The Sad, Sorry State of Star Wars Toys
Look at the picture to the left. What is it? Is it the Millennium Falcon? Or is it Han Solo’s pal Chewbacca? Is it both? And what have they done to Chewie’s crotch?
What hath Hasbro wrought?
What you’re looking at there is a Star Wars Transformer, the latest in a loooooooong line of Kenner/Hasbro toys that attempt to capitalize off of the (fast fleeting) memory of Star Wars in the minds of today’s children. How can you sex up a line of toys spawned by a 30 year old film for Generation Wii? Try synergy.
Michael Bay, the rich man’s Uwe Boll, is helming a big screen live action star spangled version of the Transformers that will be hitting millions of theaters near you in the coming weeks. Will kids want Transformers toys after seeing this film by the man that gave us Pearl Harbor? It’s hard to say, but I think Hasbro has seen the writing on the walls and know that their 30 year old mainstay is not aging well.
One only has to look at the current Star Wars site that Hasbro maintains to see how little they have left in their arsenal. First off, kill the music, Hasbro, because you couldn’t have made it much louder. Once you get past the ear-splitting theme music and into the section that includes the toys by category the boredom begins. What is Darth Vader doing riding a motorcycle? It’s pathetic and silly. From the site –
As outlaws, rebels and renegades take to the road in a galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars CUSTOMS shop designs and builds awesome choppers with expert precision. These choppers are built to the exact specifications of their owners, each with a few special modifications.
You want speed? You got it. Horsepower? Ditto. Attitude? Plenty to spare.
So hop on and hold tight as this custom chopper cruises all over the galaxy!
Rev it up and let it go for smooth riding action! Detailed chopper comes with lightsaber.
I guess “If you like American Chopper, you’ll love Star Wars CUSTOMS!”
Next up is ATTACKTIX, which I think are some sort of nerd-pleasing role playing game pieces that can actually shoot/fight/etc.. The problem is that some of the pieces have weapons the size of the character carrying said weapon. And the picture on the main page of Chewbacca with a huge wavy hand is not comforting.
Last up is the FORCE BATTLERS, large, cartoony figures that barely resemble the characters you love (Chewbacca) or ones you couldn’t care less about (General Grievous, Jango Fett, Emperor Palpatine). Each comes with weapons that were probably never used by the character (Chewbacca has a freaking shield!) or silly weapons (Palpatine comes with, get this, balls of energy).
Granted, Star Wars figures were always the hallmark of the toy line, and Hasbro has come a long way in updating the figures we 6 and 7 year olds horded on the playground, but how many times should I buy an R2-D2 figure? Thee or four times? Sure, the latest one looks like the real deal and is very detailed, compared to that clunky clicky one that I had as a kid.
But then it comes down to economics. Does Hasbro need my money? Star Wars figures aren’t like buying consumables like milk and bread; you hang onto them and put them away in airtight baggies, praying for that day that someone will pay you 100X what it was worth when you bought it.
Hasbro, let Star Wars die. You’ve kicked your dead Tauntaun enough. Let it go.