First up, Patrick Schneider, senior manager of Hasbro's Global Brand Development & Marketing for their Star Wars line, explained that since they launched the 6-inch Black Series back in 2013, figures that came out in the early waves are fetching a steep price in the aftermarket.
"[The Black Series] launched with some great, recognizable Star Wars characters," said Schneider. "As we've talked with fans, they love the stuff, but they also need the stuff we put out five years ago."
Hasbro is meeting the demand with the launch of their new Star Wars: Archive line, which will re-issue classic Black Series figures. While the figures, including Boba Fett and IG-88, were first announced at SDCC earlier this summer, they knew the Archive line had to separate itself from the traditional Black Series in some way.
Then they showed the crowd what the packaging for the Star Wars: Archive will look like. Instead of the all-encompassing box that the Black Series comes in, Schneider explained that they went right for those vintage feels.
"A lot of thought went into this packaging. What we wanted to do was harken back to the heritage of Star Wars packaging, but also the Black Series. We wanted this Archive to be a timeless expression. In Star Wars, there's nothing more timeless than the blister card that launched [those] toys 41 years ago."
So, while the figures are slightly larger, their blister card packaging has a definite throwback feel. Even better, the back of the card pays homage to that figure's original Black Series release.
Next up was a look at the Star Wars Vintage collection, which was represented by the Imperial Assault Tank from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The vehicle is scaled for the 3 3/4 inch figures, while the packaging is designed to call back to the original Star Wars toys from the '70s and '80s.
In addition to the tank, which is available in stores now, they showed several drafts of what goes into actually making a Star Wars toy. It starts with a discussion, then a cardboard model, then a 3D printed draft, all before the final toy goes into production.
Finally, the big reveal was two new 3 3/4 Star Wars figures for the Vintage line, which Schneider explained was their "opportunity to do some tweaks and right things that were once wrong."
First up was Han Solo in his stormtrooper disguise, a figure that wasn't available to collectors until 1995 through a Power of the Force mail-order campaign. The new figure includes a new face sculpt done with photo-real technology, a redone torso, and a new stormtrooper helmet.
The second big reveal was a 41st Elite Clonetrooper, which has its own storied history among Star Wars toys, as Steve Evans, the design director for Hasbro, explained.
"It originally came out, and we did it completely wrong," explained Evans. "We missed the deck on his legs and on his thighs, it was bad. Then we re-released it with updated deco on the legs, but it was mostly available on the international market and not the U.S., so we did that wrong, too. So we thought let's bring it back to the Vintage collection. But this time we've got it right."
The two then teased that more big reveals are coming over the weekend at NYCC and in the near future — including a character the two were clearly excited about but were unable to provide any details, although Schneider promised "this year will not end with us revealing more toys from the prequels."
On Sunday, the final day of the con, we found out what those further reveals were. First up was the Black Series version of Doctor Aphra and her two assassin droids, Triple Zero & BT-1.
"The character is only a few years old, but has gained a huge following," Schneider said at a Hasbro panel.
Evans took over to talk about some exclusives, like a Rocket Trooper (seen in Rebels and Battlefront II) and "Wet Head Luke" from the trash compactor scene in A New Hope. The latter will be a Target exclusive in the spring.
One of the bigger reveals was for the large recreation of Jabba's Barge from Return of the Jedi. Schneider and Evans offered an early view of the packaging, which required an incredibly detailed photoshoot (with lots of sand and sarlacc tentacles) that got its own little time-lapse video.
Finally, they showed the crowd one more figure, the "Force hologram" iteration of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on Crait in The Last Jedi during his battle with Kylo Ren.
Check out those new toys in the gallery below!
Be sure to check out SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.