Hasbro's HasLab initiative has announced their largest Star Wars product ever - Jabba's Sail Barge.
Back in 1976, George Lucas made what was then seen as a strange decision. He offset a low fee for the first Star Wars film against retaining the movie's merchandise rights. He finally reached an agreement with Kenner, who were wholly unprepared for the interest in Star Wars action figures. It was Kenner who launched the iconic 3.75-inch range of action figures, and there are estimates over 300 million of these sold between 1978 and 1985.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Kenner - now owned by Hasbro - are still producing a popular range of 3.75-inch figures. At the New York Toy Fair, they've given fans a chance to see the largest Star Wars model ever made: Jabba's Sail Barge (via Newsarama).
The prototype is on display at the 2018 New York Toy Fair, and is being offered as part of the HasLab initiative. Hasbro will only make this model if 5,000 backers get behind it by preordering for $499.99. It's essentially a way of crowdfunding production of one of the most stunning toys Hasbro has ever made, as well as a way of testing interest in oversized Star Wars merchandise. At time of writing, 1,109 backers have supported the project. Excited fans have until April 3 to put their money where their mouth is.
The sail barge, also known as the Khetanna, is a stunning model. It measures approximately 4ft in length, with removable side panels to set up dioramas with the 3.75-inch figures. Although a Slave Leia figure is not included - Lucasfilm no longer merchandises that outfit - it does come with an intricately crafted Jabba the Hutt model. Buyers will also get a 64-page booklet going behind-the-scenes on the design work.
Panels along the side of the barge can be removed, allowing access to the decks. Hasbro has worked hard with Lucasfilm to reconstruct the Khetanna's interior; the model will reveal parts of the barge that were never seen in Return of the Jedi. The sails are made of real cloth, and can be extended or retracted. There's even a smuggler's compartment, which certainly seems appropriate for a Hutt crime lord. On the HasLab website, curious fans can take a tour of the model, and explore the armory, Jabba's lounge, the two-person cockpit, and even the galley.
Only time will tell whether or not this model actually gets made. There are 43 days left for eager Star Wars fans to get behind the project; and if it's a success, it will be interesting to see what comes next from HasLab.