Monday, December 31, 2012

See-Threepio (C-3PO) (SW 1978-79)

Ah, C-3PO, you shiny-plated pain in the ass. C-3PO is one of the original 12, and he came on a SW back card and an ESB card. Despite being a central figure, he was never released on a ROTJ or POTF card because by that time C-3PO with removable limbs took over. I'm going off the official cards here, which is why C-3PO is in the "S's" and not in the "C's."

It's hard to be enthusiastic about someone whose main "power" is translating. Sure, he's shiny, but no weapons, no commlink, no nothing. He's more of the Jar Jar Binks of the original trilogy, except he's actually useful (and less annoying).

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. How else is everyone going to figure out what the hell R2 is talking about?

2. shiny.

3. Decently detailed figure - even has a restraining bolt on his chest.

4. C-3PO can be used as the fall guy for everything. Oops, ran over C-3PO with my landspeeder. Oops, C-3PO just got blown out the airlock on the Falcon. Oops, C-3PO just ended up in my dog's water dish.

5. Makes a good reflector for spotter planes when your on a life raft.


The movies pretty much show all this. C-3PO is built by Anakin, kind of stolen from the Lars homestead, resides on Coruscant until Anakin goes bad, given to Bail Organa (adoptive father of Leia) and his memory wiped. Then he goes through all that stuff in SW, gets dismantled and put back together in ESB, and talks a bunch of teddy bears into assaulting a much more technologically advanced foe in ROTJ. In the novels he pretty much follows Han and Leia around, translating and providing Han with someone to yell at.

Interesting movie note is that although Anthony Daniels wore the costume and provided the voice for Threepio, Lucas was going to replace his voice with more of a Bronx used car salesman. he hated Daniels' voice. However, they ran out of money on the first movie and stuck with Daniels.

Want the full story? His Wookieepedia entry

142nd in alphabetical order

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Security Scout Vehicle (POTF)

With the Sand Skimmer and Imperial Sniper, this was one of the three even-more-mini-than-mini-rigs (also known as “body rigs”) made for the POTF line. Sold on blister card in the U.S., overseas they came in boxes. The boxes probably held up better, because all the plastic on the blister cards nowadays seems to be yellowing.
A combination of a jet pack and portable coat rack, the Security Scout featured shin-mounted blasters, a steering joystick, and a rear rudder. It also has what looks like giant headphones for whatever figure is standing in it.
Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. So you may one day build a life size replica and realize, “There is no way in hell I’m getting in this thing.”
2. There just aren’t enough Rebel Endor vehicles. I guess.
3. If not a vehicle, it makes a decent display stand for a figure.
4. Goes well on your Star Wars mobile above your crib, I mean, adult bed.
5. How many times do you get to see rudders in Star Wars?
The Security Scout was another concept toy by Kenner – approved by Lucasfilm, but never appearing in any canon work. It is hard to see anyone actually wanting to fly one either because of the lack of protection and the sheer openness of the flight style. Heck, even if you were strapped into it on the ground, a gust of wind might topple it onto you. You could, anecdotally, say it was used on Endor after the battle in ROTJ. Maybe.
Want more? Too bad! It has a bare-bones Wookieepedia entry.
141st in alphabetical order


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scout Walker Vehicle (ESB)

The Scout Walker is analogous to some of the Star Wars action figures: when it was first released it had only scant seconds of actual screen time. Rumor has it that more Scout Walker scenes were shot/planned for ESB, but decisions were made to show more of the menacing AT-ATs. What was also weird was that the Scout Walker came out in both ESB and ROTJ boxes, but the name on the box never changed from “Scout Walker Vehicle.” Yet, there was an action figure specifically name “AT-ST Driver” from the ROTJ releases. Odd.

The Scout Walker came in and ESB box (showing a Hoth set-up) and an ROTJ box (showing an Endor set-up). Like many of the toy vehicles, it was slightly scaled down from the movie, so it only held one figure rather than two. However, it still had a rotating head and side head guns, and tilting chin guns. There was also a cool button on the back to make it “walk.” This feature also had a switch to put it in just standing mode. It also featured a top-opening cockpit and round hatch.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. That funky leg-pumping action with the button.

2. It was a smaller, more moderately priced vehicle if you couldn’t get the AT-AT. Which I’m sure many a kid’s parent opted for.

3. Recreate that cringe-worthy scene where Chewbacca lets loose with a Tarzan yell and mounts the beast, I mean, Scout Walker.

4. Set up your own Scout Walker destruction line using logs, rocks, and other things you can find in the yard.

5. I gotta mention the funky leg-pumping action again. That was just cool/weird.


A precursor to the AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport)(also called “chicken walkers” by Rebels) was seen as early as Revenge of the Sith, being used by clone troopers. By the original trilogy it was manufactured by several different companies.

In ESB it was used as cover for the AT-ATs, since AT-ATs were actually poor at covering things attacking their own legs. They were used by the Empire on Endor because the dense forest demanded a smaller vehicle than the AT-AT. However, the bipedal propulsion of the AT-ST was its undoing when a scrappy bunch of Ewoks took a lot of them out using logs, and rocks. Heck, there was even a scene from ROTJ showing yet another way they destroyed and AT-ST that was cut from the theatrical release.

The AT-ST crew consisted of a pilot and a gunner. For armament it had grenade launcher on one side of the head, a blaster cannon on the other, and chin-mounted double medium lasers.

After the Battle of Endor, AT-STs still remained in use, but never gained the significance they once did.

Want more? Its Wookieepedia article

140th in alphabetical order

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sand Skimmer (POTF)

The Sand Skimmer can be considered like the third generation desert skiff. It sure as heck isn’t the Tatooine Skiff, and it’s still smaller than the Desert Sail Skiff. It’s not quite a mini-rig, it's a "body rig," like two other vehicles (Imperial Sniper and Security Scout) also produced in the POTF line.
The Skimmer came on a bubble card, like the aforementioned vehicles, and is a one-figure vehicle. They were released overseas in boxes with the actual toy photos, not paintings. The sand skimmer has an adjustable rudder sail, and a swiveling front blaster array. Not to mention the kick-ass steering column!

Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. When you’re just too cheap for a mini-rig.
2. You like your vehicles carded, not boxed.
3. You just need that one, last sand vehicle to get you over the top.
4. Your other real sand skiffs are full.
5. You need a pocket vehicle.

Like many of the mini-rigs and these “mini vehicles,” Kenner made the Sand Skimmer up to provide a cheaper vehicle for those who couldn’t afford the big ones. A skimmer is a kind of repulsorcraft and a different class than speeders. It has appeared in at least two episodes of "Droids."

Want more? Too bad! It doesn't have a Wookieepedia entry - this is it.

139th in alphabetical order

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sand People (SW 1978-79)

This figure represents a case of blatant false advertising, since it says “Sand People” and there is clearly only one Sand Person in the package. I’m still waiting for my lawsuit to make it through the courts.

A Sand Person came with a gaffi stick as an accessory (you know, where he stood over Luke and shook it in the air), and a vinyl cape already on. A known variations of the figure are hollow and solid face tubes right below the eyes. The Sand People figure was one of the original twelve, the first wave, and came on SW, ESB, and ROTJ cards. Its name was changed by the ROTJ card to read “Tusken Raider (Sand People).”

As a kid, this was always my WTF character, as in WTF was it? Yes, I knew it was a Sand Person, but it was kind of scary looking and I just didn’t like it. If there was ever a character that gave me the creeps (as much as the Star Wars movies did) it was the Sand Person. I don’t know what it was, but it might have been because the 18-minute Super 8 version we had of the first movie featured it prominently. Who knows?

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Give that whiny Luke figure the beat-down he deserves.

2. Have it ride a Bantha, oh wait, that’s right. They never made one for the original line. But they made a frickin’ dewback!

3. Wait until C-3PO with removable arms comes out. Remove said arms. Raise gaffi stick in triumph.

4. Probably the closest you come to a post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” type figure from Star Wars.

5. Combine it with your newer figures and, voila, Anakin Sand People Slaughter!


Sand People were an offshoot of a people indigenous to Tatooine for millennia. When a global disaster struck the planet, this civilization eventually evolved into Sand People and Jawas. Much later in their history, after a series of raids which forced out the colonists in the town of Fort Tusken, the Sand People became known as Tusken Raiders.

Unlike the Jawas, Sand People disregarded most technology. For attack and defense they used gaffi sticks, or gaderffii. They do occasionally gather enough metal scrap to make rifles, however. These can be seen in SW and Episode I. Sand People stay covered from head to toe to keep in moisture and protect them from the harsh desert climate. They roam in small tribes, and domesticate native banthas for transportation. Like the Jawas, they subsist mainly on native hubba gourds for nutrition and hydration.

About the only things that Sand People truly fear are krayt dragons, a large carnivore indigenous to Tatooine. In fact, the howl that Obi-wan makes in the first movie to scare the Sand People was a krayt dragon roar. The skeleton that C-3PO passes in the desert was that of a krayt dragon (the prop of which was left there and is still there today).

Want more? The Tusken Raider Wookieepedia entry

138th in alphabetical order

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Romba (POTF 1985)

Romba is the vacuum droid that is marketed to households. Oh, wait, I'm thinking of something else.

Romba was one of the “last seventeen” figures – the POTF line. He only came on a POTF card, and despite having this honor, at least he wasn’t already produced on another card. Romba came with a spear, although he is also shown using a bow and arrow in the movie. Again, I am always disappointed by short figures who don’t come with more accessories because I feel cheated. Cheated! Ah, well. It's also baffling that Kenner chose to make yet another Ewok in their POTF line, rather than something cooler - like they did with Amanaman.

Romba is another Ewok, but I guess if you have all the Ewok vehicles and accessories you need all the Ewoks just to man them all.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. Oh, why should we get anything?

2. Like stated above, there was so much Ewok crap, you need all the Ewok figures just to have

one on everything.

3. He came with a coin. That’s something, isn’t it?

4. Some good old fashioned Ewok stormtrooper bashing.

5. No one else in the village makes an Imperial helmet drum like Romba.


Romba was one of the first to find C-3PO, and might have recognized him from the Droids/Ewoks cartoon crossover, which would have occurred before this point and is mostly taken as canon in the Star Wars universe. He also helped construct some AT-ST traps, man a catapault, and fire bows and arrows and Imperials. His notable scene was where he and a friend were hit by a blast, and he mourned his fallen comrade onscreen.

Want more? His Wookieepedia entry

137th in alphabetical order

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ree-Yees (ROTJ 1983-84)

Hey, he’s got three eyes. Oh, wait, Ree-Yees, wow, what a remarkable coincidence of a name! Next, you’ll be telling me they worked in some reference to his goat-like appearance. His race is Gran? Like granny goat? Wow.
So, now that my fun is over, let’s actually look at the figure. Ree-Yees came with a blaster rifle that is referenced nowhere else, so it may be one that Kenner just made up. His head and suit are fairly accurate to the figure, of course, after the first movie’s weird and very clothing-inaccurate figures this was more common. He only came on an ROTJ card.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:
1. Three eyes, two little horns, big ears, and oversized hands? He’s got it all!
2. What the heck is with that blaster rifle? You’ve got to see this.
3. Completes your Jabba diorama.
4. Completes your collection of ironically-named characters.
5. The perfect figure for any fans of burgundy puffy snowsuits.

Ree-Yees (a Gran with deformed hands) was wanted for murder on his home planet kinyen, so he hid out at Jabba’s court, taking care of Jabba’s pet, Bubo. Jabba distrusted him, so he planted a bomb on Ree-Yees that could be activated with a phrase. Jabba was right to not trust him, since he was planning to kill Jabba on the sand barge. This never came to fruition, however, since Luke and the gang blew it up, along with Ree-Yees. Jabba was also strangled by Leia before he could activate Ree-Yee’s implanted bomb.
136th in alphabetical order

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rebel Transport Vehicle (ESB)

The Rebel Transport was based on the vehicle shown in the Rebel Fleet and in the background on Hoth, particularly when many of the X-Wing pilots are shown outside packing up. The scale of the ship, like many of the big ships in Star Wars, is naturally scaled down from the movies.

The entire top half of the ship can come off, revealing a lot of space for figures, and two guns mounted on the back. The back also has a separate hatch in case you don’t want to take the whole top off. The black pod on top serves as the locking mechanism for the whole thing. If you give it a turn, you can pull the top off, or lock it down. In the movie this pod is featured near the rear of the ship and not in the middle. The toy also features an exit hatch at the bottom. It came with Hoth Rebel backpacks and asteroid gas masks that were also mail-aways in the “survival gear” pack. It only came in an ESB box, with either a blue or yellow background (it had two variations).

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. Just another weird and wacky SW ship to display.

2. Doubles as a carrying case.

3. The guns in back can be fired from the ship (with the hatch off) or removed and fired from the ground.

4. When you tire of it as a toy, it can serve chips and dip (not recommended).

5. Good club for hitting intruders with.


The GR-75 medium transport was a favorite transport among the Rebels, because of its adaptability and cheap price. However, it was often needing repairs. The command pod on the upper rear housed a cramped crew of six. It was manufactured by Gallofree Yards, Inc (which sounds suspiciously like Doctor Who’s home planet), and had standard twin fire-linked laser cannon turrets (in keeping with the toy).

Want more? Its Wookieepedia entry

135th in alphabetical order

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear) (ESB 1980-82)

Now, it seems a little long-winded to add onto this figure's title "Hoth Battle Gear," since there were no other figures called "Rebel Soldier." Sure, there was the Rebel Commando, but that's about as close as they got. I guess it's supposed to tell us, "Hey, this is one of the Hoth good guys."

The Rebel Soldier is another in the 'army builder' tradition, just like the Rebel Commando, just like the Stormtrooper, and many others. In the future, I'll do one post to bring them together, and in the darkness bind them. Get as many as you want of this figure and it's still legit. You can put them all over your various Hoth playsets and Hoth toys and it will be fine.

Aside from the close-fitting hat, the Rebel Soldier also comes with a blaster pistol very common with the ESB figures - the same one that comes with Lando and the Bespin Guards. The Soldier comes on an ESB card and apparently was going to be on an ROTJ card, but an unreleased "Revenge of the Jedi" card is the only one known to exist.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:
1. There was an army of these guys - the least you can do is get one.

2. Someone needs to man all those pansy-ass Hoth mini-rigs, and it sure as Hell ain't gonna be Han. He's fixing the Falcon and saving Luke from freezing to death. Not to mention blowing up a probe droid. Jeez, did anyone else there get anything done?

3. Those little pot shots that the AT-ATs take while making the march to the shield generator? Yeah, they were at this guy.

4. Snowtroopers aren't just setting up tri-pod lasers to take out the Falcon - they've got these guys to shoot too.

5. Three words: Tauntaun pooper scooper.


A generic Rebel soldier on Hoth, this guy represents any number of idyllic young men who joined to fight the Empire and freeze their butts off. Not to mention avoid those pesky wampas who keep trying to get into the Bantha meat locker.

Want more? Nothing on anonymous Hoth Rebels, but here's the Wookieepedia article on the Rebellion itself.

134th in alphabetical order

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rebel Commando (ROTJ 1983-84)

Another in the long line of “army builders,” the Rebel Commando is another no-name Rebel Alliance soldier who gets beamed down to the planet in his red shirt and immediately killed. Wait, that’s Star Trek. I mean, he is not one the leads, so he either gets shot in the background, or he stands in back looking around for something to shoot. He doesn’t come up with the brilliant plan to use an AT-ST to lure Stormtroopers outside, and he doesn’t befriend the Ewoks by using the Force and floating an android. No. He is the no-name guy who tells his kids that he used to be in the Rebellion. "Did you know Luke Skywalker, Dad?" "No, son. I saw him once, though." "Oh."

The Commando comes with a nice sling-over blaster rifle, a non-removable utility belt, backpack, and helmet, and comes in a lovely shade of green. Not a real green outfit, that's cruel. If plastics technology had progressed a few years, he would have been printed in camoflage green, but that would have to wait until the newer lines. He only came on an ROTJ card, because he is the man with no name.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Where else can you get a manly lime-green figure?

2. His gun is actually frickin' detailed for a generic Rebel soldier.

3. He's another figure that can stand in for a G.I. Joe in a pinch.

4. You need someone for those damn Ewoks to hang on while Han and Leia are getting the real fighting done.

5. Instead of Rebel Commando, you could make him "EndorAssassin," sneaking up and killing all those Stormtroopers on the fringes. You need anger transference from those Ewoks, damn furballs.


I think I summed that up nicely at the top. No-name Rebel soldier on Endor. Does his job, goes home to his wife and 2.5 kids, and hopes that his daughter doesn't marry a Kowakian Lizard Monkey.

Want more? Wookieepedia article on Commandos.

133rd in alphabetical order

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rebel Commander (ESB 1980-82)

The Rebel Commander figure came with a blaster rifle which can be swung over his shoulder, and came on an ESB and ROTJ card. The figure itself, according to The Action Figure Archive, is based on the character that yells "Come on!" after an AT-AT gets tied up and crashes. The guy actually on the picture is a completely different person - no surprise in the original Star Wars line. I mean, look at 4-LOM and Zuckuss - their names were incorrectly given to each other until the corrected 90's line.

Unfortunately for Rebel Commander he wasn't given an actual name, like Commander James Hetfield or something. That would have been cool. Rooooooooock! I always wondered though, why did he yell "Come on!" and run towards the AT-AT? I mean, the rebels were all escaping off planet in the other direction right? If it was for some purpose of getting to the AT-AT, why was it then blown up by a snowspeeder? Mysteries.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. The afore-hinted-at James Hetfield mustache (lead singer for Metallica, for those uneducated folk out there). This figure needs an ESP Custom Series M guitar, STAT.

2. Finally act out the scene where we find out why the character was running towards the AT-AT: "Free AT-AT! Free AT-AT!" Kapow! "Ah, man..."

3. In the tradition of the "Death Star Commander" figure, rename him "Hoth Trench Commander." Or maybe "Macrobinoculars Commander." Or "C'Mon Guy."

4. Have him rally the Rebel Soldiers in Hoth gear: "Alright men. I know that all the weapons we are holding are completely ineffectual against what's coming at us. I know that our artillery guns do absolutely nothing. I know that I have no idea what we are doing out here since we can't do anything. Ah hell, let's go shoot some wampas instead."

5. Instead of James Hetfield, he could easily be Morgan Spurlock, with his new documentary, "Imperialize Me" where he exposes the outrageous nutritional content of Stormtrooper rations. Many of them then defect toward the more organic "Dagobah Diet."


A Rebel Commander was just another cog in the Rebel forces. A Commander ranked below captain, but strict hierarchies of command rank are sometimes loosely interpreted because of the rag-tag nature of the Rebellion. The Empire, though, whew! I heard they knew how to keep some discipline!

Want more? Wookieepedia article on Commander rank.

132nd in alphabetical order

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rebel Command Center Adventure (ESB)

Not only was it a set, not only was it a command center, but it was a freakin’ ADVENTURE set! This set was actually another reuse of the Land of the Jawas base, only molded in white, not sand-colored. The base gets used yet again for the Hoth Ice Planet set. The difference in the backgrounds between this and the Jawas set is that this set has a background of the Hoth Rebel hangar, as evidenced by the Millennium Falcon and Hoth-related vehicles.

This set came with three figures (R2-D2 with sensorscope, AT-AT Commander, and Luke in Hoth Gear), which is a clear indication that it is a department store exclusive. It was exclusive to Sears, and it only came in an ESB box.

Why should you own this set? Five reasons:
1. The closest to Echo Base you’ll ever get.

2. When will you ever get the chance to own a real-life “Adventure Set?”

3. You can pretend the sandcrawler tracks in the base are actually for that MLC-3 mini-rig.

4. Pretend the Jawa cave is now a mini-wampa cave.

5. There’s no better place for Chewbacca to use the Vehicle Maintenance Energizer.


The Rebels began scouting for a new location right after their base on Yavin (in the first movie) was discovered. Luke and Han ran across Hoth while escaping some Imperials, and recommended it for a new base. Rebel engineers took 2 years to finish the base, constructed in a cave system near the northern edge of the equator temperate zone.

At its maximum operation, Echo Base about 7850 personnel and 120 droids. The base was guarded with entrenched laser cannons, an ion cannon (capable of orbital shots), and patrolled by snowspeeders and riders on tautaun. The base had to regularly repel wampa attacks.

After the Imperials discovered it, Echo Base was all but abandoned, only be used once in a while by smugglers or erstwhile people looking for bits of information from the cold databanks.

Want more? Echo Base's Wookieepedia article

131st in alphabetical order

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rebel Armored Snowspeeder (ESB)

Kenner came a long way from the Landspeeder during the first movie – now we get the Snowspeeder! Not only does it make shooting sounds, but it has a harpoon with tow cable (does not shoot on its own), light-up lasers, and retractable landing gear. Not to mention a two-seater opening cockpit! If you had this and and AT-AT, you died and went to Heaven.
The Snowspeeder came in an ESB and ROTJ box, the ESB background being pink versus the ROTJ background being blue, and slightly different photos (probably to incorporate a few later ESB figures). They also tacked on the word “Vehicle” when it came out in an ROTJ box.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. Cool flying vehicle.
2. Lights up! Sounds! OMG!
3. Harpoon and tow cable!? Sure, it’s string, but tow cable!
4. You could always simulate damage by removing one or both guns.
5. Fits two figures, so it's a good excuse to ask your parents for another Luke in X-Wing outfit.

The Snowspeeder’s official name is the T-47 Airspeeder, an atmosphere-only craft. It was modified by Rebel forces to work in the cold weather on Hoth, and it was originally built by Incom Corporation. It features dual laser cannons, and modified to have a rear gunner with a light blaster and a harpoon with tow cable. While it’s lasers were ineffective against AT-AT armor (except the neck joint-watch the film) the harpoon and tow cable could tangle and trip the AT-ATs.
Want more? It's Wookieepedia article

130th in alphabetical order

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rancor Monster Figure (ROTJ)

Yes, the Rancor is big (10 inches tall) but it’s always slightly disappointing when something this big doesn’t come with at least one accessory. When this was released in the 1990’s line, they at least included that bone that Luke stuck in its mouth.

The Rancor Monster came in an ROTJ box large enough to fit in, and the arms, wrists, and legs all moved. One of the rises on its spine was a lever that could open and close the mouth. Its hands were just the right size to hold the regular size figures, especially uppity Gamorrean Guards.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. You finally have the perfect companion to your headless Gamorrean Guard.

2. That face? Those claws? This thing absolutely freaked out your little sister.

3. Not a regular figure, not a vehicle. It was a unique niche figure – at least that’s what you can tell your artsy friends.

4. No other figure has so simulated the gentle hues of feces.

5. Well, now I use it as a puppet to talk to my 2-year-old. She likes talking to it, even if she won’t touch it.


Rancors' original planet was Dathomir, a planet later colonized by humans. Some of the colonists included Jedi descendants, who formed bonds to the Rancor herds , helping them hunt during the day (when Rancor’s couldn’t see as well) and giving the human transportation, not unlike horses. Rancors on Dathomir are generally smarter and larger than those taken off-planet. The one in Jabba’s palace crashlanded on Tatooine during its transport, and was trained by animal tamer Malakili, who formed a close bond with it. When he learned that Jabba had plans to make the Rancor fight a krayt dragon (a rare and large Tatooine carnivore) he planned to escape with it. However, plans changed when Luke had to kill it.

Interesting facts:

- This toy can be seen on top of a TV in a Metallica video (sorry, don’t remember which one).
- The one in ROTJ was a puppet slowed down several times for a more realistic effect. They tried going with a guy in a suit at first (like the Wampa), but no one really liked it.
- There is a photo circulating on the web of the Rancor battling the dragon from Dragonslayer. The guys from Industrial Light and Magic (that worked on both films) thought this would be funny.

Want more? It's Wookieepedia article

129th in alphabetical order

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rancor Keeper (ROTJ 1983-84)

His name says it all – he kept the Rancor, well, he was a Rancor handler. Not much to say about this guy – his big scene was a crying jag at Jabba’s Palace. He came with a “vibroblade,” which actually resembled a modified gaffi stick from the Sand People, and a pliable head cover, like many of the Ewoks had. He also had what looked like the world's first penny pants (as opposed to penny loafers). His last endearing quality was that he was another figure, like the Gamorrean Guard, who couldn’t seem to fit in any of your figure cases because he was so fat.
Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:
1. Goes great with your rancor.
2. Always cries at weddings.
3. Shows your sensitive side.
4. Accessorize your Jabba diorama.
5. Luke can kill a rancor, but this guy shoves him out of the way? Give him props!
Malakili (his real name), a human from Corellia, was sold to Jabba by the show Circus Horrificus. When the rancor came into Jabba’s possession, Malakili trained it and became quite attached. When Jabba planned to pit the rancor against a krayt dragon (a huge Tatooine beast), Malakili began plotting against him. However, Luke killed the rancor, and Malakili left to found the Crystal Moon Restaurant with his friend and fellow detainee Porcellus. Apparently he was given a gaffi stick after helping kill a giant womp rat for some Sand People.
Want the full story? His Wookieepedia article
128th in alphabetical order

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Radio Controlled Jawa Sandcrawler (SW)

Now, when it comes to detail and proportions, Kenner got it right on this Sandcrawler. The detailing is very, very close to the original prop, even if the scale is way off. If you were to make a Sandcrawler truly to scale with the figures, it would probably have to be at least 5 feet high and who knows how long.
Now, being the late 70’s, many of us can already guess how this remote control worked. No, it wasn’t sonic controlled like the special Landspeeder, but it was one of those one-button remotes. The Sandcrawler went forward in a straight line until you pushed the button, then it reversed in a curve. It was simple and effective. The remote just looked like a brown wand with some stickers.
You could put figures in the “cockpit” (Jawas, I’m sure), and in the main bay, which opened with a panel with built-in stairs. There was also a manual elevator you could put figures in and push them up to the main cargo area (like R2 getting sucked up in the movie).
Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. Holy Hell, man - it’s one of only two Star Wars Kenner vehicles that were remote control. Get it!
2. As far as Sandcrawlers go, this is the best one. It helps that the other one is only a cardboard background.
3. Recreate the Jawa/stormtrooper misunderstanding. Or "slaughter" if that term fits better.
4. Hmm, I want a Star Wars thing with an elevator, but I can only have the Death Star Playset or this. What to choose, what to choose…
5. Scare the dog! Scare the baby!
Jawa Sandcrawlers were basically ore carriers (digger crawlers) abandoned by settlers after the mining proved to costly and inefficient. The Jawas adapted them for their own use and travel the Tatooine deserts looking for usable junk, spare parts, and other debris left behind by colonists or knocked out of orbit.
127th in alphabetical order

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Radar Laser Cannon (ESB)

One of the few small accessories to actually have screen time was the Radar Laser Cannon. You would have seen it with the Rebesl during the Hoth battle. You’ll notice it was absolutely ineffective against the AT-ATs, yet Kenner tried to get you to buy it!
The Cannon looked pretty similar to the movie version, and a button on the back of it caused it to “explode” when pressed. This feature was always nice when you were staging a toy battle, or for frustrating a sibling who had it. It came in both an ESB and ROTJ box. It also came with the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Playset, which featured a cardboard AT-AT background and a white-molded base reused from the Land of the Jawas set.
Why should you own this accessory? Five reasons:
1. It’s a big gun – get it already.
2. The Hoth Rebel Soldiers need something to sit around and look busy at.
3. You know, it does have treads on the bottom, so you can pretend it’s a mini tank.
4. It’s small. It’s cheap. It goes anywhere!
5. One of the few things that can fit on your cubicle at work.
The Radar Laser Cannon was based on the 1.4 FD P-Tower Laser Cannon. Manufactured by Atgar SpaceDefense Corporation, it was capable of taking out an AT-ST in one shot. An AT-AT, however, not so much. It did not have little tank treads like the toy does.
It could shoot about 2-10 kilometers, but wore down its batteries after 8 shots if not hooked up to a generator. It was also sometimes tricky, because if just one of its 16 routers went out, the whole thing was useless.
126th in alphabetical order

Friday, December 14, 2012

R5-D4 (SW 1978-79)

If you’ve played with the basic R2 figure, you’ve played with R5. Clicking head, two legs (BUT SHOULD HAVE THREE) – yeah, the whole bit. While the figure and name refer to a specific droid - the one that breaks down in the film - you can just use it as a generic astromech droid and put it in your Y-Wing socket.

R5 came on cardbacks for all three movies – the SW and ESB said “R5-D4,” the ROTJ card said “Arfive-Defour (R5-D4).” Some, like the one pictured, featured the mail-away offer for that rocket-shooting figure, Boba Fett. Of course they never made one that fired because he'd shoot your eye out, kid.

Why, oh why, should you own R5? Five reasons:

1. Light him on fire. When your dad asks what’s going on just say it’s a bad motivator.

2. You can still use him in the Y-Wing, just don’t fly it upside down.

3. If you were like me in my youthful ignorance, you could pretend that the figures bottom opening was actually either A) a thruster, or B) a big cannon.

4. You just can’t beat that decal detail.

5. You need a lot of droid figures for your Coming-Out Droid Cotillion.


R5 was built by the Industrial Automaton company. The R5 line was notorious for being low cost and low quality, and R5-D4 was no exception. He went from owner to owner before being sold to the Jawas and turned down by Luke and Uncle Owen because of his bad motivator.

R5 was stolen from the Jawas and sold to a member of the Rebel Alliance. He was refurbished to much better working condition and set in place in Mos Eisley for gathering intelligence. A humorous short–story posed a different theory: that he could use the Force and foresaw that only R2 going with Luke would save the galaxy. He thus blew his own motivator.

In the movie Luke says, “This R2 unit has a bad motivator.” Whether Mark Hamill the actor, the character Luke, or the scriptwriter was mistaken is under debate.

Want more? His Wookieepedia article

125th in alphabetical order

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prune Face (ROTJ 1983-84)

Prune Face prefers the French pronunciation of his name: Prune Fasee. But seriously, Pruney is another blink-and-you'll miss him characters, shown in the Rebel conference room in The Return of the Jedi. Also, like many of the aliens introduced in the movies, the crew just called it what it looked like to keep the aliens straight - thus "Prune Face." Never mind that this probably infringed on copyright a bit with the Dick Tracy character of the same name. Although, I don't think anyone will mix them up.

Ole Pruney came with a rifle (which doesn't look particularly Star Wars-ish) and a cloth cape. He only came on an ROTJ card. Presumably he went with the Endor landing party since he was dressed for camoflauge, but you never see him down on the planet. Maybe the Ewoks ate him.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Eye patch. A grow-hair-on-your chest manly eyepatch!

2. If you own G.I Joes, you have an extra rifle you can use. It looks awfully Joe-ish doesn't it?

3. Pruney's face is very accurate to the character - it's his clothes that weren't quite right. Don't blame Kenner, though. They didn't have very good technology to imprint camoflauge on plastic yet.

4. Re-enact the scene where Prune Face splits off from the Rebels, and eventually marries and settles down with an Ewok princess. Hey, you didn't see him - it could have happened!

5. Re-enact the exciting scene where he ACTIVELY LISTENS to the Rebel BRIEFING. That's excitement!


Prune Face's real name was Orrimaarko, and his race Dressellian from the planet Dressel. He was recruited into the Alliance by the Bothans (often mentioned but never seen on screen) to fight subjugation of his homeworld by the Empire. He was on the Endor strike team during the events of ROTJ, and was a bit miffed when Han Solo was picked to lead rather than himself, who he deemed more qualified. No word on how he got the eyepatch though.

Want more? His full Wookieepedia article

124th in alphabetical order