August officially rings in the 25th Anniversary of The Power of the Force line, now affectionately referred to as POTF2. The line, which adopted its name from the final Kenner Star Wars line from 1985, is the beginning of the modern era of Star Wars action figure collecting. Even though other lines from companies like Justoys, Galoob, and Out of Character existed, Hasbro (then using the Kenner brand name they purchased a few years prior) brought Star Wars toys to the masses in a way only paralleled by Kenner itself in the ’70s and ‘8os.
The Power of the Force line was a rich, deep, and robust action figure line. For years now the line has received criticism due to the figures (temporarily) having very buff physiques. While this is true, it is also true that so did most every action figure line in the mid-nineties. In an era obsessed with Arnold Schwarzenegger, professional wrestling, and superstar athletes, having an extra ripped Luke Skywalker was par for the course. But nevertheless, this didn’t last long as in just a year or two, fans desired more realistic versions of their favorite characters.
We can’t help to assume the negativity modern collectors have toward the line hinge, perhaps subconsciously, on the fact that Hasbro produced a lot of these figures due to their demand and thus the figures have held little to no value on the secondary markets. So many collectors became engrossed in collecting every little variant from long sabers, half-circles, holo-stickers, Freeze Frames, .00 and .01 card changes and the list goes on and many did so with that thought that they would become as valuable as the vintage Star Wars line has now become.
But once you remove these detractors and look at the toy line itself, The Power of the Force 2 line is a shining example of what modern lines could only wish to be. During the late ’90s, a wave of new Star Wars figures hit every 6-8 weeks, the line included easy to obtain mail-away exclusives, it introduced numerous figures that were left out of the vintage line, it contained sub-lines from recent media such as video games, novels, and comic books. And let’s not forget they produced not only vintage upgraded vehicles but created a full line that included creatures, playsets, accessories, carrying cases, and bio-cards on the card backs. This line had all the magic that was found in the great lines of the ’80s which was very much a golden-age of action figure collecting.
We are very thankful for Hasbro’s dedication to the line during this era of Star Wars action figure collecting and whether you are a 6″ or 3 3/4″ collector in 2020, you owe a lot to this underappreciated line.
We are celebrating all things POTF2 this month and you can join in the celebration by listening to Blastpoints’ recent episode centered on the anniversary of The Power of the Force 2 line as it is a really fun trip down memory lane!
Now it wouldn’t be an anniversary if you didn’t get yourself a gift to remember the occasion. You can head to Nerdmatters’ Esty store, like we did, as they have a fantastic new Art Pin which pays tribute to the “Awesome Terribleness” of this line.