Hasbro's crowdfunding project to make a massive toy replica of Jabba's Sail Barge from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi has earned the minimum number of financial backers needed to go into production. Hasbro, of course, has been the chief action figure licensee for Star Wars toys since it merged with toymaker Kenner in 2000, and has produced 3 3/4-inch scale figures, vehicles and other products for every Star Wars film since.
And while Hasbro has created such vehicles as Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter, Han Solo's Millennium Falcon and the Galactic Empire's AT-AT, no Star Wars toy has approached the enormity of Jabba's Sail Barge (aka the Khetanna), which was introduced at Toy Fair in New York City in February. Even in prototype form at the world's largest annual toy event, Jabba's Sail Barge made fans and collectors drool with anticipation but bring about angst at the same time. That's because the toy, priced at nearly $500, would only be produced by Hasbro's new crowdfunding initiative HasLab if 5,000 people committed to buying the monolithic piece.
Now, with 4 days left in the campaign, news has surfaced that the idea for the largest Star Wars toy ever planned is going to become a reality. According to Jedi Temple Archives, HasLab reached its goal of 5,000 backers for the piece, which measures 4 feet in length, nearly 15 inches in width and 17 inches in height. The project met the minimum backing with plenty of room to spare, since, as of this writing, nearly 5,400 people have committed to buying Jabba's Sail Barge. The piece also includes 3 3/4-inch scale Jabba the Hutt and Yakface action figures, as well as a 64-page booklet that details the making of the landmark product.
According to HasLab, people who still want in on the project have until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 3 before orders on the product close. At that time, those who have committed to buying the barge will have their method of payments charged and no additonal orders will be taken. Hasbro plans on shipping Jabba's Sail Barge to its backers on February 28, 2019.
The crowdfunding project comes at an interesting time in the toy industry, as Toys "R" Us is undergoing its liquidation and closing of all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy last fall. Toymakers will no doubt be struggling for places to carry their product as a result, and while brick and mortar department store chains and online outlets will be able to pick up some of the slack, a product the size of Jabba's Sail Barge (or even a product half that size, for that matter) would likely have great difficulty finding a retailer. Not only would the product require a massive amount of shelf space, the cost would in all likelihood be more than the average collector could bear.
The good news is, with the success of this extremely large foray into toymaker crowdfunding, perhaps Hasbro, as well as other major and specialty toy retailers, will turn to customers with other such offerings on a smaller scale to get products in the hands of fans who want them.
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