June 14 of this year marks the 30th anniversary of when Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark took audiences by storm and launched one of the most iconic heroes ever to grace the big or small screen. With the big anniversary just around the corner, evidence of celebrations in varying forms are beginning to surface.
A little over two years ago when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had recently been released to theaters, toymaker Hasbro previewed an upcoming wave of Raiders of the Lost Ark 3-3/4″ action figures that had fans of the film salivating to acquire. Before the figures could enter production, Crystal Skull figures clogged stores and the line was canceled before the Raiders figures could reach the market.
Hasbro went on record stating the the only chance the figures would see the light of day is if Paramount made Indiana Jones 5. That film has been swirling around the creative phase for a couple years with no evidence of it coming any time soon. Aligning the schedules of Steven Spieberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf is no easy task.
On Saturday Hasbro pulled a wild card from its deck and announced the 5 unreleased figures including Toht, Marion, Indy in German Disguise, the German Mechanic and Satipo, would be joined by Indiana Jones in his signature outfit with a brand new head sculpt and be available as an exclusive set at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer. Getting one of the sets will be tricky given how quickly Comic-Con tickets sold out, but thanks to the 30th anniversary at least they’re coming.
A couple months after Comic-Con, Indiana Jones: A Celebration Convention will take place from October 7-9 somewhere in Chicago (the poster has the wrong location on it). This “Tribute Convention” promises many cast members on-hand and surprises never-before-seen at previous conventions. Again, thank the 30th anniversary for this.
We all want the first three Indiana Jones films on Blu-ray and the 30th anniversary on paper is the ideal time to release them. My hesitation in their appearance this year stems from LucasFilm having a hand in Indy and Star Wars. George Lucas and co. may not find it in their best interest to release their two Blu-ray home runs against one another in marketing campaigns and in stores. With Star Wars: The Complete Trilogy already announced, Indy could be pushed to next year or until an Indy 5 ever materializes.
I still hold onto a sliver of hope Indiana Jones will debut on Blu-ray this year when breaking down the upcoming series of events. The 30th anniversary is a powerful argument, and the scheduling of Star Wars on September 27 by Fox rather than November – the month every single one of their prior year big box sets has been released – might signal LucasFilm requested the late 3rd quarter release so Indiana Jones can have the spotlight for itself in November.
If we do get Indiana Jones on Blu-ray this year then I would expect an announcement to be made at Comic-Con in July. The ginormous convention would be the perfect platform to break the news with the Hasbro Raiders figures as a tie-in (they’ll sell out instantly whether the set is announced or not). Then “new” material from the sets could be previewed at the Indy convention in October as one of the “surprises” with the set hitting stores in mid-November for the holiday rush and after everyone already owns and has watched Star Wars.
That’s how I would approach charting a dotted-line course for Indy to swing onto Blu-ray.
If Indy on Blu-ray is not announced at Comic-Con then we could be looking at an announcement made at the Indy convention for a fall 2012 release. Should this happen we’ll at least have Star Wars this year.