Star Wars Toys Are Back!!
Hasbro acquired the Kenner Toy Company in 1991, and made the decision to bring the granddaddy of all toy lines back to life. Hasbro (still under the Kenner brand) released the first new Star Wars action figures the world had seen in 10 years, when the Power of the Force line was released in 1995. The line was dubbed “Power of the Force 2” by most fans and collectors to avoid the confusion of the previous Power of the Force line, which was released by Kenner in 1985. The line was well received by most fans and proved that, even without new movies, Star Wars remained just as popular with the public. This line was not only very popular with collectors and fans, but also with kids at the time. A younger generation was being introduced to the classic Star Wars characters their parents grew up with, and they really seemed to like it. The Power of the Force line remains one of the largest action figure lines ever produced for Star Wars, or any other toy line for that matter.
The Prequel Movies!
Not only was “The Phantom Menace” the first Star Wars movie released since 1983, but it also meant we would have our fist new Star Wars action figures from a new movie as well. Hasbro released their new figures and toys with fan events all across the globe in March of 1999, and the figures were gobbled up by kids and collectors alike as soon as they reached the shelves. It seemed like Star Wars was back with a vengeance…….until the movie actually came out. The backlash began almost immediately and action figure sales took a sharp decline after the movie was released, as Hasbro overloaded figures of the main characters in the movie. Hasbro decided to changed things up a bit when the 2nd prequel movie, Attack of the Clones, was released in 2002. Instead of focusing on just that movie, the series was named Star Wars Saga, and included characters from all the movies to that point. This allowed the Star Wars Saga line to go on past the usual timeframe for a typical summer release. The third prequel, Revenge of the Sith, was released in 2005, and Hasbro went back to the dedicated line to the particular movie with no other characters aside the Episode III ones.
Post Prequel Era!
Once the Prequel Trilogy came to an end in 2005, Hasbro needed a way to promote their Star Wars lines, without the benefit of further movies. George Lucas had went on record at the time, that he would not be making any further movies, so Hasbro needed to come up with a strategy. They decided to spread their focus to all Star Wars mediums, instead of any one in particular. After all, Hasbro had a lot of material to work with at this time, with six movies, the Clone Wars animated series and the Expanded Universe. Hasbro went on to release several Star Wars action figure lines released after the Prequel Trilogy, including the Saga Collection, Legacy Collection, The Clone Wars, and 30th Anniversary Collection. Aside from the Clone Wars line, these new lines used characters from all available sources and it seemed to work very well, with some of them being better than others.
Vintage Collection/Black Series
Hasbro went back to the basics in 2010, and gave us the Vintage Collection. This line was based on the old school packaging from the original movies with a nostalgic throwback. The figures themselves were of course updated with new likenesses and as much detail as they could fit into a 3.75 inch action figure. The line included characters from every released movie at the time, as well as other Star Wars mediums to include the Clone Wars animated series and the Expanded Universe. Hasbro also released a brand new 6 Inch action figure line called The Black Series in 2013. A 3.75 Inch version of the Black Series line was also released and lasted five years. The Black Series would include characters from all Star Wars mediums as well, including all movies, animated series and the Expanded Universe. The character selection for both of these lines was a fantastic mix of old and new, that included many fan favorites and visually stunning figures, but the real beauty of these lines was the sculpting and detail. Both lines were extremely popular when introduced, and are still going strong to this day, with no sign of stopping on the horizon.
The Disney Movies!
When the Walt Disney Entertainment Company purchased Lucasfilm in October of 2013, they promised that we would see more Star Wars movies with the continuation of the Skywalker Saga in Episodes 7, 8, and 9. Disney was true to their word and gave us The Force Awakens (Episode 7) in December of 2015. Force Awakens went on to become the biggest domestic box office movie of all time, so naturally, a toyline was quickly released to accompany the hit movie. The Force Awakens line would be followed by Rogue One, Last Jedi, and Solo action figure lines. None of these series really managed to move the needle very much, as they sat on retail shelves for quite some time, and can still be easily found for cheap prices on the secondary market. The figures from the last Star Wars movie, Rise of Skywalker, did not get their own line, but were instead mixed into the various Vintage Collection and Black Series waves.
The vintage Star Wars action figure lines from the 70’s and 80’s are the gold standard when it comes to successful toy lines, so the modern age Star Wars lines had a lot to live up to when they began rolling out in 1995. The new age Star Wars toy lines may not be the same as the old Kenner figures, but they didn’t have to be. Hasbro re-introduced Star Wars to new generations of fans and kids all over the globe, and have firmly established their own identity. Just like every other toy line, the values of certain items can greatly fluctuate over time. This is based on several factors, including the item’s time period, scarcity, consumer demand and overall condition. The good news for Star Wars collectors is there’s ALWAYS a demand for items from this franchise, as Hasbro has created some collectible and truly memorable items. For the most part, carded or boxed items can be easily found on the secondary market, but can vary in value, depending on which line or series they were from. Typically, the vehicles and playsets from each line are the most expensive items from that series, especially if they are the bigger ships. The older figures from the Power of the Force line are starting to creep up in value, especially since the generation from that era are becoming more nostalgic with items they grew up with. There is an extremely strong market for the Black Series and Vintage Collection lines, but they are definitely moving upwards in value. Every Star Wars line may not be the gold mine of the vintage stuff, but the key is to collect the lines that you like and not worry so much about the value. The good news though, is that items from MOST Hasbro Star Wars lines are increasing in value on the secondary market each year, and are definitely worth picking up when found at a good price. The market remains extremely strong due to an ever present Star Wars nostalgia and a rabid fan base. The figures, playsets, vehicles, and other accessories from the various Star Wars lines will only continue to increase in value as these figures and sets become harder to find in the future.
Click These Links to See The Individual Star Wars Pages
Power of the Force 2
Episode I – Phantom Menace
Power of the Jedi
Star Wars Saga
Clone Wars 2003
Original Trilogy Collection
Revenge of the Sith
The Saga Collection
Thirtieth Anniversary Collection
The Clone Wars
Black Series 6 Inch
Black Series 3.75 Inch
The Force Awakens
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