2015 Rancho Obi-Wan Membership Kits Shipping

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Published on: February 26, 2015

2015ROW-kit-cvii

Rancho 2015 Membership Kit Will be Shipping Shortly

The Rancho Obi-Wan 2015 Membership Kit is in its final stages of production and will start shipping shortly to new members and current members as they renew.

This year’s patch and membership card art are based on a painting by the talented Daniel Bergren, which was done expressly for Rancho Obi-Wan for a fundraising auction.

In addition to the patch and hand-signed membership card, the kit contains a letter from Rancho chairman Steve Sansweet and the second in a series of costume designer John Mollo’s historic sketches that led to the final costume worn by Alec Guinness in Star Wars.

The Mollo sketch in this year’s kits is dated January 8, 1976, just a short time after Mollo had been hired. As the description on the back of the collectible card notes, the artist had changed the costume’s look from that of a more military-style outfit to a full length kimono-style robe with sash. The Japanese word for a kimono sash is obi. Mollo won an Academy Award for his work on the film.

In addition to the 2015 patch, as has become tradition Rancho will offer an exclusive Celebration Anaheim patch for sale to members only. The patch is based on a beautiful black and white pencil sketch of Obi-Wan by gifted artist Keven Reinke, also done specifically for a Rancho fundraiser. Both patches were designed by Curt Hanks. The Celebration patch will be included in the price of new membership kits purchased and personalized at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim April 16-19 at the Rancho Obi-Wan booth. They also will be available for sale to existing members. The Celebration patches are limited and will not be remade.

Become a member today (http://www.ranchoobiwan.org/support/memberships/) and receive the 2015 Membership kit as thank you gift for your donation. Renewing members will also receive the special silver pin. In addition to being able to order the Celebration exclusive patch (pre-order begins in March), members will be able to enter the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience booth through a special “lightspeed” entrance.

Easter 2015 Star Wars Items

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Published on: February 23, 2015

Easter Sunday isn’t until April but stores are starting to fill their shelves with candy, baskets and other treats.  This year both Walmart and Target have several Star Wars items that are fun for kids or can add some diversity to a collection.

One of our favorites for the past couple of years has been the plush Yoda Easter basket at Target.  The $10 basket is back again this year but we also found a $16.98 Yoda basket at Walmart that’s about twice the size of the Target version.

Rebels fans can pick up an Easter pail and an egg of tattoos at Walmart along with a tin lunchbox that features Original Trilogy characters.  Star Wars M and M’s are back with an egg shaped candy dispenser for $3.88.

Target also has an egg decorating kit featuring Original Trilogy characters and sets of R2-D2 and Darth Vader figural treat boxes.

Since stocking for Easter has just started, we’ll keep an eye out for any additional candy or toy offerings.

New Season of The Walking Dead, New Series of Minimates

Categories: Diamond Select Toys
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Published on: February 23, 2015

The fifth season of The Walking Dead recently returned to television screens, and soon a new selection of The Walking Dead Minimates will arrive at Toys“R”Us with a vengeance! Based on the best-selling comic book by series creator Robert Kirkman, the latest figures from Diamond Select Toys include some of the comic’s most popular characters, as well as the line’s first fan-chosen figure!

Coming to Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and Toysrus.com in March, the new assortment features characters from the “All Out War” story arc featured in issues #115-126 of The Walking Dead, based on artwork by series artist Charlie Adlard. In the arc, Rick’s group teams up with other communities against the powerful Saviors group.

The assortment features four two-packs, each pairing a human character with a zombie. The human line-up includes:

Alexandria Rick Grimes – Living in the walled city of Alexandria with his fellow survivors, Rick leads the community to war against the Saviors. Rick comes packaged with a Balding Zombie.

Negan – Negan is the leader of the saviors, and enforces their draconian laws. He is deceptively polite, but has the potential for terrible violence. Negan comes with a gate-guarding Thug Zombie and his barbed-wire baseball bat Lucille.

Ezekiel – Ezekiel is the leader of the Kingdom, and plays the role of king with gusto. When Rick votes to stand against the Saviors, Ezekiel agrees. Ezekiel comes with a Mauled Zombie. Available exclusively at Toys“R”Us beginning in March.

Andrea – One of the few remaining members of Rick’s original group, Andrea has become an excellent shot, and is Alexandria’s resident zombie sniper. Andrea comes with the Prom Zombie, who was the winner of a poll conducted by the official The Walking Dead magazine to be the next zombie Minimate. Available exclusively at Toys“R”Us beginning in March.

Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features 14 points of articulation, as well as interchangeable parts and character-specific accessories. A companion assortment at comic shops will feature figures of supporting characters Jesus, Dwight, Chris, Derek and Holly.

Don’t forget to visit your local Toys“R”Us store or Toysrus.com in March to find your favorite characters from this latest assortment!

Rancho Obi-Wan Launching First Book at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim

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Published on: February 17, 2015

Rancho Obi-Wan Inspired by the Force BookRancho Obi-Wan’s 900-square-foot exhibit at Celebration Anaheim April 16-19 will focus on how Star Wars fans through the years have made their own tremendous contributions to that far-away galaxy, and in commemoration the nonprofit museum will make available a limited print-run book, “Inspired by the Force: Star Wars Fan Artifacts & Art.”

The full-color, hardcover 72-page book will act as an exhibit guide, containing photos and stories of scores of the items on display. Written and photographed by Steve Sansweet and Anne Neumann, with design and layout by Stan Stice, the book is intended to be the first volume in a series, “The Treasures of Rancho Obi-Wan.” It also includes a 4-page centerspread foldout that has hundreds of photos of visitors to Rancho and to our exhibits at past Celebration events.

The new book, with an initial printing of just 1,000 copies, is one of several surprises that Rancho will reveal in the weeks leading up to what many believe will be the largest and most exciting Star Wars fan event ever.

The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience exhibit will feature fan objects and art starting in the late 1970s through today, from an airbrushed van tire cover and hand-tooled leather backgammon board to a Chewbacca tissue box cover and bird house, from amazing art mash-ups based on a print by Goya and a painting by Picasso to bizarre limited edition figurines made by urban artists.

The book will cost $25 and pre-orders for pick-up at Celebration will begin in March on RanchoObiWan.org.

Both Steve Sansweet, chairman and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan, and Anne Neumann, vice president and general manager, will be available at posted hours to sign the new book at no charge.

More exciting news about the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience Exhibit and other Rancho activities will be announced soon.

Hot Toys Obi-Wan Kenobi Pre-order Now Available

Categories: Sideshow Collectibles
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Published on: February 17, 2015

Hot Toys ANH Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Hot Toys 1:6 scale Obi-Wan Kenobi is now available for pre-order from Sideshow.  He’s listed for $219.99 and is expected to ship towards the end of the year or into the first quarter of 2016.

Images were released on Saturday and you can see the full set in our earlier post.

Official Hasbro Images of Hero Mashers

Categories: Hasbro, Toy Fair 2015
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Published on: February 17, 2015

 

Hasbro has had their Super Hero Mashers figures out for a while now and they announced this past weekend that they’re bringing Star Wars into the fold.  The line will launch later this year with basic figures for $9.99 up to Battle Pack and Multi-pack releases in the $25 and $30 range.  Check out the full press release and official Hasbro images below.

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS 2015 Product Descriptions

Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS Heroes and Villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate hero. What if DARTH VADER had the hairy arms of CHEWBACCA, or JAR JAR BINKS was armed with the bounty-hunting gear of BOBA FETT? With more than 25 unique STAR WARS HERO MASHERS characters planned for 2015, there’s tons of ways to mash them all!

Items from the 2015 STAR WARS HERO MASHERS product line include the following:

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS Action Figures Assortment
(Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS heroes and villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate figure. Would a hero with DARTH VADER’s body and KIT FISTO’s head have a green, blue or red LIGHTSABER? With STAR WARS HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to create the ultimate mash-up! 12 figures will be available in this assortment in 2015, featuring favorite STAR WARS characters like ANAKIN SKYWALKER, STORMTROOPER, CHEWBACCA and characters from STAR WARS REBELS like KANAN JARRUS and the INQUISITOR. Each figure is sold separately and comes with an accessory.

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS Deluxe Action Figures Assortment
(Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS heroes and villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate figure. Each STAR WARS HERO MASHERS Deluxe action figure comes with multiple Battle Gear pieces for even more crazy combinations! With STAR WARS HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to create the ultimate mash-up! Four figures will be available in this assortment in 2015, featuring favorite STAR WARS characters like ZEB ORRELIOS from STAR WARS REBELS, BOBA FETT and GENERAL GRIEVOUS. Each figure sold separately.

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS Speeder Assortment
(Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS heroes and villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate figure. Each STAR WARS HERO MASHERS Speeder Assortment features a HERO MASHERS figure and comes with a Speeder vehicle that they can ride! You can use the included projectile launcher to customize your Speeder vehicle or any of the other HERO MASHERS vehicles in the line. With STAR WARS HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to create the ultimate mash-up! ANAKIN SKYWALKER WITH SPEEDER and DARTH MAUL WITH SPEEDER are each sold separately.

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS BATTLE PACK Action Figure Sets Assortment
(Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS heroes and villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate figure. Each STAR WARS HERO MASHERS MASH PACK comes with two STAR WARS HERO MASHERS figures—a hero and his villain—for an instant mash-up! Have LUKE SKYWALKER and DARTH VADER face-off in an epic battle—or switch their heads around for a real face-off! With STAR WARS HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to create the ultimate mash-up!  Three sets will be available in this assortment in 2015, featuring favorite STAR WARS characters like HAN SOLO VS. BOBA FETT and YODA VS. EMPEROR PALPATINE. Each set sold separately.

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS RETURN OF THE JEDI Multi-Pack
(Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Mash up your hero! Hasbro’s STAR WARS HERO MASHERS feature your favorite STAR WARS heroes and villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate figure. The STAR WARS RETURN OF THE JEDI Multi-Pack comes with an assortment of your favorite STAR WARS characters from RETURN OF THE JEDI, including LUKE SKYWALKER, DARTH VADER, HAN SOLO, BIKER SCOUT and WICKET, so you can make instant mash-ups!

Official Hasbro Images of Bladebuilders Lightsabers

Categories: Hasbro, Toy Fair 2015
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Published on: February 17, 2015

Below is the full press release for the new Bladebuilders line of role play lightsabers coming later this year from Hasbro. Hasbro also released official images showing off the new series, including the cool new foam bladed lightsabers.

STAR WARS 2015 PRODUCT INFORMATION

 

JEDI and SITH have been building their Lightsabers for generations. Now, you can create and customize your own Lightsaber with the introduction of new STAR WARS BLADEBUILDERS! A new Lightsaber system that lets you mix and match components to create incredible Lightsaber forms that complement your unique fighting style. Every Lightsaber within the BLADEBUILDERS system is compatible and can be used to create amazing weapons never before seen in the galaxy. This Fall, forget everything you thought you knew about the Lightsaber and prepare to make your mark on the most iconic weapon of all time, with new STAR WARS BLADEBUILDERS.

Star Wars BLADEBUILDERS

STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS JEDI MASTER LIGHTSABER
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The definitive Lightsaber of the BLADEBUILDERS system provides kids with the unique components needed to create the weapons their imagination can conjure. The Jedi Master Lightsaber comes with main Lightsaber featuring lights and sounds, two independently-lit lightdaggers, expansion hilt, 2 elbow connectors, dual connector, and cross connector. Requires three AAA batteries — demo batteries included.

STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS ELECTRONIC LIGHTSABER ASST
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Harness the power of the most iconic JEDI and SITH from the STAR WARS saga and fuse their Lightsabers with other components across the BLADEBUILDERS system (each sold separately) to create incredible weapons.  Electronic Lightsaber comes with main Lightsaber with lights and sounds, and connector. Choose from OBI-WAN KENOBI, DARTH VADER, and LUKE SKYWALKER.  Each sold separately.  Requires three AAA batteries. Batteries not included.

STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS FOAM LIGHTSABER ASST
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Introducing a new way to wield a Lightsaber!  New Foam Lightsabers provide movie-accurate looks with a soft foam material for amazing fun.  Each Lightsaber is compatible and combinable with other BLADEBUILDERS Lightsaber components (sold separately). Choose from YODA, DARTH VADER, and LUKE SKYWALKER.  Each sold separately.

STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS EXTEND LIGHTSABER ASST
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Grab your favorite character’s Lightsaber hilt and with the flick of your wrist the blade extends and you are ready for battle!  Each Lightsaber is compatible and combinable with other BLADEBUILDERS Lightsaber components (sold separately). Choose from ANAKIN SKYWALKER, DARTH VADER, and LUKE SKYWALKER.  Each sold separately.

Hasbro Disappoints at Toy Fair: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Headed?

Categories: Hasbro, Recent Features
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Published on: February 16, 2015

This year’s Hasbro showing at Toy Fair was mostly a disappointment to those collecting Star Wars action figures. For the first time since we began covering Toy Fair, Hasbro didn’t announce any new action figures, of any scale, at their Saturday event.

While there were several 3.75″ Rebels figures, from the Saga Legends and Mission Series lines, on display, and the most recently announced 6″ Black Series figures turned up, there was nothing we hand’t seen previously in either scale. Hasbro didn’t even display the 3.75″ Black Series figures that they debuted in their pre-New York Comic Con event.

It was announced a few weeks ago that there would be nothing from The Force Awakens shown, but it was still believed there would be at least one more wave announced or possibly some store, or convention, exclusives displayed. Instead we were shown the new Furbacca mashup figure, the Bladebuilders lightsaber line and Hero Mashers. New Play-Doh toys were on display as was a new game featuring Chewbacca and the Jedi Force line has been renamed Galactic Heroes, taking the name of its predecessor.

There’s no hard date for The Force Awakens toys to be shown but we have Star Wars Celebration coming up in just under two months and then San Diego Comic Con in July. We had hopes we might hear of a teaser figure coming as an exclusive to SDCC but nothing was announced and, continuing with their plan, Hasbro will not be bringing an exclusive to Celebration.

Walmart Spring 2015 Planogram
Walmart Spring 2015 Layout

The lack of news from Toy Fair may not have been as big of a disappointment if Hasbro’s current releases were actually hitting retail. Our local Walmart started their Spring 2015 aisle reset a week ago and it includes two pegs each of Saga Legends and Mission Series while the 6″ Black Series has been relegated to the bottom shelf, sandwiched between knockoff Transformers toys from the Hap-P-Kid Toy Group. Just as in 2014, the 3.75″ Black Series figures will have no shelf space at store 5240 in Upstate NY.

Target, at least, has peg space for Black Series (both scales), Saga Legends and Mission Series as well as shelf tags for the vehicles line that’s supposed to be available. However, as of this writing, there’s one Mission Series 2-pack in stock and six Black Series 6″ Slave Leia figures that have been there since October 2014 (plus three Greedo stocked around Christmas). Target’s new model of breaking cases and shipping figures two or three at a time to retail has left our local store mostly empty for more than six months. They never even received Saga Legends figures for the Christmas shopping season.

Target Hasbro Action Figure Stock 02162015So where are the toys at Target?  We know that the shipping situation at the West Coast ports has had some impacts on product reaching stores but according to Hasbro, it’s bigger than that.  The Chinese New Year lands on February 19th this year and many (most?) manufacturing plants close for as much as a month surrounding the holiday, which could impact releases into summer. But where were the toys for the holidays? It seems odd that Target would dedicate so much shelf space to a toy line and then not order enough to fill their stores so does the problems land back on Hasbro?

We can’t explain why Walmart won’t carry Black Series in all of their stores or why Target changed their stocking methods other than, possibly, price. We saw a $3 per figure price bump at Target for the 3.75″ Black Series figures and rumors are that all of retail will eventually see an increase.  Walmart is very price conscious and likes to have less expensive merchandise on the shelves and may be unwilling to buy in to this new MSRP for the Black Series.

Manufacturing costs for 3.75″ figures have definitely gone up even as oil prices, which affect costs of raw materials and shipping, are lower then they have been in 5 years. Much of that has to do with wage increases for manufacturing workers in the Asian market, specifically China. On February 4th, Four Horsemen Studios announced in a blog post that the scale of their upcoming Mythic Legions line will be 6″ instead of 4″ and that “the prices for 6” figures and the prices for 4” figures were very similar.” The more articulation and paint detail that a figure has, the more labor intensive it is to manufacture and those increased wages are having an impact. Will it kill the 3.75″ line? Probably not completely, especially with a large release for a film such as The Force Awakens, but we may see more simplified figures, smaller scales or more of a focus on 6″. For the Marvel toy releases, which have much less history in the 4″ scale, Hasbro went to 2.5″ figures for their Guardians of the Galaxy toys and the upcoming Age of Ultron releases are closer to 3″ but not the highly articulated and detailed 3.75″ we’ve seen previously for Iron Man, Thor and the first Captain America movie.

With as much trouble as Hasbro has had getting their current product to retail, and The Force Awakens rumored for a September toy launch, it’s probably not surprising that we didn’t see any new announcements but not showing even the previously announced toys was a hit. By all accounts Hasbro knocked the ball out of the park on Transformers and Marvel Legends reveals, but that doesn’t lessen the blow to Star Wars fans. We’re hoping that there will be some The Force Awakens reveals at Star Wars Celebration since that is the target audience for what will eventually take over toy aisles later this year, but we’ll have to temper our excitement until then.

Star Wars Movie Realization Line Officially Released in US

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Published on: February 16, 2015

Tamashii Nations Star Wars Toy Fair 2015

Tamashii Nations kicked off their Star Wars line of Movie Realization figures with a Samurai version of Darth Vader and will soon be releasing a Stormtrooper. Until now, those figures were only available in the US via importers such as BigBadToyStore but now, Tamashii Nations has announced on their Facebook page that they’ll be officially bringing the line to the US this Spring.

Showing a photo from Toy Fair, which includes Vader and the Stormtrooper, it’s also mentioned that “even more” items will be coming in the future.

Hot Wheels Debuts New Star Wars Cars, Vehicles and Playsets

Categories: Toy Fair 2015
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Published on: February 14, 2015

Hot Wheels is showing off several new Star Wars items at Toy Fair including new Character Cars and Vehicles along with playsets.

Besides the Death Star playset announced yesterday for the Character Car line, new sets were shown off to go with the upcoming Vehicle line. There will be Flight Controllers featuring lights and sounds as well as a Geonosis set with a Homing Spider Droid and a Death Star set.  The playsets will come with cars and vehicles so some of the items listed below may be pack-ins.

There will also be a radio controlled Darth Vader Character Car.

Hot Wheels was showing several Character Cars that are out now so we aren’t listing them, just what was new.

  • Character Cars
    • Boba Fett
    • C1-10P (Chopper)
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Vehicles
    • Naboo Starfighter
    • Blockade Runner
    • AT-AT
    • Republic Gunship
    • Mon Calamari Cruiser
    • Sail Barge
    • Ghost
    • X-Wing
    • Droid Fighter
    • Jango Fett’s Slave I
    • Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced
    • Y-Wing
    • Snowspeeder
    • TIE Fighter
    • Sith Infiltrator
    • Boba Fett’s Slave I
    • Millennium Falcon
    • Anakin Skywalker’s ROTS Jedi Starfighter
    • Star Destroyer
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