Star Wars: The Black Series - 40th Anniversary (Hasbro)

Star Wars: The Black Series - 40th Anniversary

Blah, blah, blah, Star Wars. We've seriously touched on so many Star Wars lines at this point is there really anything more we can say about the subject matter beyond, "Hey, here's yet another toy line?" We'll give it a try, but apologize in advance if we start repeating ourselves if we start repeating ourselves.

2017 saw the official 40th anniversary of Star Wars and with it Hasbro came at Star Wars fans with an all new six inch line. What initially started out as an homage to the original twelve back series of 3 3/4 inch figures quickly fizzled into yet another sudden stop line. After just fourteen figures, Hasbo pulled the plug and moved on yet again to the newest film in the franchise, The Last Jedi.

R2-D2*Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi

This was honestly one of the few (new) Star Wars lines we were looking forward to personally collecting. Unfortunately between sparse product being available and the high buy in price not only in retail fashion but more so secondary markets we ended up skipping it. The only figures we ever found at local toy stores were Princess Leia, Darth Vader and the GameStop exclusive R5-D4. Beyond that, nothing. Considering the line was unceremoniously cancelled, we probably dodged a bullet as it would have been yet another incomplete line.

Han Solo*Luke Skywalker

The real shame here is that these figures are far from undesirable. The sculpts are some of the best we've seen in a while. In conjunction with the fun figures never before available in six inch fashion this truly was a highly desired line - At least by us. Let's not forget that fantastic vintage style cardback.

Princess Leia Organa*Chewbacca

So what happened here? Why did Hasbro dump what could have been its most popular line in the longest time? Furthermore, where was the initial stock of product? Unfortunately, nobody really knows. Midway through wave two, collectors found themselves with cancelled orders and undelivered product via channels such as Entertainment Earth. The line simply dried up and vanished literally overnight.

Death Squad Commander*Jawa

Fortunately for fans the second wave did at least see a limited release (somewhere). The figures can still be found via secondary markets and fortunately have not skyrocketed in price just yet - Or rather at least as of this writing.

Sand People*C-3PO

For us, there was at least some form of light at the end of the tunnel. The 40th Anniversary line reminded us just how much we loved the original vintage figures and helped to fuel our desire to track them all down. Readers of The Toy Box have probably already seen those posts for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Power of the Force.


Still, there's that underlying hint of disappointment and truthfully is the leading factor in why we collect so few "new" toy lines these days. Too many feel abandoned and as such incomplete. Just as you fully engross yourself into a line you're left with it being cancelled. We've seen this so many times that quite frankly it's just easier to ignore new toys or wait until the line has some "meat" to it before taking the plunge. However, this too can have an adverse effect of certain figures which become rarer and skyrocket on secondary markets. Either way it seems like a no win situation for collectors.

Darth Vader

It also didn't help that the line was made even more so difficult to track down by way of having the ever annoying variable of exclusive figures thrown into the mix. Remember the good old days when figures were released in stores - You know, all of them, and the only challenge you had was deciding which one out of the fifteen to twenty different ones you would settle for when your parents said, "Pick one." We really miss those days. Toy stores these days really aren't fun anymore and more often than not simply lead to disappointment.

When was the last time you walked into one and actually found the figure you were looking for? How many trips did it take you?

Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) Celebration Orlando Exclusive
R5-D4 GameStop Exclusive

There was another revelation for us from our experience with this line. One that actually has been fueling a lot of our buying habits as of late. That revelation - We no longer want to collect current toy lines. Instead, we're going to focus on collections which have come and gone.

Between limited product hitting toy shelves, lines being cancelled at a whim and in general the thrill of the hunt being dead (or more so accurately stated - futile) we simply no longer have any interest. Our efforts are better focused on lines we loved from the 80's which while more costly (in some cases) can still be found in abundance (somewhat) with little more effort than the click of a mouse button.

The Toy Box will still be around and yes we'll still continue to post about great toys which have come and gone. We just won't necessarily be collecting them personally.

Okay...So that didn't turn out to be too bad of an article (if we do say so ourselves).

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  1. Bah... I got the Artoo Detoo and the Pricess Leia rom this line, but I didn't bother with the others as they were really only re-released black figures that I already had! Seemed like another money grab.

    1. I have to admit, it's not the figures I like in this line, but the retro packaging.

  2. One of your main complaints is a little off the mark. The line was not "unceremoniously cancelled". It was meant to be a short anniversary homage to the Original kenner line from the get go. The figures themselves are part of the ongoing black series line.
    While I agree the figures were a pain to obtain, this sub-line itself is a great limited line celebrating the original 12, with a couple extras (R5-D4 and the outrageously overpriced on the secondary market X-Wing Luke).
    The assumption is that in 2020 they will run a 40th anniversary limited run of Empire Strikes Back figures. Likely repacks of existing black series line ESB figures that have already come out.