One of the most brilliant things that George Lucas ever did was to waive certain director payments to him from the first Star Wars film in order to secure the licensing rights to Star Wars for himself. Whether he thought “What the hell?” or what, he is now a very, very, very rich man because of that decision. Kenner, likewise, had a decision to make when they got the toy manufacturing rights to the Star Wars films – what to make? Well, the only things they could get out in time for Christmas 1977 were some Star Wars board games and puzzles (everyone and their mother had one of those puzzles). They couldn’t get the figures out in time, but what they could get out was an empty box. Yes, an empty box.
That empty box was known as the Early Bird Certificate Package. Okay, it wasn’t really empty, but it had no figures. What it had was a certificate to send away for four figures (Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and R2), a display stand (which you couldn’t really use until the figures came), a Star Wars Club membership card, and stickers.
The certificate insured that you would get the four figures, but they came after Christmas, in the first few months of the new year. The first sets included Luke with a double telescoping lightsaber, and Chewbacca’s bowcaster had a greenish hue. The mail-away came with all their accessories and feet pegs so they could stand on the display. There was a recent *kind of* reissue of the Early Bird package that was a Wal-Mart exclusive. The packaging was identical, but the figures are the new editions and much more detailed and realistic.
Why should you get this set? Five reasons:
1. It was the first time you could get any Star Wars figures.
2. In hindsight, this is now worth a lot of money. How much? Well, never mind – you couldn’t afford it. Check Ebay if you’re interested.
3. Stickers! Who doesn’t like stickers?
4. A membership card! Finally, you belong!
5. The ultimate Kenner Star Wars collector’s item. If you think you have everything but don’t have this, you…have…nothing!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Posted by Ben at 12:36 AM
Monday, April 29, 2013
Another Dulok, huh? The second of four Dulok figures, it came with a skull-topped staff (but not a cool one like Amanaman) and a string tied around his neck (near as I can figure it). Four Dulok figures, and only two actual Ewoks – from the animated Ewoks show? Oh, well.
Posted by Ben at 2:34 AM
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Wow, a real Dulok. And look, he comes with a club. Awesome. For those unfamiliar with the Dulok species, they were the main rival to Ewoks on Endor, lived in swampy areas, and were quite warlike and slightly taller than Ewoks. They spoke a language that was very similar to what Ewoks spoke because they could understand each other. They may have even been distantly related. The Dulok Scout figure simply represents a generic Dulok, like the Stormtrooper figure represents any stormtrooper.
Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:1. With only six figures, it’s pretty easy to collect this whole line.
2. Dulok Scout! That’s way better than…wait, what’s a Dulok Scout?
3. So green you can hide it in a Jello mold.
4. Can be collected by people of the green movement.
5. Club and a coin? What a bargain!
Backstory:The Duloks were only featured on the Ewoks animated show, but since most of the show is considered canon, we can assume they were just laying low during the events of ROTJ. One is shown on Coruscant during the Clone Wars animated series, however. No clue on how it got there.
Want more? Wookieepedia article on Duloks
47th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 1:32 AM
Saturday, April 27, 2013
If you were one of the people to actually have this, good for you. If you are one of the few to still have this, and with all the pieces – I stand up and applaud you friend. Bravo! There is no other single playset or vehicle in the original line that includes so many small and disparate pieces. Heck, you have even one younger sibling and you can all but guarantee some lost pieces.
The Droid Factory came with many interlinking parts, enabling you to build various droids (duh!). All the parts fit into notches molded into the orange base. A crane could also help you “lift” the various parts. This was released in an SW and ESB box. The British Palitoy version inexplicably had a different molded base and did not have the crane. Why? Who knows? This was also the only way, in the original line, you could get an R2-D2 with a certain third appendage. The base was also re-used later as Jabba’s Dungeon.
Why should you get this playset? Five reasons:
1. First and foremost, the only way you could get an R2-D2 with the middle leg.
2. Despite its questionable canonicity, it was fun to construct droids.
3. The box picture with Jawas streaming all over – funny because they are scavengers, not builders.
4. Robots with treads, with wheels – this was actually kind of weird and different.
5. Probably the closest you’ll get to the droid factories on Geonosis. Oh, don’t remember that? Watch Attack of the Clones. Okay, don’t. No one’s forcing you to.
Not much backstory, since it is just a playset made up for the toys, and no real basis in the Star Wars universe. Of course, one could always argue that a droid factory like this does exist..somewhere…since the SW universe is so vast.
Want more? Wookieepedia article on droid foundrys
46th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 3:31 AM
Friday, April 26, 2013
Want more? Wookieepedia article
45th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 2:30 AM
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Maybe Dengar wasn't the most glamorous of figures. Maybe he didn't have as much play value. But damnit - look at him! He's a man's man. He doesn't care if you've been out on the trail pushing cattle and you haven't showered in 8 days. He's been there, man.
Dengar, obviously known as one of the bounty hunters summoned by Vader to hunt down Han Solo and the bunch in The Empire Strikes Back.
Why do you want this figure? Five reasons:
1. That scowl. You can just imagine that the galactic Time-Life series "Bounty Hunters," says he once shot a man for snoring too loud.
2. He doesn't need fancy equipment - he's got scavenged armor from a snowtrooper and sandtrooper.
3. He's got the guts to wear said armor in an Imperial star destroyer in front of the second-in-charge Imperial Dark Lord.
4. He's got a big laser rifle. I hear the ladies like that.
5. He's a bounty hunter - you need all of them.
This figure came on an Empire Strikes Back card and later a Return of the Jedi card (in the U.S.). Although he had a little more screen time than some flash-in-the-pan characters, he never had a coin like that cocky Amanaman!
Dengar once was an acquaintance/rival of Solo's on Corellia when they were younger. In a swoop bike race (see the Wookieepedia if you don't know that reference) Han flashed Dengar with his burners, scarring him for life. Dengar thought it was on purpose and set about getting his revenge on Solo - Episode VI was originally named "Revenge of Dengar: You Know, That One Bounty Hunter You Saw For 10 Seconds in The Empire Strikes Back." Dengar jumped at the Empire's offer to hunt down Solo. In the course of doing so, Dengar fell in love with some native woman and settled down. He also mellowed out and forgave Han a bit.
His backstory is actually much more extensive, involving Imperial cybernetic implants and service to the Empire after his swoop crash. He later defected and became a bounty hunter, was recaptured by the Empire and given a choice of death or hunt for them. He was also occasionally recruited by the Rebellion, and only really knew emotions again (he was kind of emotionless because of his implants) when the Aruzan woman Manaroo shared her feelings with him cybernetically. This all happened in the novels, so let's just pretend he's still a mysterious Marlboro Man - without all the smoke (the Empire went smoke-free after it was found that it was almost impossible to wash out of Vader's cape).
Full story? Wookieepedia article
44th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 1:26 AM
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Let us count the ways, from the bottom to the top:
Posted by Ben at 2:29 AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Seen in the first movie in both the Jawa Sandcrawler and the Death Star (the Death Star one is black), this droid is one of the more listless figures of the original line. At least the one from the 1990’s line had a mouse droid with it.
It came with no accessories, and had a shiny metallic finish and a bug-like head. It was released on cards from all three movies.
Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:
1. If you own the Sandcrawler you need to fill it with as much useless junk as possible, including this figure.
2. A more bureaucratic droid I have never seen.
3. If you have a headless one, and a bodiless C-3PO, they pretty much match.
4. The shiny metallic finish is kind of cool, until you play with it too much and you see the original plastic.
5. Oh, I give up. This figure was booooooring.
This droid’s official designation is the RA-7 protocol droid. They were fairly useless droids, but the Imperial Security Bureau used them to spy on other Imperials. Their limited use, however, caused many an RA-7 to be disposed of or “lost” by many an Imperial Commander – which is probably why one was in a Jawa Sandcrawler. There were so many aboard the first Death Star that they earned the nickname “Death Star Droid.” The similarity in body to C-3PO probably relates back to the first film’s limited budget.
Want more? Wookieepedia article
42nd in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 1:26 AM
Monday, April 22, 2013
Want more? Wookieepedia article on Star Wars Commanders
41st in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 2:23 AM
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Posted by Ben at 3:21 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Want more? Wookieepedia article on this vehicle
39th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 7:21 AM
Friday, April 19, 2013
RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH...Dart Vader's head.
What can I say? A figure carrying case in the likeness of Darth Vader. holds *about* 31 figures. I use "about" loosely because if you have the short guys (Wicket, R2, Ugnaught) you're obviously getting more in. Other, like the Rancor Keeper - forget about it. There was also a little compartment for accessories. Of course, whenever you open it up, everything will go all over the place. Each row had a bar to hold the figures in place, as well as stickers to label them. next wave comes, however, and they're hopelessly out of date. my favorite is the paper insert giving you a guideline about where to put which figures. Give me some credit!
Why should you own this case? Five reasons:
1. The cheapest way to get a huge bust of Darth Vader over your mantel.
2. Less tacky than a velvet Elvis as a wall decoration.
3. Carry your figures man!
4. Quickest way to get pulled out of line by airport security.
5. Better than a grocery bag.
Want more? Darth Vader's Wookieepedia article
38th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 1:19 AM
Thursday, April 18, 2013
We will now dip back into the original twelve with Darth Vader. Like Chewbacca, the Vader figure had a relatively taller stature, in keeping with the movies. Also like Chewbacca, Vader was another figure with no changes (other than the card back) during the entire original Kenner run. Darth Vader came on the original Star Wars card, ESB, ROTJ, POTF, and another ROTJ card that had a close-up picture of his helmet.
Because of manufacturing limitations, and the desire to be cheap, Vader came with a vinyl cape instead of cloth or molded plastic like the figures today. The figure is very much in keeping with the character's appearance, and the only accessory is a built-in telescoping red lightsaber. Some rare Vaders exist where the lightsaber telescoped to almost twice its original length. This proved handy in duels and Sith pornography.
Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:
1. He's Darth freakin' Vader! The man in black. The Lord who won't leave you bored.
2. Come on, who didn't need Vader for the only lightsaber duels from the original trilogy? You had to at least have him fight Obi-Wan.
3. Despite the lack of accessories, he had the Force. Let your imagination run wild moving other Star Wars toys and choking other figures.
4. He had his own dedicated vehicle, and being an anal-retentive young man, I needed only the Vader figure to fly it.
5. Again, Darth Vader. Enough said.
If you don't know the backstory by now, get a freaking clue. Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker, the seemingly immaculately conceived whiny child born to Schmi Skywalker. He trained in the Jedi order and forbiddenly fell in love with Senator Amidala. He freaked out over possibly losing her, and the Emperor (then Senator Palpatine) turned him to the Dark Side. Shortly afterwards he was wounded in a lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan and was forced to wear his black cybernetic suit. During this same time Amidala gave birth to their twins, Luke and Leia. Vader ruled the Empire as second-in-charge, while Luke and Leia grew up and joined the Rebel Alliance. Vader killed Obi-Wan. Luke eventually dueled his father, and brought him back to the light, but not before mortally wounding him (or that was the Emperor's Sith lightning - up for debate). Anakin joined the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda.
About the only important part most people haven't heard is that there is debate over whether Palpatine is actually Anakin's father. Maybe he or his mentor Darth Plagueis used those life-giving powers to conceive Anakin without actually doing the dirty deed. This is mostly fan speculation, and nothing from LucasFilm has been proposed to support this.
After Han and Leia have kids in the later novels, they name their third child Anakin.
Full story (and it's a long one)? Wookieepedia article
37th in alphabetical order
Posted by Ben at 9:13 PM