Archive for the ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Category
“Hey, where’s his light saber!?”
I know that this borders on heresy, but I’m just not a fan of the light sabers that came with the vintage Luke Bespin and vintage Luke Jedi Knight action figures. I’d have preferred that Kenner just keep the geeky telescoping magic of the original 1978 Luke Skywalker ‘farm boy’ figure. That small gaff aside, this Luke Skwalker figure is pure 1980 gold and maybe one of my favorite figures that Kenner released for the original Star Wars films.
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Congratulations to Chiktabba of Paris, France, for the landslide win! It’s a great achievement and one that’s clearly deserved. I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that this photo is one of my favorite vintage action figure pics of all time.
If you didn’t get around to participating this time, fear not my friends. Planning for the 2014 Contest is already underway and there’s a surprise twist already in the works that will rock your peaceful planet. I’d love to spill more details but I will refrain. So I’ll just say this: mark your calendars and start scheming your masterpiece!
The call was made and the call was answered! My profound thanks to all that entered this year’s contest. I’m proud to know that I inspired each of you to show off your own vision of vintage Star Wars love. And whether or not you made it to this stage: keep up the great work.
So it gives me great pleasure to present the eight finalists below. Please take some time to enjoy them and then register a vote for your favorite using the ballot at the bottom of this post. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section as well.
Voting ends Friday, February 8, at 5pm PST. The winner will be announced shortly after!
They’ve done their hard work, now it’s time for you to do yours: pick a favorite. Good luck with that, ’cause I sure can’t decide. Please don’t forget the winner walks with a vintage 1983 Emperor’s Royal Guard, still sealed to his original card. Fate is in your hands my friend!
Detection of vote tampering is easier than you might think and will result in instant disqualification of any affected parties.
It’s that time of year again! Last year’s contest was a lot of fun and this year’s promises to be a kick in the Han Solo as well. The way it works will be a little different this time but I think these changes will be for the better. Let’s go over the details.
1. This contest is for photos of vintage Star Wars toys only.
2. Unlike last year (we had a cumbersome vehicle requirement) there’s no theme or structure to where you go with the subject matter. Freestyle all the way.
3. There’s no limit to the number of people that may enter, however there will only be 8 slots available in the voting competition. I will select from all the entries which 8 will qualify to compete for votes. Criteria for selection are simple: A) proficiency in lighting and composition, and B) vintage awesomeness.
4. One winner will be decided from among my 8 selections by votes cast by the website’s audience at large. Unlike last year, a person will be able to vote only once for the duration of the contest.
And the exciting news: this year’s winner will receive the 1983 carded Emperor’s Royal Guard action figure pictured here. It’s not an AFA goldmine but hey it’s a sweet piece of Star Wars history nonetheless.
Entries will be accepted now through January 31, 2013. The competition will be posted morning of February 4 with voting finalized by 5pm PST on February 8. When you’re ready with your entry, drop me a line here and I’ll get you hooked up with further instructions.
It’s become clear to me that the Star Wars action figures I enjoyed most as a kid were the really little guys. R2-D2, Jawa, Snaggletooth, Yoda, Ugnaught (I never played with the Ewoks — I was too cool for school by ’83). These were the action figures that could be stashed anywhere with total stealth. And any fool knows that when it’s one kid against the Empire, maintaining a low, secret profile is key!
Yes, yes… I know Weequay and Nikto aren’t bounty hunters. It felt like a cool title just the same. And by the way, hauling out the vintage Nikto and Weequay figures for this reminded me of just how underrated those two ROTJ guys really are. You’ll be seeing more of them in the very near future.
The AT-ST. Is it heavy artillery or just a lightweight little bro to the AT-AT? Difficult to say!
Buying Notes on the Vintage Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot was a toy sold by Kenner from 1978 to about 1985. So there were (and still are) great numbers in circulation, and a fair number of these are still in excellent shape. But keep a few things in mind when tracking one down on eBay.
The Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot action figure probably had more paint applied to it in the production process than any other vintage Star Wars action figure. Face color, facial features, helmet details, vest, chest panel, hands, leg straps, boots. The guy has paint details everywhere. Be sure to see plenty of photos showing that the paint all looks good.
This was an action figure in the true sense of the word. Luke Skwyalker X-Wing Pilot was played with extensively by little kids in the 70s and 80s. If the seller hasn’t already declared that the joints are tight in the auction description, you definitely want to ask before bidding.
Lastly, the figure’s weapon is the Han Solo pistol type of Kenner blaster. Don’t forget: repro accessories suck. Make certain that it’s authentic if possible. You can check out the Imperial Gunnery for some excellent reference on the topic.
Feel free to add any more thoughts on this in the comments section and drop me a line if you get into trouble!
Buying Notes on the Vintage Snowspeeder
If you’re a collector of loose Kenner vehicles from the vintage Star Wars run and you don’t own the vintage Snowspeeder yet, it’s time to turn that ship around. Ounce for ounce, this is my favorite vehicle for the whole ’78 to ’85 period.
For overall look the Snowspeeder’s got it where it counts. Add on the awesome lights and sound and you can see why we’ve got gold medal material. The harpoon and cool kickstand are icing on the cake.
Ready to climb aboard? Just keep in mind this checklist before going off half cocked on eBay:
1. The Snowspeeder’s lights and sounds are integral to your enjoyment factor. Make sure they both work before bidding. Sure you could take it apart and horse around with fixing the electronics, but that’s something to avoid unless you’ve really got the feel for it.
2. This vehicle has a ton of stickers applied to it. Something like 27 to be exact. Try to get a good feel that they’re all there and not peeling up. For this reason you might want to focus on the Snowspeeders that have clearly been kept over the years with their original box. I’ve seen a strong correlation between a present original box and nice looking stickers.
3. The rear harpoon with its black tether are a MUST. Make sure its there!
Best of luck, and if you have any other thoughts feel free to add them in the comments below.
I seem to recall back in 1980 that the vintage Dengar action figures suffered lengthy stays lingering in retail toy aisles. Alongside his brothers the Lobots and the Bespin Security Guards, Dengar was a peg warmer.
First off, nobody knew of him. With his screen time totaling about .08 seconds, one could forgive even an avid fan for not making the positive ID. Second, he wasn’t much to brag about in terms of a ‘look’. Paunchy, drably colored, and armored in an array of junk and soiled linens, Dengar was not exactly giving Boba Fett’s hot appeal much competition.
But decades come and decades crumble, and Dengar’s still here. I’ve come not only to really appreciate him as an adult collector but might even go so far as to say he’s in my Top 10 vintage figures. I mean, just look at that twisted and beautiful face!
The End of the Line for those pesky Rebels that is!
And, sad is it may be, it’s also the End of this six-part AT-AT exposé. I said at the onset that taking on the whole toy in one shot wasn’t really feasible but of course that only made me feel the challenge that much more. So here she is in all her chin-to-tail glory, ready to do some serious business on behalf of her Imperial masters. Stomp on, trusty AT-AT, stomp on!