Sunday, March 31, 2013

Barada (POTF 1985)

Barada was released near the end of the vintage run, during the Power of the Force line. Thus, he garnered a coin while many iconic figures did not - so sad. Barada came with a force pike lance and a permanent scowl. I can't say much about this figure, other than he's good for getting cut in half by Luke while escaping Jabba's sand barge.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. You need him, Klaatu, and Nikto together for the perfect trifecta (more on that below).

2. No one can use a hydrospanner on the sand-crusted lug nuts like him.

3. Once you make that scale-model of Jabba's sand barge, you're going to need people getting sliced on the deck by Luke.

4. You need him for your stop-motion children's show, "Fun at Jabba's!"

5. Probably the closest-looking figure to a pirate in the entire vintage collection. Even more than original Han.


Barada was put into servitude by his parents because of his sass-mouth. Yea, you read that right. Right before his time was up, he was bought by Jabba along with the garage he worked in. He then became Jabba's chief mechanic for his sand barge, and friends with Ephant Mon (they never made a figure of him). He was made a guard during Luke's trip to the Sarlacc pit, and was promptly cut in half by Luke.

He, along with two other figures, were named after the phrase "klaatu barada nikto" from the 1950's movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still." The phrase was used again, most notably in Army of Darkness.

Want more? Full article at Wookieepedia

19th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics                            

Saturday, March 30, 2013

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.
Full story? Wookieepedia article
18th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics

Friday, March 29, 2013

AT-ST Driver (ROTJ 1983-4)

This is 16th in alphabetical order instead of the AT-ST, because - officially - the toy was called the Scout Walker and not AT-ST, so it will be appearing farther down the list.

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.
Want more? Its Wookieepedia article.
17th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ATL Interceptor Vehicle (Droids 1985)

While the Droids line was not very popular, and did not last long, it did produce some unique vehicles. One was the A-Wing, which hadn’t been made in the ROTJ series, the Side Gunner, and the ATL Interceptor. The ATL box was shown with Thall Joben in the cockpit, but a photo shows it with a B-Wing pilot. Like the Side Gunner box pictures, it seems evident the Droid figures weren’t yet ready when the ship went into production.
Despite being Droids, it is a neat little ship. The maneuvering struts can come down, like the action in an X-Wing deploying its wings. It has one nose gun and two more on the sides that are revealed when the wings come down. It looks very much like a Star Wars vehicle should.
Why should you get this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. Very rare and popular. The line was declining at this point, so a cool ship was instantly rare.
2. An official part of the SW universe, so use it with any figures.
3. Three cool guns – always a hit with the kids.
4. Has a cool transforming action – what’s not to like?
5. Actually a little imposing with the wings down.
The ATL (Air To Land) Interceptor was first conceived as the Death Star Defender for the ROTJ line, but was never produced. When making ships for the cartoon Droids, Kenner used the unproduced design as the ATL. In the SW universe it is known as the Defender Starfighter by Republic Engineering Corporation. It had three laser cannons and deployable s-foils for maneuvering. It did not have a hyperdrive, and was designed mainly for planetary defense.
Known as the "Defender Starfighter" in official continuity:
Want more? Its Wookieepedia article

16th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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 yonder 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! Did 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. Wookieepedia article
13th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AST-5 Armored Sentinel Transport (ROTJ)

The AST-5 (Armored Sentinel Tranport) is one of the many mini-rigs featured in the Kenner Star Wars line. Unlike many of the mini-rigs which took their inspiration from bigger vehicles in the movies (compare the mini sand skiff to the full sand skiff), the AST did not seem to have a larger counterpart. It was also one of the few mini-rigs never to be featured in any Star Wars novel, cartoon, or other media ever again. In fact, forget I ever mentioned it.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. Because of its odd design, you can easily fool your friends into believing its from any one of a number of different toy line. Just hide the box.

2. It features not one, not two, but three different positions! "Sentry mode" (folded together standing up), "attack mode" (engine at a 90 degree angle), and "pursuit mode" (engine folded behind the cockpit).

3. It inspired today's folding cell phones. Maybe.

4. For those who missed that "just right" shade or red/orange that the Cloud City Pod Car came in.

5. It has two obvious guns, and when folded up it looks like one of the suits of Cobra armor from G.I. Joe... made by Hasbro...which bought Kenner...wait a sec.


The only backstory the AST has is provided by the box. It looks like it was used by Jabba's guards. Maybe for chasing down escaped prisoners. Maybe for manning the lifeguard stations at Jabba's private beach. Who knows? All we can suppose is that they kept it off-screen during ROTJ - maybe in the garage. Wookieepedia article

12th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) Now! with Sensorscope (ESB 1908-82)

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 the Wookieepedia article.

11th in alphabetical order
 Kegger Physics

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) with pop-up Lightsaber (POTF 1985)



Kenner production team meeting:
Guy 1: Hmm…how can we milk more out of figures we have already made?
Guy 2: What about sparking torso C-3PO?
Guy 3: No – too obvious. How about a Leia in disco suede?
Guy 1: No – too many design changes. How about a new R2?
Guy 2: Yeah, but what hasn’t been done? The third leg?
Guy 1: Oh, we did that in the Droid Factory so not many people could get it. What about a lightsaber that can come out of his head, like in the Tatooine scene?
Guy 3: Yeah, but let’s use an Endor scene photo on the package!
All three: Brilliant!
Alright, so many it didn’t go quite like this, but with a “premium” line like the POTF one, why could there have been a really new figure? Why an R2 with one little feature. Heck, the lightsaber doesn’t even really pop out – it rises as you turn his head. I want a mother----ing saber that shoots out his head right into my Jedi Luke’s hand! Is that so much to ask?
Well, anyway, this R2 comes on a POTF card, making it rarer. It comes with a green lightsaber that rise from his head as you turn it, and is removable. As any POTF figure, it comes with a coin, but inexplicably, it shows a photo – not of R2 shooting out the lightsaber – no, it shows him short-circuiting at the Endor bunker. Go figure.
Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:
1. Maybe you could rig a pen spring in there and make it really shoot.
2. Makes up for Poncho Luke not coming with a lightsaber. Partially.
3. Adds credence to the line, “Is that a lightsaber, or are you just happy to see me?”
4. Gave hope that they would finally get R2 right. Oh, wait – the line just ended.
5. A real coup, since your parents are probably saying, “Don’t you already have one of these?”
The backstory has been covered in my original R2 post, and here is the link to the R2 with sensorscope, and the Droids R2
Full story? Wookieepedia article
10th in alphabetical order

Kegger Physics 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (SW 1978-79)

R2-D2, part of the original 12. This is one of those figures that my opinion of changed over time. I liken it to Garfield comic strips. When I was a kid, they were hilarious. As I got older though, I realized just how unfunny it was. I cannot figure out if my sense of humor became more refined, or that Garfield kept repeating the same jokes over and over (okay, you like lasagna and hate Mondays - can we move onto something else!). My point being, when I was a kid I liked this figure, when I got older however...

Yes, R2-D2 is a core character, and yes, I realize that the detail on his body could really only be accurately done with a decal. But still, when I got older, I realized this character kind of, well, sucked. First of all, where is the third leg? The only way to get an R2 with a third leg in the original line was to buy the Droid Factory Playset. He used that third leg most of the time in the movies! Second, the head detail only vaguely resembles his real head - and they never changed it. Not when they made Sensorscope R2 and not when they made Lightsaber-popping R2. Can you even put the R2 figure in an X-Wing? No! That feature is already built in. You had to wait until the Y-Wing was produced during ROTJ before you could put an astromech droid in a vehicle.

Okay, after all that, why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. It's R2, despite all his flaws, he's a core character. Who's going to shut down the trash compactor on your Death Star playset?

2. You can let Jawas shoot his ass.

3. That shiny, shiny head. I like shiny objects. Tin Man's my favorite.

4. His head clicks when turned, kind of like that barn door on your Fisher-Price farm set that "mooed."

5. R2 figure vs. Yoda figure in a no-holds-barred knockdown fight over Luke's X-Wing kit lantern! Who will win: the swiss-army droid or the 900-year-old Jedi Master? You decide!


R2, like most astromech-class (so-called because they could plug into many starships and aid with navigation and other duties) was built by Industrial Automaton maybe around 33 years before the first movie (age debated). At the time of "The Phantom Menace" he was owned by the Royal Engineers of Naboo, and the rest is history. He saved the Queen, ended up with Anakin, then Bail Organa, a bunch of owners (in the cartoon series Droids), then back to Bail, then to Luke and so on. In the novels after the movies, R2 eventually reveals details and footage of Anakin and Padme to Luke and Leia, since he never underwent a memory wipe like C-3PO did. In stories about Luke's descendants, R2 was still in use at least 137 years after the first movie's events.

Want the full story? His Wookieepedia article

8th in alphabetical order

Kegger Physics  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anakin Skywalker (POTF 1985)

This figure, like many before it, was first available from Kenner only as a mail-away. In the POTF line, however, it was put on a card with a coin. Anakin did not come with any accessories, because, well, it is a figure of a ghost. It really wouldn’t make sense to give him any accessories. This figure is one of only 15 figures that were only released on the POTF cards.
Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:
1. The only ghost you get to own from the vintage line.
2. Re-create his action-packed smiling! The slight nod to Luke!
3. Change the scene a little: Luke: “Oh, so you guys can appear here too? Well, thanks for all the help everywhere else you bastards!”
4. Another thing you can put in the Ewok Village – besides Ewoks!
5. Those stylish robes!
It is interesting - since the last change in the “Special Editions,” Hayden Christensen has replaced the previous actor as the ghostly Anakin. This change essentially means that this figure never existed. However, soon before this final Special Edition, a figure 3-pack of the Force ghosts, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda were put out in the 1990’s line.
Full story? His Wookieepedia article

7th in alphabetical order

Kegger Physics    

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Amanaman (POTF 1985)

Why should you get this figure? I'll give you SEVEN reasons this time:

1. It is the one of the most "alien" of the Star Wars aliens. That cowl, those extended arms, the stubby legs. This isn't just some actor with make up, this is a whole different being.

2. Any character that has little to no speaking part and that you have to point out where it is in the film to other people is automatically considered cool.

3. It comes close to being first in alphabetical order (yeah, I know, Admiral Ackbar beats its out).

4. The staff with the three heads (possibly shrunken) and the severed hand. Three freakin' severed heads and a hand! If your mom actually looked closely at the package, would she have bought this for you? No freakin' way! Who cares it doesn't have a blaster or a lightsaber - freakin' severed heads, man!

5. It only has two different variations - the U.S. card and the overseas "tri-logo" card.

6. Despite barely on screen, he has his own coin, damnit!

7. For all these reasons it has been one of my personal favorites.


Amanaman had very little screen time, appearing in Jabba's throne room in Return of the Jedi. It's species is Amanin, a primitive culture from the planet Maridun. While they have the aforementioned stubby legs, they are able to curl up in a ball and roll at quite fast speeds. Their skin secretes a poison which deters predators and acts as a natural moisturizer. Their native habitat is typically rain forest, preferring to live in trees (not unlike Wookiees). It is unclear exactly what motives Amanaman had (he may have been a bounty hunter), or who his head decorations were when they were alive, but it is fairly certain that Amanaman died when Jabba's sand barge exploded.

Note: "Amanaman" is often the nickname for the Amanin species.

Full story? His Wookieepedia article

6th in alphabetical order

Kegger Physics

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Admiral Ackbar (ROTJ 1983-84)

It's a trap!

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 : a 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.

Want the full story? His Wookieepedia article

5th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Action Figure Collector Cases (SW, ESB, ROTJ)

The first in this line of rectangular figure cases was actually labeled on the front "Mini-Action Figure Collector's Case," but collectively these are known as Action Figure Collector Cases. The structure of the case stayed the same, but the artwork changed for every movie, sometimes twice. Since all the places to put the figures were pretty standardized, there were always those who wouldn't fit (curse you Rancor Keeper and Gamorrean Guard!) or those you could fit two to a section (R2 and a Jawa for example).

4th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics