Perhaps the only thing more beautiful than a well done 3.75" action figure secured in a clear bubble and firmly glued onto a black and silver vintage-style cardback, is a 3.75" scale vehicle, boxed in black and silver packaging, and captured with a glorious, full-sized, diorama shot with relevant action figure support. Exhibit A, witness the TVC AT-AT in all its splendor.
We know that the basic figure line has been abused and nearly killed over the past several years. And while that is the bread and butter of our beloved hobby, let us not forget that we also find our lack of vehicles disturbing. We got a couple of new vehicles from the movies/cartoons, but mostly we got a boatload of just-off-screen mini-rig concept-type stuff (both new and repainted). The collector-focused Black Series was ostensibly shut out of the vehicle game, with the exception of a "surprise" re-release of an AT-ST.
The MTT was a nice niche item for some, and while I liked it personally, it clearly wasn't a hit with the masses. We got a new Naboo Starfighter, which was pretty nifty by most accounts, but tricky to find. The biggest overall splash was made by Rebels animated line, which may or may not blend into your standard non-animated collection. This was "highlighted" by another lackluster (from a collector point of view) large vehicle offering - the Phantom Attack Shuttle. After that, both The Force Awakens and Rogue One were grossly short-changed. Rey's Speeder was one of the few appropriate movie-based vehicles from the TFA line, while RO saw the (wrongly!) poorly received AT-ACT. The various X-wing and TIE variants that peppered the market from both movies were poorly scaled and were hurt by the dreaded NERF missile launching capabilities. Sadly, the marquee on-screen vehicle from Rogue One was available as the badly executed U-Wing. So while Hasbro seemed to give it the ol' college try with vehicular support for the various action figure lines (minus Black Series) since the end of TVC, the hits were few and far between while the misses simply seemed to "prove" that the market for big box vehicles is dead.
With the revival of TVC, we should also see some appropriate vehicles released in tandem. Here are a few ideas for Hasbro. Like our previous suggestions for case assortments, this wouldn't be a complete wish list of everything we might want to eventually see (like a modern Rebel Transport). Four of these could be produced with relatively minor re-tooling, or even a simple repaint. The fifth would be all new, but would make up for a recent transgression. These ships should capture the hearts of fans, both new and old.
Now if Hasbro can pull these off and market them properly, then maybe we can have nice things!
1. Millenium Falcon (TLJ)
A very silly Falcon was released for TFA. Scrap that nonsense, and just re-release the BMF with minor modifications and appropriate sequel trilogy figures - Rey, Chewbacca, etc. Obviously the Falcon is going to be a character in the ST, so let's get this done. Then there's another opportunity for an easy re-release for the Han Solo movie!
2. First Order TIE Fighter - (TFA/TLJ)
Re-release of previous big wing versions, should be good enough for the entire sequel trilogy. Include SA FO TIE Pilot - (non-removable helmet please)
3. Poe Dameron's T-70 X-Wing - (TFA)
Re-tool of the various large X-Wings we've gotten in the past. Include SA Poe Dameron pilot (with a TLJ outfit if it is different than the already realized BS TFA version) and a nice BB-8. And don't forget - the droid slot better be modified to hold BB-8 in place!
4. Blue Leader's T-65B X-Wing - (RO)
Simple re-paint of previously released OT style Big X-Wings. This one should be the easiest of the bunch. Include SA General Antoc Merrick, as well as his astromech, R2 something-something.
5. U-Wing - (RO)
Huge miss by Hasbro for the RO line, the actual release was woefully scaled, and had the terrible NERF launcher. Ditch the NERF in favor of space for at least 6 SA figures, and make sure the cockpit is a 2-seater large enough to hold K-2SO. Have a rear cargo ramp, removable side panels, and, of course, the M-45 Repeating Ion Blaster for the future TVC Bistan to fire.