Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995), also known as Power of the Force 2, was Hasbro/Kenner's first Star Wars action figure collection since Kenner's "Vintage" line ended a decade earlier in 1985. It was released from 1995 to 2000.
The initial line was characterized by a muscular look typical of boys' toy lines of the time. This bulked-up aesthetic was toned down as the line continued and was phased out by 1998 in favor of a more movie-accurate look. The line comprised characters from the Original Trilogy, most of them new versions of characters produced by Kenner from 1978 to 1985. Many characters released in the original line under film production nicknames were now released under their names from later Expanded Universe sources. "Walrus Man" became Ponda Baba and "Hammerhead" became Momaw Nadon, for example. Also introduced in 1998 was a wave of Expanded Universe figures from Star Wars comics, novels, and video games. Vehicles from the Power of the Force line for the most part reused the 1970s and 1980s Kenner molds, updating their paint schemes and electronics, a practice Hasbro would continue for future lines.
Following the 1997 Special Edition release of the Original Trilogy, new figures, vehicles, and beasts were created based on the newly created or revised footage. Also in 1997, the packaging design evolved as the decoration changed from featuring a red lightsaber glow to a green. The next change, although short lived, featured cards with a hologram sticker. These used a standard green card but with a hologram sticker of the character simply stuck onto the card where the original picture would be. Some of the hologram cards can be found with the Power of the Force logo missing.
Beginning in 1998, the packaging was revised once again, this time to feature a promotional pack-in in the form of a photo slide known as a Freeze Frame Slide, depicting a scene from the film in which character can be seen, 56 of these figures were released. Two Freeze Frame cards are noteworthy for their rarity. The skiff guard Weequay is the rarest of the Freeze Frame cards due to being the last of this line to be produced. Another noteworthy figure is R2-D2 with data attachments: the early figure featured a variant Freeze Frame Slide with the words "Imperial Trash Compacter" in the caption. This slide was then altered to read "Death Star Trash Compacter", making the original "Imperial" card a rare variant for collectors. A slide viewer shaped like Luke Skywalker's macrobinoculars, as seen in the opening moments on Hoth in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, was available as a mail-away offer.
In 1999, in preparation for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the Freeze Frame cards were replaced by 11 special figures known as Flashback Photo cards, which came with an oblong plastic framed photo that allowed the viewer, by pulling a tab below the photo, to shift an image of a character from the original trilogy to its Episode I counterpart. For example, the Darth Vader photo pulled down to show nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker. Also in 1999, with the final waves of Power of the Force 2, Hasbro discontinued use of the Kenner name, but aside from a change of corporate logos the line would continue largely unchanged.
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