Despite only appearing on screen for a few minutes in the original trilogy, one of the most popular characters in all of Star Wars is the iconic bounty hunter, Boba Fett. The team thinks that a lot of that comes down to toys. Kids didn’t see The Empire Strikes Back every day, because they had to go to the movie theater to see it, so most of the experiences kids had with Boba Fett came from playing with the action figure. And the classic figure of Boba Fett was something special, with a ton of color and an awesome look.
Little Leaps… The Evolution of Star Wars Boba Fett Helmets at Hasbro
By now, you’ve probably seen pictures of the Black Series Boba Fett Electronic Helmet. Maybe you’ve noticed how close to screen accurate it is, or the amazing amount of deco that makes this helmet look so awesome. But have you wondered how we got here?
Wonder no more! We sat down with the designers behind some of the most iconic helmets in Hasbro Star Wars history, including this one, to find out the history of helmets at Hasbro that inspired the Boba Fett helmet you see today.
It All Starts with Boba Fett
The First Helmets: For Kids
Back when Hasbro got into the Star Wars helmet game in the early 2000s, collecting and cosplay just weren’t as big as they are now. Because of this, the first Boba Fett helmet we made was really targeted at kids. That means they had to set certain safety standards that would make them a bit less screen accurate, such as wider visors for more visibility. Plus, parents weren’t interested in paying premium for a kid helmet, which meant less deco and less electronics.
After that initial Boba Fett helmet, the approach continued to develop as the team worked on subsequent helmets throughout the 2000s. They had started to make small changes along the way, learning from what they were able to do and building on what came before. Every change that the team made over the years has been a little stepping stone, leading us from those first kid-focused helmets to the complex, highly detailed Boba Fett helmet that exists now.
But it wasn’t until we started developing toys for the sequel trilogy that the team realized there was a whitespace: premium, high deco, electronic helmets for collectors, cosplayers, and kids.
Kylo Ren and the Next Steps
For a long time, the designers had been thinking about upping the age target and adding more detailing to helmets. During initial development for toys for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the team worked closely with Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams, who asked them for more screen accuracy after he saw some early prototypes. That was all we needed to hear.
With the green light from Lucasfilm, the team took to dual pathing two Kylo Ren helmets: one for kids and one for collectors. Now visors could be narrower, electronics could be more expensive, and deco could get really detailed. The team put what they learned on that first premium helmet and started designing the Boba Fett Helmet we had all been waiting for.
We Pulled out All the Stops
At Hascon in 2017 we asked fans what they wanted to see next from Black Series helmets. You answered resoundingly: Luke’s X-Wing helmet and Boba Fett. But the team knew they wanted to wait for the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back in 2020 and make it a special helmet.
How special? Well, previous helmets were generated off of 2D imagery. For this helmet, the team went straight to the source: the Lucasfilm archive. Not only is it screen accurate to the one Joe Johnson used, but the colors match. We did everything we could in terms of deco mapping to really make this helmet look as close as we could to what you see on screen.
That deco mapping includes 469 deco ops, more than anything Hasbro has made for Star Wars besides Jabba’s Sail Barge. And not only is the deco painted on, it’s sculpted. So when you run your hand over it, you can actually feel the layers of paint.
Along with all that great visual accuracy are electronics that add the finishing touch to this premium helmet. The rangefinder on the side of the helmet drops down with the press of a button, activating LEDs that flash in a “hunting” pattern, and a white, LED-illuminated HUD fills the visor and adds some extra flourish to your cosplay sessions, or just plain looks cool on your shelf display.
All of this combines to form a helmet that we’re incredibly proud to share with you, the fans of Star Wars. We’ve been working a long time to get to this stage, and we think you’ll agree… it’s been worth the wait.