Kenner 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.
Not that showing up on film for fifteen seconds ever kept any character or vehicle in the Star Wars saga from being represented in toy form. For its short time on screen, the Cloud Car is surprisingly detailed, from its art deco design to fine detail work the implies the whole ship is made of riveted panels.
Because of its lack of easily-broken-off parts like TIE Fighter wings, X-Wing guns or Snowspeeder guns, the Twin-Pod Cloud Car may well go down as the most durable vehicle in the entire line of original trilogy toys by Kenner. With its only potentially breakable parts being the landing gear (which are very cleverly attached and aren’t that likely to break off) and the two cockpit covers, there isn’t much damage that the Cloud Car can take under normal play.
As usual for the Kenner vehicles, the entire body is molded in one color of plastic, with any other color detail being added with decals. In this case, that even means detailed “control panels” in each cockpit, something which wasn’t even seen in the movie.
The Cloud Car predated the Hasbro-era practice of packing in a figure with vehicles who would be otherwise unavailable, but by its very nature, it almost seemed to demand that its owner would bug the quartermaster on Cloud City – or Mom and Dad, whoever was closer – about acquiring a second Cloud Car Pilot action figure. (Only having one such figure, I always manned the second pod with a Bespin Security Guard… because… well… somebody‘s got to look after the actual pilot, don’t they?
It may have gotten the bare minimum of screen time necessary to merit a toy, but the Twin-Pod Cloud Car was a welcome and well-designed addition to Kenner’s figure-scaled fleet.