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Childhood Remembered

September 24th, 2008

Star Wars Figures

When I was a child the best toys were Star Wars figures [wikipedia.org]! No arguments from the GI-Joe, He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, Voltron, or any other fanatics. Kenner Star Wars figures were the best.

And they still are. The picture to the right is a scan of the back of a still-in-the-original-packing Jawa [starwars.wikia.com]. Somehow during my childhood this lone figure got lost in my parents bedroom closet and was not given to me — it still has the “Dart Drug” $2.68 price tag on it. On the other hand I have a large number of the Star Wars figures I was given. Sitting in a Darth Vader case that has seen better days.

The figures I do still have in the Darth Vader case are:

  • Prune Face — missing his cape (and gun if he had one.)
  • Klaatu (in Skiff Guard Outfit.) — wasn’t the guy in The Day the Earth Stood Still named Klaatu? If so how can Lucasfilm copyright the name? I even still have his staff!
  • Nikto — who, for some reason, reminds me of the alien in Enemy Mine and in The Last Starfighter.
  • Wicket W. Warrick — who still has his hood but no staff.
  • Rancor Keeper — who is missing both his hood and staff.
  • Teebo — no hood and no staff.
  • AT-ST Driver — no gun.
  • Princess Leia Organa (In Combat Poncho) — not so much anymore, no poncho and no gun.
  • B-Wing Pilot — no gun.
  • Biker Scout — no gun.
  • Boushh — no accessories (that’s really Leia in disguise from Jabba’s palace.)
  • General Madine — sans accessories.
  • Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) — no hood, no staff.
  • Gamorrian Guard — no accessories
  • Weequay — no staff (but I have two of him!)
  • Nien Nunb — no blaster
  • Admiral Ackbar — no, um magic wand
  • Zuckuss — no blaster (but I have two of him too!)
  • Cloud Car Pilot — no accessories
  • Darth Vader — no lightsaber, no cape
  • Bespin Guard — no blaster (it’s the black one.)
  • Two-Onebee (2-1B) — no breathing tube and not medical poke stick either.
  • Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) — no lightsaber or blaster.
  • Lando Calrissian — no cape and no blaster
  • AT-AT Commander — no blaster
  • Chewbacca — no crazy laser crossbow.
  • Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi — no lightsaber or cape.
  • Han Solo — no blaster.
  • FX-7 — with all his ‘legs’.
  • Greedo — no blaster.
  • Bossk (Bounty Hunter) — no blaster.

I also have two figures not listed on the package back to the right:

  • Lumat — no accessories (another Ewok.)
  • Paploo — with his hood still (yet another Ewok.)

I have one blaster rifle that I don’t know who it belonged to. Looks like the Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear), but I don’t remember ever having him.

Some figures don’t seem to have survived my childhood;

  • Anakin Skywalker — You had to mail order this figure (at least the one I got, Kenner later re-issued it as part of the Power of the Force set with collectors coin, but I don’t remember ever having any of the figures that came with coins. I do remember getting this guy in the mail.) No idea what happened to this guy.
  • The Emperor — I know I had him, I could have sworn he was another mail order figure but since he shows up on the back of the ’83 package I guess he was a regular figure. No idea what happened to this guy.
  • Princes Liea Organa (Bespin Gown) — Lost this figure in a pile of dirt/pea gravel at my grandpa’s house in Pipestone, Minnesota. My sister and I were playing with some of the figures and she got buried in the dirt/pea gravel pile my grandpa had gotten for us to play in (later he used it to re-gravel some of the tractor paths around the farm.) We spent all the rest of the week digging in the pile and walking around the yard and never found it.
  • Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit) — I lost Luke playing in the dirt under the sun deck at home with my Tanka trucks. Searched for him all over — no luck. That particular dirt is no longer where it used to be. A few years after I lost Luke my parents had an addition put on the house — a basement bedroom and upstairs kitchen. What used to be under the upstairs sun deck is now under the basement bedroom. Given that they had to cut away the hill and dig out for the foundation I suppose the Luke figure is either somewhere in the back yard where they filled in some of the dirt or where ever they trucked off the rest of the excess dirt.
  • Power Droid — I know I had him, don’t know where he is.
  • Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) with Sensorscope — Yep had him. Don’t have him now.
  • Jawa — Last I saw him he was without his cloak in my parents basement. No idea where he is today.
  • Logray (Ewok Medicine Man) — I had all the Ewoks.
  • Chief Chirpa — As I saw ‘all the Ewoks.’
  • IG-88 — Don’t ask, I don’t know.
  • Death Star Droid — Can’t remember last time I saw him.
  • Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Fighter Pilot) — The last time I can remember him is when he played the skier on a cake my mom decorated for her bosses birthday.

3 Responses to “Childhood Remembered”

Lucas payed homage to The Day The Earth Stood Still by naming characters after the words in the pass phrase used to stop Gort, the Robot, from destroying the world. The pass phrase was “Klaatu barada nikto.” Klaatu of course refers to the main character of the film. Army of Darkness fans will also recognize this as the words Ash needed to say to release the Necronomicon (which was an epic fail). Although I never remember a Barada action figure, I seem to remember one of the documentaries talking about the character of the same name. Oh Lucas… why aren’t you cool anymore?

“Oh Lucas… why aren’t you cool anymore?”

Um, ’cause he had kids?

Oh shit!
Does that mean I’m not cool any more?
Was I ever cool?

I have Klaatu and Nikto, but no Barada… So I too would epic fail opening the Necronomicon. But no matter; Ash says: “Shop smart, shot S-mart!”

You lucky bastard! I don’t have any of my figures left. I too had the Darth Vader case. It was given to me by my uncle one X-mas filled with figures. That may still be the single greatest day of my life. The hours I spent playing with those figures is scary. Thanks for taking me back to that time and place with your post.

The fact that the new Star Wars movies suck ass, makes it easier to cherish the first three and the toys that came with them.