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, April 11, 2017

A-Wing Fighter Vehicle

One of the toughest of the vintage ships to find in decent shape is the A-Wing Fighter. This is likely because of its "tail-ender" production near the termination of the vintage period - 1985. In fact, officially speaking, the ship was never part of the Star Wars product lineup proper, as it only appeared in a Droids-branded box. The ship had been featured in the cartoon and Kenner apparently saw fit to release it that way, rather than in RotJ or even Power of the Force packaging, like it did with the Tatooine Skiff. 

So, owing to the relative rarity and expense of boxed A-Wings, my collection includes a loose example without the box. In fact, there's a (relatively short and mostly uninteresting) story behind this one. I'd resolved to find a nice loose A-Wing on ebay a few years ago but none were available for a price I thought rational... so I picked one up with broken landing gear for a relative song.

Cleverly, though, I'd scanned the auction site for the spare parts I reckoned I'd need to repair the ship once it got here. And for once in my collecting life, things went exactly to plan. Broken ship and repair parts arrived and a repair was effected - now I had a functional and cosmetically attractive A-Wing for a fraction (a large fraction is still a fraction right?) of the price of a mint example. 

Nice clear plastic inserts for the engine nacelles.

I know I bang on a bit about the engineering of the vintage vehicles, but this is another example of a clever solution. We recall that the X-Wing Fighter canopy just swings up and down by hand - Kenner went for something a bit more elegant with the A-Wing. The lozenge-shaped thing just aft of the canopy is the switch to open it. Just push it forward...

... and the canopy pops open. So cool.

At the sharp end of the ship. It looks just great with the A-Wing pilot nestled in the cockpit, no? Another interesting element of the ship is the paint deco - most other vehicles in the vintage line had to make do with stickers, but the A-Wing got paint.

Copyright information here. Note the date of 1985 - right at the tail end of vintage production.


Underside of the ship showing the landing gear. Switch to raise/lower the gear is visible just inboard of the right-hand leg. As noted, one leg of the gear was broken on this toy when it arrived in my collection and I understand that this is not uncommon. Be sure to check your purchase before forking over the cash!

So with this post on the A-Wing, I've completed blogging about all of the major starfighter toys from the vintage line - X-Wing, Y-Wing, B-Wing, TIE Fighter, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, and TIE Interceptor. Like some of the others, the A-Wing's inherent coolness parlayed into updated versions, released in the post-vintage era. But as always, those versions, while arguably more realistic with their weathered deco, can't hold a repulsorlift module to the original!

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