According to the following reports, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: Episode VII will have ramifications on the action figures which can be produced and why. Logically, there will be less prequel figures coming out and there will be almost zero Expanded Universe figures coming out once the EU figures in the works make their way to stores.
Jedi Temple Archives reports:
Hasbro has been directed by Lucasfilm, Ltd. (the culprit in many of Hasbro’s bad business decisions) to avoid the Expanded Universe like the plague. Not only is it next to impossible that we’ll see a brand new Expanded Universe figure in the near future (we’re talking years folks), older and hard to find figures will NEVER see re-release either.
I think that makes sense on a number of levels that are actually a wise business decision. Some of the Expanded Universe is not going to interface with the new television series and films coming out. Some stories are likely to fall off and If by some chance, Ben Skywalker is not the son of Luke Skywalker in the new films, his figure only stands to confuse people. But what if they make a figure of Ben Skywalker. Then Ben Skywalker is in Star Wars: Episode VII and now they have a representation that clashes with the character in a 100 million dollar plus film. Or what if an EU character gets a film in the future but they make a figure based on outdated designs? There isn’t enough room for all the figures they have the potential to make now.
Hasbro has received permission to get Bastila Shan, Darth Malgus, the Republic Trooper and Starkiller out into the line again, but that’s only because of the distribution nightmare surrounding The Vintage Collection which have been planned way in advance to the recently announced “No EU” directive.
So there are least a few figures still hitting shelves from the EU.
On a related note, we will see a huge cutback on the characters from the Prequel Trilogy as well. They’re not off limits, but the focus will be on the Original Trilogy and Star Wars: Rebels for the foreseeable future.
That makes sense as well. We’re moving into two different eras right now, The Dark Times (between III-IV) and the post Return of the Jedi era. So setting the launch pad era and the era where the spin-offs will take place makes the most sense to me. But once again, they state their not off the table so we will likely still see some of the heroes popping up every now and then. But after over ten years of prequel figures, I’m okay with giving the era a break now.
Jedi Temple Archives in another article with this information:
We will see a heavy release of products that are sourced to Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi closer to the release of Episode VII since it is the story right before it. Many toy concepts will focus on this film as a gateway to it (as we get closer of course).
It makes me ponder if this is simply because it is the previous story or if we will see designs from that film making their way into Episode VII? Probably not, but you never know.
Either way, this information is interesting food for thought. It proves what we’ve already known, a new movie era is on the way and the EU is going to change in that shift. It makes solid sense to have a big Return of the Jedi year leading up to the sequel, Star Wars: Episode VII.