A Legend Retires, So What Now?

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Yesterday, Hasbro sent news of some changes they are making to their Star Wars brand team. Legendary designer Mark Boudreaux who started his four-decade run making Star Wars toys at Kenner for the release of Star Wars will be retiring.

After 43 fantastic years creating some of the most iconic Star Wars toys and vehicles Mark Boudreaux will be retiring. His work has had a tangible impact on the Star Wars universe and been formative in creating the Hasbro Star Wars brand we know today.

·         Chris Reiff will be joining the Hasbro Star Wars design team as an Associate Principal Designer. With experience in the industry and extensive knowledge of the Star Wars galaxy, including working professionally on Star Wars for 25 years, Hasbro is thrilled to have someone of Chris’ caliber join the team.

·         Product Design Manager, Sam Smith will be moving off the Star Wars brand. After a successful tenure with Hasbro Star Wars, Sam will remain in the Hasbro family and lend his talents to a number of Hasbro action brands.

·         Vickie Stratford, Senior Director of Product Design, will continue her role as design lead on the brand.

Boudreaux and Smith were both champions of the 3 3/4″ line. At conventions, there were the most knowledgable and passionate about the scale. Mark designed each and every Millenium Falcon Kenner and Hasbro created, and Sam was conscious of past mistakes in the line and attempted to correct them. Stratford took over for Steve Evans, who was the biggest believer in the 3 3/4″ line, which resulted in the introduction of multi new scales and no The Rise of Skywalker dedicated 3.75″ line. So now where does his leave Hasbro’s longest running Star Wars line?

If we look at their other action figure brands, the writing is on the wall:

  • Power Rangers – Value 6″ and Collector 6″
  • GI Joe – Collector 6″ (rumors of a Wal*Mart exclusive 3 3/4″ line)
  • Transformers – (Super7 makes 3 3/4″ figures)
  • Fortnite – (Spin Master makes 3 3/4″ figures)
  • Marvel – Value 6″ and Collector 6″

Hasbro across all of their licensees and brands are no longer in the business of making robust 3 3/4″ action figure lines. We understand this must be based on international economics, sales figures, surveys and, research but when we look around at other companies like Spin Master, Mattel, Super 7, and Mezco, who are all creating new products in this scale we are left scratching our heads.

If 3 3/4″ action figures are no longer a priority for Hasbro perhaps before the sun sets on The Vintage Collection line Hasbro could consider the following. Might we suggest, as a tribute to a man and Star Wars fan who has fed Star Wars collectors for decades with incredible toys, that they create The Boudreaux Collection? This can be a line where they both rerelease some of his favorite past items while also releasing some of his past concepts that never came to be. A line of Hasbro Pulse exclusives, which feature both his greatest hits and his cutting room floor ideas. With Star Wars media currently in no-mans-land, Hasbro could have a little fun with the license as it has now been extended with Lucasfilm/Disney for an undisclosed period of time. We feel this would be both a great way to send off a great designer and the action figure line he helped to create.

May the Force be with both Mark and Sam and in their future endeavors and until next time,

May the Figures be with you!