This past weekend at the Star Wars Celebration event, which was held at the Excel Center in London, England, Hasbro had a huge booth showcasing many of the new and upcoming releases for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, including new Black Series features based on “The Bad Batch” and much more.
During the weekend, I got to speak with Patrick and Chris from Hasbro about the upcoming new toys, based on new films and Disney+ shows.
How fun has it been to be creating new merchandise for “Indiana Jones”?
Patrick: Amazingly fun. So as I’ve said on a lot of these conversations, I’m a big Star Wars fan, but I love Indy even more. Chris has heard me talk about this. But loved reading the books growing up, Indy married to Deirdre, Lost in the Rainforest, Genesis, Deluge, the TV show. So I couldn’t have imagined when I was a kid that I would get to work on Indiana Jones and Star Wars, bringing Indy to six-inch form for the first time, loving the builder program. Chris’s work on retro. Our kids World’s of Adventure Line. It’s just been a dream come true.
How important are making products for younger audiences, such as the new products for “Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures?”
Patrick: I think super important. So Young Jedi Adventures, that’s also super exciting. I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old. When I told them they could watch Star Wars, their jaws fell. We watched the first shorts together. Caleb and Emmy, if you’re listening, you know what you’re getting for Christmas. But yeah, no, we know that there are Star Wars and Indy fans of all ages., And so we absolutely want to deliver the Black Series and the Adventure Series, and the Vintage Collection for the adult fans. But it’s critical to deliver toys that kids can have fun with as well. So Young Jedi Adventures for those preschool Star Wars kids, Worlds of Adventure and our whip and our 12-inch ringer to bring kids into Indy because it’s important for creating future fans.
How do you balance doing products for new shows and classic content?
We spend a lot of time talking about it. It’s a constant struggle because we’re blessed with this giant mass of new content. And we want to deliver stuff for the new shows in time with the new shows as much as we can or supposed to do that. So we try and do that. And then we’ve got all the time in the world to go back and fill in where we can for things that we haven’t been able to get to or to expand on things we have been able to get to. So it’s just trying to find that balance. And sometimes that balance is easier to find than others. I mean, we’ve got a lot of new stuff coming. It’s tougher in a time when there’s so much newness to go back and look at classic stuff. But we still try. I mean, obviously we’re supporting Return of the Jedi in a big way this year with our 40th stuff across the board in TVC, in Retro, Black series. So just all over the place.
Do you get to see things in advance to help with creating new toys?
Chris: We do get a lot of it very far in advance. I mean, we’ve got a great partnership with Lucas Film. But there are things that they look at and say, well, we want to hold onto this and make sure that this leads in this way. And there are sometimes when, and we’ve said it before, there are things that, like the N1 Star Fighter, we saw the one you guys did, and we jumped on it right then. So I mean, we enjoy it as fans. I think not getting spoiled sometimes is a fresh approach.
Patrick: And you see how Grogu took the world by storm. It got called the child back then. But that’s because John Favre held it close to his vest. And that moment was so magical. The world experienced Baby Yoda the child together. And that was absolutely the right choice. And then we pounced on it and got Grogu merch out before-.
How has the move to more eco-friendly packaging been going down with fans?
Patrick: We actually announced earlier this week that for Black Series, we heard a lot of fan response, so Black Series is returning to the traditional packaging. So that’ll be at the end of this year and into 2024. But Hasbro remain strongly committed to sustainability. So the plastic we use will be Bio PET and recyclable plastic. And we’re going to work towards those twin goals of certainly meeting what the fans want, but also making our world a wonderful place for years to come.
Which of the new products that you’ve revealed over Star Wars Celebration are you most excited about?
Chris: Well, I’ll take my favorite, Patrick’s heard this plenty, the N1 Star Fighter is my favourite. That was my project to work on. And like we said just a little bit ago, when we saw that, I think we were all crazy excited about that thing. And doing the toy and working out all those details and getting as much in there as we could to really make that sing in a TVC world, that was exciting. And then the reaction from everybody since the reveal has just been stellar. So yeah. That’s great.
Patrick: Yeah, I think for me, I’ve called it Emily’s passion project, but that four pack vintage collection, Jabba’s Barge Denizens is chef’s kiss to that. And that is a really great collaboration with the community. We heard the petitions, we heard the outcry for Velkin Desar, for Camron Garrin, reissue of Reyese, for Tessek, otherwise known as Squid Head. Just getting that out in Plus and Shop Disney was the right place to put characters like that so that they can reach the fans who want them. Individually carded, checking off an original 96 box. That’s amazing. And then I’m also really excited for the tease we did for our upcoming Vintage HasLab. So after a three-year hiatus HasLab is returning to the Vintage Collection later this year. And we think it’s going to be amazing.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.