HASCON kicked off on Friday, September 8th with the Star Wars: 40 Years of Play Panel which featured the Hasbro brand team, including Andy Ochiltree, Steve Evans, Mark Boudreaux, Patrick Schneider, Meghann Noonan, and Kevan Maciver.
The team spoke about the history of Star Wars and had a few slides showing vintage Kenner toys both on store shelves and packaged shots which they used to illustrate how the classic toys, such as lightsabers and radio controlled toys, were still a large part of the play pattern today. They followed their slides up by introducing new lightsabers, NERF rifles, an updated RC BB-8, and interactive Port from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Kylo Ren has a new lightsaber with light and sound features and there’s a new Bladebuilders lightsaber that will be either blue or red, Jedi or Sith, depending on what attachments are installed. Captain Phasma has a new NERF blaster and there’s also a new NERF rifle for the First Order Stormtroopers.
Following up the role play items was a look at the new Black Series 6-inch figures. They had slides for the Luke and Rey speeders and Centerpiece dioramas which are out now. Wave 2, which was available at most, if not all, Toys-R-Us stores, was shown off along with Supreme Leader Snoke who has not made it to retail yet. Snoke will come out as a GameStop exclusive with his throne but also in the standard Black Series packaging at regular retail.
What we felt was the best reveal of the panel is the upcoming Black Series Darth Vader role play helmet. It has three pieces, neck, face mask, and helmet, and assembles magnetically. There are sound features when you assemble it as well as breathing and other sounds. The team had fun recreating all of the sounds for the audience and if pulled off, may be one of the best helmets Hasbro has done in their new Black Series role play line (including what they’ve done with the Marvel Legend Series line). We asked Steve Evans later in the weekend if it would have a higher price than the previous releases but he indicated that it wouldn’t. We’re hoping that we’ll see this in the &80 – $100 range like the Stormtrooper helmet.
Moving on to The Vintage Collection, wave 1 will feature a mix of repacked figures and one new one, Supreme Leader Snoke. The wave will also include Rey, Kylo Ren, Jyn Erso, First Order Stormtrooper, and a Hoth Rebel Soldier. The Rogue One Assault Tank will also be the first Vintage Collection vehicle for the new release. Hasbro was showing off an exploded view of the components that make up the toy and the detail is amazing.
Finally, they rounded out the panel with a look at upcoming Force Link figures from The Last Jedi which will be Rey (Island Journey), Luke Skywalker (Jedi Exile), General Leia Organa, DJ (Canto Bight), R2-D2, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. There’s also a 3-pack that includes Rose Tiko in First Order Disguise, along with BB-8 and Bb-9E. Yoda and Obi-Wan stick to the current 5 points of articulation but have different styles of articulation that we’ve seen to this point. Obi-Wan, for example, has joints that allow him to be posed with his hands on his belt or holding his lightsaber with both hands. If you watch our Hasbro Q&A, we asked about this and it seems that going forward, where it makes sense for the character and fits in the budget, we could see different articulation points on action figures.
Media credentials provided by Hasbro and HASCON.