Welcome to JediBusiness' Community SPECULATIONS around Hasbro's Star Wars toys coming out in 2015! Since we still don't know what Hasbro will release for Star Wars The Force Awakens next year, we thought it would be fun to see what the Star Wars collecting community predicts we can look forward to. Here are our guesses around what and when toys will come out for one of the most anticipated movies to be released since The Phantom Menace in 1999.
A big thank you goes out to fellow collectors Arnie and Marjorie Carvalho, Gus Lopez, James Burns, Jake Stevens, Jason Luttrull, Jayson Krebsbach, Paul Harrison, Brandon Flores, Corey and F. Asis for your time, input and your support on this project.
If YOU want to join the conversation, let us know your expectations for The Force Awakens toys next year in the comments below please!
James Burns (from JediNews.co.uk): We may see the Celebration Exclusive which I think might be the first product available from The Force Awakens. Some of the very big stores (TRU, Wal*Mart etc.) have already seen some stuff from the film but I doubt these will be on public display at Toy Fair – I expect they’ll be a locked room for special accounts to see some of these. Also, we normally get a hint at New York Toy Fair of the SDCC reveal too. Alternatively, they could put out an Early Bird wave featuring Han, Chewie, Leia, Droids etc. that wouldn’t give much away. Also, we know that a Corellian fighter, very similar to or perhaps even the Millennium Falcon, will appear in the film alongside some new X-Wings so those could be shown without giving too much away.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): If anything, I’d expect to see figures of BB-8, Rey, Poe Dameron and stormtrooper — nothing we haven’t seen before and possibly a tease for the packaging. I suspect that most reveals will be held back for SDCC.
Gus Lopez (from TheSWCA.com): I would guess that it’s too early for The Force Awakens. Maybe a sneak preview figure. But I really don’t know.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): I do not expect to see any TFA figures or vehicles. I think they will show Saga Legends OT & Rebels figures, and some new Black Series 3&3/4 and 6 inch from the first 6 films.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): I don’t have any inside information, but I believe we will be hearing about the last of what will make up The Black Series line. I believe it is MUCH too early to see any The Force Awakens stuff aside from maybe one or two “Sneak Preview” items which they seem to always do now. I believe we may also find out if the line will be kid focused or collector focused, and I shutter to think which way this will go. I pray they come back to super-articulation wholly; for all lines.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): I believe there is a great possibility we’ll get a packaging reveal as well as a few figures from TFA in February. Looking back at last Toy Fair, we were shown the first wave of carded figures, Mission Series and vehicles from the Saga Legends Rebels and they did not fully hit retail until just last month (nine months later). Also the point of Toy Fair is to advertise and educate retailers on the products that will be available throughout the year, so there will be Episode VII product there but much of it will most likely be shown behind closed doors.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) We expect we will see a sneak peak of the card design and maybe one or two figures (in a PowerPoint, not in person). The movie is so far away in terms of actual product being ready to show. Would I like to see the toys? Absolutely. Do I think it will happen? Not really.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) I don't think we will see any The Force Awakens products till Celebration Anaheim. It will be all Star Wars Rebels based.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): Rebels/Saga Legends will continue to have a strong presence at retail this summer with a few waves of TBS sprinkled in. With next year being a movie year, the first half will probably be steady with a ramp up toward the fall.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): I don’t think so. This is the last hurrah for Hasbro to get everything they have planned out under the TBS banner, and I believe they will make a concerted effort to make all of these planned releases happen. If they decide to keep The Force Awakens line heterogeneous from the other potential lines they may release, or even if the line becomes generally homogenous, either way I believe the goal will be to get most stuff out before the merchandising for the new film begins. They’re clearly behind schedule. Figures that should have been out in October are now not scheduled until as late as March 2015. We are evidently running out of time very, very quickly. And the March 2015 arrival dates don’t even include the newly announced figures from NYCC.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): I expect a slow summer, with a wave or two of the current lines.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) Yes. Hasbro has already indicated a reduction in the quantity of their output, as we've already seen with the pull-back in terms of 3.75-inch figures. Plus it makes sense to build a hunger for Force Awakens toys. I would think we'll get a wave or two of both 3.75-Inch and 6-Inch black series figures. Keep in mind there are so many different licenses competing for shelf space in Summer, 2015: Jurassic World, Avengers Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and maybe even Terminator Genisys and Tomorrowland. We think that if it's not current, it's not in the popular toy buying category.
What's going to be interesting is the increasing number of licensees for Star Wars. I think that we are going to see products that we have never seen before, like we are with Marvel. Disney seems to do a lot of cookie cutter things with items, like Hasbro. What items you see for Frozen, you will see for Marvel. And Star Wars. Lots of items in the $1 to $2 mark, plus housewares and the like. Things are going to be different. And it's okay.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): Typically, summer is a slow time for action figure products as retailers have few holidays to capitalize on so yes I believe it will be fairly dead. Also I would assume that Hasbro will have a lot of its resources tied up with producing Episode VII merch. The only exception might be if Rebels Season Two debuts throughout the summer so it can conclude in the fall before the movie premiere then we might see some Rebels tie-in product over the summer.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) I want to believe that things will change from Hasbro, but it seems more and more less likely, so ultimately, no I do not think things will change till Fall 2015 when The Force Awakens merchandise launches.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): The rumors have been hinting at September which would make sense for retailers and their holiday season resets and promotions but this would be a bit limiting for Hasbro on what they could reveal three months before the film’s release. The last four “Midnight Madness” toy release events have taken place between 2-6 weeks prior to their respective films. Because of this I can see a small assortment of characters, ones already seen in teasers and trailers, released in September and a larger more formal release a few weeks before December 18th.
James Burns (from JediNews.co.uk): This is still being decided and determined. In order for the toys to meet the needs of the retailers they actually need to be in stores as early as possible so that they can be included in seasonal advertising etc. I expect we’ll know more soon – personally, I think some will be available in October with the rest nearer the film’s release.
Gus Lopez (from TheSWCA.com): I would expect that like most star wars film releases, product starts to show up a month before the film comes out.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): The last week of September 2015.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): I actually don’t expect to see anything released until November, the month before the film at the earliest. I don’t think any new Star Wars product was scheduled for release more than a month before the film was released to theaters. We have a different schedule to look forward to now, especially since this will be the first Star Wars film not released in May.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) November 2015.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) I believe it was announced for a September on-shelf date. And I bet there are Black Friday deals.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): My guess, as far as Hasbro product, would be a few teases (sneak preview) figures, vehicle, role-play items in sept. with a big release of product for the holidays going into the new year (2016). I think well see other items (plush, books etc.) in Sept/Oct.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): I think Hasbro will stick to smaller cheaper price point vehicles at mass retail (The $25 Falcon is coming), with the exception of perhaps a bigger exclusive vehicle for Toys R US and Amazon.com
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): I don’t think Hasbro will change their vehicle offerings much. They’ll still have the cheaper/smaller scale vehicles to support the Legends line but they’ll also offer regular "collector grade/scale” vehicles as well (Falcon, Xwing, TIE fighter, speeder etc.)
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) Given that the larger vehicles sit until they go on clearance, I expect to see few of the big vehicles. I would expect to see more of the smaller, kid friendly versions. I really expect this to be a kid focused line with a few things to get collectors excited.
What's really interesting is that for each prequel film Hasbro did 1 large "Playset" type object--the Queen's Starfighter for Episode I, the Geonosis Arena for Episode II, the Mustifar volcano for Episode III. For Episode VII I go back and forth--will they just rerelease a retooled/redecoed Big Millennium Flacon? That they will release a Falcon isn't in question, but would they go back to the giant playset model? The smaller, cheaper model? Or an all-new Falcon?
If they do the smaller or retooled BMF, then will there be another playset as well? I can see it going either way.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): In all likelihood, we’ll see all three lines hit retail next year. Hasbro will continue their cheaper Saga Legends line of vehicles (most likely in the form of repaints and rereleases) while offering the larger and more-detailed ships we are accustomed to getting as well. And unless there is a ship that outshines the Falcon (unlikely) we’ll see the return of the BMF in modified form.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) Smaller sized for Rebels and some regular sized for The Force Awakens. I still think TFA will also have the new sized vehicles but also the regular sized ones. A little bit of both.
Gus Lopez (from TheSWCA.com): Hasbro has tried that several times but never for a movie release, so I would guess no.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) I would think that Disney would want to establish a new identity for the new movie. While everyone loves Vintage and it has proven to be popular with collectors, it can't be used forever without line fatigue.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) Yes, but only for select items, similar to the OTC back in 2004.
James Burns (from JediNews.co.uk): I hope so, that will give the film the nostalgic feel that we know JJ is hoping to achieve on screen. We may see the packaging, at least, at Toy Fair. Next year is a VERY busy year for Star Wars – we have Toy Fair (London, Nuremberg and then New York), Celebration in April, San Diego in July, D23 and the New York Comic Con. I expect Disney will want to hold something special back for D23 but that could be the expected new theme park attractions featuring Star Wars.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): I think it will but Hasbro will again have 2 line looks going on at the same time - the Saga Legends 5POA line with a "Force Awakens” stormtrooper packaging design and a Vintage Kenner line look.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): Yes, very limited. Maybe 4 to 6 figures.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): If the planets are aligned correctly, then yes. It will be the smartest things that Hasbro could do. Not only will it interest those who have lost their way with collecting, it will usher in a new generation to grow up with the stuff in a similar manner to how we old fogies did. The vintage Kenner line look is key to a successful Star Wars line. If you look back on Hasbro’s years, the line looks that borrowed vintage Kenner elements were the most successful (even if those lines didn’t contain all-new sculpts or have the greatest action figures in them). (i.e. OTC, TSC, TVC)
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): I do not believe we will see vintage packaging return next year as there will already be a fever pitch for TFA product and Hasbro will not need its nostalgic lure to capture sales. The vintage packaging at this point is a tool Hasbro can pull out when the line and sales begin to lag and that will definitely not be the case next year.
James Burns (from JediNews.co.uk): I think we’ll get a lot of product for The Force Awakens – we already have more Rebels products than we did for the launch of The Clone Wars. Disney will be looking to monetize the film in all ways but I hope Lucasfilm, Hasbro, LEGO, retailers and others warn Disney of the lessons learnt from Episode I and the more recent Vintage Collection wave 1.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): There will be a big push I think but nothing compared to the TPM launch - things were much cheaper to produce back then.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): No. I think it will be more like Revenge of The Sith.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): Anything is possible. But from my own conversations with Hasbro at CVI and various Toy Fairs, I don’t believe they will EVER release the amount of product that they did for The Phantom Menace 3D multimedia event (2012). They and retail are still “paying the price” for the deluge of product that was released that year. Forecasting for the TPM 3D was out of control and the case ratios were horrific. It’s amazing they even made it past the consideration stage. I believe Hasbro will err on the side of caution going forward. If you notice, aside from bad peg-warmers, product is generally much harder to find today than it was in 2012. Plus, the solid case assortments (something that JTA had suggested to Hasbro for years beforehand) are making a big difference in getting figures out there.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): Absolutely! If Rebels, even with its slow and casual product rollout, is any indicator, both Lucasfilm and Disney are willing to invest a lot into the promotion and merchandising for their projects. And if the teaser is any indicator, fan’s lust for new product from The Force Awakens might just rival Episode 1’s in this new social media focused era.
Gus Lopez (from TheSWCA.com): I think the volume of product will be on a whole new level, maybe not saturated the first weeks like Episode I, but I think there will be a lot.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) A metric shit ton. But I'm not sure about a Midnight Release party. There hasn't been one since The Clone Wars in 2008...but if any movie would make it happen it's Star Wars.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) Absolutely! I'm sure TRU will be doing a midnight madness. These figures will probably be super popular. The original cast figures will be very very popular! the sith figures are always popular let's hope stores have enough of both old and new character figures for this release.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): Hasbro knows that the Star Wars line is built around the 3.75 scale and I think their answer to dissolving it previously was the introduction of the 5POA line - which I love. I suspect this will be the same going forward and we’ll continue to get figures in 5POA and super articulation in the 3.75” line and I think the 6” scale won’t be going away for the foreseeable future.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com): The 5POA are cheap and kid friendly. They also seem to be selling. In 10 years, the price of a basic 3 3/4 inch action figure has doubled. A lot of people have been priced out of collecting. I expect that the new movie will have all three and whichever doesn't sell as well will be killed from the line. The toy aisle is very crowded anymore with lots of different lines. I don't think that anyone will be making documentaries about Star Wars toys. There is a lot of magic to spread around these days and one license isn't going to own it all.
So in short--I think they'll continue the 6-Inch Series. It seems quite successful. Those will be for the collectors (and I'm torn on if it will be still Black Series with Episode VII figures added in, perhaps a couple waves dedicated to Episode VII before they start to mix in prequel/original trilogy figures again, or if it will be a completely "Force Awakens" branded line of 6-Inch figures...if I were to bet, I'd bet on a Force Awakens brand). In the 3.75-Inch line, I'd think they'd follow their Avengers movie model: There will be 5 POA, low cost figures of primary characters, but then a higher-cost line that has better sculpts and articulation. That said, I wouldn't count on Black Series level articulation, I'd think back to the Attack of the Clones type figures--play features and some articulation. That's what the Avengers and Captain America lines did.
BUT...wouldn't it be crazy if they did the Guardians of the Galaxy model? 6-Inch figures for collectors and, eschewing the 3.75-Inch scale altogether, 2-packs of 2-Inch figures so they can do more vehicles at a lower price point? I don't have a feel for if the Guardians line is successful but..... It could bring in a lot of new collectors, while angering a lot of old ones.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): Where I do agree that the marketplace for figures has become crowded, I also believe that Hasbro still believes its Star Wars action figure line is a vital part of their business. I hope to see the highly-articulated The Black Series 3 ¾” line turn into a TFA line and that the 5POA Saga Legends line continues by focusing on Rebels and the other trilogy characters. In regards to the 6” line, I can see Hasbro adopting their Marvel movie approach by releasing a single wave dedicated to the film as well.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) They will for sure keep all 3. 6 Inch is super popular right now so I can guarantee you that's not going away. 5 POA will for sure stay, I'm a fan of 5 POA figures so I hope they make more, and SA 3.75" figures will also continue.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): I think they will continue to offer all 3 variations.
Gus Lopez (from TheSWCA.com): I would guess that Rebels will continue on for years. The show and toy line are awesome.
James Burns (from JediNews.co.uk): Star Wars Rebels will be in to its second season this time next year so I definitely see a place for action figures from the TV series on shelves. I predict a separate movie line for The Force Awakens with a continuation of other lines for the Prequel/Original Saga and Rebels.
Jayson Krebsbach (from Yakface.com): I think we’ll still see Rebels product in the mix. It is the focus right now but as we get closer to the TFA release it will be absorbed into the next line look and figures from the show will be interspersed with the other OT/ST characters in the Legends line.
Jason Luttrull (from Galaxy Of Toys Podcast): I do not think Hasbro will offer any Rebels figures next Holiday Season.
Paul Harrison (from JediTempleArchives.com): I really believe that depends upon how successful the show is. I do expect Rebels product for as long as the show is on, but the line may get absorbed into the Episode 7 packaging, or Hasbro may transition them to realistic style just like they do now for The Clone Wars characters. I am not sold on this line, so I am waiting for this multimedia event to run its course. I am all about super-articulation as well as dynamic sculpts that sport it.
Jake Stevens (From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com): Season 2 is confirmed and rumors are that it will run for a total of three or four seasons therefore Rebels will be present. They’ll clearly play second or fifth fiddle to figures from TFA but they will still be on store shelves and may even see a couple of new figures released for the holidays.
Arnie & Marjorie (from SWActionNews.com) I think there will still be some figures. Rebels is anticipated to have a run of a few years and they will want to tie into he show. I think we'll see some but not much...kind of like we're seeing now. I have no thoughts it will ever reach the depth that The Clone Wars did with character selection, though.
Corey (from TheWolfpackPodcast.com) Yes there will be plenty. Even though The Force Awakens figures will be in full force, but Rebels will still be very popular I would imagine. I know I will be collecting both lines!
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on next year's Star Wars toy line!
If YOU want to join the conversation, let us know your thoughts and expectations for The Force Awakens toys next year in the comments please.