A regularly updated blog about my vintage Kenner Star Wars toy collection. Some stuff that I've recently acquired; some stuff that I've had since I was a kid. Some rare, some common, but all sharing the warmth, charm and character of the "first generation" of Star Wars toys - the ones we played with as kids in the late '70s and early '80s.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Playset (Kenner Canada)

In Canada, our Star Wars toys (even in the '80s) were required to embrace the bilingual wonderfulness that is our Canadian culture. This means that packaging and instructions are seen in both official languages, English and French. Fortunately for French kids, and unlike the Canadian Dagobah playset, the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Set has French language in full colour on the box front, same as the English.

I found this example at a local antique store. As with many non-specialist vintage vendors, pricing there is somewhat random... asking $100 for a boxed Twin-Pod Cloud Car in average condition, for example. Fortunately this set was much more reasonable, I picked it up for $65 and it is complete down to the plastic pegs.

English language side of the box has same graphics as the French but has some unsightly tape on it. Display the French side...?

As usual the box top and bottom have some great play images.

Here's the playset in its glory. It includes the plastic base, cardboard backdrop with "manual elevator", and the plastic Radar Laser Cannon. Note that the latter is different from the Radar Laser Cannon sold on its own as an "action figure accessory." There are several significant differences, but the most obvious one from photos is that the dish on the playset version has a round bottom, whereas the accessory toy has a dish that's noticeably flat across the lower edge. As the playset is often found loose missing the cannon, it's good for collectors to know which version they are looking for when searching for a replacement.

I did own this toy as a kid, but unfortunately it was lost to the ages in a house move by my parents. I remember quite clearly when I got it... my father had been away on a trip and returned with some Star Wars stuff for me. He had been in the United States, so I guess I probably had the Kenner US version, but it's nice to get a "local" one for my current collection.

"This place is crawling with Snowtroopers, huh Chewie?" Han is standing on the "action feature". Swivel the lever and a trigger underneath trips the button that's underneath the trooper's left foot, and he goes tumbling to the ground.

Rebel soldiers are under attack by Stormtroopers in Hoth battle gear.

Elevator goes up and down to raise and lower figures to and from the body of the AT-AT.

Close-up of the action lever.

Reverse of the cardboard backdrop showing the elevator and AT-AT interior.

The playset comes with four plastic pegs that slot into the vehicle floor, allowing action figures to more easily stand upright. Obviously these were easily lost!

Underside of playset base, showing the action feature mechanism.

Copyright info look familiar? It should... you probably noticed that the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Playset bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the Land of the Jawas Action Playset released in the Star Wars line... of course, the plastic bases are identical mouldings, differing only in the colour of the plastic used. Even the playsets' action features are identical, which creates some anachronisms... for example, the Jawa Sandcrawler had an elevator on its underside, but there didn't seem to be any such thing on an AT-AT. The Radar Laser Cannon is kinda cool if you don't have the accessory one but for play value, the AT-AT vehicle is far superior, of course at a price...

I'm glad to have added this back into my collection anyway, it's nice to have it again having had it as a kid.

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