Is there a character from the Star Wars universe who hasn't been recreated in action figure form? Hasbro has not even felt the need to stay within the bounds of the canonincal six films - they've released toys based on concept art drawn before production of the first film began. Hasbro didn't just scrape the bottom of the Star Wars barrel, they made a playset out of it.
So where do you turn to after you've already plasticized everybody, and with a few years until you can start the Episode VII machine up? Why, you rebrand your shit in a big way. Hasbro is introducing Star Wars Black Series, which is not an affirmative action take on the Star Wars mythos but rather larger (six inches, he assured her), more expensive, more detailed toys. Here's where the genius of marketing comes in - they're saying these are for adults.
"Our focus here is the adult collector, the dad," Derryl DePriest, Hasbro vice president of boys marketing, says. "We know they have their own generation of youngsters they like to share the adventure with. It can be something for dad, and the 3¾ world can be something for the kids to share."
Right, because all of those smaller Star Wars figures were only being consumed by 11 year olds!
It's a pretty smart move. Sideshow Collectibles has the real adult market sewn up with their expensive 12 inch figures. A $20 price tag makes these six inchers more accessible to everyday nerds. What's more, this plays into the transitional period many aging nerds go through. I know that I've found myself with way too many geek items, and so I have begun paring down my collection, only displaying things that are either actually nice looking or are authentically old. At the same time I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on Sideshow-level items (although God knows I have). This is a good middle ground - something that can be displayed in your cubicle without looking too much like a kiddie toy but at the same time doesn't require security.
I just like the idea that Hasbro is pretending that they're trying to lure in dads. I wonder how many kids really give a shit about the Mos Eisley characters; they probably only want Clone Wars toys.
In case you're interested, the first eight Star Wars Black Series toys will be out this year, with X-Wing Luke, R2D2, Darth Maul and a Sandtrooper leading the way.