From the Official Star Wars Blog http://starwarsblog.wordpress.com/
Media Release: Lucas Licensing Teams with Hasbro and eFX to Bring High-End Star Wars Collectibles to Fans
New Agreements Begin This Month for Collectible Prop Replicas, Vehicles and Popular Electronic Lightsabers
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2008) Ã¢Â€Â“ Star Wars fans and collectors will find new lines of collectibles from Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) and newcomer eFX in 2008, it was announced today by Lucas Licensing, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.
Hasbro, Lucas LicensingÃ¢Â€Â™s master Star Wars toy and game licensee, will assume the design and production of the high-end, collectible electronic lightsabers line, called Ã¢Â€ÂœForce FXÃ¢Â€Â Lightsabers, which was previously made by Master Replicas.
HasbroÃ¢Â€Â™s Force FX lightsaber line will debut in the spring and continues the remarkable popularity of electronic replica lightsabers among Star Wars enthusiasts. The line will feature replicas of the iconic weapons used by Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Yoda.
Newly formed eFX will develop, manufacture and distribute collectible, limited-edition replicas of both full-sized and scaled props; studio- and reduced-scale vehicles and ships; full-sized helmets; and high-end, die-cast vehicles and ships that encompass the entire Star Wars universe.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWorking with both Hasbro and eFX allows us to bring Star Wars fans some of the best collectibles we have ever offered,Ã¢Â€Â said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. Ã¢Â€ÂœThese are incredibly creative, innovative companies with a real passion for Star Wars, and we think itÃ¢Â€Â™s going to show in the products they offer.Ã¢Â€Â
Hasbro expects the first Force FX lightsabers to be available in the spring, while eFX plans to unveil its first products at Comic Con International in San Diego in July.
A visit to http://www.efxcollectibles.com/ shows that they plan on releasing the exact same style of poduct that Master Replicas brought us. What excites me is that they even have a "studio scale" exactly like MR did. I would imagine that we will see many (if not all) of the rumoured MR releases such as the cancelled X-Wing and rumoured Studio Scale Slave I, and this should also mean that there is still a chance of getting a ESB style Boba Fett rifle and even sidearm to go with our RotJ rifle.
eFX is in partnership with Hasbro, Lucas has a large stake in Hasbro, and now that this huge market will be "closer to home" for Lucas, that means a much higher return for them. It's a win-win situation for Lucas and the collectors. Not so much for Master Replicas, as it would appear that they had the licence taken away so that it could be given to eFX.
This is all just conjecture on my behalf, but it's good to see light at the end of the tunnel for the high-end collectable prop market.