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The Empire Strikes Back Twin-Pod Cloud Car

Twin Pod Cloud CarKenner had a bit of a challenge when it came to the vehicles of The Empire Strikes Back. While the Death Star was no more, it seemed that many of the movie’s vehicles still wound up on the “big” end of the scale, from the newly unveiled Super Star Destroyer to its complement of literally monstrous AT-ATs. If you wanted new vehicles more on the scale of fighters, there were new variations on the TIE Fighter, the Snowspeeder, and the even more obscure Twin-Pod Cloud Car seen patrolling the skies of Bespin. Continue reading

The Empire Strikes Back Slave I (1980)

Star Wars Slave I - photos copyright 2007 Earl Green / theLogBook.com; special thanks to Andrew WesterIntroduced in The Empire Strikes Back, Slave I was the strong, silent and mysterious steed of the saga’s strong, silent and mysterious new character, Boba Fett. In either movie or toy terms, it was a really interesting concept – a ship which, if one looked at it from traditional aerodynamic thinking, looked like it should fly one way, but instead seems to heft itself up on its side to fly in a completely different way. For kids like me who hadn’t grown up with the Apollo program and its completely non-aerodynamic lunar landers, this was a wild concept. Continue reading

Star Wars Action Figures Wave 2 (1979)

Star WarsClick here to see the videoWhat could be better than a dozen action figures from the Star Wars universe, such as it was in 1978? Nothing could be better than almost a dozen new figures in 1979, and what made this possibly the best second wave of any range of action figures ever was the fact that only one of the new figures was a differently-costumed version of a character from the first wave.

What fascinated most of us about Star Wars back in 1978? Two things: aliens ‘n’ droids. The second wave of the original Kenner Star Wars line focused on these, with a few other pleasant surprises thrown in too. Continue reading

Star Wars: Large Scale R2-D2 (1978)

Star Wars R2-D2As has been mentioned before, the size and scale of the Millennium Falcon as a toy vehicle made Kenner reinvent the wheel where character-based action toys for boys were concerned. To keep the price of the Falcon down, both for the company making it and for the people buying it, the figures were scaled down to 3 3/4″, whereas the previous industry standard had been set by foot-tall G.I. Joe figures with more points of articulation, interchangeable costumes and accessories, and so on – basically the boys’ equivalent of Barbie dolls, at roughly the same size (and price point). Continue reading

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon (1979)

Star Wars Millennium FalconThese days, toy manufacturers – including Hasbro, makers of the current line of Star Wars toys – have to pack an exclusive figure or something similarly enticing in with a vehicle in order to lure consumers and collectors in to buy the vehicle. But for the original Kenner Star Wars line, the Millennium Falcon was the first toy designed – even before the figures. Continue reading

The Empire Strikes Back Tauntaun (1981)

http://www.thelogbook.com/toy/tauntaun/The Empire Strikes Back Tauntaun - photos copyright 2006 Earl Green / theLogBook.com; special thanks to Andrew WesterI can almost guarantee you that there wasn’t another toy released in 1981 whose box carried the description “Contents: one mammal.” Very much like the dewback creature from Star Wars, the smelly and none-too-smart steeds of the Rebels in The Empire Strikes Back were designed to be “ridden” by the Kenner figures. Continue reading