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SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - ROTJ Chewbacca Bandolier Strap 1983|
Kenner's Chewbacca Bandolier Strap was one of those items that never really
caught on so well, developed back in 1983 under the "Return of the Jedi" logo
the strap was meant to be used as a figure holder. Up to ten 3 3/4 inch figures
can be pressed inside the strap divisions which were are held in place using a
light black foam, the divisions are made of flexible plastic with nylon straps
leading away from both ends. The packaging used for the strap is strong and
great for display, this is probably one of its best attributes as a collectible.
Above, Front & Back of Box, (Click To Enlarge)
The strap also boasts two blue weapon containers that have their own special
place alongside the divisions and each box bares a ROTJ sticker. As a collectible
the Straps are fairly cheap and not a rarity, the one major draw back for this item
is the foam that lines inside of each division..
Above, A loose strap with both blue storage containers.
The foam used to line the divisions has a limited life span and most straps you
will find today have lost or are losing their foam already, the reason for this is
its basic degradation. As time goes by the foam reverts back to a very crumbly
and often sticky mess and at this stage its time to consider the unthinkable.
Above, An example of Foam deterioration..
If you find a strap with sticky crumbling foam it is recommended that you remove
what's left of the foam all together and do this especially if you have one in its
box. You can easily hook out the remaining foam using a small blunt knife and
you probably wont want to use your fingers as it can stick to everything it touches
including the furniture so best to pick out the foam over a sheet of paper. Once
you have taken out as much as possible you can wash it in some warm soapy
water if you need too, use a small scrubbing bush to loosen the worst area's and
unclip the orange/red backing to get behind the divisions, you can undo the
backing only so far because it is held on with two black rivets either end.
Without the sticky foam you are less likely to ruin the inside of the packaging and
the strap will be much better to handle, the foam could possible be replaced with
a similar more modern foam but you would have to work around the old rivets.
SWTNZ Toy Review - How to Identify, The Vintage 3 3/4 inch Vinyl Caped Jawa|
There are various ways of Identifying a true vinyl caped jawa from a fake
weather it be loose or carded, the following was compiled by Gus Lopez
and Chris Fawcett and re-formatted by myself for SWTNZ.
When buying a loose vinyl caped jawa, check for the following:
*The cape should match the color of the Jawa
*The arm holes should be very tight.
*The cape should be the same thickness as a Ben cape.
*The cape should have a faint crosshatch pattern on the inside.
When buying a carded vinyl caped jawa, check for the following:
Above are three different bubbles that were used for the carded Jawa,
but the bubble on the left is the correct and only bubble used for the
vinyl cape Jawa. It is thin and flat and If you see any other bubble on a
carded vinyl Jawa, it is fake.
SWTNZ Toy Review - The Vintage R2-D2 AM Radio - Kenner|
Above, Production Model (Left) and Early Concepts, (Click To Enlarge)
Very little information can be found in relation to Kenner's Vintage R2-D2
Am Radio, but there are some photographic evidence from their early test
shots and conceptual designs. In the above images you can see the final
production model on the left and on the right we have some different
concept models and even a package design to match. The suggested
prototype is actually better visually with more detail to the dome including
some rather unusual dots and tear drop shapes alongside the eye.
Above, An unfolded image of the concept packaging, (Click To Enlarge)
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - The Sonic Land-Speeder - Kenner 1978-1980|
Kenner's Sonic Land-Speeder is controlled by sound, looking much like kenner's
former vintage speeder but slightly larger, the toy bears a drive-wheel that can
lock into four different positions. As the user clicks the R2D2 shaped controller
the speeder can be made to change its direction from up to 16ft away, if the unit
is moving forward a single click of the remote will send the vehicle into a right
turn, a second click will change its motion backwards, a third click left and then
forward again. The wheels are hidden away to help create the illusion of floating
and it can seat standard 3 3/4 inch figures. The speeder originally cost around
twice as much as the standard version with no common parts between them, It
was available through J.C. Penney's Christmas catalogs of 1978 through to
1980, although the toy is prone to malfunction its still one of Kenner 's rarer toys.
Click To Enlarge
SWTNZ Toy Review - Vintage Plush Chewbacca & R2D2 - Plus New Mini-Plush|
Plush toys were first manufactured by Kenner back in 1979, the first two soft
characters to be released was Chewbacca and Artoo, but It wasn't until Return
of the Jedi in 1983 that new plush toys were released again with different kinds
of Ewoks to collect, some were close to 14 inches in height and others 9 inch.
Above, 20 inch Plush Chewbacca, complete with bandolier and 10 inch Plush R2D2.
The vintage plush chewbacca is a fluffy but desirable collectible, its also quite
difficult to find one in complete condition.. Grrrrr (Click To Enlarge)
Above, Hasbro's Mini-Plush Buddies are perfect for kids 3 years and up, here
are four of the more recent characters. R2D2, C3PO, Clone-Trooper and Yoda..
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - Electronic Laser Battle Game - Kenner 1978|
Click To Enlarge
Kenner's Electronic Laser Battle Game featured 12 LED lights and eight sound
effects, you can play the game solo with the computer or against another player.
Whoever had the fastest reaction time was the winner, it was determined by the
LED's and the Death Star at the center of the unit. The entire console is around
47cm in length and can be run via mains power or a 9v battery.
SWTNZ Rare Item Review - The "Huffy" Ride-On Speeder Bike - 1983|
Click To Enlarge
In 1892 George P. Huffman was the owner of the Davis Sewing Machine
Company, then in 1925 George oversaw the production of the first Davis
sewing machine bicycle. After selling the company, Horace Huffman formed
a manufacturing company which produced steel bicycle rims and with time
the company grew to become "Huffy Bicycles". They produced everything
from roadsters, racers, dragsters to radio bikes and medal winning Olympic
bicycles. But the one model that grabbed the attention of many Star Wars fans
was the "Return of the Jedi" Speeder Bike which was manufactured in 1983.
You couldn't buy them as they were never a retail item, but if you were lucky
enough you could have won this pedal bike by via the Jedi sweepstakes
promotions, It is estimated that only about 300 of these were ever made.
The bikes were produced by Huffy for Kenner and given away through
department stores and movie theaters.
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - Duel At Death Star Racing Set - Fundimensions 1978|
Click To Enlarge
Here is a curious vintage racing game made by Fundimensions back in 1978,
known as electric "Power Passers" they came with two cars, one was
shaped like an X-Wing and the other like a Tie-Fighter. The two vehicles were
raced just like a regular car set around an oval track, cardboard backdrops
were placed about the track which were glorified with space battle images.
The company Fundimensions was a division of CPG Products Corp,
another subsidiary of General Mills Inc and this was the only Star Wars
themed toy to be released by them.
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - Electronic Battle Command Game - Kenner 1979|
Above, Boxed Battle Command & Instruction Booklet, (Click To Enlarge)
Star Wars Electronic Battle Command Game, a hyperspace dogfight simulation
that you can play by yourself or against three other players, the screen is a
grid made up of LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) which shows the coordinates.
You can zoom into a particular coordinate as you search for other player's ships,
there are basic, intermediate and advanced levels each with their own
teaching modes, all accompanied with simulated battle sounds as you play..
SWTNZ Rare Toy Review - Vintage, X-Wing ACES Target Game - Kenner|
Click To Enlarge
The X-Wing Aces Target Game was an arcade-style unit modified from an earlier
Kenner toy product called "Aerial Aces", using a video screen it interacted with
a machine gun to simulate WW1 air combat. For the modification of the X-Wing
Aces game the red outer casing of the earlier toy was substituted with a light
gray color and a few Star Wars stickers were added to its outer casing. But the
game was not marketed well and had poor sales, so consequently it has become
a rare item for collectors to get their hands on..
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - Play-Doh Action Set's|
Above, Kenner's Play-Doh Action Set, (Click To Enlarge)
Since Play-Doh first hit the shelves in 1956 more than 2 billion cans have
been sold, its no wonder that Kenner would incorporate this popular child
hood item into their Star Wars toy range. Remember that smell when you
opened a fresh can of doh?, the picture above is a vintage set comprised
different molds and a plastic x-wing to sit the figures inside. The later French
ESB release included a Snow-Speeder making it a little more appealing than
the Kenner version which was again released with the x-wing. The figures
can be made of various colors, eg by using blue for helmet, white for the
head, black for the body and blue again for the shoes etc..
Above, ESB versions including a French Parker Release,
(Click To Enlarge)
About Parker Brothers Toys
The brand "Parker Brothers" is familiar around the world, you would know
them for at least several popular board games such as Monopoly, Risk and
Clue. George Parker was born in 1867 in Salem Massachusetts, by his teen's
he invented his first game called "Banking" and In 1883 decided to have it
published. Encouraged by his brother Charles, he founded his own game
publishing company at the very young age of 16, the "George S. Parker
Company". By 1888, the business was doing so well that George convinced
his brother Charles to join the company and so consequently "Parker Brothers"
was born. Throughout the early 1900s Parker Brothers released a slew of
board games, most of which combined education and fun, but they also
produced popular card games and jigsaw puzzles. With the introduction of
Monopoly in 1935, Parker Brothers had become the leaders of game
development and at the age of eighty-six George Parker died in 1953, In his
lifetime he invented more than one hundred games. Parker Brothers has
since gone through several corporate changes, it was bought by General
Mills in 1968 but quickly join Kenner Products in 1985 forming a new company
called Kenner Parker Toys Inc. In 1987 Kenner Parker Toys was then acquired
by the Tonka Corporation which in 1991 became another division of Hasbro,
the parent company for Milton Bradley, Kenner, Tonka, and Playskool.
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - ROTJ Laser Rifle - Carry Case, Kenner 1984|
Click To Enlarge
Produced in 1984 this carry case is from the ROTJ range and is quite scarce,
meaning to be a reproduction of the Laser Rifle as used by the rebels in
"Return Of The Jedi", It has a pretend telescopic sight and a compartment to
store accessories and secret messages. When opened the Laser Rifle becomes
a carrying case for up to 19 action figures. Including a sheet of 66 stickers for
labeling the compartments, the case is 25.5 inches in length. A very nice
collectible, this was the last of its kind since the ROTJ range was manufactured..
SWTNZ Rare Toy Review - The Takara Wind-Up R2D2 - Canadian Release 1978|
Click To Enlarge
This Vintage and very rare Wind-up R2D2 was made in Japan by Takara in 1978,
It began as a completely unlicensed item but was later licensed by Kenner
for obvious reasons. George Lucas quickly discovered the item and liked it so
much that he gave "loose" Wind-up R2D2's to many of his employee's. He later
tried to convince Kenner into releasing them to the US but was unsuccessful.
They were however released in Canada for a short period of time with a sticker
on the back of the card near the bottom, Kenner had attached the sticker for
licensing reasons. In Japan the Wind-up R2D2's were sold in small plastic bags
and came to stores within displays of 30 units at a time, when kenner released
the item to Canada they produced a card (Pictured above) for its packaging,
carded Wind-Up R2-D2's are extremely rare and have been known to fetch
close to $3000us...
SWTNZ Vintage Collectable Review - Rare 3 Foot, "R2D2 Toy-Toter" - Kenner|
Click To Enlarge
Now here is an idea that Kenner had back in the 70's and its one item that I
think was extremely practical. The "R2D2 Toy-Toter" was basically a drum for
holding or storing the kids toys. It measures 3 foot or about 100cm in height,
R2's head was the lid and the body was of basic construction which led to the
legs breaking off because of its flimsy design. These are sold often with
repaired legs because of this reason, it came originally in a large packaging
box but it is very rare to find it complete these days. You can store a large
amount of toys inside the body and it has castors or small wheels so you can
roll it about. Its a wonder later versions were never released, it would be
good to see a remake of this unique item with maybe more details added..
R2D2's body shape is very versatile and has already been employed as a
container for cookies, cups and bubble bath, there is really no end to what
this characters shape could be used for.
R2D2 Coolers, Click To Enlarge
Above is a picture of modern R2D2 coolers, these are found selling on Ebay
for quite a tidy sum, two of which here I know are promotional Pepsi coolers.
These could be mistaken for some kind of new R2 Toy Box, they are a little
larger though, standing at around 4 foot and with a removable head lid..
SWTNZ Rare Vintage Withdrawn Toys - The ESB 12 inch Darth Vader|
Click To Enlarge
Most people wont remember or even realize that an ESB (Empire Strikes Back)
version of the original 12inch vintage Darth Vader was produced way back in
the early 80's. Because of poor sales the figure was withdrawn early from
stores before anyone had even noticed. The only 12 inch figures that were
seen in the ESB box were Boba Fett and Ig88, the 12" ESB Darth Vader was
never released in the US, with only a few sold at retailers in Australia..
SWTNZ Vintage Toy FlashBack - Japanese Takara Inflatable X-Wing - 1970's|
Click To Enlarge
Here is an interesting and rare toy that was issued in the 1970's by Takara
Toys Japan, its the inflatable X-Wing which looks more like a blimp or giant dart
which you threw with some accuracy through the air.
SWTNZ Vintage Toy Review - Bop Bags - Kenner 1978|
There are a number of vintage toys that went onto the market back in the late 70's
that have an odd design appeal, for instance here we have the kenner inflatable
Bop Bags. "Let your kids take their frustrations out on a life size inflatable Star
Wars character", I could maybe understand some kids wanting to take a wack at
Darth Vader but poor little R2D2 is one of the good guys.. The Vader inflatable
measures 50 inches and the R2D2 36 inches, The advertising reads "Sock and
Bop Artoo Detoo, he comes right back for more!", poor little fellow..
Star Wars Trader - New Zealand , © 2005-2008 Copyright SWTNZ |
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