Star Wars: Episode VIII may have officially begun production, even though it still doesn’t have an official title, but on the merchandise front, Disney, Lucasfilm, and Hasbro’s focus remains on the currently available and widely popular projects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Rebels, and re-releases of classic characters.
The animated Rebels series, which we’re hopeful will lead into this year’s Star Wars film in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is deep into its second season, just as The Force Awakens nears completion of its $2 billion theatrical run. These were the focus of Hasbro’s new Star Wars toys on display over the weekend at New York Toy Fair, in addition to a fan-favorite Star Wars Legends character.
If you missed them, also check out our galleries of official Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Heroes, and X-Men toy photos from the event. Below are the new Star Wars Rebels figures that were a part of the 2016 New York Toy Fair campaign for Hasbro. Note: The galleries below are just some of the many items Hasbro had on display at NY Toy Fair 2016.
The Darth Maul “red apprentice” figure appears to be a much younger version of Maul from the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: Clone Wars days, but the character is returning for Star Wars Rebels as an older character and had more of his story told in the official in-canon “Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir” comics. In this particular figure, Maul again has a double-bladed lightsaber although this one as a much smaller hilt than this one from The Phantom Menace, with guards protruding from it similar to Darth Tyranus’ weapon.
And here’s another new BB-8 figure to go along with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens group shot up top:
Next Page: New Black Series Star Wars Toys Unveiled!
While we love the Force FX lightsabers, Hasbro debuted new iterations of the much more affordable and build-your-own lightsaber that debuted last year for The Force Awakens. There are two similar versions inspired by doesn’t-seem-to-fit-the-movies blaster-saber hybrid made by Ezra and the goofy Inquisitor spinning blade, as seen in Star Wars Rebels.
And if you missed it, Hasbro also unveiled the controversially absent Rey figure for the latest edition of Star Wars monopoly.
There are no Rogue One toys as of yet but much like last year’s Force Friday toy unveiling event, Disney and Lucasfilm will again hold a #ForceFriday worldwide announcement and launch for their line up 2016 Star Wars toys just in time for the holidays, and again perfectly timed with the release of this year’s Star Wars in theaters. With Episode VIII pushed back to December 2017, Disney has found themselves the perfect annual cycle for licensing, merchandise and theatrical buzz based around the lucrative holiday season.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.