Thursday, July 31, 2008

Now Anyone Can Join the 501st!

If you buy the new Clone Wars 501st Legion Clone Trooper action figure you will get an instant membership in the famed 501st Legion costuming group! Well...not really. This is another case of the fictional 501st Legion being potentially confused with the real-life costuming organization which was honored by Lucasfilm's inclusion of their name into Star Wars canon back in 2004. The confusion is understandable. After all, the Wal-Mart-exclusive figure does come packaged with a "Republic Army Identification Card" that clearly implies 501st membership. In fact, the card back reads "With your very own Republic Army Identification Card, you can become a member of the most elite fighting force in the galaxy," and is emblazoned with the 501st name (several times). Not wanting to disappoint fans with misleading membership requirements, the Legion contacted toy manufacturer Hasbro (with whom we have a great relationship) and they kindly agreed to post a disclaimer on their website.

I was thinking of ways to turn lemons into lemonade and we may work out a special giveaway or contest for kids and fans who show up at 501st events with their Hasbro 501st ID card. Hasbro sells toys. The 501st gets booth traffic. Kids get prizes. That's a win-win-win situation in my book.

Trivia: Wal-Mart just recently updated their logo, but it looks like they were just a bit too late to include it on this new figure.

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