Season 2 of the Mandalorian finished just last week and at the very end it was announced that Star Wars: The Book Of Boba Fett would be released in December 2021. This means for us fans that we'll get two Star Wars live action TV shows in the same month, Boba's first season and the Mandalorian's third season. We might also see the Star Wars: The Bad Batch animated tv series earlier in the year since they already showed a trailer for it during the Disney shareholder presentation. Looking ahead into 2022 we will see the first season of the live action ANDOR tv series with 12 episodes, and we'll likely see the Kenobi tv series (apparently 6 episodes) along with the 4th season of the Mandalorian and a possible second seasons of the Boba tv show, plus a possible second season of the Bad Batch. Let's assume that we'll "only" see the Andor (12 episodes), Kenobi (6 episodes) and the Mandalorian (likely 8 episodes again) series, that would add up to 26 episodes or 26 weeks, which is half a year of brand new weekly Star Wars stories. Let that sink in, a new Star Wars story every week for half a year!
Looking ahead into 2023 it will even get more crowded because we will likely see some of the recently announced Star Wars projects come to life. It usually doesn't take them more than 2 to 3 years to develop a show, so in 2023/2024 we could see the first seasons of the Ahsoka tv series, the Rangers Of The New Republic show, maybe the Acolyte tv series or the Lando live action show. If we have older shows going into more seasons we could also see more of the Mandalorian, more Bad Batch, more Boba Fett and more Andor. Then in December 2023 we will also see the Rogue Squadron movie in theaters.
Whatever the release schedule looks like, the possibility of having four, five or more Star Wars tv shows on Disney+ in the same year, along with a theatrical release, is a real possibility going into 2023/2024 and beyond. It's very exciting, but what does that mean for Star Wars action figure collectors?
The Vintage Collection will go "Main Characters Only"
We will likely see even less characters realized in The Vintage Collection than currently, not because Hasbro will cut the budget, but because we will be introduced to a plethora of intriguing characters in a short amount of time and there won't be enough "slots" per year for Hasbro to make them all, even if they were to increase their production budget. Remember, Hasbro is still playing catch-up with SOLO (Dryden Voss, Q'ira etc...), Rogue One (a long list of characters yet to be made including from the main ensamble) and the Rise Of Skywalker (a very long list of un-made figures such as Finn, the Emperor and Poe in his new outfit, young Leia and Luke training, Luke Force Ghost etc... ), and in two of the three cases those movies have been out for years.
In order to keep up with all the media entertainment, main characters will likely get prioritized, which will result in a lack of droids, aliens and background characters. This is already an issue in The Vintage Collection, but this will likely get worse the more TV shows are being released.
Less World-Building, More Figural
If they can't keep up with making figures they will also fall behind with vehicles, playsets and creatures, so the world-building aspect of the 3 3/4" Star Wars line will gradually fade away (some might argue that it's been fading away since the line re-launched in 2018 already with not enough newness in the line overall). World-building is the strength of the 3 3/4" line, while you can make bigger figures more detailed (Black Series 6" line), the smaller scale is perfect to have figures ride vehicles and interact with environments.
Less Original Trilogy, Less Prequel And Sequel Trilogy
After 2023 when Return Of The Jedi had its 40th Anniversary, we'll probably see Hasbro attempt to keep up with new TV shows, which also means we'll likely see less original trilogy, prequel and sequel trilogy characters realized in the line. If Disney/Lucasfilm spend their money on promoting new media entertainment with the next Mando Monday type promo, that's where Hasbro will need to place their focus as well, and that will result in less time/money for legacy characters.
Centerpiece Items Will Continue
Just like the main action figure line will get a focus on main characters, we'll probably continue to see a focus on getting "centerpieces" into the line through Hasbro's HasLab initiatives. Both Hasbro Star Wars HasLab projects so far have been successful and the Razor Crest shattered the previous Marvel record just 1 1/2 months ago. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, so this will likely continue well into the future, let's hope however that Hasbro will use HasLab to get smaller but more affordable items into collectors' hands as well.
More Re-Releases Which You Won't Care About
Most announced live-action TV shows will be set around the original trilogy timeline, which means more classic Stormtroopers, Biker Scouts, Tie Fighter pilots etc... and seeing how Hasbro has been handling TVC it's likely we'll see many of those figures being repackaged again and again. Not that repacking a figure is a new thing, Kenner did this over and over again in the 70s and 80s, but when you only get about 10 new figures per year every re-pack gets noticed.
To sum it up, with the overwhelming amount of Star Wars projects in the pipeline it will be impossible for Hasbro to keep up, no matter how you turn it. And even though the Disney Shareholder announcement of all the Star Wars content coming our way was a dream come true, it seems that for 3 3/4" Star Wars action figure collectors the outlook might not all be that rosy. There is a good chance that the 3 3/4" line will transition from a 40+ year tradition of rich world-building to a more figural approach focused on main characters with the occassinal HasLab project thrown in.
Time will tell how this is all going to play out, but it is fun to speculate. Now it's your turn, where do you see The Vintage Collection go in relation to all the TV shows coming our way?