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Funko Star Wars Super Shogun Warriors. I’m not a big Boba fan – but I rather like this, he reminds me of a robot bank I had when I was a kid.
Right now the whole world awaits the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the two trailers that have been released are exciting and seem to heavily focus on a growing new threat to the Republic and a central female protagonist played by Daisy Riley known only as “Rey.”
Today Vanity Fair magazine released a pic of an up and coming issue devoted to “The Force Awakens” with the new cast by Annie Lebowitz that harkens back to when “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones” both came out. (Don’t get me started on the cover tag line “The Empire Reboots!” – hello it’s a story continuation, not a reboot you idiots!) What we can tell immediately from the photo is that Rey is certainly the central figure.
So if “The Force Awakens” has it’s story surrounding a female protagonist, what are the chances that Disney and Lucas Film Limited will create merchandise aimed specifically for girls for the film?
If you think the chances are good, think again. Hasbro’s attempts with the prequels to market to girls fell flat and as a result, they’ve never attempted to merchandise Star Wars to girls again. (Read my article “Where are the Padme dolls and collectibles” article for more.)
Currently Avengers 2 has hit the theaters and Black Widow, who is the most popular female comic book character in film today is blatantly missing from all merchandise. Irate cries from fans were met w/ shoulder shrugs from Disney execs who truly only see boys as a viable market for superhero movies and refuse to try to expand the market to girls.
This is asinine.
The entertainment world is a different landscape than it was back in 1999 when “The Phantom Menace” came out. Nerd girls have always been out there and now they’re reading, writing, drawing, and creating their own comic books that depict strong female characters. In the world of toys, Mattel’s “Monster High” toy line that’s filled w/ dolls who are not glamorous and can be viewed as scary are outselling Barbie by a huge gap. They’re a girls toy line that men also collect, proving that if done right sci-fi/fantasy/ horror collectibles can easily cross gender lines.
Today sci-fi television’s numbers are skewing towards equality: 60% male, 40% female are the viewing stats for the various sci-fi related genres. Men tend to lean towards more hard, technical sci-fi, women love supernatural, paranormal sci-fi. “Star Wars” has always been a unique franchise because it’s “sci-fi” meets western meets mythology. There’s something in the universe to appeal to anyone, regardless of your sex, geographic location, or age.
So if this is the growing trend that boys/girls interests are now blurred (need further proof of that, goto a convention where Chandler Riggs from “The Walking Dead” has a panel – you’ll be shocked – and horrified – by the vast numbers of little girls who come up and want to ask him questions) why is Disney so disinterested in trying to make more money by selling merchandise for everyone? Ever since the ’90’s with “The Little Mermaid” being a smash hit, Disney cashed in on the princess success wagon and rebuilt their financially crumbling empire by making a fortune off of their princess films. They tried unsuccessfully to find films on their own that were as lucrative as the princess films for the boy market.
They finally found that happy place with Pixar – but even Pixar films don’t bring in as much boy merchandising money as the princess films. Enter their unions with Marvel and Star Wars. Both of these franchises are huge for merchandise rights. They already had built in MALE fanbases and Disney wanted to exploit that by bringing in dollars that can be on the same scale as the Princess lines but now from the boy market that they never had a hold on.
If Disney were to have candid talks with Hasbro about how merchandising sales have worked for them in the past, Hasbro will tell them that their attempt to make girls doll lines fell flat in 1999 and their pregnant Padme figures for “Revenge of the Sith” did not sell. This must mean girl figures don’t sell, right and girls don’t like these toys?
Well no, I explained in my other article why the Padme/Queen Amidala dolls didn’t sell – and the pregnant Padme figures were aimed at BOYS, not girls. It’s not shocking that boys would find no play value in a pregnant girl figure, whereas a series of pregnant Padme figures/dolls aimed at girls would have sold well.
There were leaked sketches a while back that there will be a 6″ Black Series Rey figure and there will likely be other Rey or old Leia toys in the Hasbro toy line. There are also two other female characters who were added later who will likely get figures. This is good news, but they’re still toys aimed at boys and not girls.
Her Universe is out there for girls to get their geek t-shirts and apparel on – but will there be Star Wars shirts for girls at mass market places like Walmart and Target? Will Disney ask Mattel or Jakks Pacific to make dolls of the main characters for girls like they did with “Cinderella” or “Maleficent?” I’d like to think that these things will happen but I’m doubtful. If none of this happens, if the toys are only made for boy and girls are ignored, will Disney even care or pay attention to angry cries from fans and mothers, or will they just say, “Pffft – here’s a new Elsa doll, shut up.”
The next generation of Star Wars toys, collectibles, books, and apparel is in range.
StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will land in our galaxy on September 4, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. — “Force Friday” — with stores around the world opening their doors at midnight for a special celebration of all things Star Wars. It will be a day long remembered.
“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.
Fans wanting to be the first to get their hands on Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise can set their hyperspace and social media coordinates now: They will be able to visit their local retailer starting at midnight on September 4, and are encouraged to document their experience using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness. A wide-range of products — from toys and collectibles, to books and comics, ebooks and apps, to apparel and lifestyle accessories — will be available at mass retailers and Disney Store locations worldwide, as well as on DisneyStore.com.
Alright so the big Star Wars store ( Star Trader) there didn’t have quite as much exclusive stuff as I was expecting – I was looking for vinylmation guys – little Disney Character toys figures dressed up like SW characters – nope, none :(
They did have a Donald Duck/Darth Maul mug – several Disney themed t-shirts (my favorite being Darth Vader on the Dumbo ride – I didn’t see that until I was leaving.) Lots of shirts and stuff for kiddos. They had a big “build your own lightsaber” station – kids went nuts over that.
There were 2 really high end girly things that I drooled over but considering I’m buying a new computer this weekend I couldn’t justify getting them. They had a cute vinyl bowling ball style purse that looked like R2-D2 w/ matching wallet and they had some exclusive fabric purses by Dooney and Burke (I didn’t bother even asking the prices on those – I knew those would be expensive.)
They did have 2 little stuffed Mickey’s who were X-Wing pilots and Jedis – I picked up the X-Wing Pilot. They had lots of funny hats and the Yoda and Chewie backpacks.They had big vinyl Yodas who just look weird to me because he’s too tall hence why I passed on him. They had cute little stuffed ewoks for the kids, there was a Hasbro vehicle of some sort that was a Disneyland exclusive that I didn’t look too closely at.
I picked up a Vader Helmet (the back side of it) that has mouse ears on top of it. They also had a large stuffed laytex Jabba the Hutt that I picked up (much to the confusion of the people at the desk “wait someone is actually buying Jabba?”) He was only $30 and even though he’s facing the wrong way – he’ll work great for being displayed w/ my 12″ figures and is hella cheaper than trying to find the Sideshow version.
I really wanted that R2 bag. I totally spaced on taking photos in the store.
They had all of the Disney 12″ figures – they’re big and look great! They’re definitely on my list of items to pick up, I wasn’t about to get them there and have to haul them around the park all day though. Not necessary since you can get them at the D stores or online.
They could’ve used having some cool posters for Star Tours. There were a few shirts aimed at women but not much else other than the purses – but there was enough stuff that I was satisfied w/ my purchases. I want to go again now when I’m armed w/ more cash :p
The upgrade of Star Tours by the way is AMAZING.
Also photographing my new 12″ Hasbro Luke who although he’s cheap I think his sculpt is great.
Hi all – sorry I haven’t been around. The last year my computer had massive problems which completely interrupted my blogging life. I promise I am back to updating. For constant SW updates – follow Star Wars Shrine on Facebook!
ToyFair is this weekend and we’re getting an eyeful of all of the new SW merchandise that will hit stores until TFA comes out. Photos are all courtesy of Rebelscum.
Here’s a running list of new goodies:
New models – including Luke/Leia, Snowtrooper, and Hoth droids.
Click through Rebelscum’s gallery for the new lightsaber chopsticks and Grilled Cheese sandwich makers
has a whole mess of stuff that they’re bringing out this year including a large scale Imperial Shuttle and Tie Fighter. They’ve got some new funky build a figure things that adult collectors seem split on.
Click HERE to peruse all of RS’s gallery.
Jakks Pacific –
Jakks is offering a whopping 48″ Darth Vader this year along w/ a nice assortment of 18″ figures including ANH Luke w/ poncho, Greedo, R2, Yoda, Jedi Luke, and Sandtrooper (all of whom I want )
Click HERE to peruse
Masterpiece collection Obi-Wan Kenobi. Guhhhhhh…..my wallet aches…
I bet you new knew you’d want this…
Yodanews is reporting that we’ve got 3 new taters coming – Boba Fett, C-3PO, and Princess Leia. Also that we’ll have SW nesting dolls! Here’s a sneak peek – more to come when they post live pics.
Blade Builders – now you can create your own crazy lightsabers. Here’s an article on the new line that will be launching in Fall.
BTW they have a huge station for this sort of thing at Disneyland.
Apparently the Hasbro panel is going on this morning – they didn’t announce any Black Series figures but everyone assumed that they’ll be out on the floor – so pics will be coming. These were sent to JediNews from Hasbro.UK – so they’re a peek at likely what people will see.
New Mission Series and Legendary Figures
Jedinews has pics of new figures in package. Click HERE to see them all!
Click HERE – Galactic Heroes are returning!
New Hasbro pics – courtesy of Galactic Hunter.
6″ Black Series – Leia looks AMAZING.
Han and Luke are galactic boogying….
Greetings – Hasbro’s panel today showcased their new offerings for 2014-2015. Click HERE to view more figures including 3.75″ Yavin Ceremony Leia to view everything!
Make your own Falcon Cakes!
Big fat hat tip to Barbara at haydenfannews for posting about this new video from China’s CCTV-6 that features a 30-minute interview with Hayden Christensen and Anthony Daniels. Actress Joan Chen conducts the interview in English, so don’t worry if your Mandarin is a little rusty (though Daniels shows some skills there at the end). I don’t know if this was taped in the U.S. or with some expats in China and apparently there are other interviews around with the likes of Matthew Wood and Kathleen Kennedy.
This is brand spankin’ new since the post date is today and there’s some reference to the Lunar New Year. It’s pretty awesome to see Hayden chat about Star Wars and mention a couple of things I’d never heard before, like Robert DeNiro visiting the set of ROTS while they were filming the end of the big lightsaber duel. Anthony Daniels is his…
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