The first wave of action figures from Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones is so big, it really needs to be broken up into different groups – and the biggest group represented in the first 27 figures happens to be the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, the Jedi Knights. As you may or may not have seen or heard by now, Episode II features a Jedi gathering that takes place in a much more hostile environment than that of the council chambers on Coruscant, and this first wave includes plenty of figures designed expressly to recreate that scene. […]
Released in the summer of 1999 around July, the fourth wave of Episode I action figures included some long-awaited characters, as well some dramatic improvements on characters who had already been released. […]
At around the same time as the first theatrical trailer from Episode I hit theaters, Hasbro started riding the Phantom Menace horse very hard – including the new Flashback figures, which not only included the classic trilogy characters in new molds, but also a “flashback” photo which, depending on whether or not you pulled out the paper strip, would show each character either as he appeared in the Episode I era, or alongside the closest character (for instance, Princess Leia is compared to Queen Amidala, and Aunt Beru to Shmi Skywalker). […]
Unless you were personally besieged on the planet Naboo on May 3, 1999, you know where everyone went at midnight. They went to department stores and toy stores across America to try to pick these puppies up.
Waves one through three were released simultaneously, and huge numbers of the toys were produced. Collectors who bemoaned the fact that they hadn’t kept their original Star Wars figures in the original packing in the 1970s now bought about half a dozen of each – unless, of course, they were attempting to clean out one of the more conscientious retailers who limited quantities out of fairness. Scalpers abounded during the first few weeks, with Darth Maul prized particularly because the figure was initially shortpacked. Poor Jar Jar, on the other hand, warmed the pegs in many a store for quite a long time, with the character already suffering from a premature fan backlash. […]
These puppies were the beginning of my toy collecting fetish, all those 21 years ago. And now, despite the fact that I am allegedly an adult, they still sit proudly on a display shelf in my home.
By default, they’re also the best-known and researched line of toys in history, with the possible exceptions of Barbie. G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels, so I’m not going to waste space repeating the facts everyone knows so well, but just show off my collection instead. […]