Posts Tagged ‘C-3PO’
All hail Kenner’s Return of the Jedi Y-Wing Fighter! Quickly approaching it’s 30th anniversary of toy magic.
The vintage Y-Wing Fighter has some tremendous upsides. First, the battery-operated rooftop cannon is unmatched for taking out the enemy. Sweeping left to right at manic speed, it just can’t miss. And just in case you’ve sprayed a few too many turbo lasers, the chin cannons are there for backup! You could literally jab your target into submission with those two badboys. Also the vintage Y-Wing actually allowed you to insert your own droid as opposed to the X-Wing Fighter that used an artificial R2 substitute.
Downsides? A few. The rear engine extensions broke about as easily as eggshells. Also, while brilliantly conceived, the landing gear mechanism suffered from poor construction. Kenner tended to use plastic throughout their vehicles, even where a little metal would’ve really hit the spot. So even back in the day the wings of the Emperor’s Shuttle, the wings of the X-Wings, and the landing gear on this lovely Y-Wing all tended to stop doing what they were supposed to do once that plastic gave out.
The Y-Wing has one other peculiar design flaw. You see, the vehicle’s hull is put together kind of like a sandwich. There’s a top half and a lower half and when screwed together they keep in all the good stuff that controls the landing gear and electronics. What’s troublesome is that some of the decals need to go over the seam between the top and bottom halves, so that if you ever needed to open that sucker up you’d actually have to tear or otherwise remove the decals. As far as I know it’s the only vintage Kenner vehicle that can boast this.
So there you have it.
You know, a lot of ink gets spilled about the significance of the first 12 (or 12-back) Star Wars action figures that hit toy store shelves in the Spring of 1978. But rarely given the same respect are the vehicles that were available at the same time.
If you consult the back of a 12-back action figure package you’ll see that Kenner was promoting a Tie Fighter, an X-Wing Fighter, and a Landspeeder. What a feast, right?
Personally I’m not certain that anything more than the Landspeeder was actually available at first. But in truth it was enough. As a kid of 7 years, playing with my new Star Wars guys was a heady experience to be sure. But it was the Landspeeder that provided the glue. With the Landspeeder, the action figures could live out their adventures rolling together as a team, no droid left behind!
Check out the Landspeeder here, slightly abstracted, but ready to whisk Ben and Threepio (you guessed it, 12-backs) into their next cosmic adventure.
This is an outtake from a very old setup that deserved to see some daylight.
Just cleaning out some old directories and came across this outtake from a set-up I put together almost two years ago.
If memory serves me well, the Biker Scout was the only figure that I actually bought from the ROTJ line back in the summer of 1983. At the ripe age of 12 I was getting ‘too old’ for Star Wars toys. Obviously he was just too damn cool to resist.
Hard to imagine, but this photo represents the first proper portrait I’ve taken of the vintage R2-D2 and C-3PO action figures together. With chrome paint these two can be particularly hard to light. Worth the effort though as the results are spectacular when the stars finally do align.
Attention sports fans! If you want to dig deeper into the story of ‘Star Wars Action Figures Doing What They Do Best’, an interview has been published at the excellent Galactic Awesome blog. That blog has a terrific companion as well.
This is a Part 2 in a rethink of an earlier post. Second of two shots in the installment.
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.
This is Part 1 in a rethink of an earlier post. First of two shots in the installment.
The 3.75″ Stormtrooper was the very first Star Wars action figure that I laid eyes on back in early Spring of 1978. A river of spectacular Star Wars toys would come and go for me over the following years, but it’s most noteably the Stormtrooper that still gives me goosebumps to this day.
Buying Notes on the Vintage Stormtrooper
The vintage Stormtrooper is among the most iconic of the vintage Kenner figures. The good news is they’re plentiful and you can pull a gorgeous, like-new one off the auction table for not much dough. Certainly no more than $15 delivered. But you’ve got to be a bit careful as you go.
First it’s common to see reproduction accessories. The vintage Stormie came with a beautiful little imperial blaster that helped him shoot up jawas and rebels alike. But small and fun often equals small and lost. Enter the repro accessory makers and with them a lot of confusion on how to keep things straight. How to tell? Thanks to the good guys over at Imperial Gunnery, this is a nut easily cracked. Check out their awesome guide first before you buy something your unsure of.
Second, take a good look at the photos to spot yellowing. The vintage figures molded in white plastic are the ones most prone to a change in color due to plastic degradation. Some are yellowing and some aren’t, just keep a keen eye on what the seller is showing you and ask for more or better photos if its unclear.
And lastly be sure to inquire on whether or not the figure has loose joints or not. Stormtroopers saw a lot of play in their day and the limbs became loose quickly. If this is important to you (it’s important to me) drop the seller a line through the eBay message system before bidding.
Feel free to add any thoughts in the comments and drop me a line if you run into any trouble!