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, October 13, 2017

Turret/Probot Playset

You may not have guessed this, but there is an aspect of the Turret/Probot playset that is the subject of some controversy. The debate apparently centres around whether the "Probot" is really an action figure and should be included in a "loose figure run". Personally, I think that figures that are part of a playset, like Jabba the Hutt or the Dianoga, shouldn't be included as part of a loose run. Perhaps there's a clue from Kenner...

AHA! "Action Figures Sold Separately"! I guess we can definitively say that the Probot isn't an "action figure" then... although I doubt this will convince the die hards on the other side of the debate. Like student politics, "people are so passionate about the issue because the stakes are so low."

In any case, on to the playset... one of the earliest in the ESB line with a copyright date of 1979, the T/P Playset consists of four main parts - the base, turret bottom, turret top, and Probot figure.

There was even some "action" in this playset too - as shown above, kids could move a lever to shake the rod precariously supporting the Probot, tipping it off. "I didn't hit it that hard, musta had a self-destruct."


Some great play features shown here.

Plus a movie still on the end flaps!

Here we go with the live tableau! As I've noted before, the farther we get into the range, the more extravagant the box-art play scenarios get in terms of toys. Here we've got Han Hoth, four Rebel Soldiers, Darth Vader, and five Snowtroopers!

Here are some close-up looks at the box side images. Probot vanguards the Imperial assault.

Rebel Soldier sneaks into the turret.

Peeking out the turret hatch.

I hadn't noticed this before, but the box art shows Han with a "Bespin blaster" rather than his traditional smuggler piece. The main box art picture has him with this different gun as well.

Copyright notice is the most detailed one I've blogged yet: "(C) CPG PRODUCTS CORP / BY ITS DIVISION KENNER / PRODUCTS / CINCINNATI OHIO 45202 / CAT. NO. 38830 / CAV. NO. ONE 722001 / (C) LUCAS FILM / LTD. L.F.L. 1979 / REV. 11"

Lots to unpack there... notably the "REV. 11" notation (revision number 11?). Presumably this is the only revision to make it into production but I'd be curious to see if any readers have a T/P playset with a different revision. Also, "LUCAS FILM" as two words!

To sum this one up, I really like the playset. Mine has a remnant price sticker on it of "$10.97" and I reckon that the value was there for kids. Whether re-enacting the first encounter with the Probot, the all-out Imperial assault on Echo Base, or some other Hoth scenario that took place off-screen (a remote Rebel outpost attacked by a rogue Probot maybe?) this playset brings the goods. You can even use the Probot independent of the rest of the playset. Maybe Probot has landed on some other non-Ice Planet??

Make sure, though, that if you buy one, your Probot has the full complement of legs! They are detachable from the body and can be tough to find loose.

Till next time on the Ice Planet!

5 comments:

  1. One of my favorite sets as a kid. Thanks for posting.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it GI, and thanks for the comment!

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  4. IMO Probot is jus an "action figure" available in playsets (like R2 3 legs, Blue Snag, The Rebo Band and Dianoga) and they can't miss in a loose run!!!

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  5. Thanks for the comment masterjey! Good points you make there. Certainly no one disputes that Blue Snag is part of a loose run and it was only available in a playset - same logic would apply here!

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