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.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Twin-Pod Cloud Car

Here's another rather obscure vehicle from The Empire Strikes Back that was given its own toy version in the Kenner line. The Twin-Pod Cloud Car appears in one scene, escorting the Falcon in for a landing at Cloud City about halfway through the film. Blink... and you missed it!

One box side demonstrates how to place an action figure in the cockpit, and how the landing gear raises and lowers.

The other side displays the same photo as used on the box front. Not sure why the scene appears to take place in two feet of snow...

And here's my re-creation of that scene. Everybody seems to love waving at each other. Luke raises an arm in greeting as he arrives/departs in the Cloud Car; the other Bespin Guard has raised his hand; Threepio is waving for some reason, and Lando is waving his arm around like a maniac. The play scenario can't be overly chummy, though, as three of the participants (including Leia!) are armed...

You might notice that I've increased the "diversity" factor in this re-creation as well by substituting a black Bespin Guard for one of the three white/Asian guards in the original photo. Might also be because I only own two white/Asian Guard figures...

Meanwhile, Lobot tries to explain to the Cloud Car Pilot why there are Guards climbing all over his ship. "Don't worry, it's just a photoshoot. Yes, I've told them not to touch anything."

Cloud Car Pilot takes it up with a Guard nevertheless. "We got union rules here, man. You can't fly a Cloud Car unless you're a qualified Pilot!"

Detail of decals on instrument panel and engine.

Here's the other instrument panel.

Copyright information appears on bottom panel.

The Cloud Car wasn't a toy I originally owned as a kid, and truth be told, it wasn't one that was high on my want list, either. It appeared only very briefly in the movie, and in a pretty undramatic role to boot. But it's an attractive toy for parents to buy and undoubtedly came in at a similarly attractive price point. However, for a bit more money, I'm sure kids would've wanted a Rebel Armoured Snowspeeder instead ;-) 


  1. 90% sure I had one of these as a kid...probably a garage sale pick-up. 100% sure I played with one a lot and loved it!

  2. That's great, Nicholas - thanks for the comment!

  3. Even though it appeared on-screen for maybe a few seconds, for some reason -- the color scheme? the unconventional design? -- I really, REALLY dug the Cloud Car as a kid. And out of all the new vehicles that Kenner released for Empire, after Slave I it was the one I nagged my parents incessantly about the most.

    It's rather odd that the toy designers didn't add more "action" features, though; the landing gear and the swinging cockpits were essentially it. Seemed like it would've been an obvious choice to have the pods detach from the engine body -- since in many ways the CC was a kind of inverted TIE Fighter, and the pods were rather sleek, "swooshy" affairs, individually. (In fact, I'm pretty sure me and my friends eventually improvised this using a saw -- something which improved its play value 1000% back then, but makes me weep today.)

    Great site, BTW. Especially the detailed shots of the original boxes, and their decades-later photo recreations!

  4. Thanks for the comment, Tom - glad you're enjoying the blog! (BTW your "Prismacolor Teen" blog is pretty awesome as well!)