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 /; 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: 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

Doctor Who: TARDIS 25th Anniversary Playset (1988)

Released in the U.K. in 1988 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Doctor Who, which at the time was still in its original run, entering its second season with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, this Dapol playset was the only toy representation of the TARDIS interior until Character Options’ marvelous playset modeled on the new series’ TARDIS set. Unlike many Dapol toys, such as the TARDIS’ Police Box exterior, certain elements of this set were never manufactured or made available again, making it a true collectors’ item. Continue reading

Battlestar Galactica: Titanium Series Vehicles (2006)

Battlestar GalacticaVery closely resembling a similar line of Star Wars “Titanium Series” die-cast (or partially die-cast) vehicles from Hasbro, these first toys from the new Battlestar Galactica series are pint-sized, packed with detail – and pretty expensive for something that’s just a little bit bigger than a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car was when I was growing up. Continue reading

The Empire Strikes Back Tauntaun (1981) Empire Strikes Back Tauntaun - photos copyright 2006 Earl Green /; 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