Thursday, January 31, 2008

Biker Scout (ROTJ 1983-4)

What is a Speeder Bike without a Biker Scout? Of course, you could get Luke with poncho or Leia with poncho or some Ewok, but what fun would that be? You want the guy with “Bike” in his name. You want the guys all black and white and cool and an easy target in a forest of green foliage. Idiots.

The Biker Scout came on both ROTJ and POTF cards, and, as always, the POTF card is rarer. He came with an actually unique blaster pistol, which, other than being gray instead of black in the movie, is very accurate to the movie prop. The figure itself is very detailed in comparison to the movie character. The figure had some minor variations n the body and head (more noticeable on the head) because of different manufacturing facilities, so there are two main variations.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. If you already got the Bike, you had to get this figure.

2. Who else is going to get pelted by Ewoks?

3. Relive the knockdown, drag out fight between Trench Coat Han and Biker Scout!

4. Befriend Ewoks…then kill them.

4. Have two of them talking to each other about how good their scouting is wearing bright white in a sea of green.


Their official designation is “Scout Trooper,” but they were often called Biker Scouts because they used Speeder Bikes a lot for reconnaissance and scouting. Their armor was a modified version of standard stormtrooper armor, with more flexibility, built-in macrobinoculars, and a better groin area for sitting on Bikes. They carried standard rations and a specially-modified scout trooper blaster pistol with a targeting scope and phase amplifier. Remnants of the Empire rethought the standard stormtrooper white for the Scouts after their crushing defeat on Endor. They tended to stick out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Speeder Bike Vehicle (ROTJ)

Nothing underscores Kenner’s naivete about “nothing sells an item like including a figure with it” more than the Speeder Bike. In the original line no figure was included with anything – they were all sold separately” AT-AT Drivers, TIE Pilots, A-Wing & B-Wing Pilots, and, of course, Biker Scouts. This was the smallest vehicle which had a specific “driver” for it, yet it still didn’t come with one in the same package. Oh, well, Kenner obviously learned their lessons from Star Wars and made up for it with G.I. Joe. Heck, every other vehicle in that line seemed to come with a figure.

The toy came in ROTJ box, and featured a “blow apart” feature. It also nicely balanced on its two “legs” when at rest, despite the fact that most of the vehicle seemed to be in front. The toy was pretty accurate to the actual vehicle, except for the addition of a T-bar to hold figures in the seat. When the Bike was re-released in the 90’s, the figures (Luke, Leia, Scout) that came with one all had bendable knees and hips.

Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. Flying through the air at breakneck speeds and narrowly missing stuff? What kid wouldn’t want that?

2. Make alternate history: that Ewok steals the Bike and gets blown up.

3. A cheap vehicle and lots of them were featured in the movie? You have to at least get a couple dude.

4. Like many vehicles, if you got it, you held out hope that your parents would get the actual pilot for it.

5. Easy to hold, so a vehicle with immense play value. What? I’m serious sometimes.


The Speeder Bikes featured in the movie were 74-Z’s, the military version of the 74-Y (of course!). Steering was controlled through the handlebars, and acceleration was controlled on the foot pedals. They had sensor and communication devices, as well as one for jamming commlinks. It also had a front-mounted rotating blaster cannon. They are built by Aratech Repulsor Company and have been around since the Clone Wars. They can reach speeds up to 500 kph, and heights up to 25 m.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2-1B (ESB 1980-82)

2-1B is probably as exciting as a medical droid can get. He comes with a medical staff (no, not at eam of people, a hand-held staff), and his own blue and translucent body. He has a hose that connects (and if you try, you can disconnect this) from his “mouth” to the left side of his torso. This probably makes little sense on a robot, but whatever!

2-1B came on two different ESB cards (one says “2-1B” and the other says “Two-Onebee (2-1B)”) and an ROTJ card which has the latter name plate.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Those deep eyes..wait, it doesn’t really have eyes! Aaaagh! Kill it!

2. Shove that medical staff through the eye socket of any figure and claim it’s for the sake of medicine.

3. Luke needs a lot of patching up – who else is going to do it?

4. No one else can stand to be around FX-7.

5. Recreate his pleasant soothing on-screen voice.


2-1B was developed by the Geentech Corporation and built by Industrial Automation. Precursors to his design can be seen fixing Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. One of his earliest assignments was healing people on a planet under Imperial control. Basically he cleaned up the harm done by the Empire. Impressed with his skill, the Governor of the planet took 2-1B as his personal physician. When the Governor was assassinated by a Rebel, 2-1B was put into service for the Alliance, finding his way to the Hoth Echo base where he treated Luke Skywalker. When Hoth was evacuated 2-1B was taken aboard a ship and found his way to the medical frigate Redemption, where he gave Luke a new cybernetic hand. He was later assigned to a Mon Calamari ship where he served until at least the Battle of Endor.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Vehicle Maintenance Energizer Toy (ESB)

Yes, it did say “Toy” on the box as laid out above. I guess because they couldn’t exactly say “Vehicle” with this one. Wow. The Vehicle Maintenance Energizer. This was not officially a mini-rig, but one of the Hoth accessories that actually was in a movie. Well, it was on the Yavin in base in the first movie, not shown in the Hoth base.

The top came up and could rotate all the way around. It also came with 8 tools that could be held in a standard figure’s hand, arguably “hydrospanners.” When you closed the top you could store these tools inside it. However, most people that have these loose today probably lost all or most of these tools. It also has two black hoses with suction–cup ends to “attach” to vehicle and power them. The box showed Chewbacca working with it on Hoth, but this was probably due to his propensity for tooling around. Chances are good though, if they had one on Yavin they probably had one on Hoth. It came in both and ESB and ROTJ box.

Why should you own this, um, accessory? Five reasons:

1. Chewbacca finally has tools to fix something.

2. Fuel your X-Wing, even though you never thought of doing this before since they’re futuristic!

3. Have Chewie get mad at it and throw it at a generic Rebel Soldier.

4. Pretend it’s a giant Wookiee hookah.

5. Pretend it’s a brain transfer device. Okay, that’s just silly.


Nothing has really been written about this, other than it was simply used to supply energy to vehicles and maintain them. It is seen briefly in the first movie at the Rebel Yavin base, so it is presumed that they are used elsewhere as well for vehicles in the Star War universe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bib Fortuna (ROTJ 1983-4)

You have to give props to Kenner on this figure. Despite something as awkward as twin head tails, they still managed to make them into the figure and not just a detail – they actually stick out his head. Like General Madine, he comes with a “battle staff,” even though this is not the same staff as Madine has. Both staff seem largely ceremonial, and this one does not appear in the film either. He also came with a tan felt cloak, and legs that “scissored” much like the Emperor’s and Obi-Wan’s. Bib only came out on an ROTJ card. Mexico’s Lili Ledy distributor came out with a red-caped Bib Fortuna, but these are quite rare and often faked.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. Those wrapping head tails. C’mon, who has those?

2. That velvety cloak, it just feels, oh, so good.

3. Having this figure held out hope that your parents would get Jabba. Well, a little hope.

4. Use it to practice your broken English (or Basic as they call it in the SW universe): “Jabba no barga.”

5. Cut off the head tails and the figure can double as any pasty-faced vampire you want.


Bib Fortuna was cast out of his society (home planet Ryloth) after being caught smuggling a spice from the planet. After an unsuccessful job at Kuat Drive Yards, eh fell in working for Jabba the Hutt, smuggling, then advising him. After his present of a rancor monster to Jabba, he was elevated to majordomo to Jabba. Throughout the years in service to Jabba he tried many times to kill his master, but each attempt failed.

Bib managed to escape on a skiff right before Luke and the gang blew up Jabba’s Sand Barge, and made his way back to the palace. He fought over what was left of Jabba’s estate, apparently winning, but then taken by B’Omarr Monks who took out his brain and placed it in one of their spider-like cyborgs.
Six months after the Battle of Endor, Bib lured an associate of his to Tatooine to recover some weapons caches. After his associate’s betrayal, bib convinced the Monks to put his brain into his friend’s body, and he began rebuilding his own little empire.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Emperor (ROTJ 1983-4)

What did I want to do with the Emperor figure? I wanted to shoot lightning out of his freakin’ hands! Given the looser rules on toy safety back then, I might have gotten my wish with a Special Edition Sparking Emperor or something like that. Unfortunately, by the time the original Emperor figure came out in stores the line was starting to wind down.

The Emperor figure came out on both ROTJ and POTF cards, and came only with a cane.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Stick a couple of sparklers in his hands and, voila, you have Force lightning!

2. Re-create the deleted scene where a young stormtrooper shows the Emperor how to work his computer!

3. That cane might not be a match for the Rebels, but I bet it could stand its own against some Ewoks.

4. If you do it just right, you might be able to balance the Emperor in Vader’s hands. It might require some tape.

5. That mysterious cloak? That gravelly voice? You just figured out a present for your grandpa!


After the original movies, the Emperor was finally given the name Palpatine, so anyone who knew that knew years before the prequels came out that he was going to be the bad guy. Palpatine was supposedly born on Naboo, in the city of Theed (it is unknown if this is true or what he claimed), and his Force prowess somehow was unnoticed by the Jedi, but was discovered by his master, Darth Plagueis. When he felt that Plaueis might be making an apprentice to replace him, Palpatine killed him in his sleep, and continued the training of his own apprentice, Darth Maul.

Palpatine entered Naboo politics 70 years before the Battle of Yavin, carefully hiding his true identity. He eventually rose through the ranks, becoming the Naboo Senator to the Galactic Republic. He remained modest for some time, slowly manipulating things for his own interest in the background. During the events of the prequels he ramped things up, framing Chancellor Valorum for corruption, and with sympathy for his home planet, got himself elected Chancellor. Engineering both the rise of the Trade Federation and their robots armies, and secretly planning the clone armies, Palpatine eventually got them into major conflicts. With the “fate of the galaxy” in the balance, he got more and more power voted for himself, using both manipulation and dark Force mind tricks. In the meantime he also took another apprentice (Darth Tyrannus/Count Dooku) after Maul’s death, while he waited for Anakin to mature.

With so much power, he was able to reform the Republic into an Empire, with himself at the head. He also had secretly given orders to eliminate the Jedi should they become “rebellious.” After engineering the destruction of the Jedi, he consolidated his power and ruled much of the galaxy until Anakin’s son, became a Jedi, and influenced Anakin into killing Palpatine. Palpatine did return, however, transferring his spirit into a prepared clone body, but the clone bodies had been sabotaged by one of the former Royal Guards, and a Jedi eventually destroyed Palpatine’s spirit before it could take over Leia and Han’s baby son, Anakin Solo.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Endor Forest Ranger Vehicle (ROTJ)

Another four mini-rigs were produced for the Return of the Jedi line, the Ranger being one of them. None of the rigs actually appeared in any form in the movies, but it can be said that they exist “in the Star Wars universe.”

The Ranger had two forward mounted guns, a round cockpit for one figure, and two sideways-firing guns (well, not really firing). It was kind of a unique vehicle (as were many of the mini-rigs), with a round cockpit and large side guns. It only came in a ROTJ box.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. The big, oversized guns!

2. Only the cool guys patrol Endor in a Forest Ranger – not one of those wimpy Speeder Bikes.

3. The only SUV on Endor.

4. “Ranger” is always a cool-sounding name. Unless, of course, its attached to a car.

5. With its shape and color, could double as a G.I. Joe vehicle. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that Kenner re-used it in their G.I. Joe line (I have not looked this up).


There really isn’t one. The Ranger does not appear in any of the Star Wars Expanded Universe works. It does not appear in the films. There is no manufacturer listed. Also, why does it need such big guns when the Empire has already been kicked off Endor?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

General Madine (ROTJ 1983-4)

What can you do with a General that only talks? Well, it’s a toy – use your imagination for pete’s sake. But seriously, General Madine didn’t seem to have a lot of play value. Just look at his only accessory, a “battle” staff. It’s more like a presentation pointer. The figure only came on an ROTJ card. Based on production shots from ROTJ, Madine was probably supposed to have more screen time in the movie, most notably during the space battle. It is conjectured that he was suppose to die in one of the Rebel ships destroyed by the Death Star II.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. No one does an “attack-a-battle-station” presention like ol’ Madine.

2. The beard. The brooding eyes. Get him. Get him.

3. Battle staff! Whoo-hoo!

4. Finally tell Han where to go. Well, tell him to lead the Endor mission anyway.

5. Re-create the long-lost scene where Madine is only talked to by Ewoks at the after-party.


Crix Madine (given a first name later, unlike Admiral Ackbar) joined the Imperial Academy from his home planet of Corellia and quickly rose through the ranks. After having doubts about the morality of his missions, however, he defected to the Rebels, eventually planning the attack on the Endor shield generator.

After the Battle of Endor, he continued to be a military advisor and led mission insuring the safety of the New Republic. About 12 years after the Battle of Yavin, though, he was killed on a mission trying to stop the construction of a Death Star-like super laser named Darksaber, being built by a hutt. However, his spy work led the New Republic to its location to destroy it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Millennium Falcon Spaceship (SW)

The Millennium Falcon was one of the first “OH MY GOD MOM AND DAD I HAVE TO HAVE THAT” Star Wars toys. It was a vehicle, but because of its size it was also a playset. Most kids really need both hands to fly it too – they need friends to “attack” it with TIE Fighters.

This vehicle had it all – let us count the ways:
- a lowering ramp
- lowering struts
- the top cover and cockpit cover came off to play inside it
- the cockpit still fit two figures in it alone (yeah, I know, in the film it seats 4)
- top quad guns with a connected gunner’s chair
- rotating radar dish
- electronic sounds (not really movie authentic, but SOUNDS!)
- a Jedi training ball
- smuggler panels to hide figures in
- an actual dejarik table (the space chess thing)

I originally got the Falcon from a garage sale, and despite some missing pieces (everyone seems to lose the Jedi training ball) I deemed it awesome.

The Falcon came out in SW, ESB, and ROTJ boxes, each time changing the picture to something relevant. On the SW box, it was surrounded by stormtroopers. On the ESB box (which dropped “Spaceship” from the name) it was a Cloud City scene with appropriate figures. On the ROTJ box it appears to be on Tatooine with characters from Jabba’s. It also has Nien Nunb strangely enough. The Tatooine scene may be referring to a deleted scene where the gang made it back to the Falcon during a sandstorm on Tatooine.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. All those cool features listed above.

2. It is the ultimate showpiece: everyone recognizes what you have displayed, you don’t have to explain it.

3. It’s the Falcon, man. It made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs!

4. You can fly the thing, or just have Chewbacca fix it with tool from the Maintenance Energizer.

5. Vehicle and playset. Ooooh, yeah.


The Falcon started life as a Correlian Engineering Corporation built YT-1300 stock light freighter. It was about 60 years old by the Battle of Yavin, even appearing in Revenge of the Sith (in the scene where they crash land on Coruscant). It was damaged sometime after and was heavily rebuilt by an enterprising technician. It was stolen by a pirate, and eventually won in a sabacc tournament by Lando Calrissian about five years before the Battle of Yavin. Later, Han Solo won it from Lando in another game of sabacc, and used it for smuggling. He was boarded by Imperials shortly before the Battle of Yavin and had to jettison his cargo for Jabba the Hutt. It was instrumental in the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of Death Star II.

It has many modifications, including jamming equipment and faster engines. Armaments include a hidden laser, a top and bottom quad laser cannon, and concussion missile launchers (which took out the second Death Star). The Falcon is still serving as primary transport for Solo and family in the novels.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

AT-ST Driver (ROTJ 1983-4)

The AT-ST Driver was a figure very true to the character from the film (ROTJ). It came with a blaster pistol, the same one as the B-Wing Pilot. There must have been some driver/pilot conference where they picked them all up. The Driver was released on both an ROTJ and POTF card, with the POTF card naturally being rarer. Both cards featured a picture of the AT-ST, and not the actual Driver.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Owning it meant hope that you would get a Scout Walker (AT-ST) if you didn’t already have one.

2. Owning a Scout Walker mandated that you get this figure.

3. Chewbacca and two little Ewoks need someone to beat on.

4. The AT-AT Drivers need someone to beat on.

5. Despite the character’s wimpiness, the figure was spot-on when it came to its detail.


AT-ST Drivers wore very light armor compared to their AT-AT counterpart. Funny, considering the AT-AT was already more armored than an AT-ST. They carried standard equipment, such as a blaster, rifle, grenades, thermal detonators, flares, comlinks, and spare ammo. The helmets and goggles were also standard, but many chose not to wear the goggles.

Interesting side note: ROTJ’s director, Richard Marquand, was one of the AT-ST Drivers beaten down by Chewbacca and the Ewoks.

Monday, January 21, 2008

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.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

R2-D2 (with sensorscope) (ESB 1980-2)

How do you make more variations of a figure when he doesn’t actually wear different outfits? Anyway you can of course! Kenner was provided with this opportunity when R2-D2 showed two more talents in The Empire Strikes Back. Not only did he show a little “radar” dish that could extend from his dome on Hoth, but he also had a periscope that he used on Dagobah. Kenner went ahead and built one of these features in, but call it the wrong accessory. The “Sensorscope” was what R2 used on Hoth to scan for Luke, but the feature on the figure more resembles the periscope he used on Dagobah. C’mon people! One little detail and you mix it up? Granted, Kenner could have been working with details not fully fleshed out before the movie actually premiered, so I’ll let it slide. Of course, the fastest way to make another R2 would have been to add the third freakin’ leg! Okay, rant over.

The ESB card read “ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)” and the ROTJ card read “Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (with sensorscope).”

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. R2 with a little plastic piece that pops out? I am sooooo there!

2. While Han is sticking Luke in your slit-belly Tauntaun, you can have R2 sensing. Awesome!

3. Stick it to C-3PO: “You know over 6 million forms of communication? Well, can you do this? No? In your face!”

4. Use this R2 in your Dagobah playset. Submerge him in the foam “swamp” and stick the periscope up. Now that’s entertainment!

5. “Sensorscope “ sounds oddly sensual. Ooooooooh, yeah.


R2 has a lot of pop-out attachments, only three of which are shown in Empire, a couple more shown in ROT J (unless you count the scene where he gets electrocuted), but most shown in the prequels. You think they could have at least made the little claw arm he used on Yoda too. For the rest of R2’s backstory I will refer you to my previous posting of the first R2 figure.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Logray (Ewok Medicine Man) (ROTJ 1983-4)

What can I say, another Ewok. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, they’re still part of the Star Wars universe, and everyone needs to just lighten up. Besides, if you were going to get an Ewok figure, Logray wasn’t such a bad way to go. He wasn’t as small as Wicket, so you didn’t feel as cheated. He came with probably the most accessories: the bird skull headdress, the satchel, and the shaman staff. He only came on a ROTJ card.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Like I said, the most accessories out of any Ewok figure.

2. Actually, the figure is very accurate to the Ewok shown on film.

3. Who else are you going to get to call C-3PO and the rest “evil spirits?”

4. Someone needs to stand there while you roast Han on the Ewok Village BBQ spit.

5. Everyone loves a chanter (unless it’s some crazy next to you on the subway).


In his early years, Logray was a warrior, but was captured by a Jedi witch. After that he became a shaman after learning her ways and finding he had Force sensitivity. During the Ewok cartoon, he was the wise old mentor. However, in his later years he started turning to the dark side. When Luke and the bunch were captured, he decried them as evil and tried to get them killed. After C-3PO used his “magic,” Chief Chirpa banished Logray and he was not welcomed back to the village.

Friday, January 18, 2008

B-Wing Fighter Vehicle (ROTJ)

Despite its unusual design (as were many Star Wars ships), this was an awesome toy. Let’s just spell out the features, shall we? We’ll go right into the five reasons to own for this one:

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. Rotating cockpit. Always stayed level with the horizon – unless you locked it into one position.

2. Guns under the cockpit. Guns at the end of every single wing too.

3. Wings could fold in and out, just like (well, not just like) an X-Wing, by rotating one of the back engines.

4. Laser battle sounds! This required batteries of course.

5. You even get pop-out landing gear. All that and a kickstand!

The B-Wing Fighter only came in an ROTJ box, because, well, that was the last movie. Maybe if the POTF line had stayed popular it would have been reissued in another box, but that’s all conjecture. The toy itself is also very accurate to the actual movie prop.


The B-Wing was developed under Admiral (then Commander) Ackbar and the manufacturer Slayn & Korpil under Project Shantipole. It was intended as a replacement for the Y-Wing, but due to the difficulty in flying it, Y-Wings stayed in service for a while. The standard weapons configuration was 3 light ion cannons (to disable, not destroy), 1 heavy laser, 1 set of twin blasters, and 2 proton torpedo launchers with 8 torpedoes apiece.

The B-Wing rotating cockpit would freeze in one position sometimes, a problem inherent in the design. After the Battle of Endor, some B-Wings were fitted with firefighting equipment to handle blazes from debris on the forest moon. Some B-Wings were also later modified to have a two-person cockpit for a gunner and pilot.

Due to the shape of the ship, some planned sequences were not filmed for ROTJ, so we actually see precious little of it in the film. Its name was also not quite derived from its shape, but more because the film crew referred to the new ships as ship “A” (the A-Wing) and ship “B” (the B-Wing). While it takes a stretch of the imagination to say the B-Wing resembles a lowercase “b,” the backstory was created that the “B” stood for “Blade,” since the Fighter was so streamlined.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

B-Wing Pilot (ROTJ 1983-4)

The B-Wing pilot is one of those figures that, as a kid, you probably didn’t bother with unless you actually got a B-Wing, and, to be honest, how many of us did? Sure, your parents bought you that mini-rig that never appeared in the film, but they didn’t shell out for the big kahunas, like the B-Wing, or the much rarer A-Wing. To top it all off, where were the B-Wing pilots? They had one of the coolest new ships, and you don’t seem them.

The B-Wing Pilot comes in a stylish red suit, and comes with the same blaster packaged with a few other figures, including the AT-ST Driver. The Pilot came on an ROTJ and a POTF card. The POTF card is, naturally, rarer (as are all POTF carded figures).

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Owning one gave you that slim hope that you could use it as leverage to get your own B-Wing Fighter. Slim, but still thee.

2. Nothing says Ewok after-battle party like a few B-Wing Pilots.

3. Nothing says pre-battle war room conference like a few B-Wing Pilots.

4. If you were one of those few that actually got your own B-Wing Fighter, this figure was a no-brainer.

5. A-Wing Pilot vs. B-Wing Pilot smackdown! Let’s get it on!


Because of the difficulty of flying a B-Wing (more on the B-Wing Fighter in tomorrow’s post) the pilot’s had to be highly trained. By the Battle of Endor few had actually qualified to fly the B-Wing, so more Y-Wings were put in use at the Battle. The B-Wings did manage to blow up a Star Destroyer by themselves however, but this was not shown on film. Due to the ship’s unusual design, it was deemed to hard to make a B-Wing sequence, so you barely see them in ROTJ. You basically see a glancing shot here and here, and the pilots before and after the battle.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Creature Cantina Action Playset (SW)

Back when parents didn’t think twice about giving you any “toy” comes this monument to alcoholism. Yes, you get to play with a bar. Oh, did I forget to mention there are people smoking there too?

While this one didn’t come with any figures, you have plenty of cantina aliens to choose from to populate it with. The playset came with a molded plastic base with foot pegs and rotating stands to re-enact scenes like shooting Greedo first, and the showdown between Obi-Wan and Walrus Man. The base also had the “bar” and the table where Han and Chewbacca sat. A slot running along the back of the base let you insert the paper background into it, and the plastic hinged doors at the entrance. This only came in a Star Wars box, which is no surprise since it can’t have been very popular for long.

Why should you get this playset? Five reasons:

1. It’s a playset of a bar. What were your parents thinking getting you that?

2. That Walrus Man you have with the arm that fell off? Now you have a place for him.

3. Re-create the exciting price negotiations for passage to Alderaan!

4. Something to proudly display your shot glass collection on.

5. See those pictures of the Cantina Band on the background? This is the closest you'll get to having figures of those in the original line.


Chalmun’s Cantina was run by the Wookiee Chalmun. The day bartender was Wuher (seen in the movie) and the night shift bartender was Ackmena (played by Bea Arthur in the Holiday Special). The bar was originally constructed by a Tatooine pioneer as protection against Sandpeople. It was later used as an armory, flophouse, monastery, and spice den before becoming a bar. It was still in use at least 20 years after the destruction of Death Star II.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Admiral Ackbar (ROTJ 1983-84)

I thought shellfish only got that red after you cooked them. Anyhoo, Admiral Ackbar was the first alien Rebellion member of any significance. Sure, we found out later when they fleshed out more backstories that some more aliens we saw were part of the Rebellion, but Ackbar was the first to be a leader.

Ackbar came with a omigod, omigod, omigod : command stick! In the later 199o's+ releases he came with a gun, but he was never shown using any weapon (or command stick for that matter) in Return of the Jedi. he only came on an ROTJ card, but he did have one variation - his vest was originally more grey and later became a cream color.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. Those huge plate-sized eyes! Can't you just get lost in them?

2. That Captain Stubing-like white suit. Classic.

3. Three words: command freakin' stick! Where else are you going to get one?

4. Take inspiration from the figure as you practice your Ackbar impression: "It's a trap!"

5. Mmmmmmm, Mon Calamari rings.


Ackbar was born on his homeworld of Mon Calamari (yes, the reference to seafood here is not lost on any of us) about 44 years before the destruction of the first Death Star. He became a leader among his people, and with the rise of the Empire organized resistance against it. He was captured and was going to be given as a gift to Governor Tarkin, but was rescued by Rebel forces. When he returned to Mon Calamari, he was made Admiral of their space forces, and successfully repelled the Empire.

He quickly rose in ranks in the Rebellion and became Admiral of their fleet, and was instrumental in developing the B-wing fighter. He was a major player in the battle of the second Death Star, helping to defeat the Imperial forces there. After the fall of the Empire he became Supreme Commander of the New Republic Defense Force, the highest rank.

Ackbar led the way to final defeat of the lingering Empire, and numerous other battles fought during his career. He passed away of old age at 74 years old. He did not have children of his own, but two of his nieces did become Jedi.

Monday, January 14, 2008

CAP-2 Captivator (ESB Vehicle of the week)

The CAP-2 "captivator" was another mini-rig not found in the movies, but put out to give kids a cheap one-figure vehicle to play with, extending the original line. The CAP-2 was another unique design (they weren't all that way). Suction-cup legs for climbing A pivoting front blaster; a bubble-cockpit; two front pincer arms; and a rear capturing device that could hold a captured figure. This was operated by a little knob on top.

Like many mini-rigs, if you didn't have the box, or didn't hear about it previously, there is probably no way you'd know this was a Star Wars vehicle. It does have some Imperial-type design reminiscent of maybe a probe droid, but nothing that strikes it as definitely Star Wars-ish.

Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. Unique. Suction-cups: what the f--- is up with that?

2. That shade of gun-metal grey. Cool.

3. The picture on the box is another example of Kenner ambiguity. So the Hoth rebel is captured on Cloud City by Bossk and turned over to the Empire? What?

4. I always assumed (having not had the box) that it was a maintenance vehicle for Cloud City. It always amused me that they would have made a mundane window washer vehicle.

5. Perfect for dentists - one of the pincer claws looks just like a tooth scraper.

The CAP-2 is one of those rare mini-rigs that was not glimpsed in the movies, even in some other function, and does not have a larger, equivalent, vehicle. It is said that this ship was used by Bossk, but this is based only on the box picture. It could easily be a vehicle used in the Star Wars universe, but has not shown in any works considered canon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nien Nunb (ROTJ 1983-4)

Nien Nunb is one of those figure no one seems to know what to do with. Do I take out Han and Chewbacca out of the seats of the Millennium Falcon and put Lando and Nien in, or do I let it be? If not, what else do I do with him? Have him celebrate in the Ewok Village afterwards?

Nien came with a blaster pistol - the same one as the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot. He only came on an ROTJ card, since he really wasn't POTF-worthy. He has no problem fitting into the cockpit of the Falcon, mainly because it was built for a Wookiee. Nien was originally offered as a mail-away, but like all the other mail-aways from the original line he was eventually put on his own card.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. Make up your own subtitles for what he says to Lando: "Your general's cape really showws your feminine side."

2. Re-create the scenes where he keeps telling people he's not related to the other Sullustan in the Rebellion.

3. That blue vest so accentuates that red jumpsuit.

4. He's got balls for adjusting Chewie's seat.

5. At least he didn't start wearing clothing he found in the Falcon right away, like Lando did at the end of ESB.


Nien worked for the Sorusubb corporation until they joined with the Empire, then he began stealing and smuggling from them. He eventually hooked up with Lando, who later brought him into the Rebllion riding shotgun in the Falcon while making the run on the second Death Star. His home planet is Sullust, and he has one sister named Aril. Lando later had him runnign spice operations on Kessel.

In ROTJ, he was actually a puppet, and not a small person in a costume. That's why he was so articulated. He was voiced by a student from Kenya who just used his native language of Haya.