A museum-worthy bust of the queen of Naboo, lightsabers so intricate they look like you could ignite them at any moment, and a towering replica of Chewbacca were just some of the highlights during a collectibles panel hosted by Lucasfilm’s Brian Merten Friday at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.
We also learned not to mess with Merten, who seemingly Force-choked a heckler before giving fans a closer look at the most exciting new treasures coming your way in 2019 and beyond. Here are seven of the panel’s biggest highlights.
1. Lladró is giving Queen Amidala the royal treatment. Lladró, a maker of handmade porcelain art from Valencia, Spain, is making its debut in a galaxy far, far away to honor Queen Amidala — and other heroes like her — with the Born to Rebel series. The collection will eventually include characters like Leia, Amilyn Holdo, Rey, and Ahsoka, in honor of each rebel’s willingness to fight back against the totalitarian oppression of the Trade Federation, the Empire, and the First Order. Featuring color, a pristine glaze, and a gold luster, the handcrafted figurine celebrates the 20th anniversary of Padmé Amidala’s introduction in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
2. EFX Collectibles unveiled several glorious replica helmets. Bryan Ono, CEO and president of EFX, announced a new precision-cast Episode V Boba Fett helmet based on the original castings used in The Empire Strikes Back. The mask of Fett — meticulously painted to match the screen-used costume — is available to pre-order now. Ono also showed off a jaw-dropping “Concept Stormtrooper” helmet paying tribute to the original sketches and production paintings of visionary artist Ralph McQuarrie.
3. Darkness rises, and light to meet it. EFX Collectibles is also producing limited-edition prop replicas of two iconic designs from the entire Skywalker saga: the lightsaber hilts of Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. The hilt of Luke’s blue legacy saber has been lovingly reproduced from the one Mark Hamill used on screen in The Empire Strikes Back. The intricately sculpted Kylo Ren replica hilt matches the one seen in 2015’s The Force Awakens.
4. Lots and lots of statues and busts are on the way from Diamond Select. Diamond Select Toys, which recently acquired part of Gentle Giant Ltd., is looking to continue the tradition of artful busts and statues like Star Wars Celebration 2019’s con-exclusive “mecha-leg” Darth Maul. “Vision-wise, we’re going to try to continue what Gentle Giant did best,” DST president Chuck Terceira said. Diamond Select will soon open pre-orders for Chewbacca and Han Solo (Corellia) busts based on their appearances from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Other upcoming DST collectibles include a set of porg bookends, a 1/7-scale Darth Maul statue, a pair of matching Rey and BB-8 statues that comes with a magnetic base for easy display, and a bust modeled after Luke’s Force-projection appearance on Crait.
5. More samurai-inspired designs are coming from Bandai. Collectors of Bandai’s awe-inspiring samurai statues have plenty more to look forward to this fall. The company showed off its recent “Honyaku Karakuri” interpretation of C-3PO, which holds a ceremonial fan emblazoned with the iconic crest of the Rebel Alliance, and also gave fans a glimpse of three all-new creations: a First Order stormtrooper, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma.
6. Kotobukiya’s Rey and Kylo Ren statues bring balance to the Force. Japan’s Kotobukiya plans to launch a new ARTFX Artist Series, which kicks off with a pair of statues by manga artist Kamome Shirahama, who’s done a number of gorgeous variant covers for Marvel’s Star Wars titles. “Rey, Descendent of Light” is a 1/7-scale interpretation of Rey as she appeared on Jakku in The Force Awakens. “Kylo Ren, Cloaked in Shadows” shows the son of darkness holding his own mask, staring into the darkness of the face he’s hidden behind for so long. Kylo’s mask accessory can also be swapped out for the burnt, twisted visage of Darth Vader.
7. Let the Wookiee in. There’s also a massive Chewbacca bust and full-sized, furry statue of the mighty Wookiee coming from Regal Robot. Need we say more?
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Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.