Posted by Curto on January 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM CST
It's been quite an interesting season of sporadic unofficial releases (unless you live in the UK), but the official release date of "new" Star Wars toys is here at last!

There's enough toys to make you party like it's 1999, as most items are based on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Not all of them are new toys, however...taking advantage of the new, young crowd that The Clone Wars has brought in, Hasbro is re-releasing a lot of older toys that longtime collectors most likely already have, but now with a spiffy new paint job. Or new packaging. Or hey, if you don't have it already ...then it's new to you! So, exactly what's out there? Read on to find out what I spotted during today's lunchtime toy run!

This chain has been THE go-to retailer for early product, as nearly every sighting of the new wave of action figures in The Vintage Collection has been found here. Today was no exception. After spending weeks hunting this 12-figure wave down, these figures are out once again. However, the numbers are limited, since there are 12 all-new figures in this wave. So if your local collecting community hasn't already grabbed all of these by now, you might get lucky an find a full set.

I also spotted the latest wave of figures from The Clone Wars...which is mostly made up of repacks from previous years. There are only 3 new figures in this wave, plus an interesting repaint. The rest are practically identical to earlier releases...although of course there is now the spiffy cardbacks and Galactic Battle Game pieces includes (battle dice, battle cards, battle stands). I did pick up a few figures, which I will actually be returning! (See below for the reason why)

There are also 3 "Battle Packs" (ah, how far this line has fallen) that include 3 figures each, plus 3 battle cards, 3 battle stands, and a die, but only one is actually "new", and it's all repainted clones.

Target also has an exclusive pair of figure 2-packs, all featuring the Dark Lords of the Sith. These figures are repaints/repacks of the evil characters in the saga.

In addition, the Fighter Pods are out, making a play for collectors. There are various sets, all appear to be a bit random. Time will tell if this is the new Galactic Heroes, or the next Star Wars Customs.

The next stop was Walmart, which had also restocked after being empty for the past few weeks. Here I spotted the 4 "new" "mini-rigs", and they are nearly all repainted sets or mix-and-match sets from the past. The first batch of Movie Heroes figures was sitting on the pegs, and these are nearly all repaints. Formerly known as "Saga Legends", many of the figures are even the same characters that we've seen before. There are some new versions, however. Stay tuned for more details on what those are.

Also, the Walmart-exclusive "Discover the Force" line has started to come out, with a pair of large characters from the past, the Vulture Droid and the Dewback. Both include the 3D image on the back, and are part of the 17-piece toy line.

The final stop today was Toys"R"Us, which had mostly everything listed above, but for $1 more each. HOWEVER, this week they are having a Buy-2-Get-1-Free sale, so I was able to take advantage of that! So, if you have a choice this week, this is the store to hit up. I'll be bringing back the figures I grabbed at Target. Also, there is an exclusive multipack of Podracers that are "new enough" to warrant grabbing them, especially if you missed them the first time around. Nearly every podracer figure is coming back out this year, but sadly, not their podracers.

Stay tuned this week for more detailed photos of the "new" and NEW toys I picked up today!