Throughout its franchise history, the Star Wars saga has innovated the way that movie tie-in products are created and marketed. But at the heart of all of those efforts has always been one important and overriding factor: fan satisfaction. It's what's motivated Hasbro to create their new HasLab initiative, a platform with the die-hard collector in mind. This is best seen in the first product that HasLab is looking to get off the ground, which also counts as the biggest Star Wars toy ever -- a full replica of The Khetanna, better known as Jabba's Sail Barge, from Return of The Jedi.
At the recent New York Toy Fair, CinemaBlend was on hand for Hasbro's own private exhibition off of the show floor proper. Throughout the tour we were given, there was tons of merchandise on display for everything from Avengers: Infinity War to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. But, of course, at the center of their exhibits was a full section devoted to Star Wars past and present. And right in the heart of it all was a table that housed a full sized replica of The Khetanna, which showed off the full size and scope of the toy's massive nature.
Now, HasLab works in a rather interesting way, as this massive project shown above comes with some stipulations that must be met to bring it to reality. Working off of a crowd-funding model, a minimum of 5,000 backers must be secured in order to get The Khetanna into production. And before you ask, each of those backers is going to have to shell out $499.99, plus tax, to pledge their interest in such a project. Undoubtedly, that's a lot of money, but for that much money Star Wars fans will be getting a lot of toy.
As you can see, The Khetanna is actually a four foot long model, weighing in at about 14 lbs. and exhibiting an extreme level of detail in its finished product. Seeing the model in person was incredible, as the vehicle looked like it'll very easily dominate any coffee table it's placed on, with room for other figures from your Star Wars collection to ride along with Jabba The Hutt. Included with this long-sought-after toy is a 3.75 inch scale figure of Jabba himself, as well as a 64-page booklet that'll detail the development of the barge through its various phases. But again, none of this happens unless Hasbro's HasLab meets its 5,000 backer requirement.
While crowd-funding is certainly a bit of a gamble in any business, Hasbro's HasLab feels like a better fit than most. With their reputation of creating quality toys, as well as their maintenance of the Star Wars license, there's no telling where this platform could go in the future. Yes, the price is a bit steep, but let's be honest -- anyone who's looking to obtain a model of Jabba's Sail Barge that huge probably has the money to splash around anyway. Of course, this could be just the beginning for HasLab's extended purpose at Hasbro.
If The Khetanna goes into production, it reportedly will be limited to only the number of backers it's attracted to the project. But having already made a larger scale of this toy that's capture the imagination and the demand of hardcore Star Wars collectors around the world, there's nothing that's stopping Hasbro from taking those specs and shrinking the toy down to a more consumer market friendly version. And with eager toy fans already possessing the larger scale model, their potential satisfaction would only serve as a fantastic marketing ploy to get folks to buy the smaller scale version.
Not to mention, if the first HasLab project works out in Hasbro's favor, there could be future premium collector's items to come down the line. Maybe a full sized Death Star from Star Wars: A New Hope, or even a similarly massive vehicle from a future Star Wars movie further down the line. Ultimately, with HasLab in play, Hasbro could float an idea for a mass scale toy off the beaten path that collectors could fund, with an eye towards taking the project to the consumer market. For further details on just how this model works, in the case of The Khetanna, take a look at the video below:
If you're interested, you can pre-order Jabba's Sail Barge through HasLab's official site, which at the time of this writing is almost half-way towards the project's backing goal with about a month to go before it's closed.