It's always a good day at the office when Hasbro sends you a large box. It means that for at least part of your day, you get to revert to childhood and play with some toys for a living. When it's a Star Wars branded box, well, that's all the better. As wave two of Hasbro's Fall rollout of Star Wars toys and board games start to hit the shelves, we got the chance to take them out of the box, play around, and see what's going to be worth your time and money.
Many of the new toys are themed to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the next film in the franchise and the first of their new standalone movies, due in theaters December 16, 2016. The film had its first toys release at conventions over the summer, with a mass market release in September. Adding to the collection now are two massive vehicles, one each for the Rebel Alliance and the Empire.
The Rebels get the much-vaunted U-wing fighter and transport. The vehicle makes its debut in this film, with the explanation being that it's used primarily for ground assault campaigns, transporting squads of Rebels, and then providing air support. The toy is large - a 3.75" figure fits perfectly inside the cockpit, and it comes with Diego Luna's character from the film, Captain Cassian Andor, to pilot it. Most impressively, the wings of the U-wing do their full extension, going from making it look sort of like an over-sized A-wing, with the wings pointed forward and flush with the vehicle, to having them back in an oversized V (with the large back of the vehicle, it does make a subtle U shape). It's a very cool and simple mechanism, and assembly of the vehicle was extremely easy. The NERF-based missile fire sadly did not work on our demo unit sent from Hasbro; probably just our luck, but something to test when you get your own.
Less easy was building the TIE striker, whose wings/foils are very difficult to snap on (and extremely easy to snap back off), so assemble with care. Once built, the foils do have a slight up and down position change, but very slight. The NERF firing mechanism worked brilliantly with this one, and had some nice velocity to it, making play a much more visceral experience. Despite its size (the 3.75" TIE pilot fits perfectly in his cockpit as well), the Striker is lightweight enough for kids to enjoy, and looks quality enough for an adult collection. These ship designs fit right in with other releases from Star Wars and Hasbro, and it's neat to spot the bits that are shared across the various classes.
A Star Wars Rebels set was sent along, as well, featuring the Galactic Heroes (think Playskool and you have a basic idea) version of the Ghost, the primary vehicle of the Rebels crew. It comes with an adorable Ezra and Chopper, and opens up to be a full living space and playset. On the figure front, a jetpack-wearing, talking 12" Stormtrooper was also sent along. He had a lightup chest, tons of phrases, and makes whooshing sounds when you pretend to fly him around; of course, as a kid I remember really enjoying making those whooshing sounds myself, but it's still pretty cool.
On the board game front, new Star Wars editions of Monopoly, Clue, and Trivial Pursuit were sent along. The big focus on Monopoly and Clue was in the actual game board setup, with Monopoly's built directly into the box - just open it up, and it's ready to play, very cool. The Clue game board is a 3-dimensional Death Star set up, so as we joked, if you've ever wanted to say "It was C-3PO with the Imperial Blaster in the Death Star engine room," now's your chance. Trivial Pursuit has some truly deep trivia alongside the questions that many fans will know, and should be a blast - it goes all the way up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens so expect some recent questions as well as classic ones.
Thanks to Hasbro for providing the product to preview and review. See the unboxing video above for more information.