While fans have been eagerly anticipating the next “Star Wars” movie for years, the booming world of the franchise's toy collectibles never took a break. Now, the minds in charge of the upcoming figurine series are giving fans an in-depth look at what they can expect from "The Force Awakens" when it hits screens in December.
Hasbro, the company behind some of the most popular “Star Wars” toys, is at the 2015 New York Comic Con showing its new products, including figurines of a few characters fans will get to know in “The Force Awakens.” The toy company's design director, Steve Evans, was joined by fellow designer Steve Bono and global brand team member Joe Ninivaggi to showcase its newest products in the “Star Wars” Black Series lineup of posable figurines. Unfortunately, despite making some of the most intricately crafted collectibles from the beloved science fiction franchise, the Hasbro honchos haven't been allowed by Lucasfilm to check out “The Force Awakens” ahead of its Dec. 18 release.
However, that doesn’t mean some insight into the plot of the film can’t be gleaned from the toys. For example, BB-8, the lovable droid from the first teaser trailer that has become a breakout star even before the film's release, isn’t so lovable. The BB-8 toy, which will join Hasbro’s lineup of 12-inch collectible figurines and will no doubt be an asset to both a child’s playroom and an adult’s collection, comes pretty well strapped with weapons. The roller-ball droid was pictured at the company’s panel sporting a hacksaw and electrical shock attachments that are, presumably, located within the character’s inner ball.
“I thought he was cute and cuddly, but no, he’s a little terrifying here,” Ninivaggi told the crowd at the Javits Center.
If the toys aligns with the movie, fans can expect a new on-screen droid that can throw down in a fight if the occasion calls for it. As for whether other toys reflect what will be in the film -- they do. According to Evans, all of the toys from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” were scanned and rendered from the actual cast. Just as Harrison Ford’s famous mug adorns the new Han Solo figurine, the movie's extras are immortalized in plastic. For example, a TIE fighter pilot figurine could have had a generic male face, but Hasbro put in the effort to scan an actor from the film instead.
So, when fans purchase a figurine, the design isn’t necessarily coming from the toy company’s imagination, but from director J.J. Abrams’ set. When Hasbro teases things like snow-clad Stormtroopers (aka First Order Stormtroopers), alien TIE fighter pilots or, as Evans puts it, the “cold, calculating and pretty cool" new character Gen. Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), people should pay attention.
But all the toy teasers in the world can’t satisfy fans eager for movie itself. They'll just have to wait until December to see how the story plays out and have all their burning questions answered.