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.
Archive for ‘Collecting’
Party time! Who among us doesn’t love to hear those words…especially if Star Wars is involved. Well, perhaps the party planner who has hundreds of details to attend to, tight budgets, deadlines to meet, occasional quirky people to contend with — and a reputation to uphold.
We’re just beginning to recover from the Nov. 2 World Record Night at Rancho Obi-Wan, an evening designed to mark our second anniversary as a nonprofit museum and to celebrate our inclusion in Guinness World Records 2014 as the “Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia.” As important, the event was a fundraiser to help us continue our mission of Inspiring through the Force of Imagination, which is a nice way of saying — like any nonprofit — we need to keep raising money to stay alive. More on that later.
“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.
I don’t have the world’s longest fingernails, shortest dog, or largest collection of vacuum cleaners. But, according to the globally-recognized authority on such things, Guinness World Records 2014, I have amassed the “Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia” in the galaxy. But who knew that would be such a big deal?
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.
Today at San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro pulled back the curtain on a ton of upcoming Star Wars toys, including new figures in the Black Series (both 6-inch and 3.75-inch scales), Saga Legends, Angry Birds Star Wars TELEPODS and lots more — and we’ve got the first details and product images! Check out our special preview after the jump!
The Dark Times of the mid to late ’80s had passed and as we entered the 1990s brighter times lay ahead for Star Wars fans — but at the turn of the decade, that was yet to become evident to the wider Star Wars public. While rumors continued to float around about the prequel trilogy there was little movement from Lucasfilm on the Star Wars front. Indeded, Lucasfilm had recently completed their Indiana Jones trilogy and were in a busy period, releasing Willow, Howard the Duck, and Tucker: The Man and His Dream. ILM had worked on a number of special effects smashes in the late ’80s including Star Trek IV, Ghostbusters 2, The Witches of Eastwick, and Back to the Future II and III, and LucasArts was fast building a solid reputation in the computer gaming industry via such smashes as Labyrinth, Maniac Mansion, and Secret of Monkey Island. It would appear that Lucasfilm had outgrown its reliance on the galaxy far, far away and developed an identity free of Jedi, Wookiees, and Wampas.
However, in the late ’80s artist Cam Kennedy and writer Tom Veitch pitched an idea to Lucasfilm, who in turn was offered it to Marvel Comics, the longtime publishers of Star Wars comics who had let the license lapse in 1987. Marvel turned it down, despite going so far as to releasing a print ad for the series and the project – Dark Empire – found its way into the hands of Milwaukee comics publishers Dark Horse, a relatively new face on the comics scene who had proven to be adept at handling movie licenses. The title would go on to be a smash hit for Dark Horse, coming out in late 1991 after another dipping of the toes into the Star Wars pool proved to be equally as successful.
One of the high points in my career must have been last summer at Gen Con 2012, when two of our big releases were not only games I designed, but Star Wars games. There are two things that have been constants in my life: gaming and Star Wars. To be able to design games using a license that has been so influential to me is a dream come true. I think what I am most proud of with both games are the stories I hear about how they’ve gotten people into gaming that normally don’t play, or have been used to introduce a whole new generation of gamers to a hobby and setting their parents have loved for decades.
I’ve seen a number of posts and have received letters and e-mails from people telling me that both the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG and X-wing Miniatures Game helped them get their old college gaming group back together, or got a reluctant spouse to play for the first time. It is especially rewarding to hear someone say that the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game was their children’s introduction to role-playing or X-wing their introduction to miniatures gaming.
The journey to Gen Con 2012 was paved with design challenges, however. Fortunately, one of my favorite parts of game design is coming up with creative ways to face those challenges.