Friday, May 30, 2008

A-Wing Pilot (POTF 1985)

The A-Wing pilot came in a stylish dark green jumpsuit, with non-removable (like most figure in the vintage line) helmet. He came with a blaster pistol that was common to many of the other “pilots” and “drivers” in the POTF and ROTJ releases. Pictures of an actual pilot in the movie are pretty hard to come by, since they are really only seen in the cockpit. This might explain why the card shows a picture of the ship and not the pilot. This, however, is fairly common in the Kenner pilot and driver figures.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Cooler than the Droids release based on the cardback alone.

2. There weren’t too many POTF-only releases, so why not get them all?

3. For the love of the green.

4. Practice your hellish screaming as you ram you’re a-Wing into the control tower of a super star destroyer.

5. Holds out hope that you’ll actually get an A-Wing.


A-Wing pilots had to be very skilled due to the vehicle’s high speed, feather-touch maneuverability, and weapons systems without the aid of an astromech droid. Because of the initial hand-built nature of the A-Wings, many pilots even added personal touches such as wooden interiors. Some pilots (or their mechanics) also modified the guns to swivel 360 degrees, increasing their surprise against trailing enemy fighters. One of the more prominent A-Wing pilots was Tycho Celchu, an Alderaanian and member of Rogue Squadron.

His Wookieepedia article

2nd in alphabetical order

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A-Wing Fighter Vehicle (Droids 1985)

The A-Wing – sleek and fast looking. Streamlined. The best vehicle from the Droids line…mainly because it was in Return of the Jedi. And it was never produced until now. Hey, but now we have it!

The A-Wing only comes in a Droids box, and when you produce a very popular toy in a waning line, it instantly becomes rare and valuable. I hope you got this one while you could. It featured a cockpit for one figure, retractable landing gear, swiveling side-mounted laser cannons, and electronic sound. The color scheme was also painted on and not decals like an X-Wing or TIE Fighter. Overall, a pretty cool ship – just very hard to get a hold of.

Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. This was the fastest ship in the fleet – not the Millennium Falcon.

2. Look at this thing – it just sweats cool.

3. You got the A-Wing pilot – now get the real deal.

4. Your only real reason to get something from the Droids line.

5. The coolest ship to play with – and probably easiest to hold.


The RZ-1 A-Wing Interceptor was a fast ship – engines with a cockpit. It was a descendant of the Jedi starfighters seen in the prequel movies. However, not having an astromech port made the fighter hard to control at high speeds (unless you’re a Jedi) and control the weapons which could often fire 360 degrees. It also had 2 concussion missile launchers, which held 6 each. They were originally developed by the Alliance and made through Allaicne Underground Engineering, so each was more handbuilt, resulting in a higher maintenance schedule. However, enough of them were made by the Battle of Endor to make a difference and turn the tide of that battle. Later models were made by Incom Corporation.

Early designs of the A-Wing had blue stripes, but these were changed to red for blue screen filming. Also, while the fighter had an “A” shape, the original A-Wing fighter name may have come from the production staff calling the two new ships “ship A” and “ship B” (the B-Wing fighter).

Want the full story: Wookieepedia article

1st in alphabetical order

Sorry about yesyerday...

...but I had some service interruption and couldn't post. Today, however, we are starting the cycle over in alphabetical order this time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Everyone who collected the original Kenner line at the time always got that giddy thrill when they saw a mail-away offer. Rarely, as a kid, do you consider that cutting out the proof of purchase will ruin your figure's future re-sell value - who thought of that as a kid? Your main concern was, "Do I have enough POPs to get this offer?" The problem was, with a lot of the old Kenner offers were for figures that later came out carded anyway. As a kid, of course, you didn't know that, so any missed mail-away was a considered a missed figure. The only mail-aways you couldn't get later in the stores were the display stands and a complete set of the POTF cards (an unadvertised offer). The figures first offered as mail-aways (I'm not fully sure if this is complete-comment if you know otherwise):

1. Boba Fett
2. Bossk (advertised as a "secret" figure)
3. 4-LOM
4. Admiral Ackbar
5. Nien Nunb
6. The Emperor
7. Anakin Skywalker

Other mail-aways included:
1. The first movie display arena
2. The ESB display arena with L-shaped pieces and various backgrounds.
3. The survival kit (also later packaged in some ESB vehicles in department store specials, like the AT-AT).
4. The complete set of POTF coins (this was an unadvertised, but redeemable offer).

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Because of the holiday weekend I will be posting again on Tuesday.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Carrying cases II (SW, ESB, ROTJ)

Here are complete shots of everything that came with a Vader case - enjoy! The last picture is an example of an insert from one of the rectangular cases.

Carrying cases (SW, ESB, ROTJ)

Throughout the Kenner Star Wars vintage line we've been subjected to figure collector cases. Some good, like the Laser Rifle, some a little odd, like the Chewbacca Bandolier Strap. We also had the busts of Darth Vader and C-3PO to carry our figures in, and of course, the five box-like cases that just changed artwork according to the movie that was out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yak Face (last figure!) (POTF 1985)

ak Face – you know him, you love him. Well, you probably don’t actually know him since he is only briefly seen on Jabba’s Sand Barge, but you have to love the challenge of getting a figure like this. Yak Face was going to be the 93rd figure in the line, but with declining sales the line was stopped at 92. However, Yak Face was still released in Europe, Canada, and Australia, just never in the U.S. So, it is naturally a little rare.

Yak face comes with the same battle staff as Barada, and only comes on a POTF card. Oh, and did I not mention it only came…not in the U.S.? Kenner bastards! I mean, c’mon! What kid didn’t want a Yak Face after seeing his pivotal 5 seconds in the film? Anyway, you had to get this figure while you could, because when word got out that the line was done – well, you can guess that the rest were snatched up. This is still not the rarest Star Wars figure, however. That honor goes to Vlix.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. There was not a more phallic looking figure in the Kenner line.

2. That faux fur collar? Who’s he kidding?

3. Rarest figure in the POTF line (well, debatable. Rarest figure only run in the POTF line).

4. Debate with your friends if it is more of a Yak Face, or a Camel Face.

5. Speaking of which, the closest match to Joe Camel you'll get.


Yak Face's real name was Saelt-Marae, a Yarkora and long-lived at that. He spent 200 years alone just wooing his mate. He was a con man and often an informant for both sides of the Galactic Civil War. He was an informant for Jabba and managed to escape the Sand Barge (and steal a few secrets) before it blew up.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reminder: cycle is restarting soon!

Three more posts, and then I am starting the cycle over! This time, though, I'll go in alphabetical order (not to mention clean up the posts, make sure everything is hyperlinked and so on).

Boba Fett (SW 1978-79)

Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where? Oh, right here. Yes, believe it or not, Boba Fett was the last figure produced from the first movie line – even though he wasn’t in it (until the Special Editions came out much, much later). Boba Fett was probably the most hyped figure from the vintage line. First he was promoted as a mail-away with a rocket-firing jet pack. Naturally, you could poke your eye out, so the rocket-firing part was removed before it got into the stores or to customers, and any mention to it was blacked out. The figure actually came out two years before Empire Strikes Back came out.

Fett came on an SW, ESB, and ROTJ cards (2 different photos for the ROTJ card). The SW card also had some additional writing on the front kind of explaining who this character was. He came with the same gun as the Stormtrooper and many other figures in the first line. Boba Fett only appeared in an animated segment of the atrocious and cheesy Star Wars Holiday Special, making him the only figure made from it (originally).

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. The bountiest of the bounty hunters!

2. That Cylon-like helmet!

3. The Mandalorian armor!

4. Yellow! Green! Red! Blue-grey!

5. Card shows use of the flamethrower – waaaaaaay before it was ever used!


Boba is the unaltered clon of Jango Fett, and was raised by him until Jango was beheaded by Mace Windu in combat. Boba went on to a successful bounty hunting career like his "father" before him. He became one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, and often teamed with or crossed paths with other hunters. While on assignment for Jabba the Hutt, he fell into the Sarlacc on Tatooine and was bady injured but managed to escape. He went on to live a long life, continuing hunting and reuniting with his lost daughter as well. His primary ship was Slave I, but he also had Slaves II-IV. I’ll also refer you to my previous post on Boba Fett from the Droids line.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) (ESB 1980-82)

What do you bring to wear when you're meeting an acclaimed Jedi Master? Why your best brown, of course! Like Han and Leia, Luke is afforded many a change of outfit throughout the trilogy (sorry Chewie!). This outfit, which we actually see first on Dagobah then on Bespin, has a lot of pockets for all your survival needs. You will also notice that a deactivated lightsaber is hanging from Luke's utility belt.

This Luke comes with a lightsaber (in yellow, and not the true blue) and a the same blaster pistol that Han carries. The figure has a variation in the hair coloring - it got darker blonde later in its run. Bespin Luke came on two ESB cards (they changed the background photo) and an ROTJ card.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. This and Jedi Luke are the essential dueling figures.

2. You can't visit the Dagobah or Cloud City set without Bespin Luke.

3. Comes with a lightsaber and a blaster! How can you go wrong?

4. Sorry - a detraction - his hand does not come off (at least, not until the new Bespin Luke in the 1990's).

5. Recreate the harrowing hanging-by-his-knees-under-Cloud-City ordeal. Wait...his knees don't bend. Damnit!


I'll refer you to the previous luke for the backstory, and just add that in this outfit he not only gets trained by a Jedi Master, he also fights one and loses his hand. Keep this outfit for nostalgia, man!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Death Star Space Station (SW)

You thought getting an AT-AT was cool (okay, technically that came after this one)? Well IN-YOUR-FACE! I’ve got a Death Star! Can I tell you how cool this is? I can, but you really have to experience it for the coolness to settle into your pores and take hold. Tell me Ben, what does this marvelous (dare I say, rad?) playset have to offer us? Let us count the ways, from the bottom to the top:

1. The bottom level has a trash compacter that really compacts with:

1a. “Garbage” (collapsible foam squares)

1b. A dianoga (one-eyed trash compacter monster)!

2. The second level has a trap door into the trash compacter and…

2a. Monitors and control panels.

3. Third level has a walkway and collapsible bridge for Luke and Leia to swing across with a rope!

4. Fourth level: a turbolaser to blast those pesky rebel fighters out of the sky!

5. Last, but not least, a working elevator to all floors – with a tractor beam control tower at the top! The elevator door even works! Okay, okay, must breathe. Too…much…excitement.

If you were in England, Europe, or Australia, you could suck it because your Death Star playsets were entirely different and made of cardboard. USA! USA! Seriously, though, I always feel bad when I hear about things like this. Why not give them the same quality product I had? I’ve seen those cardboard Death Stars – they are not pretty.

Why should you own this set? I just gave you a TON of frickin’ reasons!


The concept for the Death Star began with an idea for an expeditionary moon, but when told to Tarkin, it eventually formed into a weapons platform. Plans for it were seen as far back as Episode II, when they were moved to prevent the Jedi from getting them. The final design work was done in the Maw Installation, an isolated Imperial laboratory, by a brain trust. The first Death Star was 160 km in diameter, and had countless turbolasers and tractor beams for defense, as well as its main weapon, the super laser. When Luke blew it up, there were an estimated 1,000,000 Imperials crewing it. Heavy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Han Solo (in Trench Coat) (ROTJ 1983-84)

So they get to Endor and Luke and Leia get ponchos (yeah, Luke, just try to pick up chicks in that thing) and Han gets a trench coat and doesn’t have to wear a helmet! Luke, who is a Jedi knight at this point mind you, wears a helmet. Han – he’s too cool for that. Leia, well, she’s a girl.

Han comes with a slightly modified head this time, his standard blaster pistol, and, well, a trench coat. The coat comes in two versions, one with a plain collar and one camouflaged like the rest of the coat. Underneath Han is wearing a similar outfit (but not the same!) to what he wore in the first movie. Dude, get a change of clothes. The figure came on ROTJ and POTF cards.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Hey, it’s Han.

2. Trench coat! I haven’t been this excited since the Barbie with the sun hat came out!

3. Blends into any planter.

4. Goes great on the Ewok Village BBQ spit.

5. Too cool for you. Sorry, now you can’t have him.


Han’s just trying to blend in. For his full backstory, see the original Han post.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

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 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.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

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.

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.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Luke Skywalker (Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit) (POTF 1985)

For the figures that only came out on POTF cards, Luke came out the best. He got both Poncho Luke and this figure. Reaching back to the original film, Kenner made a Luke dressed as Stormtrooper with a removable helmet. Not only that, but his neck could turn! Sure, today this is not a big deal, but back then we were used to Stormtroopers with no-move necks, and we liked it!

As previously mentioned, this figure only came out on a POTF card, and came with a standard-issue Stormtrooper blaster rifle and helmet. The helmet didn’t exactly “click” on so you were confident enough to hold it upside down, but it would do.

Why should you buy this figure? Five reasons:

1. To tell Kenner to keep making figures like this, so eventually you can get a Han in Stormtrooper outfit. Or they can just take your money.

2. Goes great with the Death Star Playset you bought years earlier.

3. More specifically, goes great in the trash compacter in the Death Star Playset.

4. Now you can finally have Leia utter the line, “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

5. Luke just looks good in white.


Luke and Han (with Chewie’s help) took out a couple of stormtroopers and wore their armor. For Luke’s full backstory click here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

AT-AT: All Terrain Armored Transport (ESB)

Holy mother pussbucket! It’s the AT-AT! Well, that’s what you would have said if you had gotten this Christmas morning (or whatever holiday you enjoy). The AT-AT – the biggest (arguably, versus the Death Star Playset) and most expensive toy in the vintage Star Wars arsenal.

What features did yon toy possess?

1. Movable head, with a handle on the inside, and a “trigger” to move the chin guns.

2. Adjustable “ear” guns.

3. opening cockpit for two figures (presumably for an AT-AT Driver and Commander.

4. Room and standing pegs inside for troops.

5. A hatch where Luke can throw in a thermal detonator (never made).

6. Adjustable legs – these puppies didn’t move on their own.

7. The chin guns light up and make sounds. Sounds!

8. Later releases of the AT-AT came with the accessory set with rifles ,grappling hooks, backpacks – never mind that most of the accessories were actually Rebel stuff.

This thing is big – I’ve got one still sitting out in the basement and my two-year old was frightened of it. Now she wants to play with it – but that’s not the point. Despite having the weight advantage, she was still scared of it.

Why should you get this toy? Five reasons:

1. It's the mother f---ing AT-AT! Do you not get goosebumps when you first saw that thing on screen?

2. It's HUGE! You can actually fly a Snowspeeder under the legs!

3. "Mom. Dad. You got me the AT-AT Commander and Driver. I have to have an AT-AT."

4. Vehicle and a playset.

5. Good substitute for that dog you always wanted.


The AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport) was developed by Kuat Drive Yards, and evolved from vehicles around since the Clone Wars. It stood 22.5 meters tall, could walk up to 60 km/h, and could hold up to a ton of cargo, 40 troops or more (or a combination of light vehicles and personnel). The command head housed the crew (usually a driver, gunner, and commander) and had chin-mounted heavy laser cannons, and repeating blasters on the side of the head for faster targets. While their armor was strong, there were weak points at the neck joint and the underbelly. To protect the underbelly, AT-STs were usually stationed around it. AT-ATs were delivered to a planet via dropships from a Star Destroyer or other Imperial carrier.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

AT-AT Commander (ESB 1980-82)

This figure was originally going to be named General Veers (this is the Commander we see in the film) but was probably changed at the last moment so it could be any AT-AT Commander. It comes with the same blaster as many of the ESB figures, Lando, Lobot, etc. the commander also came on both ESB and ROTJ cards.

In keeping with Kenner’s vintage line policy to not package figures with vehicles, this figure was not packaged with a vehicle. Instead, if you shelled out all that money for an AT-AT, you still had to put out the money for the Commander…and the Driver. When the line began again in the 90’s, both the Commander and Driver came with the AT-AT.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. A small step in convincing your parents to get that hulking AT-AT.

2. At least it was step to convincing them to get the AT-AT Driver too.

3. This guy is a general and an AT-AT Commander – he does it all!

4. Relive that riveting moment where he blows up the shield generator!

5. Relive that moment where the Drivers look at each other and roll their eyes because Veers just hogged all their glory.


The Commander figure was based on General Maximilian Veers, an officer that rose through the ranks through lucky (and unlucky) battles and the fact that many high-ranking officials died on the first Death Star. Through twists of fate he survived almost being blown up on the first Death Star, was on-planet when the second Death Star and Super Star Destroyer Executor were destroyed. He barely survived a head-on collision with a Snowspeeder and his AT-AT on Hoth, losing both of his legs in the process. After the Battle of Endor, he wandered from post to post until he was demoted due to resentment over his ties to Vader. He was then sent on a suicide mission by a Dark Sider close to the Emperor and killed.