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SWTNZ Toy Review - Inside the X-Wing, A Kit-bash Restoration|
Many collectors would have wondered at some time about the similarities
between the Kenner 1978 "Battle Damaged" X-Wing and the Tonka 1995
X-Wing, after acquiring a couple of incomplete examples i decided to find out
for myself what the actual differences are and can the parts be substituted..
But first lets take a brief look at the original Kenner X-Wings, similarities
between all existing models can be so minimal that it is easy to become
confused, hopefully we can figure some of this out..
Above, A loose example of Kenners first X-Wing, plain and simple and more
or less identical to its later ESB release, with the same pale to white coloring
and motorized sound effects..
Above, The Kenner Original X-Wing 1978 and the ESB Release,
Below, both ESB and ROTJ Battle Damaged X-Wing's..
The Battle Damaged X-Wing differs from the 78' original in the following ways:
Battle Damaged X-Wing hull is molded in gray while the original is white.
Battle Damaged X-Wing canopy molded in tinted plastic instead of clear.
Battle Damaged X-Wing Engine inlets are black instead of white.
Battle Damaged X-Wing included special stickers for that damaged look.
Above, Two later versions from the "Power of the Force" range..
Comparisons - Kenner Battle Damaged 'Vs' Tonka 1995|
Ok lets start with the two fighters above, the one on the left was made by
Tonka in 1995 and the one on the right was made by Kenner in 1978, the two
toys look more or less the same but lets get into the details.. They are missing
parts already and I'm intending to take parts from the Tonka ship in order to
fit them to the vintage, the Tonka ship has the parts I'm looking for, the cock
pit window, the rear wing release button and the front landing gear..
First begin by taking the ships apart, there are a number of small PK (Phillips)
screws that need to be undone so turn the ship upside down and remove the
nose cone screw (Pictured Left) then remove the landing gear screw (Right)..
Next remove the screw that is located behind the cockpit window (Left) and
open the battery cover by prying it open with a flat screw driver or a coin,
then remove the battery's if there any and look at the back of the ship..
Remove the two screws (left) and pull away the back end, this will allow you
to take the entire top section away (right), put the screws to the side and
take a look inside the ships hull..Compare the two ships so far..
The first thing you will discover is the battery compartment is almost the
same except the battery terminals both lower and upper are designed
differently. The Vintage Kenner ship (Left) makes use of the upper terminals
as a simple switch, the blue button that makes contact is not present on the
Tonka ship which has only a solid lid.. Next you will notice the red nose
light (LED) on the Vintage, the internal mold of the Tonka and Kenner is
identical in the front section, even the light mount is accounted for..
The above picture shows that the top rear ends of the ships are also
exactly the same, with only the colors of R2D2's head being a lighter
shade of blue on the Kenner ship (left), ignore the stickers on the
vintage as they are simple print outs and not the genuine decals..
Now in this picture (Above) you can see a difference in the rear, the Tonka
ship on the right has a cut out where the Kenner ship doesn't, you can
plainly see that the Tonka ship is made of a very light silver gray plastic and
the Kenner R2D2 head button has a blue line about its base..
Some more views of the wings comparing both top and bottom, again they
are practically identical, even the outer details on the ships are the same..
The two pictures above show the only real difference between the two wing
assembly's, the Kenner ship (right) has markings "B" stating the bottom
section and the Tonka ship has no markings at all with only a darker blue
wing attachment from the upper mechanism..
Here is a brilliant view of the Kenner electrics, a lot of people might think
there's some kind of electronic circuitry going on down there but all the early
kenner ships and guns had simple electric motors rubbing against nylon
filaments for their sound effects. The introduction of LED's at the time
was probably the most sophisticated part with only a single resistor between
itself and the electric motor, note if you got the battery's around the wrong
way the motor would still turn but the LED (Light Emitting Diode) wont light
up unless the current is flowing in the correct direction.. The Tonka ship
has additional mounting pegs for its circuit board making the bottom hull the
most altered, where as the top half is practically spot on..
Ok back to what we are looking for, the picture on the left shows the front
section of the Kenner ship with its missing Landing gear and the picture
on the right shows the little blue button next to R2D2s head, both parts
from the Tonka ship fit the Kenner ship perfectly..
The above picture clearly shows the Kenner nose light and its basic wiring,
notice that the front landing gear is sitting nicely, take care with the way
the LED sits before you press the top section back on again..
To swap the cockpit windows gently pry away one corner of the hinge while
the window is almost closed, if you try to remove the window while it is
open you will more than likely break the hinge. Not only is the Tonka window
a slightly different shade but its also a thicker plastic. A minor difference
overall is the screws that hold it together, the light brown PK (Philip) screws
are from the Tonka Ship..
There you have it, i managed to substitute the parts i needed and it was
reasonably quick and easy to do, one last thing i might add is that the
wing guns will fit either ship except the Tonka ship has gray instead
of black wing guns and this includes the landing gear also, if you don't
mind having newer parts on your vintage or vise versa than this is
an option for you to look at. I hope you enjoyed this review and maybe
you will know how to pick out any suspicious parts next time you buy
an x-wing for your collection.. Differences listed are as follows:
Tonka Color Light Silver/Gray
Tonka Wing Guns Light Gray
Tonka Landing Gear Light Gray
Tonka Pk Screws Black
Tonka Has Circuit Board Mounts
Tonka Has No markings below wing Mech
Tonka Has No nose cone light
Tonka Has light Blue tinted window
Tonka Has no rear Blue button
Tonka Has rear cut-out
Tonka R2D2 has dark Blue head
Tonka has Brown engine valves
Tonka has Teal cockpit surround
Kenner Has markings "B"
Kenner Has one LED
Kenner light Brown
Kenner Has one
Kenner Has None
Kenner R2D2 has light Blue
Kenner has Black
Kenner has Gray
The differences between them are contained mostly to colors & electrics,
note that the Kenner X-Wing used for comparisons is the Battle Damaged version
though the original 1978' kenner ship may also have only slight color differences..
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