The Imperial Troop Transport was the first vehicle to be introduced that was *kind of* not seen in the films. I say *kind of* (love those asterisks!) because the Rebels did use a similar vehicle on both Yavin and Hoth that was briefly seen in SW and ESB. Granted, it's completely plausible that it was a generic vehicle in the Star Wars universe and both sides could have been using these, but Imperial use is never shown in the film.
The Imperial Troop Transport was first released during the first movie. It featured 6 "slots" for figures on the sides, two cockpit spaces that opened out like any car door, and space for two figures in the back prisoner area. It also came with two restraints that inexplicably covered the face and shoulders of the prisoners. Binders may have been a better choice, but considering the variation of figure sizes this might not have been practical.
The niftiest features were the rotating turret cannons on the top, and the six buttons that had more or less authentic sound effects from the film. The six included 2 different gun sounds, a vehicle, R2, C-3PO, and a Stormtrooper.
The vehicle was released again during ESB, but it was renamed Imperial Cruiser, it was a Sears exclusive, some decals were altered, and it lacked the sound effect buttons.
Despite its iffy official canon status, I always liked this vehicle because of the sheer number of figures you could fit in it, the moving guns, the fact you could wheel it instead of having to fly it all over (I was a lazy kid), and the sounds. It was hard to get your little brother to stop playing with the sounds though.
Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. Finally, lock some Rebels up. Just a bunch of hippies anyway.
2. A vehicle you could really get going across the linoleum. Granted, you could do this with the Landspeeder, but that only fit 2 people, and had no guns. Daddy likes guns. And it scared your cat.
3. The sound effects were cool, even if it lead me to believe you were only suppose to act out capturing the droids. Wow. What a fight they would have put up.
4. The front is reminiscent of Boba Fett's helmet, who was only a glimmer in George Lucas's eye at the time, so it looks vaguely menacing.
5. It was kind of the figure case before there were figure cases you could play with. Heck, it held 10 figures despite it seeming relatively small.
The Reconnaissance Troop Transporter, as it was officially called, was built by Santhe/Sienar Technologies for the Empire. It used repulsorlifts for levitation and presumably some variation for propulsion. It appeared in several Marvel and Dark Horse Star Wars comics, and is now presumably an official vehicle in the Star Wars universe. When pictured in the comics, the Transport was actually almost exactly identical to the toy.
Want more? Wookieepedia article
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Posted by Ben at 4:32 AM