This past Friday, Hasbro announced their next Gaming Greats figure for the GameStop exclusive Black Series line. Cal Kestis from the popular Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order joins the deluxe line. This figure includes not only his trusty BD-1 droid but it also includes a small Bogling creature from the planet Bogano.
This figure appears to be a repaint of the initial Cal figure released last October on Triple Force Friday with a new cloak. When it comes to repaints, the last year of figures has featured them heavily so this release is not unexpected. Whether the 6″ line has been rereleasing sculpts with PhotoReal deco, holiday repaints, or Mandalorian credit sequence Credit Collection repaints, the reuse of molds has become the norm for the line. And with the latest report that Star Wars toys were up 70% in 2020 from the previous year, this very well could be a trend that continues especially when dealing with retailer exclusives.
On January 29th, of the thirteen Black Series and Vintage Collection items featured in the LiveStream event, only two of them featured all-new molds. The Ahsoka and Maul from Season 7 are new sculpts whereas everything else was either a PhotoReal update, a repaint, or a reissue with a newly tooled head.
While we will never know for sure, it is clear either new molds are too costly for Hasbro or the funding for them has been reduced significantly over the past few years. For whatever reason, we would love to know what transpired to create the current market of repaints and reissues:
- Did Disney renegotiate Hasbro’s terms for the Star Wars license at a much higher rate?
- Did Hasbro pull back funds to either offset or redistribute to their eOne purchase?
- Did the new Star Wars Hasbro Brand Team Manager make the decision?
- Did the cost of doing labor and business in China become too costly?
- Did the Star Wars collector market finally age out kids who desire constant newness to adults who desire upgraded versions?
We could speculate all night long and the reality is most likely a combination of all of these factors and perhaps many more. Regardless, 2021 will be a year where we need to applaud loudly when newness comes to the line because Hasbro is listening to collectors. Hopefully, especially for us long-time 3 3/4″ collectors, we can inspire them to include more world-building in their lines by creating more creatures (like the Bogling), backdrops, diorama pieces, and droids which has brought so much life to the line in the past.
Hasbro has provided us the official images and information below:
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES GAMING GREATS 6-INCH CAL KESTIS Figure
(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Summer 2021)
Fans and collectors can imagine exciting moments from the STAR WARS Galaxy with this premium STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES GAMING GREATS 6-INCH CAL KESTIS Figure, inspired by the STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER video game. STAR WARS fans and collectors can display this highly poseable 6-inch-scale, fully articulated figure, featuring quality deco, in their action figure and vehicle collection. Includes 3 figures and 3 accessories. Available for pre-order exclusively at GameStop.