Celebrating the holidays with Star Wars holiday action figures
Conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie's legacy is well-known among Star Wars fans and collectors alike. It was McQuarrie's original artwork that inspired and defined the Star Wars universe before production of "A New Hope" began. After the film's phenomenal success, McQuarrie became a sort of artist laureate for the Star Wars saga, and his artistry continued to define the world of Star Wars.
When LucasFilm outgrew its original offices, it was McQuarrie who painted a scene of sandcrawler, landspeeder and Star Wars characters lined up for the move. And it was McQuarrie who created the annual LucasFilm holiday cards. They became famous among recipients who were lucky enough to receive one and fans who saw what they looked like.
In 2002, Hasbro began the first in a series of special Star Wars holiday figure sets that brought McQuarrie's holiday cards to life in 3 3/4-inch action figures. The first in the series were the heroic Star Wars droids C-3PO and R2-D2, issued in time for Christmas 2002. As in the holiday card, C-3PO is wearing a Santa hat and sorting through presents. His faithful companion, R2-D2, is wearing reindeer antlers. The figure set came with a display stand and reproduction of the original McQuarrie holiday card that inspired it.
Hasbro followed up in 2003 with Santa Yoda, a present-laden bag slung over his small shoulder, and fans went wild. The figure once again came with a display stand and reproduction of the original McQuarrie holiday card that inspired it.
For 2004 Hasbro made its third Holiday Edition set featuring two Jawas encased in "snowglobe" packaging. The front of the cardback was dressed up for the Holiday occasion with star-topped moisture vaporators and hanging strings of red lights.
This holiday season Hasbro is once again offering a special holiday Star Wars action figure. However, having exhausted the McQuarrie-inspired cards that inspired this line, they went for something simpler. A Darth Vader has been cast in red and set against a holiday-themed Original Trilogy cardback.
Happy holidays, everyone, and May the Force be with you!