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, December 30, 2014

Death Star Space Station (Kenner Canada)

Kenner's largest playset allowed kids to have mini-action figure adventures set aboard the dreaded Death Star Space Station. Of course, kids here in Canada were among the luckiest in the world, as they had the chance (parental finances and goodwill permitting) to get not just one, but two Death Star playsets - this one or the very cool cardboard version I recently blogged about.

The box art depicts various play scenarios - Stormtrooper manning ("cloning"?) the laser cannon, Ben deactivating the tractor beam, Luke and Leia's rope swing to safety.

Of course, being a Kenner Canadian release, we have bilingual box art too - Threepio and Artoo about to embark on the elevator, Han and Chewie pop out of a hatch, and the heroes caught up in the trash compactor.

Here's a nice shot of the "Alien Trash Monster" which the cognoscenti know as "Dianoga"... completely imagined from whole cloth by Kenner designers, as of course the original monster never entirely appeared on film.

"Station Spaciale de l'Etoile de la Mort"... just rolls right off the tongue doesn't it!

Here it is, set up to replicate the box front art.

Stormtrooper on the big gun...

Ben about to deactivate the tractor beam...

Luke and Leia rope swing... waitaminute, what happened to Luke's saber? Tragic story, that...

Luke's saber is original to the figure that I've had since I was a child. Some years ago the tip broke off, but I secured it back on with superglue and it held... until now...

It was very difficult to balance the figures on the bridge for photos and the thought crossed my mind, "I hope Luke's saber doesn't break again." Well, guess what happened? (A replacement original has been ordered)

Threepio and Artoo pose by the elevator. It raises and lowers "manually" and the blue tab turns to lock it in place.


Imperial Gunner time-warps back to 1978 from 1985 ;-)  Looks good there though, no?

Typical Death Star scene. Vader and Tarkin discuss whether to blow up Dantooine or Alderaan while Death Squad Commander does "Empire Stuff."

Two cardboard pieces slot in to form the outside "walls" of the playset. Nice graphics.

Death Star Droid looks right at home here as well.

Here's the elevator tab, shown locked in place.

The elevator has a clear insert that rotates to simulate opening doors.


"Surprise!"

Trash compactor is an interesting element of the playset. The foam "garbage" that's included is prone to deterioration over time so if you're in the market for one of these playsets, make sure it's in good condition.

"The moon with the rebel base will be in range in 30 minutes."

One more thing - I wanted to show a picture of the parts of this toy that can cause so much heartache. Many a playset has been ruined by incorrect assembly of these parts... they're the floor supports, and there are nine of them. The four thin white ones attach to the second floor (with the consoles) and support the third floor. The three grey ones attach to the third floor (light bridge) and support the top floor. The remaining two thick white struts attach to the gun floor and support the roof piece.

Care must be taken when assembling these pieces to make sure the slots in the struts align properly with the receptacle. Forcing the pieces can break them and may even ruin the toy if the strut gets stuck in the wrong receptacle part. So be more careful with these than I was with my Luke Farmboy in the photoshoot :-(

7 comments:

  1. Loved this playset, hours of fun daily with it!

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  2. Thanks for the comments, jugger - glad you're enjoying the blog!

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  3. Love it dude. I just recently got back into collecting vintage stuff and your blog has a ton of great info on it. Keep it up!

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  4. Love reading your blog! So much details on playsets I dont own, and cool to know about.

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  5. Thanks Sander! I appreciate the comment.

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  6. One of the original toys I didn't own. So jealous... :)

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    1. I didn't have it as a kid either - one of the great things about being a grown-up ;-)

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