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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

"La French Touch" Collectors' Reference Book

Well, "Celebration Europe II" takes place this weekend in Essen, Germany, with tons of celebrity guests and cool stuff to see... and I won't be there :-(

HOWEVER! Even though I won't be in attendance, I wanted to bring a bit of European flavour to the blog, so I'm posting about Stephane Faucourt's new book, "La French Touch - History of French Star Wars Merchandising & Marketing 1977-1986".

I was privileged to assist Stephane with translation and copyediting the English version of his book. La French Touch covers everything you can imagine about Star Wars in France, from action figures and toys (of course) to newspaper and magazine coverage, product premiums, record albums and videos, costumes... you name it. All copiously illustrated in glorious full colour, naturally :-) 

Here, Yak Face points out his entry in the "Trilogo" section. The book covers all card style variations from the early square Meccano cardbacks all the way to the last Trilogo cards.

Lots of cool material and pictures of model kits...

Packaging variations for ships, beasts and playsets too.

Plenty of weird stuff to hold your interest - like these very strange ice-cream tie-in story ads.
Luke Stormtrooper found his cardback too! :-)

Stephane very kindly sent along inscribed English and French editions of his book, along with some other cool stuff for which I am very appreciative. The book has received some very good reviews on Rebelscum and other forums (from some prominent collectors too) and I join with them in applauding Stephane for his creative and thorough job in presenting the subject. I had a copy of the book sitting on the coffee table and even one of my non-collecting friends thought it was so cool he couldn't put it down!

If you're lucky enough to be in Essen for CE II this weekend, the book is available at Gus and Duncan's Completist Publications stand (#804). If not, you should order a copy direct from Stephane through his website at http://www.meccano2trilogo.com/

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Large Size R2-D2

Part of collecting is knowing what not to collect, and for the most part, for me, "what not to collect" has included the large-size action figures. Unfortunately for this plan, I really love bounty hunters (who doesn't?) and so I couldn't resist picking up Boba Fett and IG-88 in 12" form. I also already had Darth Vader, C-3PO and the Stormtrooper (the last of these, since I was a kid in 1980), so how could I limit the damage and stop myself from having to collect all 12 of the large figures?

What I decided to do was limit the 12" focus to bad guys and droids. That meant I only needed to get one more - the large size R2-D2.

Easier said than done really - while the radio-controlled R2 seems to be quite common, his 12" counterpart is a bit more difficult to come by, especially in complete form including the "Death Star plans".

Death Star plans, you ask?

Well, on the front of the droid is a small panel. Press on this...

...and hey presto! a door pops open on the back of the droid, revealing a secret compartment. If you're very fortunate, this compartment holds two plastic parts with decals on them, labelled "Death Star Plans."

Original decal on left, repro on right
Of course, even if the plans are there, the decals are subject to some wear and tear over 30 years of play. My R2 unit came with only one set of plans, and the decals were in poor shape. So I obtained another set on eBay along with some repro decals.

These are both repro decals

There are also decals in the secret compartment where the plans are stored.

The 12" figure is a remarkably accurate likeness of the full-size droid, wouldn't you say?


Didn't everybody have a Landspeeder? I had two as a kid, got them both for the same birthday. That was a bit of a drag, since there was only ever one Landspeeder in the movie and to me, the play possibilities within the confines of the movie context were somewhat limited. But it is nevertheless an iconic toy from the original range and the box art direction is fantastic as usual.

Box top shows "simulated suspension".

Did anybody else used to store vintage weapons up front in the trunk?

Demonstration of suspension feature and remnants of TRU sticker ;-)

POP has unfortunately been removed, but what a great photo of the heroes riding in the vehicle.

The usual recreation of the box art. The 'speeder in the photos is one I owned as a kid. What's up with the Stormtrooper using Chewbacca's rifle?

Luke checks out the thermal reactor under the hood. Careful with that lightsaber!

Copyright information.

Spring-loaded suspension...

"Wheels down" with the lever in the forward position, simulated floating.

"Wheels up" with the lever locked back, vehicle sits on the ground. As with many Kenner vehicles the cleverness of the play features in the toy is often overlooked, but that floating suspension setup is pretty cool.