Friday, May 31, 2013

Imperial Troop Transport (SW)

The Imperial Troop Transport was the first vehicle to be introduced that was *kind of* not seen in the films. I say *kind of* (love those asterisks!) because the Rebels did use a similar vehicle on both Yavin and Hoth that was briefly seen in SW and ESB. Granted, it's completely plausible that it was a generic vehicle in the Star Wars universe and both sides could have been using these, but Imperial use is never shown in the film.

The Imperial Troop Transport was first released during the first movie. It featured 6 "slots" for figures on the sides, two cockpit spaces that opened out like any car door, and space for two figures in the back prisoner area. It also came with two restraints that inexplicably covered the face and shoulders of the prisoners. Binders may have been a better choice, but considering the variation of figure sizes this might not have been practical.

The niftiest features were the rotating turret cannons on the top, and the six buttons that had more or less authentic sound effects from the film. The six included 2 different gun sounds, a vehicle, R2, C-3PO, and a Stormtrooper.

The vehicle was released again during ESB, but it was renamed Imperial Cruiser, it was a Sears exclusive, some decals were altered, and it lacked the sound effect buttons.

Despite its iffy official canon status, I always liked this vehicle because of the sheer number of figures you could fit in it, the moving guns, the fact you could wheel it instead of having to fly it all over (I was a lazy kid), and the sounds. It was hard to get your little brother to stop playing with the sounds though.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:1. Finally, lock some Rebels up. Just a bunch of hippies anyway.

2. A vehicle you could really get going across the linoleum. Granted, you could do this with the Landspeeder, but that only fit 2 people, and had no guns. Daddy likes guns. And it scared your cat.

3. The sound effects were cool, even if it lead me to believe you were only suppose to act out capturing the droids. Wow. What a fight they would have put up.

4. The front is reminiscent of Boba Fett's helmet, who was only a glimmer in George Lucas's eye at the time, so it looks vaguely menacing.

5. It was kind of the figure case before there were figure cases you could play with. Heck, it held 10 figures despite it seeming relatively small.


The Reconnaissance Troop Transporter, as it was officially called, was built by Santhe/Sienar Technologies for the Empire. It used repulsorlifts for levitation and presumably some variation for propulsion. It appeared in several Marvel and Dark Horse Star Wars comics, and is now presumably an official vehicle in the Star Wars universe. When pictured in the comics, the Transport was actually almost exactly identical to the toy.

Want more? Wookieepedia article

80th in alphabetical order

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot (ESB 1980-82)

Poor TIE Pilot. This character was featured in the first Star Wars, usually right before getting blown up. Yet, he didn’t get a figure until ESB. Maybe this was a boon, since no TIE Pilot was actually shown during ESB. Yet, those glory-hog Snowtroopers got a lot of face time! Bastards.

The TIE Pilot came on an ESB, then ROTJ card, and came with a blaster pistol that looks a lot like a phaser from the old Star Trek series. His head did not turn, like most of the helmeted Imperial figures, but he still managed to look cool. Like other pilots, he did not get a figure shot but a vehicle shot on the background picture. When will they learn to look at the man and not the machine!?

Now this was a figure that came out a film later then the actual vehicle he was supposed to pilot. This happens again with the AT-ST driver. The least Kenner could have done was made a TIE Bomber (featured in ESB) to come out at the same time. But ooooh, no. They don’t come out with one until 2003, and then they make it a Wal-Mart exclusive. What? I can’t be bothered to get all dressed up to go to a Wal-Mart – who are they kidding? Then again in 2007: a Target exclusive. Well, I really can’t afford clothes to go in there.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. You’ve had the TIE Fighter since it came out – finally get a pilot! Then crash it.

2. Helmet. Imperial. Automatically cool.

3. The man in black, who takes no flack. Oh, yeaaaaaah.

4. Show that frickin’ upstart from Tatooine who’s boss. Oh, wait, his X-Wing has shields. My bad.

5. It’s really hard for one person to hold both the Falcon and a TIE Fighter at the same time to have a dog fight. Why not just fly the figures around instead. It’s like the same thing! Right?

Only ten percent of recruits that joined the TIE pilot program actually made it into the TIE fighter corp. Others were dispersed to do other military functions. TIE pilots had a full life-support system uniform, because TIE fighters didn’t actually have life-support. Unlike a ship such as an X-Wing, TIEs were ferried to their location by a supporting ship, like a Star Destroyer, so their actual flying time tended to be short. However, if they were shot down, their survival tended to be minimal, thus they were normally not given personal weapons or rations.

In the subsequent novels, there were a couple of TIE pilots that got a few pages, Baron Soontir Fel, and a TIE pilot that crashed during the original Battle of Yavin. He was discovered years later by Han and Leia’s kids when Luke founded a Jedi Academy on Yavin.

Want the full story? Wookieepedia article

79th in alphabetical order

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) (ESB 1980-82)

Finally, somewhere where the natural Stormtrooper color actually works! I hope the Empire learns something from this. Oh, wait – they still sent out stark white Stormtroopers to a forest environment (Endor). Morons.

The more common name for this guy is “Snowtrooper,” but the title of this posting reflects the official name on the card. The trooper came on both ESB and ROTJ cards, and came with a rifle (Dengar has one too). He also has a plastic skirt attached to his hips to reflect the smock worn in the film.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. If you’re Scottish, this comes closest to a SW figure with a kilt.

2. More mysterious than the first gen Stormtroopers – now you can’t even see their mouths!

3. If you’re storming a base, you’ve got to have one.

4. No Tri-Pod Laser is complete without one.

5. Who the heck else is going to be in your Imperial Attack Base?


Snowtroopers/Hoth Battle Gear/Cold Assault Stormtroopers – all the same thing. Personally, I like the last one – it sound like they were shrunk to microscopic size to fight an infection in the Emperor. These were Stormtroopers that went training geared to place them in colder climates. Their uniform reflected this as well, with better heaters, a breathing hood, and traction boots. For more, check out the other Stormtrooper post.

Want more? The Wookieepedia article

78th in alphabetical order

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Imperial Sniper Vehicle (POTF 1985)

The Sniper is another one of those little vehicles Kenner made to provide more play value at a cheaper price. The Sniper never appeared in any of the movies, even though the card picture makes it appear as though it was used on Endor. What is even more confusing is that one of the Snipers pictured is carrying an R5 droid. First of all, no R5 droid has been directly featured since the first movie. Secondly, the inept little grappler arm on the Sniper can’t hold something that big anyway (unless you used string). Now for the kicker – if you look carefully at the grappler arm on the Sniper, you’ll realize you’ve seen it before. Yes, it is one of the claw arms on the ESB mini-rig, CAP-2! Weird, wacky stuff my friend.
Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:
1. The Power of the Force logo on the packaging looks cool enough.
2. The grappler arm could be a torture device for Ewoks.
3. Small and cheap.
4. Very easy to hold for playing.
5. Laser cannons and jets! A little boy’s dream!
Although probably made up just for the toy line, Kenner managed to work the Imperial Sniper into an Episode of Droids, “The New King.” It appears idle in a docking bay. It was one of three small one-man vehicle nicknamed “body rigs”: The Sniper, the Security Scout, and the Sand Skimmer.

Want a little more? Wookieepedia article
77th in alphabetical order

Monday, May 27, 2013

Imperial Shuttle Vehicle (ROTJ)

Do you want an obnoxiously big Star Wars vehicle, but have just been wondering which one to get? Look no further, brother, it is here – the Imperial Shuttle! This thing, as far as Star Wars vehicles go, is massive. It can sit on retractable landing gear (except for the middle one which is a trigger to fold down the wings) with the wings up, or you can “fly” it with the wings down. Once the wings are down it looks like a bald eagle in flight – big.

It sports 2 double guns in front and rear, and 2 more double guns on the wings. The cockpit opens to seat two figures, and the cargo hatch can open to put more figures into. A landing ramp also can be extended from the cargo space for something like the Emperor’s grand entrance, like in ROTJ. It also makes electronic sounds for when you blast away at something – even though shots were never fired from this in the movie.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. The thing is frickin’ huge! It’s a monster!

2. Recreate both Imperial scenes and Rebel ones.

3. The third landing gear that holds like a pistol grip is rather nifty.

4. Definitely a vehicle your little brother can’t lift up.

5. Best…cubicle…toy…ever. Too bad you don’t have room for a computer now.


The Lambda-class T-4a shuttle was built by Sienar Fleet Systems and Cygnus Spaceworks (one might have stolen designers from the other) and was a common utility craft in use in the Imperial military. It was used to ferry cargo and troops. It had a crew of six, and could carry 20 soldiers in the cargo bay or 80 tons of materials. For weapons it had 3 double blaster cannons (one in back) and 2 double laser cannons (mounted on the wings). Some Imperial officials (notably Vader and the Emperor) converted the cargo spaces for personal use. This is also notably the type of ship that ferried the Rebel soldiers that blew up the Endor shield generator.

Want more? Full Wookieepedia article.

76th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Imperial Gunner (POTF 1985)

As much as the Imperial Gunners in ROTJ (seen in the large hangar for the Emperor’s arrival) look like a helmet slapped on a generic jumpsuit, the figure actually looks kind of cool. Black, red-slit visor, secret identity.

The Imperial Gunner, sometimes called Death Star Gunner (but not in this line), came with a skinnier blaster, and only came on a POTF card with coin. This seems a little belated since you can see glimpses of this character as early as the first movie – manning the turbolasers and the main gun on the Death Star.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. It’s like a human version of KITT, the Knight Rider car.

2. It’s the closest you’ll get to a Star Wars Cylon. Well, at least looking like one. Not that whole robot thing though.

3. Man in black. Cool.

4. Guy in visored helmet. Cool.

5. Runs a big effin’ gun. Cool.


As cool as the figure looks, in reality, Imperial Gunners are often the lesser-scoring recruits in the Imperial forces. The visor helmet provides little peripheral vision and makes them run into things. Their main function is to guard against the blinding light of the Death Star man in gun. Although why you would design something like that where the guys sit that close to the laser is beyond me. It's a cruel joke, man.

Want more? Wookieepedia article on Gunners

75th in alphabetical order

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Imperial Dignitary (POTF 1985)

The Imperial Dignitary is one of the most versatile, exciting, action-filled, oh, I'm just kidding. The Imperial Dignitary is a pretty tame (or is that lame?) figure, and really only serves to highlight the Empire's tastes for shades of purple. What kid wants to practice Imperial diplomacy that doesn't involve a Stormtrooper's gun?
This figure was only released on a Power of the Force card with a coin. Since it was a POTF card, as boring as the figure is, it makes it rare and valuable. The Dignitary didn't come with any accessories, except a flair for diplomacy.
Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:
1. This is the closest Catholic Star Wars fans can come to an action figure dressed like the Pope.
2. This is the closest showbizzy Star Wars fans can come to an action figure dressed like Liberace.
3. Put this on your shelf and your friends can marvel and say, "What the f*** is that?"
4. That Imperial Shuttle needs some filler figures.
5. Re-enact all his lines from the movie "..." and "..."
The Imperial Dignitary figure was based on Sim Aloo, an advisor to the Emperor and a member of the Imperial Inner Circle. When the second Death Star blew up, so did he. That's it, the end

Want more? Sim Aloo's article on Wookieepedia

74th in alphabetical order

Friday, May 24, 2013

Imperial Commander (ESB 1980-82)

It's hard to pin down exactly who this figure is supposed to be. The picture on the package shows General Veers (the guy who led the AT-AT assualt on Hoth), but he has the brownish-grey uniform of a higher rank. The black uniform is of a lesser rank, a commander, and could also be the dress uniform for a stormtrooper. Well, what are ya gonna do? It's the old line - little things like this didn't get in the way of some kid saying, "I don't want him, I want a stormtrooper!"

The Imperial Commander comes with a standard issue stormtrooper type-rifle, like many, many, many of the other old Star Wars figures. It also came on an ESB and ROTJ card.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Another man in black. You can't go wrong in black, Jack.

2. The Empire needs bureacracy.

3. Your Vader figure can't be around to command every Imperial.

4. You can have this figure reenact a number of Imperial officer/Vader choking scenes. Great fun!

5. That cap is damn stylish.


I kind of already said part of it - the picture is General Veers, who is a higher rank than Commander. Captain is the next step up from Commander in the Imperial Navy. However, Imperial Commanders have made appearances in all of the original movies.

Want more? The Wookieepedia article on Veers.

73rd in alphabetical order

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Imperial Attack Base (ESB)

All your base are belong to us! Now begins our "Imperial" series in the alphabet. The Imperial Attack Base is a nice little playset. You’ve got a bunker that can “blow up” real good, an ice bridge that can topple, pegs and moving bases for figures, and what looks like a Gatling-gun type blaster/laser rifle. It only came in an ESB box. The only thing is, this “Imperial” base is modeled after the Rebel Echo base and Hoth trench. The Imperials just stormed the place, they never set up a base. Oh, well – you were a kid, who cares?
Why should you own this frigid base? Five reasons:
1. Doubles as Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Okay, Clark’s, you Smallville fanatic.
2. Gun is a nice alternative to the Tri-Pod Laser.

3. Nothing like teaching kids trench warfare.

4. Practice your Rebel soldiers’ waving to overhead Snowspeeders. Wait, look out for that AT-AT…ah, too late.

5. Shows dirt like no other Star Wars playset. Go ahead, try playing outside with it.

While there was no Imperial Base on Hoth, this was slightly modeled after the trench that the Rebels had set up. Kind of makes you wonder why the Empire just didn’t deploy Imperial Hover Plows to take care of it.
72nd in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

IG-88 (ESB 1980-82)

IG-88 is yet another bounty hunter in our arsenal of figures. In the movies, we only get to see IG standing with the other bounty hunters as Vader talks to them about capturing the Millennium Falcon and its crew. That's it. However, for as little screen time as he gets, IG-88 gets quite the weaponry. He gets not one, but two blasters. Yes, two blasters! The stormtrooper-type that is so ubiquitous among the figures, and a blaster rifle. Now, I have no idea why he gets this when even the big guy Boba Fett only had one, but I won't complain.

As previously stated, Iggy came with a blaster and a blaster rifle. The figure came on both ESB and ROTJ cards. The earliest releases had a grey finish, but later releases had a kind of glitter in the paint to make it look more metallic.

Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:

1. Out of all the bounty hunters, he looks the most logical, so he's guaranteed not to take any of your crap.

2. He's tall. If you like that sort of thing.

3. Two blasters! Name another figure that came with two. Yeah, that's what I thought - nobody!

4. Bounty hunter. Have to have 'em.

5. Where are his eyes? I don't know - do you? How do you know he isn't watching you now? On second thought, get rid of the creepy thing.


IG-88 was built by Holowan Industries, based on the earlier models that were guards to General Grevious. Four were built, one activated, who moments later killed all of his creators and copied himself into the other three models. All the copies took turn being bounty hunters, but IG's main goal was a droid revolution to overthrow organic life.

During the events of ESB, one of the IGs was destroyed in its ship by Boba Fett, after trying to destroy him in turn and get the Falcon. Another IG was destroyed by Boba Fett on Bespin, and can actually be seen in the scrap heap in the movie (where Chewbacca recovers C-3PO). Dash Rendar destroyed a third copy during the events of Shadows of the Empire.

The fourth copy uploaded himself into the second Death Star in an attempt to use the battle platform as the ultimate tool to control and guide the droid revolution. However, before he could take full control, the death star was destroyed by the Rebels over Endor.

Want the full story? His Wookieepedia article.

71st in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Set (ESB)

The Hoth Ice Planet Adventure set! Again, this set uses the same base as the Land of the Jawas set, but a background of a stationary AT-AT – with the same elevator as the Jawas set! It only came in an ESB box, but it included the Radar Laser Cannon (also available as a separate mini-rig). Otherwise, there was nothing exceptional about this set – it didn’t even come with any figures. The background with the “AT-AT” also showed scenes of the Battle of Hoth.

Why should you get this set? Five reasons:
1. Your last chance to get this base…um…your second chance to get this plastic base.

2. You can swap bases with the Rebel Command Center. You know, in case you lose one.

3. “Mom, can I get an AT-AT?” “No Jimmy, but I will get you the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Set.”

4. The only time – ever – it will be suggested – even remotely – that AT-ATs have elevators.

5. Beats getting just the radar Laser Cannon.


Since I just covered Echo Base with the last set, I’ll do Hoth. Hoth (the planet) is located on the fringe of the Ivax Nebula; the sixth star circling the blue-white Hoth star. The solar system had a large asteroid field, so meteorites are a common occurrence on the planet. The planet was covered mainly in ice, with fissures of occasional water being opened by tidal pulls from neighboring moons. Animal life consisted of tautauns, wampas, and various smaller creatures, many of which fed on what little vegetation (such as lichen) existed.

The planet was most likely named after the Jedi Hoth, who lived long ago and helped defeat the old Sith. The only livable portion (for most species, including humans dressed warmly enough) is in the temperate band near the equator. When the Rebel Alliance established their base there, it had already been used by smugglers and unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

Want more about the planet? The Wookieepedia article.

70th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Monday, May 20, 2013

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 Wookieepedia article.
69th in alphabetical order
Kegger Physics 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Han Solo (in Carbonite Chamber) (POTF 1985)

While a Han in Carbonite was a good idea, technology in molding needed a few years of catch up to make this a good figure. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that we got a Han-in-Carbonite figure, but there are a couple of drawbacks. One – that “bull neck” (as it is often referred to). This was primarily due to limitations on what could be molded, giving the figure a goofy look. Two – the frozen Han in the movies had his hands out in front of him, almost clawing/pushing out of the Carbonite. This Han has his arms down like he was posing for a picture when he has frozen. Granted, the figure was limited so they had to make the Carbonite mold fit it, but it is obviously not the same as the movie. Oh, well.
A previous “Han in Carbonite” came with the Slave I ship, but this figure is more to scale. It has a Han figure in his off-white shirt and the chamber which he can fit into in the back. Other than that, no accessories. This figure came on a POTF card near the end of the Kenner run.
Why should you get this figure? Five reasons:
1. Goes with your Cloud City Playset.
2. Goes with your Slave I. Oh wait, it won’t fit, dammit.
3. Only time you’ll see Han with a double-chin.
4. The perfect figure to accompany an ice tray.
5. Another good accessory for your Jabba Throne room set.
Carbonite is a metal alloy made from carbon and primarily used to store and transport Tibanna gas (like from Cloud City). While freezing a human was never the original intention of the process, with some modifications it was successfully used in freezing Han Solo (and others in time) and putting him in suspended animation.
68th in alphabetical order