They were showing off the finished production piece for the new Jabba the Hutt statue and the Max Rebo band. We were also informed that if you purchase both items, there will be a coupon inside of each that you can send in to Gentle Giant to get Bib Fortuna for free!
There were samples of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi (ANH), Princess Leia (ANH) and Jango Fett (with interchangeable helmet/head) mini busts. All three were impressive, and offer great likenesses of the respective actors. There were also two Jawa mini-busts on display. One will ship with an R5-D4 dome, while the other will ship with multiple arm configurations.
Animated-style maquettes of Boba Fett, Stormtrooper and Yoda on his Kybuck from the CW animated series were also on display. New exclusives of Mace Windu and a new R2/Yoda diorama were also on display.
There was also a new R2-D2 trash can that will be coming out soon. Step on the lever at the bottom and R2’s dome opens up on top. The can was about 2 feet tall. Pricing and availability was not available at the time we were there, however.
The biggest surprises of the day, however, came from a batch of items that we can’t show you….
Starting out with mini-busts… there are a number of new exclusives planned for 2007. Chewbacca (from ESB, with gas mask), Coruscant Clone Trooper (with interchangeable helmet/head), Darth Malak (from KOTOR), and 5 Clone Commanders: Gree, Bly, Bacara, Cody (with light-up hologram), and Neyo. The story behind the Clone Commanders goes something like this (taken from the Gentle Giant blog):
February 10, 2007, Burbank, Ca. – Gentle Giant Ltd. is ready to take the world and collectors by storm with an unprecedented five-city worldwide tour. While traveling the globe, the company will make a special, exclusive Star Wars Clone Trooper Commander mini-bust available at each of the five locations.
“Why should rock stars and movie celebrities have all the fun?” asked Gentle Giant Vice President of Product Development and Design Dev Gilmore. “We figure it’s high time the collectibles industry had its own world tour, so we’re taking the lead and having a lot of fun. And of course, we want to invite everyone to come join us, so we’re making it worth your while thanks to some very cool, exclusive Clone Trooper Commander mini-busts.”
As amazing as the Clone Trooper Commanders are, Gentle Giant knows that a single exclusive does not a party make. So the company is offering multiple tour exclusives to go along with the specific location exclusives. The Gentle Giant Worldwide Tour 2007 Exclusives include a Yoda/R2-D2 Animated-style maquette and a special Bust-Ups 2-pack of Han and Luke in Stormtrooper armor. There will also be other exclusives at some of the five events, which will be announced soon.
As to those Clone Trooper Commanders… They’ll be available in the following cities:
“This will be a lot of fun and a great opportunity for collectors to score some exclusive Star Wars collectibles,” said Gilmore. “But we also know that not everyone can follow us around the world, and we figure everyone deserves a shot at these cool mini-busts. So we’ll be making 500 limited edition box sets of all five mini-busts, and those will be available exclusively on our web site at the end of the year.”
The Gentle Giant Worldwide Tour 2007 begins on May 24, 2007 at Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles, Ca. and continues throughout the summer. Check the Gentle Giant web site at gentlegiantltd.com for tour updates and more information on tour exclusives.
Also shown for release in 2007 were Spirit Ben Kenobi and Yoda (with light-up features), a Royal Guard, a Senate Guard, and R2-D2, which looked more like a statue than a mini-bust, since his entire body was shown on the base.
There will also be a new line called Star Wars Classics, which are mini-busts on a smaller scale. They look to be somewhere between the bust-ups and mini-busts, coming in at around 4” tall, with a taller base than the regular mini-bust line. Kit Fisto and a TIE Fighter Pilot were on hand to represent this line.
Also on hand were a kneeling Darth Vader, Senate Guard, and Han Solo (prototype, unpainted) statues. These were all very impressive, especially the Darth Vader, from his scene in ESB, kneeling aboard his Star Destroyer, speaking with Emperor Palpatine. Most impressive.
Han Solo and Chewbacca unpainted prototype animated maquettes were on display, both looking like great additions to an already spectacular and popular lineup.
One of the most impressive new items that was shown were the TIE Fighter w/pilot and Biker Scout on bike anime-style statues. These are going to be some of the coolest, wickedest pieces when they are released. Totally awesome, to say the least.
There was some pretty big news in the bust-ups camp as well. The bust-ups line will be adding a few new features, starting with the upcoming waves. They will no longer just be smaller scale mini-busts… they will now be including full figures and scenes from the films. These reminded me a lot of the TOMY mini dioramas that were released in Japan a little while back. The first wave will be the Death Star, including Grand Moff Tarkin, a Death Star Gunner (with Mouse Droid), and a few other Imperials.
The second wave is focusing on ROTJ/Endor, and includes figures of Wicket and Logray, a Leia bust, and more.
Also starting this year will be the increasingly popular "build-a-figure" theme. Each bust-up will include an extra piece. When you collect every figure in the wave, you can use the extra pieces to assemble a larger item. A lot of companies are adopting this new, popular idea of adding in extra value to existing lines.