One of the true icons of the vintage Kenner toy line is the Darth Vader Collector’s Case.It was already iconic when we were kids and it still is today, even though it really was an ubiquitous toy in the eighties. Besides the Darth Vader case, Kenner did release several other items, meant for carrying your action figures around or for stocking them safely whenever you were asked to clean up your room. Let’s have a look at the different Star Wars collector’s cases from Kenner.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of collecting is returning home from a convention and unloading your loot. Where will the new items find their rightful place? Didn’t I already have this figure? And sometimes, to your delight, you might have even forgotten that you bought a certain item. F.A.C.T.S. (Fantasy Anime Comics Toys and Space) is the largest convention in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg) and this year the organization celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The convention has evolved throughout the years and you could easily call it the “Benelux Comic Con.” F.A.C.T.S. has always been organized in Ghent, one of the largest cities in Belgium (Flanders), and like Bruges, the city is often visited by tourists because of the medieval streets and buildings. For the fifth time the place to be was Flanders Expo, a large complex with several halls near the city.
“R2-D2, where are you?” and “There’s one! Set for stun!” will probably be two of the best recognized quotes from the Star Wars movies by parents in the ’70s and ’80s. These phrases were among two of the six sounds produced by Kenner’s Imperial Troop Transport vehicle. It was announced recently during the panel of Star Wars Rebels at New York Comic Con that this iconic toy will appear in the upcoming animated television series. So it seems like a perfect timing to have a closer look at the Kenner vehicles that have not (yet?) made it into a Star Wars movie. But, be not mistaken. Several of these vehicles have already flown, hovered or rolled their way into other mediums of the Star Wars franchise.
Ever since I received my first Star Wars figures in 1981 I have always been an avid fan of Kenner’s vintage line. It brought me a lot of childhood memories and it has taken a prominent place in my collection. One of the charms of the Kenner line are the “naive” names given to a lot of the figures. I’ve always embraced and loved more realistic names like Ponda Baba and Momaw Nadon, but I keep calling the Kenner figures Walrus Man and Hammerhead. Lucasfilm rarely named background characters during the production of the classics so Kenner didn’t have much of a choice but to use the production names or a few monikers given in the novelizations or the comics.
What if Lucasfilm had already given all those characters their names when the figures were released? Let’s have a look at the contemporary and alternate names of the Kenner action figures.
Saturday was certainly the busiest day at Celebration Europe if you were intending to visit different panels. I’ve known Gerald Home (Tessek, a Mon Calamari Officer) for many years and he said that Return of the Jedi Creature History was going to be a panel that I would enjoy — knowing I’m a fan of trivia and uncovering the smallest details from the movies. I had been able to speak to Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo after the Holocron panel, and Pablo also said I was really going to enjoy it. So I couldn’t wait.
Until the 13th century, Ghent was the second largest city in Europe and it was even bigger than London. Silent (but popular) witnesses of Ghent’s glorious past are medieval buildings like Gravensteen Castle, built in 1180. But during rare occasions you can still find noble knights and evil warlocks lingering around in Ghent, only now they are better known as Jedi Knights and Sith Lords. The 20th and 21st of October was not a weekend easy to forget for Belgian Star Wars fans. It was the weekend of F.A.C.T.S. (Fantasy, Animation, Comics, Toys and Space), the largest convention in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg) and one of the largest conventions in Europe.
I didn’t visit Paris to watch the conclusion of the Tour de France and I wasn’t planning to spot Quasimodo at the Notre Dame either. This time I had an appointment with history: an appointment with Star Wars toys. As president of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars Fanclub, I received an invitation from a respected Belgian newspaper to visit the exposition called “Les Jouets Star Wars” (“The Star Wars Toys”) at the Les Arts Décoratifs museum. I went by Thalys from Brussels to Paris, armed with the latest Dark Horse comics and The Essential Reader’s Companion.