My vintage collection display has a hole. A literal hole. Like every carded collector on the planet, my carded collection is stored in Star Cases and then pinned to the wall. The wall of Vintage Collection figures that I see often whenever someone posts pictures of their collection. If you choose to display your figures in such a way, you know the pain it can be to re-order them. So right between the “lost line” Episode VI Vader and the on-line only wave Emperor’s Royal Guard sits a void waiting for The Emperor which inexplicably has been absent from the Vintage Collection even though the line has been in existence for nearly a decade.
It’s not the only gnawing hole in my Vintage Collection. To date, we haven’t received Episode IV cards for Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO and the Stormtrooper despite multiple releases in the Vintage Collection of all but Chewbacca. We’re still waiting for a Jawa period. The 21 backs are just as poorly represented in the modern line. Hammerhead, Snaggletooth, Death Star Droid and the Power Droid are still awaiting their shot at Vintage Collection glory. There are some missing analogs to the vintage Kenner Empire Strikes Back carded figures, but arguing that we must have luke warm sellers such as Lobot and the Bespin Security Guard would allow the request to be too easily dismissed. I mean I want a Lobot in the Vintage Collection, but I dread its eventual release because its peg-warmitude will fall somewhere between 2010’s Dengar and 4-LOM. Both of which I can still purchase on thoroughly shelf ravaged cards at one local Target.
Once you start talking about Return of the Jedi, I feel a little more righteous in my indignation. I mean the new Orrimaarko figure is grand, but for the love of God, can I get a new Ree-Yees? Ree-Yees is an infinitely more recognizable Episode VI alien. I’ve already mentioned the inexplicable lack of an Episode VI Emperor figure. And then there’s the grand daddy of them all from the vintage Kenner line-up. The camel faced alien on the hot pink bi-lingual POTF ‘85 card. How can something with the toy mystique of Yak Face (Saelt Marae) have been ignored for this long? All of theses figures have been passed over despite the line containing too many truly wasted slots (like clones that are practically not in the movie that exactly NO ONE asked for).
So the concept that the Vintage Collection is gone too soon is not a novel one. Proving that great minds think alike, my friend, Paul Harrison from Jedi Temple Archives, recently opined on this exact subject HERE which prompted me to shelve this post for a bit. The delay has benefited in one area. We’ve been able to get a glimpse at the future landscape. Some or all of the canceled Droid Factory figures will be released in the Black Series 3.75” scale line including some choices that I’m fairly certainly will lead to the same retail log jam they we perennially experience. But that is a rant for another day.
Everything seems to indicate that the Black Series will continue though 2014. We already know 2015 will be dominated by Episode VII product. So if the Vintage Collection is to return, WHEN?!? 2016? Can any of us say we will still be collecting three years from now? How many would be Vintage Collection customers are going to jump ship when their stores won’t replenish the Black Series because they are sitting on too many Clone Pilots and Biggs figures? I guess we won’t wait for that rant.
Can we just kill the Black Series as soon as it starts and move the line back to where it belongs? Or can Vintage Collection come back as a sub-line as it started in 2004 (minus the cases of course)? Once the new movies start cranking out, it seems like there will be very little sunlight available for the Vintage Collection. If not now, I honestly don’t know when it will make sense for Hasbro.
In the meantime, please check out this gallery of card mock-ups done by our own Ruadh to whet your appetite for things your should have by now, but don’t.