Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume Exhibition (St. Petersburg, FL)

While visiting family in Florida this week, I got wind of a Star Wars exhibition going on in nearby St. Petersburg. A little investigation found that it was the Smithsonian Institute's Star Wars and the Power of Costume - a display of over 60 original screen-used costumes from throughout the Star Wars saga. Fortunately, I got a chance to check it out on my last day in town.

I really had no idea what to expect going into this exhibition. And now, having seen it, I'm still struggling to put into words the impact of actually seeing these iconic pieces in person. So instead, I'm just going to let these phenomenal photos taken by my fiancée do the talking...

Star Wars and the Power of Costume is at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida until April 1st 2018. After that, it'll be wrapping up its four-year tour at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan from May 20th to September 30th 2018. The exhibition is simply a must-see for any fan of the saga - so if you happen to be anywhere near these locations, be sure to check it out!

The Hunt is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Wave 3 Figures Now Entertainment Earth Exclusives

In a surprising turn of events, Entertainment Earth this morning announced that they have secured the exclusive rights to distribute the third wave of 3 3/4" Force Link Last Jedi action figures (including C'ai Threnalli, the Flame Trooper, and the Finn vs. Phasma 2-pack) in the US.

(Image courtesy of Entertainment Earth)

In all honesty, this is incredibly frustrating news. While store exclusives may be common in other lines, five-point-of-articulation figures have always had the blessing of being widely available. Further, Entertainment Earth's inflated pricing ($10.99US instead of the $7.99 MSRP for individual figures, and $17.99US instead of the $14.99 MSRP for the two-pack) combined with its shipping fees will see collectors paying around 55% more ($47.92US versus $30.97US) for these three items than they would in an ordinary brick-and-mortar store. In light of this, I'll be passing on these 'exclusives' and removing them from my Force Link hunt list.

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Wave 2 Figures Found

After an early false alarm all the way back in October, the second wave of Force Link 3 3/4" Last Jedi figures has finally turned up in my local vicinity. There were four figures from this wave on my hunt list - DJ (Canto Bight), General Leia OrganaLuke Skywalker (Jedi Exile), and R2-D2. Fortunately, I was able to pick up all of them in the last couple of weeks.

Despite the limited articulation and unnecessary Force Link gimmick, this second wave of figures is further evidence of just how good Hasbro's sculpting process is becoming. R2 uses the reliable build-a-droid mould from a few years ago, meaning that he can be completely disassembled and combined with other droids from that line. All three human likenesses are spot-on, with Leia and Luke being particular standouts. Each of these figures comes with a screen-used accessory, as well as some sort of removable soft plastic outer-ware. In fact, Hasbro's plastic sculpting of soft goods is becoming so good, it's starting to aesthetically outshine the fabric soft goods of the higher-priced Black Series line.

The best part about this wave, however, is that it finally gives us a Leia in the basic 5POA line. Astonishingly, this is the first appearance she's made since the advent of the sequel trilogy era. It's great to see Hasbro finally remedying this glaring omission.