Monday, January 28, 2013

Wampa Snow Creature from HOTH (ESB 1980-82)

Another in Kenner’s line of monsters-that-tried-to-kill-Luke, the wampa is available by himself. This, in itself, is kind of lame. The wampa is not big, like the rancor. You cannot fit someone in its mouth, like the rancor. He has no accessories – well, neither does the rancor, but you can put someone in its mouth!
The “Wampa Snow Creature from HOTH” (or “Hoth Wampa” on later boxes) came in an ESB box, and featured spring loaded arms that could be pulled back to…swing. Presumably this was to knock Luke off his tauntaun. It sported short,stubby legs, which were neither fear-inspiring nor menacing. Due to the many different versions of the wampa prop (they tried stop-motion, a guy in a suit, a puppet, etc) Kenner might not have gotten this exactly right, and it may be more of a hybrid of body parts.
Why should you get this creature? Five reasons:
1. You’ve got the tauntaun. You’ve got Hoth Luke. Now get yourself a freakin’ wampa!
2. No one scars Luke like a wampa.
3. Your tauntaun numbers are getting out of hand. A predator helps control the population.
4. Best catcher on the baseball team. Look at those mitts!
5. Those dreamy vacant eyes.
Wampas were indigenous to Hoth, and fed mainly on tauntauns, but would eat other creatures as well. Mainly solitary hunters, they would only eat when hungry, but hunt and store prey in their cave (like Luke) for later consumption. Echo Base came under many attacks by these creatures, and there was even a deleted scene from ESB where C-3PO rips a warning sign off a wampa room, and some unaware snowtroopers run into it.
172nd in alphabetical order


Taylor Lymbery said...

Oh man! I remember the Kenner commercial that featured this toy. It was annoying! Instead of growling or making hissing noises, the kid playing with the Wampa just grunted the word wampa over and over and over and... Well you get the point.

Bill said...

You're rigght- I remember the commerical too! That had to have been a huge acting credit for the kid who did the voice of Wampa.

Announcer: New from the Star Wars Empire Strike Back collection, Luke in Hoth Fatigues and Wampa toy.

Kid 1: Hey Luke it's cold here on Hoth.

Kid 2: WAMPA!

Kid 1: Luke, ride your Tauntaun!


(I'm going from memory here, but I think I'm pretty close... :) )