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2009 - A Year In Review
published on December 31, 2009
2009 had a lot in store for Star Wars collectors and fans of all ages, from events like Star Wars in Concert and Disney's Star Wars Weekends to collectibles and the Star Wars TV show. Lucasfilm and Steve Sansweet were busy promoting the second season of the Clone Wars TV show at various conventions nationwide, including a 2 hour live coverage from
G4TV straight from the convention floor of the San Diego Comic Con. The Clone Wars animated show started up again in fall with some very cool Geonosis themed episodes. Lucasfilm also released the first season of the Clone Wars on DVD and Blu-Ray discs.
Besides lots of star wars figures, toys and collectibles of any kind, collectors had the chance to add some very nice Star Wars books to their collections with the Gus and Duncan's Comprehensive Guide to Star Wars Collectibles and Steve Sansweet's
1,000 Collectibles From A Galaxy Far, Far Away books. Unfortunately, the coffee-table sized book The Ultimate Guide To Darth Vader was pulled from the market due to some printing errors/white pages in the book. The new release date is now tentatively fall of 2011.
One of the highlights in 2009 was Star Wars in Concert, which toured around the United States and is going back overseas to more countries in 2010. The event impressed in every way, from the
massive high definition screen, the clarity of the sound and the well cut together movie footage. The icing on the cake was the narration by none other than Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). Another event which was somewhat Star Wars related and deserves mentioning, was Carrie Fisher's one man show entitled Wishful Drinking, which could be seen in selected cities around the U.S. Add to all these events several big conventions around the U.S., plus the New York Toy Fair, then you know it was a very, very busy year for Star Wars fans.
Star Wars In Concert, Seattle, WA on October 13, 2009
Hasbro in 2009
2009 saw some of the best star wars action figures ever released since the modern line restarted in 1995. The sculpts with their details and character likenesses are getting increasingly better every year.
It was very pleasing that Hasbro released figures from the entire star wars universe, including the movies and the expanded universe. And thanks to the comic 2-pack subline collectors were able to get their hands on such cool figures like the Yuuzhan Vong, Grand Moff Trachta, or vintage comic book figures like Luke Skywalker and Lumiya.
2009 was most definitely the year of the droids and the year of the Clone Wars animated figures. With Hasbro's B.A.D. (Build A Droid) parts packed-in with the basic Legacy Collection, fans were able to add a ton of new droids to their star wars collections. Besides that, it gave Hasbro a great outlet to release collector targeted characters such as HK-47 from The Knights Of The Old Republic or the Dark Trooper Phase III figure from the Dark Forces videogames. It's also save to say that the Clone Wars line did very well at retail, and the show was very well received on TV.
In addition to many fantastic Star Wars Action Figures, Hasbro released a lot of cool vehicles, like the Turbo Tank, the Clone Wars animated Y-Wing, Wedge Antilles' X-Wing fighter, the Snail Tank, the Shadow ARC-170 and the Toys'r'us Gunship Crumb Bomber.
So, Hasbro, we give the thumbs up to:
- Build A Droid Parts
- Fantastic Sculpting
- Variety of characters
Distribution Problems | Confusing Packaging
Despite some fantastic, and collector pleasing figures in their line-up, Hasbro ran into some big distribution problems and struggled to get new product out on retail floors. We've seen similar issues in the past where there were no new figures for months, but 2009 seemed to be the worst yet. At many stores in the Seattle, Washington area, retail floors around Christmas time looked exactly what they looked like in 2008 with many blue carded figures on the shelves. Toys'r'us even advertised a 50% off sale in a holiday ad for Hasbro's Big Millennium Falcon, which was THE Star Wars toy to get in 2008, not 2009. Remember, 2009's big vehicles included the Turbo Tank and the animated Y-Wing vehicle amongst some others.
After months without new figures on the market, several new waves were released within a 6 week span between November and the middle of December. Not only is this frustrating for collectors financially, but there is also a chance that people loose interest if no new figures are out for 3 to 4 months, if not even longer than that.
Besides distribution problems, the packaging seemed to cause some major confusion for buyers and retailers. The Legacy Collection, the Saga Legends Collection and The Clone Wars Collection all look almost identical in the packaging. Even though retailers had
distinct shelf spaces for each collection, they often confused it and stocked figures in the wrong places.
So, Hasbro, we give the thumbs down to:
- Confusing red packaging style
Some Favorites in 2009
As for The Legacy Collection, Hasbro released many great star wars figures in 2009, and collectors finally got two definite versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi from Episode I and II. Hasbro also
managed to release a never before done Luke Skywalker figure from the Empire Strikes Back. We also thought that the Yuuzahn Vong figure stood out from the crowd in scale, look and details. We also
felt that the Gungan Warrior deserved extra mentioning for its sculpting, details and overall just looking fantastic on display. We would also like
to thank Hasbro for releasing the Pod Racer Pilot Clegg Holdfast (we are getting closer to completing this set!), Rum Sleg and some stunning Return Of The Jedi action figures!
The Clone Wars Collection saw some nice figures released in 2009, with lots of clone troopers from various ranks and battalions. With most figures, Hasbro managed to capture the look of the characters perfectly compared to the TV show.
However, the Clone Wars line really shined in 2009 with some cool alien characters such as Cad Bane, Gha Nachkt or Whorm Loathsom. These figures are also reminders that aesthetics outweigh "super articulation". Besides some cool alien figures, Hasbro
released a fantastic looking Count Dooku figure, and a super-cool, retro looking Obi-Wan Kenobi in space suit figure.
Star Wars Action Figures in 2010
The future looks definitely bright for The Clone Wars animated line with over 30 new figures already announced for next year. The Legacy Collection will take a step back, and only see a total of 24 new, individually carded figures. These numbers do
not include any battlepacks, exclusives, deluxe line figures or any other kind of packed-in figures. Since 2010 is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, Hasbro will release a new Snowspeeder and Cloud Car vehicle, and a new, never-before-done Hoth Han Solo amongst some others.
We also know 2010 will be the last year where Hasbro is going to release movie themed waves. What exactly Hasbro's plans are will be revealed during 2010's New York Toy Fair, which is held from February 14 - 17. 2010 is also the 15th anniversary of the re-launch of the modern Star Wars collecting age, but at this point it's not known whether
Hasbro will release anything special for it, or even acknowledge this officially.
Star Wars in 2010
Well, the future looks great! Disney will hold their annual Star Wars Weekends again and Celebration V has officially been announced for August 2010 in Orlando, Fl. In addition to these big events, there will be Toy Fair, San Diego Comic Con, local conventions and another Jedi-Con in Germany in April. The 3rd season of the Clone Wars will start airing in fall, and Lucasfilm will release the second season on DVD/Blu-Ray. LucasArts has some games in the pipeline, such as The Force Unleashed II and The Knights Of The Old Republic MMO. Hopefully 2010 will have some news
for fans about the Live Action TV Show, Star Tours 2.0 and a possible second animated Star Wars TV show besides the Clone Wars.
Local Events in 2009
Jedi-Business focuses on Star Wars Action Figures only, but we do strongly and actively support the local, Seattle Star Wars community. So, here's a look back at 2009's Seattlelite Star Wars year.
Star Wars fans from the S.T.A.R.S. and SARLACC groups were very active again in the Seattle, WA area. For example, Tom B. started an initiative to
collect pictures from collectors to document childhood memories about Star Wars toys through his website project: www.igrewupstarwars.com. He's also
actively filming and editing the first video in a series, which will document and showcase star wars collections. After the first video is completed, Tom will visit collectors who are interested and film their collections and interview them.
Another fantastic project was brought to life by the SARLACC group. They've released an officially Lucasfilm licensed Star Wars pin, showing the Millennium Falcon flying towards the Space Needle. All proceeds benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, you
can order your pin on the official SARLACC website: www.sarlacc.org. Show your support to fight cancer, and add another fantastic and limited edition collectible to your Star Wars collection!
Another project which stood out from local fans was Joey's fan film named "Corellian Standoff", which was officially nominated and competed for the best Star Wars fan film of 2009. You can watch the video on the official Star Wars Fan film website: Atom.com Congratulations Joey!
Congratulations also go out to Jason, a local collector who won 3rd place at the Rebelscum Halloween costume contest this year with his outstanding LOBOT costume!
Local collectors had the pleasure to hear Gus and Duncan hold a panel about their book release at the EMP earlier in the year, and there have been many great get-togethers amongst collectors on a monthly, if not bi-monthly basis. The Red Robin meetings are still very popular and a great way to get your "Star Wars fix" during the week. The Sarlacc group had fantastic get-togethers as well, with some very big turnouts at Lauren's, Amy's Halloween party and Gus' Holiday get-together.
The annual Emerald City Comic Convention, held at the Convention Center downtown Seattle, was bigger than ever. Amongst several Battlestar Galactica actors, Star Wars fans had the chance to meet
Ray Park (Darth Maul) and get his signature. The local 501st was there as well posing for pictures and to support local charity.
Seattle also had the honor to host Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking", which was fun and fantastic all the way with many, many Star Wars references. And, what's cooler than seeing Princess Leia close-up for about 2 hours and hearing her talk about her life, and filming Star Wars?
Pictures of Star Wars events in Seattle throughout 2009
In 2009, Jedi-Business saw immense growth, not only in traffic to the website, but in content, new features and reports. We've been fine-tuning the layout, the content (especially images and the way we review figures) and we'll continue to do so in 2010. We've received lots of great feedback, and we are working hard to get the features you've requested added to the website. We also have
some great ideas for improvements, and most importantly, we'll work on getting content/figures added to the database. Thank you all for visiting and reading, and hope you'll come back plenty times in the future!
May the force be with you!