Thumbnail credit: Sideshow Collectibles statue. Used because it looks hella cool.
This story is only semi-dramatic, though to normies outside of the Toy Playground it is extremely dramatic, so let’s break down some of these details and have ourselves a Toy News conversation.
On the evening of February 10th 2021, social media exploded with some titillating news: Gina Carano, the former MMA fighter turned actress playing Cara Dune on Disney+’s smash hit Star Wars: The Mandalorian was terminated. Due to her incessant, if not obsessive posting of off-color statements directed toward transgender folks and Jewish people, Carano landed herself in a hot swamp and her employers chose to no longer work with her. It happens and that’s the choice, business decision, and prerogative of Disney.
The next day, we here at Toy Wizards wrote an article, before news of the cancelation of the Cara Dune Black Series action figures hit the airwaves, wrote an article predicting that Cara Dune figures would go up in cost, so if you want them, now is the time to get them. Naturally, this article stirred the pot and caused some (mild at best) controversy, up to and including Toy Wizards readers writing to me stating that they were unsubscribing and would no longer read the website because we broke the forth wall of staunch toy news reporting and discussed entertainment news that was… directly related to… toy… news.
This sparked a debate in the collector’s world– would Cara Dune figures go up in cost? Or would they be shelved and put on clearance? Many photos were sent to me by enthusiastic readers (thank you) showing that their local Target stores had Cara Dune on clearance. However, some of those stickers showed a $20 clearance sticker on a toy that retailed for about $14. In a stroke of brilliance and effortless marketing, was Target now overcharging and feeding the inflated secondary market in a retail setting?
We will likely never have a concrete answer to that question. Every Target store, much like a yard sale, varies in its prices, stock, and availability.
However, when Toy Wizards encouraged collectors to stock up on Cara Dune toys today, it was met with disgust because of the actions performed by the actress playing her. And you know what, that is completely understandable. But as we’re always stating (and this is part of a broader discussion) many toy enthusiasts have lost the ability to look at tomorrow. We are absolutely no agreeing with or condoning Gina Carano and her behavior… but do you know how juicy and fascinating this story will be in five, ten, twenty years?
One day when Cara Dune has long since been recast and there is an MCU style universe for Star Wars and Cara Dune, in ten years, has her own crazy Obi Wan Kenobi style adventure on her own, you’ll be able to tell your kids “Hey, did you know that Cara Dune was once played by some other actress, who due to her big mouth was terminated and recast?” then you can bust out the action figures and everyone can gawk because this story will otherwise be lost to the sands of time and no one will remember that Cara Dune once looked like this and there was a scandal in the wonderful world of Star Wars.
And sure– many people don’t collect like this. But you know what, many of us do. When toy news crosses into the threshold of reality and there’s a historical event and story associated with it, it is worth saving. Why? Maybe for the sake of reselling one day. Maybe for the sake of documenting history, like a newspaper clipping, Just remember this– if it was not for collectors taking care of MIB figures, you’d never be able to get that MEGO or MASK or MOTU toy in box that all the cool kids are excitedly scrambling after.
So, where does that leave us collectors and enthusiasts who ordered the next wave printing of Star Wars The Black Series Cara Dune figures? Well, we may or may not get them. I ordered mine from Entertainment Earth and did not receive notice of my order being canceled. According to the below information from Newsweek, the Vintage and Retro collection Cara Dune figures, as well as the Funko figures are planned to carry on as usual.
Newsweek reported the following:
On February 13, Star Wars fans who had pre-ordered a Cara Dune action figure from the Big Bad Toy Store company received an email reading:
“We have been informed by Hasbro that they have cancelled production of the Star Wars: The Black Series 6″ Cara Dune (The Mandalorian) and will not be fulfilling our order. Unfortunately, this means we must cancel our pre-orders for this item. We apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate your understanding.”
This was then confirmed by a spokesperson from the store, who told The Hollywood Reporter:
“The Star Wars Black Cara Dune figure was released in 2020 and sold out not long after the inventory was received. Hasbro planned for another production run and we were accepting preorders from that production run. Due to recent events, Hasbro was no longer approved to produce any more of this figure.”