Thoughts on New York Toy Fair 2020

Thoughts on New York Toy Fair 2020

23/02/2020 0 By JoeB1

Normally, on the Sunday of New York Toy Fair, I post a round-up of Hasbro’s best Star Wars reveals. From the Vintage Collection to the 6” Black Series line to the perplexing Hyperreal and Retro Collection lines, there’s always been something to, at the very least, pay attention to.

At New York Toy Fair 2020 that’s just not the case. After the virtual no-show of products for The Rise of Skywalker the toy company arrived with the bare minimum of new reveals for the core Star Wars lines.

What new figures did Hasbro have to show us, exactly?

  • Two 6” figures.
  • One 6” vehicle and figure (using the same base as one of the above new figures).
  • One deluxe 6″ droid.
  • One (new-ish) 3.75” figure.
  • One 3.75″ figure made to look like it’s 40 years old.

There’s no way around it; this was the most disappointing Star Wars Toy Fair I’ve seen since I started following the event. The sole awe-inspiring item was the Darth Revan lightsaber, pictured above, which looks like a very impressive cosplay and display piece.

Still, let’s try a little optimism here. As much as Star Wars looks like an action figure line on its last legs that may not be the case.

It’s likely that Hasbro didn’t want to invest in any new tooling for figures before the license renewal was in place – after all, why sink cost into something that you’re going to give up? This abysmal turn out for NYTF only further strengthens the idea that Hasbro was close to dropping the line for real.

That the renewal was only announced on Friday goes to show how close to the wire negotiations must have gotten.

If that is the case, and Hasbro is now full-steam ahead on production, we could maybe expect to see some genuinely new figures by next year’s New York Toy Fair at the earliest.

But then, given the circumstances, you have to wonder if the line can survive that long.

The More You Tighten Your Grip…

The Mandalorian has allowed the Sequel Trilogy to slip away more quietly than perhaps should have been allowed. The problem now is that Disney needs Clone Wars season seven – the “final season” – to be big enough to maintain the hype built by Jon Favreau’s show.

Yet even if Clone Wars is good, it will still be a memory by June.

Kids and collectors will move on to Black Widow, The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Wandavision. The new Transformers Netflix series. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Wonder Woman 1984. There is every chance that Star Wars is about to lose any residual resonance the franchise had with kids – and uninspired junk like Mission Fleet isn’t going to ease that problem in any way.

It was a combination of some great computer games, a matured expanded universe, adult collectors and Clone Wars that kept Star Wars alive in the years after Revenge of the Sith. Between Disney’s mismanagement and Hasbro’s reluctance to appeal to their core market, the last season of Clone Wars is the last chance Star Wars has to not fade totally from relevance.

Of course, there’s still the Child from The Mandalorian – but we’re already at peak saturation there. Since Disney doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘enough’ I’m sure that “Baby Yoda” is already at the tipping point of being overspent; but then, no-one could ever accuse me of having my finger on the cultural pulse.

As a Transformers and Marvel Legends collector, I’ve seen plenty to love at New York Toy Fair 2020. It breaks my heart a little that there’s next to nothing of interest available for Star Wars, but here we are.

Still. Better off without George, right guys? /s