Walmart’s Star Wars Commercials Challenge Antiquated Gender Roles

I’ve been spending a lot of time watching daytime television while I’ve been on maternity leave, which means I’ve seen some commercials I haven’t seen watching prime time.  The first one I saw made me smile.  “The Circle Is Complete” starts with a dad bringing home a Kenner action figure for his son in 1983.  Fast forward to now, the little boy is now a dad and brings home a TIE fighter Lego set–for his little girl.

This thrilled me.

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REVIEW: LEGO set 75099 – Rey’s Speeder

Even though my LEGO preferences tend to lean more towards the larger, more complicated sets (the UCS Slave I is currently sitting just to my left), one of the “Force Friday” The Force Awakens sets I was most looking forward to was the relatively tiny Rey’s Speeder (75099). I liked the look of the vehicle from the two teasers we’ve seen so far, and the set itself looked like a solid, satisfying build — not huge or intricate, but well-designed and fun to put together, much like the Inquisitor’s TIE set (75082) from back in January. That wound up being an extremely satisfying build, despite its small size — does this new (even smaller) offering from LEGO follow suit? Read on to find out!

(Minor spoilers/speculation for The Force Awakens, I guess)

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Get Ready for Force Friday on September 4

kylo box

Prepare to be very, very tired on September 4. has announced that all The Force Awakens merchandise — including apparel, toys, books, comics — will go on sale at 12:01 am on Friday, September 4. Retailers will participate in Midnight Madness events, just like during the prequel era. The mysterious villain Kylo Ren will feature on packaging.

Planning to purchase your haul on September 4? Be sure to document your experience using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness.

Brian and I won’t be there, because September 4 is the first day of Dragon Con. I feel very bad for Brandy, the rest of the SWatDC volunteers, and all of the bloggers and podcasters who are going to have to read very, very fast when they get home.

Anyone know of good toy stores near Downtown Atlanta?

Disney: Star Wars toys for girls are coming

You may have missed the #WeWantLeia protest that cropped up in response to the lack of (and seeming disinterest in providing) Star Wars toys for girls. Disney, however, did not miss it. In an exclusive to Time, Disney promises that toys for the non-boy demographic are coming.

Disney told TIME on Wednesday that it would add Princess Leia toys to its existing Star Wars merchandise line soon, following recent criticism from parents and bloggers about the lack of products for girls.

“The current assortment of Star Warsproducts at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come,” Disney spokeswoman Margita Thompson told TIME. “We’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.”

Now it’s worth pointing out that toys for girls and Princess Leia shouldn’t be synonymous and there should be more than that in the pipeline, but for now this is a good start. This, folks, is why it’s important to bang the drum for diversity.

Hasbro’s Mara Jade Figure Shifts to Black Series

hasbro-jedi-mara-500x691The good news is the Mara Jade figured many feared was cancelled will be hitting store shelves after all. Yay! The bad news is that Mara is still wearing the catsuit. Boo.

The figure will be released as part of the second wave of Hasbro’s Black Series, a lineup that’s geared towards collectors. That, of course, means that this figure will be even harder to find than it would have been before. So if you’re hoping to get your hands on one, prepare to hit eBay and don’t hold your breath.


Sideshow Introduces New Stories and Statues in “Mythos”

Toy maker Sideshow is introducing a new line of Star Wars figures they dub “Mythos.”

The Star Wars Universe is limitless with possibilities, its mythology ever-expanding. Our art team wanted to contribute to that expansion by telling new stories about some of the most compelling Star Wars characters. With the encouragement of Lucasfilm, we created the Mythos line of statues.

This line of collectibles will be populated by characters from new and existing story lines. We will bring history, unique details and personal choices to each in order to elaborate on who they are. Through the design and sculpt process our goal is to delve deeper into these established characters and offer our own interpretations of what they have done outside of the Star Wars canon.

They already have concepts and art for a Darth Maul and Obi Wan figurines. While these figurines look to be extremely well done, what really catches my eye are the interesting pieces of story that take place outside of the films. Obi Wan’s page includes a brief little first-person introspective that takes place just after he delivers Luke to Owen and Beru Lars.

While  these figures are neat, I’ve got to agree with Dunc over at Club Jade …

Anyway, the “new” part of the equation? Psst, there are a few existing characters you guys haven’t done yet, in any form. I mean, we are still waiting for that Mara. Or even, hell, a Leia not wearing a metal bikini. Or a Padme. Have they ever done a Padme? An Ahsoka? What do the Gamorrean fans have that we don’t, Sideshow? TELL US.

I would buy these figures as well, Sideshow.

Via Club Jade

Looking Back on the Micro Machines Action Fleet

I miss these things.

Usual story. You box up a part of your childhood, go to college, and come back home for the summer to find out that your parents went through your belongings and threw out everything they thought you didn’t need anymore. In one fell swoop, I lost a classic Atari 2600, an NES, a box of classic PC games, and worst of all, the Micro Machines Action Fleet toys I had since I was seven.

But this isn’t the post to mourn the loss of those toys (that would be odd and somewhat creepy). It’s to look back at one of the coolest product tie-ins the Star Wars universe has ever seen.

To the jump!

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