From Empire Strikes Back’s 40th anniversary to The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, we now have a better look at Hasbro’s plans for Star wars in 2020.
I was very curious to see what Hasbro’s Star Wars toy line would look like in 2020. Sure, we already knew we were at the precipice of the Baby Yoda product tsunami (what I like to refer to as the Baby Yodassiance), and that Clone Wars’ final season would most likely bring with it some new animated figures… but the New Trilogy is over, and Star Wars’ future, while certainly far from dire, is less defined than it’s been in half a decade.
After Hasbro’s Fan Event at New York Toy Fair, I can say I still don’t have a very clear vision of the Star Wars toy line. What I do know is, the Spring and Summer will be devoted largely to The Empire Strikes Back, in celebration of the second best Star Wars movie ever’s 40th anniversary. That celebration will include two waves of Black Series figures on retro Kenner style cardbacks (Spring’s Wave One with Yoda, AT-AT Driver, Hoth Leia, Bespin Han, and Bespin Luke with an all new portrait with photoreal paint deco; Summer’s Wave Two with photoreal Lando, TIE Fighter Pilot, R2D2 with Dagobah deco, a Hoth Trooper we’ll talk more about later, and Luke in Snowspeeder uniform).
We’ll also see a deluxe Imperial Probe Droid, a new set of ESB-themed Retro Collection figures and reproduction of the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game, and the showstopper– an Amazon exclusive Black Series scaled Snowspeeder with Dak Ralter figure. It all looked quite nice, and will make for a great capsule collection within the larger Star Wars toy universe.
So Star Wars’ past seems well represented, but what about the future? So far, in addition to the range of The Child toys that debuted before last Christmas, we’ve seen a few Clone Wars Season 7 additions to the Galaxy of Adventures line (Ahsoka Tano and a loyalist Clone Trooper), an incredibly rad role play Darksaber, and a stunning Animatronic Edition of The Child with incredibly naturalistic head and eye movements and a wide range of sounds and motions (even a Force power arm raise to beckon chickie nuggies!). But that’s it. No word on a Beskar armored Mandalorian, Greef Karga, or any of the other great new characters that won our hearts in the flagship Disney+ series. Despite the movie’s mixed reaction, we saw no new Rise of Skywalker figures, neither the rest of the Knights of Ren, nor Nathan Drake cosplay Poe Dameron, nor even a deluxe zombie Palpatine. I get why Hasbro may have opted to lean back from the New Trilogy after Episode 9’s less than stellar reception, but love it or hate it, many of us would have to admit the movie featured many more cool character designs which would look great in plastic.
The good news about the future of Star Wars is this. Baby Yoda is a phenom, and the preorders are already proving this little guy might be the next Cabbage Patch Kid in terms of consumer mania. Galaxy of Adventures is rolling on, and will be joined by the super-fun Mission Fleet line, another kid-focused new iteration which highlights the awesome vehicles that help make Star Wars so iconic and beloved. And Hasbro’s Star Wars team promised that Toy Fair would not be the last we hear from them in the near future, with more reveals set to coincide with the home release of Rise of Skywalker in March and May the 4th in, well, May.
So while I still don’t know what the future of Star Wars is, I think I have a pretty good feeling about it.