I may have just finished watching Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and it may indeed be Figure Friday when this posts but I couldn’t let Star Wars Day 2022 pass without notice!
The origins of Star Wars Day are shrouded in mystery. Some say it’s a pun based on the popular catchphrase “May the Force be with you” but in this case it’s “May the fourth be with you.” Never wanting a branding opportunity tied to a specific date on the calendar go to waste, Lucasfilm/Disney decreed that the fourth of May would be Star Wars Day every year. Sometimes we get a first glimpse of new footage from upcoming movies and TV shows but we always get treated to new merchandise.
The cultural contributions of Mel Brooks cannot be disputed but he absolutely did not miss when, as Yogurt (master of the Schwartz), in Spaceballs he declared it was all about the merchandising.
Let’s see what we’ve got to look forward to.
BUT FIRST…Figure Friday brought to you by the fine folks Outrun Collectibles, a super cool and CANADIAN online toy store! If you use code BIFFBAMPOP you can get 15% off your order!
Star Wars The Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber
I’ll have you know, I’m something of a Jedi myself.
Over the last couple of decades I’ve assembled at least half a dozen Original Trilogy lightsabers. I say “assembled” because for what I do there’s little to no skill involved and I write this as a man who almost sawed off his left index finger in junior high woodshop. I’m also the same guy who burned a hole in his right ring finger with a soldering iron the following semester in metal shop. I’m not handy.
Here’s some fun trivia that’s not about me: The original Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi sabers were all made out of what was essentially junk. Both Vader and Luke’s sabers used old camera flashguns to form the base of the saber while the Obi-Wan saber was made up of an old (non-functional!) grenade, calculator parts, and a sink knob. Original parts for all are hard to come by now but there is a ROBUST replica market that caters to hobbyists such as myself.
Screen accuracy is one thing, sure, but whenever I would be entertaining guests the absolute first question I would be asked regarding my sabers would be, “Do they light up?”
Well, no…lightsabers aren’t real (sadly). But there’s where the Force FX Elite Lightsabers come in!
These things are as close to real as you’re going to get insomuch as they light up and make the “vmmmm” noise when waved about. But you’re not going to be cutting the arms off any belligerent walrus men at the bar anytime soon. We’re just not there yet.
This versions of Kenobi’s saber is the midpoint between the highly polished one we saw in Episode III and the beaten up and battle worn version he carried in Episode IV. It comes with a removable blade and a display stand. It’ll be available in January.
Black Series and Vintage Collection
I think if we go all the way back to the start of things, Star Wars was the thing that made us all go action figure crazy.
The Vintage Collection figures are being produced still is a testament to the impact of the 3.75-inch figure on the toy industry. Everything about these figures is scientifically designed to get collectors in their 40’s to open their wallets. From the vintage aesthetics of the card and also that these figures are essentially in scale with the bulk of your other Star Wars figures purchased over the decades, I find them almost impossible to pass up.
The reveals for this Star Wars day featured Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) and a whole mess of troopers.
The 6-inch, hyper detailed Black Series figures are a targeted more towards the premium figure collector. Of course, I extolled the virtues of the Vintage Collection above but the 3.75-inch figures do have their limits in terms of detail, articulation, and accessories. Plus, there’s not much of price difference between the two lines and if you’re a budget conscious collector (like most of us) you’re going to want to get the most bank for your literal buck.
A figure of note in this line is Figrin D’an and I’m sure most of you are saying “Who? You misspelled ‘Dan’.” Well, he was the band leader of the Mos Eisley cantina band (canonically known as The Modal Nodes). That’s all well and good, sure but I cannot let it go that the genre of music the band plays was once known as… Jizz.
I’m not about to point fingers here but at some point in the late ’80s or early ’90s when the Expanded Universe began to flourish there was a rush to assign names to things within the Star Wars universe. Coffee became “caf,” watches became “chronos” and some poor sci-fi writer decided that space jazz only needed one letter changed to make it Star Wars-y.
So there you go. Have fun unlearning that or imagining Han Solo and Chewbacca sitting down for a drink and enjoying some Jizz right before old Ben and Luke walked into the bar.