Merry Christmas from Relics of the Force!

It's Christmas Eve here in New Zealand - so Merry Christmas everyone! Here's hoping you all have a happy and safe holiday season filled with Star Wars goodies.


A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who's taken the time to visit and comment on this blog during 2017. Your support and kind words mean the world to me. May the Force be with you!

'Tis the Season for Star Wars!

There's no better way to celebrate the holiday season than by injecting a little Star Wars goodness into your celebrations. Since 1996, Hallmark has been helping us do this with a range of incredibly well-made and well-detailed Christmas "Keepsake" ornaments - many of which also feature sound effects and dialogue from the movies. We add a few more to our tree each year, and it's now looking ready for even the grandest Life Day celebration!







If you've got some festive Star Wars pictures you'd like to show off, be sure to share them with us via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

Star Wars Is Everywhere - Johnson Space Center

Despite it's focus on real-world space travel, the occasional science-fiction curiosity has managed to creep its way into Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I spotted one such item on a recent tour of the Astronaut training complex - a helmet from a galaxy far, far away...


Have you found Star Wars in the most unlikeliest of places? If you have, be sure to share it with us via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

Cassian Andor Live-Action TV Series Announced

In a somewhat surprising revelation, StarWars.com today announced the impending production of a Cassian Andor live-action TV series. With Diego Luna reprising his Rogue One role as Andor, the 'rousing spy thriller' is set to "explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire".


While a Cassian-centric show may not be the series we thought we needed, I'm somewhat excited about the possibilities it presents - specifically, the cameos it might provide. Perhaps we'll see Andor first encounter his ascerbic droid companion, K-2SO. Or maybe we'll get to see a little more of Mon Mothma and Bail Organa's exploits in the period leading up to Rogue One. There's even the chance - however unlikely it may be - that we could see the crew of the Ghost briefly make a life-action appearance.

While no release date has yet been announced, the series will air exclusively on Disney's new direct-to-consumer streaming service, Disney+. Stay tuned for more details as they're inevitably announced!

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 2.0 3 3/4" Trooper Pack Found

While I have a pretty broad focus when it comes to 3 3/4" figures, I've always been a sucker for trooper variants. Given this, I was incredibly excited to hear that Target would be stocking an exclusive trooper pack featuring half-a-dozen Imperial soldiers from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Mine finally arrived this week, and has quickly become one of my favourite offerings from Hasbro in the modern era.


Featuring six figures in total (including four new brand new figures - three of which are character debuts) this pack is every army-builder's dream come true. The clear highlight of the pack is Mudtrooper Han - a wonderfully sculpted figure that features a cape, blaster rifle, removable goggles, and a breathing mask that clips ever-so-pleasingly onto Han's face. In fact, the goggles and mask fit so well that the figure can easily (once its face is covered) double as a generic Mudtrooper - perfect for those planning on purchasing more than one of these sets. In fact, the additional Imperial Mudtrooper that comes with the pack appears to be exactly this: the Han figure with the goggles and breathing mask permanently glued into place, along with a slightly different paint scheme and a modified rifle.

Title of Jon Favreau's Live-Action TV Series Announced as The Mandalorian

Today StarWars.com announced the title of Jon Favreau's upcoming live-action TV Series as The Mandalorian, and gave us our first glimpse from the set - and potentially of the main protagonist.

(Image courtesy of StarWars.com)

The announcement came shortly after Favreau Instagrammed the following brief synopsis of the show:
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
The series will be written and executive produced by Favreau, with Dave Filoni (of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels fame) directing the first episode. Other episodes will be directed by Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and - most excitingly - my fellow Kiwi Taika Waititi.

Ever since falling in love with Firefly, I've been dying to see a western set in the Star Wars universe. I'm incredibly excited that this show might just give us that!

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 2.0 "Mission On Vandor-1" Pack Found

Ever since Disney took over the Star War franchise, it's been tradition for Hasbro to release a 3 3/4" figure pack to coincide with the home video release of each new film. Unfortunately, the figure selections in these packs has often been highly questionable. The first pack (the Force Awakens' "Takodana Encounter" Pack) bundled the exclusive - and highly desirable - Maz Kanata with three straight repacks. Further, these repacks are usually of unique characters (like Jyn in the "Jedha Revolt" pack and Rey in the "Battle on Crait" pack) that collectors already own, and that aren't required in duplicate. This time, however, Hasbro have done everything right.


The Force Link 2.0 3 3/4" Mission on Vandor-1 four-pack - released to accompany the home video release of Solo - features three brand new (and highly desirable) figures. First up is train-heist Han, who comes complete with a blaster pistol, working holster, fur coat, and the most adorable pair of goggles you ever did see. Best of all, he features a surprising nine points-of-articulation - only three less than many of the figures in the premium 3 3/4" lines. Next up is Qi'ra, making her first action figure appearance in one of her adult outfits. The figure is a superb likeness of Emilia Clarke, and also comes with a sidearm and working holster. Interestingly, though, the figure eschews Qi'ra's screen-accurate mini-skirt and tights in favour of a far more 70s-esque pair of slacks. While never actually seen in Solo, this outfit is, in fact, the very one worn by Qi'ra in the animated Forces of Destiny episode "Triplecross".

The Black Series 3 3/4" #23 Toryn Farr and #01 R5-G19

Aside from the SDCC Exclusive Doctor Aphra set, it's been a dry few months for 3 3/4" collectors. I've been doing my best to make use of that downtime - going back through my collection, and seeing what gaps need to be filled. I've been paying particular attention to super-articulated Original Trilogy characters, and recently scored a couple of bargains off Amazon: The Black Series 3 3/4" #23 Toryn Farr (from Phase I of the line), and #01 R5-G19 (from Phase II of the line).


While I'd long ago added Echo Base versions of Han and Luke to my collection, the release of the Vintage Collection Hoth Rebel Trooper and the  phenomenal new Imperial Probe Droid and Wampa sculpts over the last year has seen me start to amass a really nice set of Hoth-themed figures. It's for this reason that I opted to pick up Toryn. Despite her only receiving a few seconds of screen time in the Empire Strikes Back, she's an interesting and unique enough sculpt to have caught my attention. Featuring twelve points of articulation, a blaster pistol, and a pair of headphones, she'll make an excellent diorama-filler.

Funko Pop! #256 Vulptex (Crystal Fox) Bobblehead

While I've mostly resisted the temptation to begin collecting Star Wars figures from Funko's Pop! line, my fiancée has been developing a carefully curated collection of Pop! characters from her favourite franchises. Recently, she included her first Star Wars addition - a Vulptex (Crystal Fox) from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.


Unlike standard Funkos, this figure is sculpted in an opalescent plastic - doing excellent justice to the strange semi-transparent nature of its on-screen counterpart. Further, while 'adorable' is the general mandate for Pop! figures, the vulptex takes this to a whole other level. His (or her?) large black eyes and diminutive body work even better than usual to make this one of the cutest Funkos yet. 

The Hunt Is On - The Vintage Collection 3 3/4" Doctor Aphra Comic Set Found

As predicted, HasbroToyShop's allotment of Vintage Collection 3 3/4" Doctor Aphra Comic Sets arrived to a storm of tab refreshing, website crashing, and fans desperate to get their hands on this highly desirable exclusive. The set was slated to be made available online at some point on August 13th, so I spent that morning watching the Hasbro website like a hawk. At around 11.00am CST, she was available - right when I had to leave for a session of instructor training. Fortunately, my one-in-a-million fiancée took over the reins: trying on no less than three different devices to push an order through the severely overtaxed Hasbro servers. Despite her best efforts - and even, at one point, receiving an order number and having the funds (momentarily) removed from our bank account - luck was not with us. Ours was among countless orders that were confirmed in error and never honoured. It was a huge disappointment to us both, and we quietly resigned ourselves to the fact that we wouldn't be adding this particular set to our collection.

It therefore came as a huge surprise when HasbroToyShop - with no fanfare whatsoever - made a new batch of Aphras available in their online store last week. I secured my order within minutes, and was overjoyed to have her arrive just a few days ago.


Before even opening this set, I was already floored by the exquisite packaging. Not only does it come in the retro 'vintage' multi-pack design, but the artwork and labelling is all rendered with beautiful metallic foil. As any regular reader of this blog will know, I'm an unabashed opener; but this was one of the hardest items I've ever had to pull from its packaging. Fortunately, the design is such that - with the adroit use of a sharp blade - the figures can be removed with no visible damage to the packaging. (In fact, the above in-package photo was taken after the figures had already been removed and replaced once.)