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At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York City, I was in the room for the February unveiling of Hasbro's first-ever HasLab project - a crowdfunding effort meant to bring to life one of the most-requested Star Wars toys of all-time: Jabba's Sail Barge (The Khetanna). While I support the idea of this project and the methods behind it, I have questioned whether this particular toy is being produced 30 years too late, as the $500 price tag put it firmly in the collector realm. Additionally, it needs a minimum of 5,000 backers by April 3 to become a reality, and as of this writing they're still 2,000 away from that mark with 13 days to go. I've been saying that this is something special that needs to get in front of a different audience - not necessarily those who collect Star Wars toys regularly, but those who might be looking for one high-end piece to display, possibly for an office or theater room. With a photo debut on EW this morning, that may have finally happened, but my friends at Hasbro just sweetened the deal. They just provided me with a timelapse video showing the prototype being painted, along with a full gallery of photos (see them on The Rock Father™ Facebook page). Check out the video below, and if you want this to become a reality, hit up the HasLab website and #BackTheBarge!

Every proper gangster has a solid right-hand man, and for Jabba the Hutt, it was Bib Fortuna that answered the call. This cloaked Twi'lek served as a gatekeeper for those seeking an audience with Jabba, speaking mostly in Huttese, and falling victim to a Jedi mind trick performed by Luke Skywalker himself in RETURN OF THE JEDI. While Fortuna's allegiance to Jabba is said to have lasted decades, it came to an explosive end on a sail barge high above the Pit of Carkoon. Bib Fortuna is today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar!

In the STAR WARS Universe, it would seem that the Kinyen race doesn't have an easy go of it. The most famous member of this alien species is undoubtedly Ree-Yees, described in today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar as "a Kinyen lowlife." Talk about brutal honesty. Even in LEGO STAR WARS: THE NEW YODA CHRONICLES, it's a Kinyen that gets zapped by The Emperor's Force Lightning after a misunderstanding over "booing," which is a complimentary reaction for his culture. Ree-Yees was best-known for hanging out with Yak Face at Jabba's Palace.

When STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI was released in 1983, I found myself completely enamored with the new character creations in the film - particularly a "vile gangster" known as Jabba the Hutt. There was a "Making of" that had aired on television here and there, offering a glimpse at how skilled puppeteers pulled-off such a large-scale project. Now, 32 years later, filmmaker Jamie Benning has put together a 20-minute "filmumentary" that spawned from a Skype interview with puppeteer Toby Philpott. Check out SLIMY PIECE OF WORM-RIDDEN FILTH - LIFE INSIDE JABBA THE HUTT...

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Each year, I avoid going to the annual Comic-Con International in San Diego, always sticking to my guns that I won't do conventions again until I have something new to promote personally. Then I queue Jack Nicholson in my head, and just ponder all of those "wonderful toys" that I'm missing out on, while contemplating a change in position. Some of this year's wonderful toys? The just-revealed STAR WARS Black Series JABBA THE HUTT Throne Room Set (SDCC-Exclusive) and YODA (from the 6" Black Series Line). Check 'em out below...