Star Wars fans and collectors will find new lines of collectibles from Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) and newcomer eFX in 2008, it was announced today by Lucas Licensing, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.
Hasbro, Lucas Licensing's master Star Wars toy and game licensee, will assume the design and production of the high-end, collectible electronic lightsabers line, called "Force FX" Lightsabers, which was previously made by Master Replicas.
Hasbro's Force FX lightsaber line will debut in the spring and continues the remarkable popularity of electronic replica lightsabers among Star Wars enthusiasts. The line will feature replicas of the iconic weapons used by Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Yoda.
Newly formed eFX will develop, manufacture and distribute collectible, limited-edition replicas of both full-sized and scaled props; studio- and reduced-scale vehicles and ships; full-sized helmets; and high-end, die-cast vehicles and ships that encompass the entire Star Wars universe.
"Working with both Hasbro and eFX allows us to bring Star Wars fans some of the best collectibles we have ever offered," said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. "These are incredibly creative, innovative companies with a real passion for Star Wars, and we think it's going to show in the products they offer."
Hasbro expects the first Force FX lightsabers to be available in the spring, while eFX plans to unveil its first products at Comic Con International in San Diego in July.
Lucasfilm, STAR WARS, "lightsaber" and related character names, vehicle names and properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & (C) Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Lucasfilm Ltd.
again, just so we know who the players are:
EFX has taken over the master replicas license and will be making all manner of high end SW props (see website); EFX is owned by one Byran Ono, (ex) head of master replicas (previous) star wars line. Bryan also owns Toyteq the third party developer who created MR's star wars line for them, and thus, he owns all the R&D that went into MR's products.
meanwhile, MR has gone ahead and sold their force-FX "trademark" to hasbro; hasbro will be taking over MR's "force-FX" line and selling it under their own existing license to sell "toys".
from the press release:
The line will feature replicas of the iconic weapons used by Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Yoda.
^^ (a quote so nice I quoted it twice)
these just happen to be the existing sabers that were already in MR's existing product line; these are the same lineup of sabers which were available on the MR website last month until they ALL suddenly showed "sold out" on the same day, right around the middle of december.
it would be logical to assume that , on that day, MR sold its entire product line to hasbro including all their existing stock, which will be simply reboxed and rebranded under the hasbro name. it would also be logical to assume that Hasbro is getting everything that MR had "in the pipe" (things they were working on, but had not finished).
and what was MR working on? --> MR was working on an Obiwan TPM (they had a prototype at their C4 party which broke when somebody dropped it on its pommel); they were also working on both quigon and dooku FX (these were 'officially' announced late last year but then canceled due to time constraints). MR only release 3-4 sabers per yer, and these 3 sabers were (supposed to be) the lineup for 2008.
IN the end,
I think its safe to assume that the 5 models announced by LFL in the press release are the exact same physical items that MR was selling before the end of their license (Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Yoda); and that this will remain the hasbro lineup for 2008.
in 2009 I hope to see that quigon and obiwan TPM MR was working on released in time for the 10th anniversary of TPM, followed closely by the dooku (probably the same year).
after that, the future is uncertain.
on the other front,
I think its safe to say we WILL see the xwing SS finally finished; this item was under development (by Bryan aka. toyteq) and was very close to being finished when MR's license expired; I predict this will be one of the first new releases by EFX, along with a chewie bowcaster (which was also in development at the same time).
beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. we can only speculate as to what their debut product line will hold.
(hopefully, not too many rehashes of previous MR items)
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2008 4:07:03 GMT -5 by cobalt60
Quote: Q: Will Hasbro be branching into higher quality Prop replicas (like the toy blasters and lightsabers - but better) now that Master Replicas doesn't have the license in 2008?
A: Yes. We have recently, with Lucasfilm, put out the announcement that we will be picking up the FX Lightsaber business. We couldn't be more excited about taking over this great product line. Our first order of business is to continue with the same items out now. Once we get our arms around that the plan is to see where we can take this exciting category.
3. So, you guys are now going to be making the FX Lightsabers (previously made by Master Replicas). Will be seeing new characters/versions or will you focus on unmade sabers? Will your pricepoints be in line with MR or lower due to your manufacturing capabilities?
We are very excited to be continuing this great line. Our initial plan is to continue the existing product line, and eventually look at additional opportunities whether that be new/unproduced characters or additional FX products. We have not announced pricing yet, but we do not anticipate a change from the marketplace as it exists today.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2008 1:14:03 GMT -5 by cobalt60