I'm not sure what forum this exactly fits in, since it kind of covers all the time from vintage to now - but I thought I'd place it here. If it doesn't belong, feel free to move it mods
. I was just thinking about this today. If we wouldn't have had the prequel movies, and the Original Trilogy is all we ever had from the Star Wars movie universe - would we have seen more product? Would some of the other companies involved ever have come about?
The Star Wars action figure line was relaunched in 95 with the Special Editions on the horizon. Say that still happened, but there were no "new" movies beyond that. We probably still would have seen the Special Editions released in theatres, but I know that was in part to promote the new Star Wars on the way (TPM) as well. What do you think the Star Wars collecting landscape would look like now, had Lucas decided to just leave the Saga as is with the three original movies?
Of course, the prequels - ROTS in particular - have really created a lot of new collectors and interest recently, but we've always had a strong fanbase. Things fizzled out in 1985 with the vintage line, but there wasn't necessarily the collector market then that there is now. Heck, quite a few of us were kids then and some of us weren't even born yet. When I see all the different movie, TV, and other franchises out there that have action figures/statues/other products (comics, LOTR, Simpsons, LOST, Trek, Galactica, and many, many more) I'd have to think we'd at least be seeing something in the way of Star Wars product. There would likely still be the replicas and some of the other higher end stuff, since those companies cover a number of movie/TV licenses. Would we still be seeing action figures? Maybe not at retail, but in some sort of special order/online type of line? Would we have even seen great things like the VOTC/VTSC if we never had the prequels? It would definitely be a different collecting world, and to be honest, it (Star Wars) might have even effected the development or creation of other action figure lines. Many of those might not even be here if it wasn't for the ongoing success of Star Wars, and other companies/lines trying to imitate that formula.
Anyways, long story/question short, what do you think Star Wars collecting would look like if the prequels wouldn't have happened? Not saying they shouldn't have happened, or that we dislike them, I'm just curious if you think Star Wars movies from the 70s/80s would still have the power to support the product we see today. I'm thinking we still might have seen the POTF2 line, or at least the early part of it, as the Special Editions were released and beyond that its tougher to say. I think a specialty line could always be supported, but would Hasbro/Kenner have even messed with that - or maybe let the license go? I'm just curious what some of your thoughts would be. If there was a line (or lines) what would they look like as far as number of releases, online/retail, etc.?