For decades, Star Wars action figures have held steady at 3 ¾ inches. But now, the just-announced Star Wars Black line will finally bring the Jedi and the Dark Side in scale with your six-inch toys.
WORLDS ARE COLLIDING.
Announced in USA Today, the new line will consist of eight figures, tentatively priced at $19.99 apiece, that will premiere later this year. The first wave of four figures is currently scheduled for early-to-mid August, and will include Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing pilot suit, R2-D2, Darth Maul and an “Imperial Sandtrooper” (we’re pretty sure they meant “Stormtrooper”).
The Star Wars brand has seen a radical overhaul in the past few months, with George Lucas selling the property to Disney, J.J. Abrams announced as helming a new film, and let us not forget, the awesome new Star Wars comic by Brian Wood from Dark Horse (their previous books by John Ostrander weren’t half-bad either).
Still, this is a big deal for the toys. Star Wars helped kick off the very medium of action figures in the 1970s. The 3 ¾ figures were affordable for parents, and the sheer variety of characters, vehicles and playsets were irresistible for kids.
Though the line petered out by the late 1980s, it was rebooted to great success in the 1990s, with improved sculpting and poseability insuring its success with a new generation. It’s maintained that success for nearly two decades since, with increasingly elaborate and articulated figures – but while there’s been some larger-format toys, such as the statue-like “Power of the Force” line, the Sixth Scale figures from Sideshow Toys or the premium-priced giant-sized versions of the original 1970s figures, this is the first time that highly-detailed/articulated figures are being made available on a mass scale.
In the USA Today story, Hasbro representatives say that this line is directed at the adult collector, acknowledging that the 3 ¾ scale figures are intended more for little kids. At this point, even the biggest toy line of all time is willing to admit it – action figures are no longer just for kids.
All I ask for is a super-articulated Boba Fett. I know it’s a-comin’.