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.
Another super sweet and secret fact about The Power the Force 2 line is that Luke Skywalker himself did many of the commercial voiceovers! Mark Hamill’s voice acting career had just begun a few years prior, most notably on Batman: The Animated Series.
Last month we received a gift which was provided to us by Sammy Levy which helped reignite our love and memories for this early modern line! Sammy writes:
Yet again I’ve been going through my old boxes of POTF2. Currently focused on completing a vintage loose run but hopefully, I will find the time to go back and fill the holes in the POTF2.Anyways I found something I remembered you mentioning a few years ago through Toy Run. In the early days of the internet, Hasbro would put out these handy checklists. Did you ever use these in the late ’90s? I figured I’d scan’em, and I wanted to share them with you.
Sammy also shared with us his Muftak and Kabe mail-away form he printed from 1998.
Want more POTF2 content? Check out this article from Starwars.com by one of our favorite Star Wars toy historians, Tim Veekhoven, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the line!
You can also check out Pixel Dan’s Toysplosion episode from last year, which gives you not just one but two Dans as Dan Larson from Toy Galaxy helps in the retrospective:
Speaking of Toy Galaxy, here is their take on the ten things you need to know from the POTF2 line:
Do you have a special memory or images of The Power of the Force 2 line? Did you grow up with The Power of the Force 2 line like our pal Dengar Dan over at The Sandcrawler Podcast,who is so obsessed with the line that he sold off most of his other figure lines just to buy more POTF2? Then share them on social media using #25thPOTF2 and we’ll feature them on our social channels as we’ll be celebrating this line all month long!
Now before we sign off, let’s see if you can help us solve a question we’ve held for a while: Who is the identity the individual who posed as Boba Fett in the initial Kenner (Hasbro) ad seen at the top of this article? If you know the answer or can sleuth it out, hit us up as we are dying to know and we will share it with the community!
Until the next anniversary,
May the Figures be with you!