Malakili is the itty bitty bone Hasbro is throwing in to sweeten the deal for the Black Series Rancor. Right now, the crowdfunding campaign at HasLab is still over 3k backers short of succeeding. So rather than reworking the stretch goals, Hasbro is simply giving you a non-exclusive figure that should have been included to begin with.
After the previous few stretch goals were revealed, this shows a lack of the “wow” factor. Instead, a cardboard backdrop, a pile of bones, a Salacious Crumb figure, and a new Luke. Why the new tooling of Luke was needed was confusing. In his Jedi Knight outfit, a Black Series figure of Luke was already released more than once. Anyways, these figures should have been included in the overall $350 asking price.
Hasbro missed the mark. Where’s Oola? Where’s a molded plastic diorama? Even if it were only two or three walls, it would be far better than a cardboard display. What really gets me is the reaction Hasbro posted when announcing Malakili was the apology gift:
We really appreciate all the feedback we’ve received in an effort to make the HasLab Rancor the best possible dream product. With that, we realize we can’t leave the most dangerous creature, the rancor, roaming the galaxy without its keeper. We will be adding a fully newly-tooled Star Wars: The Black Series Malakili figure to the base offering, funding at 9K units. Uncarded and ready for action, Malakili comes with his unique gaffi stick inspired by Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This figure is in active development, and we will share renders as part of our backer updates if the project successfully moves into production.
Yup. Hasbro is throwing in a loose Malakili. Oh, thank you! You’re so gracious, Hasbro! They listened to the onslaught of concerns and thought tossing in a spare figure would fix it. Sigh. I’m glad this sort of cheapskate thinking wasn’t employed with the Spengler Proton Pack campaign.
The Rancor Keeper, Malakili, had only a few brief seconds of screen time. Yet, those moments on scene were memorable after Luke crushing the giant beast with its cage, Malakili tears upon seeing the dead rancor. It’s an oddly touching scene.
I do find it weird that Hasbro unleashed three of these crowdfunding projects back-to-back-to-back. Unfortunately, the G.I. Joe Skystriker is looking like it will fail to reach its goal, too. Meanwhile, the Proton Pack was funded in less than a week and has already unlocked two of the four stretch goals, with the third one just a couple of hundred backers away right now.
All three projects are aimed at adult collectors. So, why publish them within the same window right before Christmas? Ghostbusters made sense because of the film’s revised release date, but G.I. Joe isn’t in the spotlight right now, and Star Wars is in a significant sales slump as far as the toys go. Maybe it’s a licensing thing? Perhaps some contractual obligation with the design team? I don’t know.
What are your thoughts on this crowdfunding effort by Hasbro? Let us know in the comments.
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