall into any particular timeline of the Star Wars universe, today it is noted that it falls in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Though personally, we see a lot of discrepancies with this suggestion - though the show does contain a lot of references that were later carried over to the Prequels.

While the show may have not wowed fans young and old, it was enough of a boost in interest for Kenner to produce a new series of toys. Twelve figures were produced for what was initially to be a first series (of at least two).

Each figure came packed in a bright and beautiful package with a gold coin. Much like the original Power of the Force line which had silver coins packaged in with each figure, the coins remain the most valuable piece in the collection.

An interesting play by Kenner was to release the A-Wing Pilot in the line. It was interesting because no such character had any presence in the series, so it made little sense to produce him for the line. The figure was also released in the original Power of the Force line. This raises the question of what series this figure was initially intended for.

We didn't think that Boba Fett fit into the line either until reader Chris Pederson wrote in to tell us, "Boba Fett was in the first story arc. We even saw his racer. He captured Vlix, Sise and Tigg Fromm and was going to bring them to Jabba The Hutt." Thanks for the info, Chris!

Kenner also produced a handful of vehicles from the show. What makes fans lean more towards the A-Wing pilot being intended for the Droids line is that an A-Wing fighter was also produced. No such vehicle was produced when the figure was released with the Power of the Force line.

Ratings for the show were poor (at best), and after only one season (or 13 episodes), the series was cancelled.

To help push the series, Lucasfilm was able to get a contract with Star Comics, Marvel Comics more kid oriented label, to produce a series of comics. They however performed just as poorly on the market as the animated series did, and were cancelled after eight issues.

The most notable issues from this series are numbers 6-8 which contain a retelling of A New Hope from the perspective of the droids. Yes, it is the same exact story you've seen and read time and time again, but to see it from a different perspective is somewhat exciting to fans. Issue four also contained a cross over into the Ewoks comics (issue 10).

Despite many fans request, Lucasfilm has yet to release a complete series on any format of the animated series. There are however compilations of the series on VHS and DVD which contain various episodes.

The toys, while not as highly sought after by fans as other vintage Star Wars line, still fetch a fair amount on the secondary market. The most valuable piece known to be in existence is the one and only version of a carded Vex which was mocked up for a potential series 2. We don't know who the owner is, or if he/she would ever sell, but we can guarantee the price would be far more than any of us here at The Toy Box could ever afford.

Join us Monday as we conclude our Star Wars 35th anniversary celebration with our look at Ewoks!

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Star Wars: Droid Factory (Hasbro) (Disney)

We don't typically report on the most recent toys available, but when the opportunity arose to get the scoop on the latest exclusive Star Wars line - Droid Factory, we pounced on it. We hope you enjoy our look at this fantastic blend of Disney and Star Wars.

Star Wars weekends have become an annual occasion at Disney theme parks around the world. Each event brings new shows, attractions, and most importantly exclusive merchandise. With each passing year, Disney has had more exclusive Star Wars items for sale than any one vendor. Despite our personal displeasure with exclusives, this year’s items are far from disappointing.

Droid Factory allows you the customer to build your very own Astromech droid to coincide in scale with the current 3 3/4 inch line from Hasbro, complete with your own custom droid name. With over 71 different pieces, the possibilities are all but endless. These are indeed the droids you're looking for!

There are sixteen different dome styles to choose from (as seen below in the photo). We were lucky enough to have the various variations shared with us in mint in package form by the caring parents of Emmalee Campbell, daughter with 1P36 Deletion Syndrome. The Campbell family took great care to ensure that each droids pieces blended perfectly with the dome heads.

Each droid can be purchased as either a single pack or double pack. Each package flips open and close, securing on bubble grooves so that the toys can be easily removed without damaging the bubble pack itself. This is beneficial to both collectors and children who want to play with their toys, while at the same time keeping them mint in the package. Upon purchase, buyers receive a sheet of adhesive letters to create the droid's unique name. The single packs cost $11.95, while the double packs are priced at $18.95.

Out of the various droid types, three were created specifically for the Disney experience - R6, R8, and R9. To make the droids even more unique to Disney, each one can also be equipped with a removable set of mouse ears, such as those depicted on the famous Mouseketeer's show. For those wanting a more Star Wars themed hat, a set of Yoda ears will be released later down the line, as well as other fun hats such as Indiana Jones' fedora, Jack Sparrow's pirate hat, and a Goofy hat.

Fans have been incredibly receptive to this new line, to the point where it was being reported that most Disney locations sold out of their complete stock before the second day of the event was even over. Despite these reports, we have had several confirmations from various sources stating that these parts never sold out anywhere, and that supply is more than enough to meet demand. These sources have also confirmed that every piece of this 71 piece "set" is still readily available for customers. With that said, either someone is trying to build up a false sense of rarity, or they simply weren't around when employees refilled the bins.

Ebay has not yet blown up with Droid Factory auctions, but the handful that are up either have "Buy it Now" prices over $300.00, or are currently at a couple hundred dollars from bids. While these auctions are not for the complete 71 pieces, it's arguable that there is still some merit to the going/asking prices. One has to take into consideration that most of us would first need to get to a Disney location (plane ticket), and then into the park (admission price) to even buy the toys (price of toys). So consider all those costs when calculating the value of the current auctions.

A second series of droid parts has also been announced which is tentatively slated to be released around the time frame of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration this year.

As a final reminder, the figures that are show above are meant to depict every dome type available. One needs to keep in mind that a set like this has endless possibilities, and no two could look the same. From a monetary aspect, it would probably be more financially sound to collect all 71 pieces as opposed to trying to make every droid possible.

We'd like to once again thank the Campbell family for the photos, and the tidbits they shared with us. In closing, we'd like to introduce to you a special droid, 1P-36. This droid is special to the Campbell family as their daughter Emmalee has been diagnosed with the rare disorder 1P36 Deletion Syndrome. We wish her and her family all the best.

The family is currently in the works with a well known Star Wars VIP to get a petition together to have the droid created in her honor. There is no word just yet where things are in this regard, but we'll keep everyone posted on what we hear.

To read more on this rare disorder, click "HERE".

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Star Wars - Power of the Jedi 12" Legacy Collection (Hasbro)

Power of the Jedi was the line that attempted to mash the Trilogy and Prequels together in one line. While it had some great items, it somewhat failed to blend the two together while at the same time appease fans who weren't necessarily looking to collect every figure out there.

Much like the prior two lines (Power of the Force 2, and Episode I), Power of the Jedi saw a release of 12 inch dolls. Though unlike the prior two lines, the series was confined to very limited releases.

The series ran from 2000 to 2001, and saw no more than eleven items released under the banner.

The first collection released in 2000 was quickly a fan favorite due to the inclusion of nothing but Bounty Hunters. The "Hunters" in the Star Wars universe have always included characters surrounded by mystery and lore that attracts even the most casual Star Wars fan.

4-LOM, Bossk, IG-88

The 2000 assortment was rounded off with two multipacks which weren't all that popular among collectors. By this point, several fans had taken the stance of not wanting to buy multiple versions of the same characters anymore, leaving only the select few of the "100% Club" willing to buy them.

Sith Lords (with Darth Vader and Darth Maul)
Captain Tarpals and Kaadu

Much like the 2000 multipacks, the 2001 wave of "dolls" failed to impress. The Death Star Droid was probably the most unique character to be produced, and as a result sold the best out of all three.

Death Star Droid, Death Star Trooper, Han Solo (in Stormtrooper Disguise)

The 100th 12 inch doll was released during the Power of the Jedi period, and was rather impressive. Yes, it was just another Luke Skywalker rendering, but the amount of gear, accessories, and clothing packed into the box were both impressive in quality and quantity. It also came with a fantastic checklist, something that prior and future toy lines have seriously been lacking.

100th Figure Luke Skywalker

A vehicle two pack of a Speeder Bike with Luke Skywalker in his Endor Poncho was released in 2001. The bike was no different than the prior released version, and the doll was simply redressed from prior Luke Figures.

Speeder Bike with Luke Skywalker

The final 2001 release was the two pack of Luke Skywalker and Yoda. Unlike the prior released dolls, this particular one was released in a tube packaging, giving it a nice 360 degree visual.

Luke Skywalker and Yoda

12 inch dolls still come and go in the Star Wars world, but very infrequently, and without much notice to collectors who are not plugged directly into any form of Hasbro pipeline (be it direct or indirect connection). Sales appear to be hit or miss with them, so we can understand Hasbro's reluctance to commit much to a line of this nature - Especially after the oversaturation that the Power of the Force 2 line produced.

Join us Friday as we continue our Star Wars 35th anniversary celebration with our look at Droids!

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Star Wars Unleashed (Hasbro)

In 2002, Hasbro introduced the world of Star Wars collector's to the Unleashed series. Each sculpt was essentially a mini statue made out of plastic - Affordable to the majority of collectors, yet with a stature that screamed high quality. They were an immediate success across retail chains.

The series launched during the Saga 3 3/4 line, and produced an initial eleven statues, with one variant.

Collector's swarmed the toy isles to swoop up every last one of them, and the series quickly became a secondary market dealer’s cash crop.

Anakin Skywalker, Darth Maul, Darth Sidius

A variant version of Darth Vader was released which depicted him with no mask. At the time of its release, this particular statue was incredibly difficult to find without resorting to the secondary market. A two pack was also released which contained both Jango and Boba Fett.

Darth Vader, Darth Vader (No Mask Variant), Jango and Boba Fett

Equally difficult to find was the Princess Leia statue which depicted her in her slave outfit.

Mace Windu, Padme Amidala, Princess Leia

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Darth Sidious

In 2003, the package design was changed drastically from its initial plain/dull look to really pop. Each card now depicted artwork at the top to coincide with the statue inside. It was much more eye catching to the average toy isle visitor, and overall made the series all the more collectible.

The initial launch of the 2003 line contained several repacks.

Mace Windu (Repack), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Repack), Darth Sidious (Repack)

Luke Skywalker (Repack), Princess Leia (Repack)

Boba Fett, Han Solo, Yoda

2004 saw a release of six new statues, and one variant.

Aayla Secura, Bossk, Chewbacca

Clone Trooper (White), Clone Trooper (Red), Luke Skywalker

Tusken Raider

2005 was the last series of Unleashed that were released under the "Saga" banner. There were three new figures, and two repacks - one of which was repacked the prior year as well.

Aurra Sing, Darth Vader (Repack), IG-88

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Re-Repack), Stormtrooper

When Revenge of the Sith hit theaters, the line continued on with that particular 3 3/4 inch figure line.

Anakin Skywalker, Asajj Ventress, Darth Vader

A new two pack with Yoda and Sidious was released during this time.

General Grievous, Yoda Vs. Sidious

The Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader got a fancier packaging, and was released exclusively at Best Buy to coincide with the DVD release.

Rather than utilizing a card back/bubble package, it was packaged in a cylinder. This would later become the standard packaging style.

Darth Vader (Best Buy Exclusive)

While the line continued to coincide with the Revenge of the Sith toys in 2006, the series didn't stick specifically to characters from that particular movie.

Chewbacca, Han Solo, Shock Trooper

Target released four exclusively packaged statues in 2006, and at the same time changed the way that the majority of future ones would be released. These exclusives also utilized the cylinder packaging used for the Best Buy exclusive. However, the statues themselves were simply updated/repainted prior releases.

Boba Fett, General Grievous

Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker

2007 would mark the last year (to date) that a traditional statue like Unleashed figure would be released. The packaging also changed to resemble the cylinder shaped ones used for the exclusive releases with the exception of two final carded ones.

Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Obi-Wan Kenobi

For the final Unleashed statue, now under the 30th Anniversary giese, the package was changed to white to closer resemble the current 3 3/4 line of figures.

Anakin Skywalker, Shadow Stormtrooper, ARC Heavy Gunner

During the Saga Collection (2006), and running through the 2009/2010 Clone Wars collection, Unleashed took a different approach. Rather than stick with the familiar statue style which made the series popular, Hasbro began releasing mini multipacks, now known as Battle Packs.

The once six to eight inch statues now stood approximately 1/4 their original size, and closer resembled upscale roleplaying game tokens.

While it left many original Unleashed fans unimpressed, the series was clearly strong enough to continue through 2010.

There are so many sets available, that while we are going to show them all, we aren't going to list them out by name.

Each package is separated into its respective toy line, but not in any particular order.

Unleashed has come a long way since 2002, and whether you approve of the smaller versions pushing the larger ones from the limelight or not, it's clear that the series found a strong following of fans to press on for eight years.

Join us Monday as we continue our Star Wars 35th anniversary celebration with our look at Power of the Jedi 12" Legacy Collection!

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