The Force will be 40 years strong this summer. On May 25, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope turns 40 years old. Yes, it’s been four decades since the world was first introduced to the galaxy far, far away. And to celebrate the milestone, Hasbro will be rolling out a new line of collectibles that pays homage to the very first set of Star Wars action figures released by Kenner, which is now owned by Hasbro, back in 1978.
At the New York Toy Fair, Hasbro revealed 12 Black Series Star Wars action figures that will arrive in two batches this year. The first batch – Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, and Darth Vader – arrives in April. While the second batch – Chewbacca, C-3PO, Stormtrooper, Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and Tusken Raider – arrives in June. Except for R2-D2 and Jawa for obvious reasons, all action figures will be at least 6 inches in height.
Now, most of these have already been released in the past as part of Hasbro’s Black Series. The big difference will be in the packaging. These upcoming action figures will all come in boxes modeled after the original Kenner packaging for maximum nostalgia effect. Each action figure is priced at $19.99. With that price tag, you might want to buy at least two of each – one for your personal collection and one for re-sale in the future. Maybe a dozen Stormtroopers if you want a full squad. Check out all 12 action figures below.
And that’s not all. Hasbro will also release a recreation of Kenner’s infamous Early Bird Certificate, which was sold back in 1977 as a sort of apology for failing to produce the original action figures in time for the holiday season. History lesson: The Early Bird Certificate contained vouchers which could be used later in 1978 to redeem the delayed Star Wars action figures. It also came with a cardboard backdrop for the action figures. Hasbro will also sell a $40 “Legacy Pack” featuring a recreation of said cardboard backdrop, but this time with Darth Vader also included in the package. You can use this cardboard backdrop to display all 12 action figures once you have collected them all. As a bonus, the cardboard backdrop will also have an alternate design on the other side, making it reversible. Check out the Legacy Pack below.
Take note that Darth Vader will also be available in non-Legacy Pack for $20 like the others. Furthermore, at least two more action figures will join the original 12: Luke Skywalker in his orange X-Wing suit and R5-D4, the red-and-white droid initially bought by Luke and his uncle from the Jawas before the poor thing malfunctioned. The former will be exclusively available at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, while the latter will be available at GameStop retail stores. Check out the two exclusive action figures below.
No doubt this is Hasbro’s best set of nostalgia-fueled Star Wars collectibles yet. There’s simply no beating those Kenner-inspired packaging and that Early Bird Certificate recreation. Avid collectors will no longer stalk around eBay in hopes of someone giving up their 1978 vintage Star Wars action figures. Now, they can have all of them for 20 bucks each. That’s way cheaper than the hundreds of dollars they would have spent on eBay or other outlets.
The Star Wars saga continues this year with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the main saga and the second in the sequel trilogy. It stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and other returning cast members from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15. Rian Johnson directed the movie, with The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams as co-producer.