When much of the general public thinks of the badass bounty hunters summoned by Darth Vader to track down Han Solo in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it's Boba Fett that generally comes immediately to mind. But among those featured in that brief, yet iconic scene (Dengar, IG-88, Fett, Bossk, 4-LOM, Zuckuss), the assassin droid IG-88 has long-been viewed as one of the more interesting (and creepy) by hardcore fans. In fact, the official STAR WARS website describes assassin droids as "independently programmed mechanical killers that had no masters." For the May 18th entry into the Force Friday Countdown Calendar, Hasbro is featuring their 2007 Titanium Series IG-88 figure (find it on eBay). 

Growing up with STAR WARS the first time around, my toy collection was completely based in the world of the 3 ¾" scale action figures, vehicles and playsets that Kenner pioneered. While my interest was in that segment, there was also a smaller option in the Kenner STAR WARS Micro Collection, and I played with those a few times with friends and cousins who had them. At the centerpiece of that line was the Bespin World series of playsets - three in all - that also featured sixteen diecast figures that pre-dated later small-scale brands like Galoob's Micro-Machines. For today's installment of the Force Friday Countdown Calendar, Hasbro is featuring the Bespin World Playset, which I'm sharing with all of you presented by a pair of ugnaughts from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Dig that vintage commercial!

It was 13 years ago today, May 16, 2002, that STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES was released. Inspired by that film comes the Galactic Heroes Geonosis Battle Arena, released by Hasbro in 2008 - a year before our first daughter was born. While we pretty much missed out on the Galactic Heroes, Rock Father HQ is not entirely devoid of their presence... in fact, we'll be discussing a couple of figures from that line further down the line, and a little closer to Force Friday.

It was exactly ten years ago today that audiences at the Cannes Film Festival witnessed Anakin Skywalker's complete transition to the Dark Side, and into the familiar armor of Darth Vader when STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH premiered at the fest. For today's entry into Hasbro's #ForceFridayCountdown Calendar, the featured toy is the 2013 Saga Legends Large Size "Anakin to Darth Vader" figure, which presented a 2-in-1 toy with a color-changing lightsaber (blue-to-red), and all the proper accessories to complete the fall from Jedi Knight to Sith Lord. While no longer a current, in-production product, some sites such as Amazon still have these in-stock.

May 14th is an important day in the STAR WARS Universe - the one true day to "thank the maker," and celebrate the creator. It was on this day back in 1944 that GEORGE LUCAS was born, and as part of the #ForceFridayCountdown Calendar, Hasbro is showcasing the 2006 "George Lucas in Stormtrooper Disguise" action figure from The Saga Collection. Offered-up as an old-school mail-in that required a few bucks and some proofs-of-purchase, I missed out on this one, but George did have his own figure before... actually, twice.

I have a couple of diehard lightsaber aficionados in this house right now. While we have a Luke (or Kanan) blue saber and a Darth Vader (though Finn calls it "Inquisitor") red, I'll never forget my first saber, Kenner's "The Force" saber that was initially released back in 1980. My version was the 1983 RETURN OF THE JEDI Luke Skywalker model (which I often used while wearing a 'Vader Halloween costume), but long before that came the 1977 Kenner STAR WARS Lightsaber - a simple, inflatable version that I personally never had. It's featured for May 13 in Hasbro's #ForceFridayCountdown Calendar, and I just found a commercial floating around on YouTube...

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