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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Imperial Troop Transporter

One of the ways to keep a hobby like this under control is to try and focus. Some people focus on a character (Han Solo?) or setting (Hoth? Bespin?) or even a group of characters (Bounty Hunters?)

Me, I've tried to focus by excluding things that I see no need to collect. In particular, these are toys that, although part of the vintage line proper, represent things that never appeared onscreen in the original trilogy. So things like mini-rigs, Ewok Villages, and Assault Catapults don't really have a place in my Star Wars corner.

By all rights, then, the Imperial Troop Transporter should have no place in my collection. It never appeared onscreen - it's 100% purely a creation of the marketers and toy designers at Kenner. Speaking of marketing, what's up with the ESB branding on this toy??
So why get one? Well, it came with a collection of other stuff |I picked up - otherwise I probably wouldn't have sought one out. But now that I have it, I guess it's pretty cool. Take the "sound feature", for example. The box panel sets out the six sounds the toy makes (or in my example's case, "made"). Of course this was all well before microchip technology, so the sounds had to be produced by something more akin to a miniature phonograph player inside the toy. Groovy!

One thing that always wound me up as a kid was the number of Stormtrooper figures the box-front models seemed to have at their disposal. I only ever had ONE Stormtrooper as a kid, I thought my parents would have thought I was out of my mind if I'd asked for a figure I already had! (Of course now I have about 20 of 'em!)

The toy also came with some accessories - the vaguely S&M-like "prisoner immobilization units." In the shot above, the Stormtroopers appear to be congratulating themselves over capturing Princess Leia. Threepio is probably trying to (unsuccessfully) negotiate her release...

Sounds are activated by buttons on the top of the hull. I love the little pictograms representing the different sounds.

Death Squad Commander gets to drive this sweet whip.

Here's a better shot of all of the sound pictograms. Laser dish rotates on a gear with the mounted blasters.

Artoo puzzles out the situation. On-off switch right behind him inside the compartment.

Front view of the vehicle.

One of the great things with this toy are the inserts. The instruction sheet is only just the beginning (click for larger view)

I can TOTALLY imagine Darth Vader saying that.

This story is great, I especially like the derision in which the Dewback troopers are held by the others. Can totally see that, too.

I also never knew that Stormtroopers had problems sitting down...! Armor designed by the lowest bidder, no doubt.

Light up that 'crawler boys!!!

Your caption here
Who am I kidding? I'm a sucker for anything Kenner in that classic black box. I just hope nobody ever gives me a mini-rig or my self-imposed restraint might just be out the window...


  1. Excellent post! The stormtrooper story in one of the inserts is priceless. I'm a sucker as well for the black box Kenner stuff - the packaging itself is usually just as cool what's inside.

  2. Looking to pick one of these up soon, found one pretty cheap.

  3. You might be happy to know that the troop transport has since appeared onscreen in the Star Wars Rebels program.

  4. Thanks guys! And Josh, yes, I'd heard that the ITT is prominently featured in "Rebels"... whether this is an example of "vintagesploitation" or not, I've been meaning to check that out!

  5. I actually had SIX Stormtroopers back then. I remember very well, the debate in K-mart with my mom. She was going to buy me one of these rather pricey $2 troopers, and I argued that "you never see just ONE Stormtrooper," and after a while she relented, and I got all six of the figures on the hook. A great day for parliamentary procedure! :)

  6. One of the fun things about the "Rebels" cartoon on Disney is they featured this vehicle in like episode 2 or 3. So the retroactively made the Troop Transport officially part of Star Wars canon!