Last year, I posted two rants (click here and here) about Gentle Giant's release of "Jumbo" 12 inch replicas of 3 and 3/4 inch figures from Kenner's Star Wars toy line that was released during the late 70s. I couldn't--and still can't--comprehend the appeal of buying a larger scale replica of an action figure at a price point that's ridiculously higher than the original.
Of course, leave it up to me to underestimate the power of the toy collectors market. Since my 2012 rants, the 12 inch Jumbo line has expanded to include replicas of many Kenner figures from Empire Strikes Back (including the Wampa) and it looks like it will go on to include many Kenner Return of the Jedi figure replicas as well. With the Jumbo series proving to be a hit, Gentle Giant has decided to get even giant-er by releasing a limited edition six foot tall replica of Kenner's Stormtrooper action figure (complete with removable blaster), which will be released in 2014 for $2,300. To put it in another perspective, Gentle Giant is making an expensive six foot version of a toy that was originally less than four inches high and sold for a few bucks. The original Stormtrooper action figure can sit in Kenner's Star Wars vehicle toys; the giant Stormtrooper action figure can sit next to you on your couch.
Yes, really. (Photos courtesy of Galactic Hunter.)
If anything, the giant Stormtrooper action figure replica is a textbook example of geek exorbitance. I can understand releasing Alien action figures based on the scale of Kenner action figures, or releasing classic Battlestar Galactica action figures based on the scale of Mego action figures. But an action figure replica that literally towers over the demographic group for which the figure was originally designed and costs more than most home appliances? Seriously?