Collector's guide to Hasbro Star Wars Episode I action figures

In 1999, the release of "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" gave toymaker Hasbro a chance to expand their popular line of Star Wars toys with new products based on the film. Like the film, details about the toys were kept under wraps in the months before their release.

Because of high demand for the new toys, Hasbro informed all retailers that Episode I toys had a "street date" of May 3, so no items could be sold or put on shelves before then. For the first time, a number of stores held "midnight openings" during which retailers like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart opened at 12:01 a.m. for kids and collectors eager to get their hands on the toys.

The Episode I line featured a different packaging design from the "Power of the Force" line of Star Wars toys that preceded it. The face of Darth Maul, the film's villain, was featured on every toy package, along with a red and black color scheme. The phrase "Episode I" was also displayed on packages, but the title "The Phantom Menace" was not. Production on the toys and their packaging were well underway before the title was announced, so Hasbro did not use it.


Each figure came with a COMMTECH chip, which was actually a stand the figure could stand on. Using a COMMTECH Reader (sold separately), which looked like one of the communicators used in the movie, the figure would "talk" when the reader was passed over the chip (the voice actually came from the reader). It was the same technology used on several figures in the "Power of the Force" line, issued a few months prior.

Realizing that collectors often bought multiples of the "soldier" types of characters, Hasbro issued the Battle Droid figure with different paint jobs. Collectors bought up the different types in abundance. Figures were released in "waves," with new figures and toys being offered in a new "wave" every few months.

While the toy line was met with much excitement and approval by collectors, Hasbro produced large amounts of the toys, and most are still easily obtainable. This has driven down the value of these items, and many can now be found online and at collectibles shows for far less than their original price. However, some figures that were released near the end of the toy run in 2000 are not as easy to find, and are now worth a bit more. Many stores still had an abundance of product from the initial "wave" of toys released in May of 1999 and did not want to fill their warehouses with some of the later offerings. Among the harder to find figures are Sio Bibble, R2-B1, and Queen Amidala Battle.

Following are the toys released in the Episode I action figure line.

BASIC FIGURES
Adi Gallia
Anakin Skywalker (Tatooine)
Anakin Skywalker (Naboo)
Anakin Skywalker (Pilot)
Battle Droid - Clean version
Battle Droid - Dirty version
Battle Droid - Blast Damage
Battle Droid - Saber Damage
Boss Nass
C3PO
Captain Panaka
Captain Tarpals
Chancellor Valorum
Darth Maul - Jedi Duel
Darth Maul - Sith Lord
Darth Maul - Tatooine
Darth Sidious
Darth Sidious Hologram
Destroyer Droid
Destroyer Droid Battle Damaged
Gasgano with Pit Droid
Jar Jar Binks
Jar Jar Binks Naboo Swamp
Ki-Adi Mundi
Mace Windu (Sneak Preview) Mail Away
Mace Windu
Naboo Royal Guard
Naboo Royal Security
Nute Gunray
Obi Wan Kenobi Jedi Duel
Obi Wan Kenobi Naboo
Ody Mandrell and Pit Droid
OOM-9
Padme Naberrie
Pit Droids (2 pack)
Queen Amidala (Battle) with Ascension Gun
Queen Amidala Coruscant
Queen Amidala Naboo
Qui-Gon Jinn Jedi Duel
Qui-Gon Jinn Jedi Master
Qui-Gon Jinn Naboo
R2-B1
R2-D2
Ric Olie
Rune Haako
Senator Palpatine
Sio Bibble
TC-14
Watto
Yoda

MULTI-PACK FIGURES
Final Jedi Duel - Break Apart Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Mos Espa Encounter - Sebulba, Jar Jar Binks, Anakin Skywalker
Tatooine Showdown - Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin Skywalker
Watto's Box - Watto, Graxol Kelvyyn, Shankka

DELUXE FIGURES
Darth Maul (Lightsaber Swinging Action)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Lightsaber Swinging Action)
Qui-Gon Jinn (Lightsaber Swinging Action)
Darth Maul Hologram (with light-up base)
Qui-Gon Jinn Hologram (with light-up base)
Darth Maul with Mini Sith Infiltrator

EPIC FORCE FIGURES (7 Inch figures)
Darth Maul
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Qui-Gon Jinn

CREATURES
Ammo Wagon and Falumpaset
Eopie and Qui-Gon Jinn (not released in the U.S.)
Fambaa
Jabba and Two Headed Announcer
Kaadu with Jar Jar Binks
Opee with Qui-Gon Jinn
Jabba Glob

VEHICLES
Anakin Skywalker's Podracer with Anakin
Armored Scout Tank with Battle Droid
Flash Cannon
Flash Speeder
Gungan Assault Cannon with Jar Jar Binks
Gungan Catapult
Gungan Scout Sub with Obi-Wan Kenobi
Naboo Fighter
Naboo Royal Starship with Red R2
Sebulba's Podracer with Sebulba
Sith Speeder with Darth Maul
Sith Attack Speeder with Darth Maul
STAP and Battle Droid
Trade Federation Droid Fighters
Trade Federation Tank

PLAYSETS
Theed Hangar with Qui-Gon Jinn and Battle Droid
Theed Generator Complex with Battle Droid
R2D2 Carryall Playset with Rolling Destroyer Droid

12 INCH DOLLS
Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker with Theed Hangar Droid
Battle Droid
Battle Droid Commander with Electrobinoculars
Beautiful Braids Padme
Boss Nass
Chancellor Valorum and Coruscant Guard 2 pack
Darth Maul
Darth Maul with Sith Speeder
Electronic Talking C-3PO
Electronic Talking Darth Maul
Electronic Talking Qui-Gon Jinn
Electronic Talking Jar Jar Binks
Hidden Majesty Queen Amidala (Queen Amidala Collection)
Jar Jar Binks
Mace Windu
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Pit Droid 2 Pack
Queen Amidala in Black Travel Gown (Portrait Edition)
Queen Amidala in Red Senate Gown (Portrait Edition)
Queen Amidala Return to Naboo (Portrait Edition)
Qui-Gon Jinn
Qui-Gon Jinn with Tatooine Poncho
Qui-Gon Jinn and Queen Amidala (Portrait Edition)
R2-A6
Royal Elegance Queen Amidala (Queen Amidala Collection)
Sebulba with Chubas
TC-14
Ultimate Hair Queen Amidala
Watto

OTHER
COMMTECH Reader (was also packaged with a figure in some stores)
Hyperdrive Repair Kit
Naboo Accessory Set
Podracer Fuel Station
Rappel Line Attack Set
Sith Accessory Set
Tatooine Accessory Set
Tatooine Disguise Set
Underwater Accessory Set
Darth Maul 3D Figure Painter
R2-D2 Candy Dispenser
Sea Creature Battle Bags 1 & 2

Victor Medina is a freelance writer based in Dallas. He is the editor of several websites, and his writing credits include The Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, Cinelinx.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at vic@victormedina.com.

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