Star Wars Collecting: The Best and The Worst

In 2001 I wrote a “Best and Worst” article for CreatureCantina.com to sum up the year that had just ended. Since then it’s become an annual event with expanding categories as new Star Wars license holders have brought out new collectibles or we’ve had new conventions or other events.

2001 – I found it! The first Best and Worst post that I wrote way back in the Power of the Jedi days. I first posted it to the PSWCS group so this is the first time it’s been online. Highlights include the last good Qui-Gon Jinn figure, the Bespin Playset and Episode 1 on DVD.

2002– Highlights include Attack of the Clones action figures, the new Unleashed line and Celebration II in Indianapolis.

2003 – In 2003 we saw Gentle Giant kick it up a notch with their Boba Fett bust and we had the first installments of the Animated Clone Wars cartoon (and action figures!).

2004 – Hasbro treated us to the Vintage OTC figures, Lucasfilm finally released the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD and GG released so much new product I had to create an all new section for Busts and Statues.

2005 – The last movie, Revenge of the Sith, was a huge hit in theaters, we went back to Indy for Celebration III and Hasbro dumped 68 new basic figures on us in the span of six months.

2006 – Hasbro and the other companies with the Star Wars license blasted into the first year without a future movie and kept the various lines going full bore. Plenty of exclusives and regular retail items were available, some good, some bad. Read on to find out the hits and misses.

2007 – The year 2007 was big for several reasons; We celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, Celebration IV was held in Los Angeles, Europe got in the game with their own Celebration Europe held in London and Master Replicas lost their license, the first large company to do so since the modern collectibles market took off in 1999. As always, there were both good and bad parts to the year and once again, we go to the list.

2008 – In 2008 we saw the debut of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in theaters and then on the Cartoon Network. Hasbro launched their new Clone Wars toy line with a big Midnight Madness event and wowed fans with the Big Millennium Falcon (BMF) and AT-TE. Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination continued its rounds of the country with a stop in Philadelphia and The Force Unleashed video game was finally released to much fanfare. Read on for a recap of the year 2008.

2009 – The biggest thing that 2009 will be noted for is the terrible distribution and failing lines from Hasbro. There were high points, including the Turbo Tank and the continuation of the successful Clone Wars line, but Saga figures were scarce at retail. Star Wars in Concert was the big event for the year, which closed with the announcement of Celebration V in Orlando for 2010.

2010 – The year started off slowly with Hasbro changing plans for end-of-line releases and slow retail sales, but ended high with Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando and theater screenings of the new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

2011 – Hasbro had some distribution issues and odd case ratios for action figures, Lego dropped a huge set on us and StarWarsShop.com closed its virtual doors. Read on for our 11th annual Star Wars Collecting: The Best and Worst of 2011.

2012 – While there were several high points in 2012, including Star Wars Celebration VI and the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney, the collecting scene wasn’t nearly as fun as it has been in the past.  Hasbro took a lot of heat for things both in and out of their control but Lego, Sideshow and Gentle Giant offered interesting alternatives to the action figure market.  A lot of things are in flux and fingers crossed that 2013 brings good things.

2013 – We thought 2012 was a bad year overall and then 2013 rolled around.  With the cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the 3D movies being pulled from their theatrical releases, Hasbro had to scramble to salvage their action figure line, with mixed results.  Lego released some interesting sets but our two favorite items on the Best list are “The Bounty Hunter Code” and Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl.

2014 – This year we’re starting to see an influx of new toys and collectibles from Asian market companies such as Bandai, MediCom, Kaiyodo, and Herocross while Lego continues a steady release of fun toys. Star Wars Rebels introduced us to new characters and Hasbro followed up with toy  releases but it was rather quiet at retail for much of the year. Looking ahead to 2015, with another Celebration and a new movie, it may not be bad to have time to take a breath.

2015 – For the first time in 10 years we had a new movie release with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and that meant new characters, new collectibles and more to come as this kicks off a new trilogy. We also had another Celebration, this time in Anaheim, and Sphero became a household name (among collectors) for their innovative BB-8 droid.