Category Archives: STAR WARS

UK Star Wars Book and Comic Adverts

Six adverts featuring Star Wars books and comics published in 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.


UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.


UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.


UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.


UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.


UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

UK. The Mighty World Of Marvel. 1978.

The Empire Strikes Back Saynettes: the strange battle of Alfa du Centaure as told by Miro-Meccano.

Miro-Meccano was the French toy company responsible for releasing Star Wars toys to the French public during the early half of the 1980s.  Miro-Meccano placed many of their adverts in French comic-magazines such as Pif Gadget, Le Journal de Mickey, Tintin and others. Looking at these adverts today, you can appreciate how the design teams took great care in arranging inventive and dynamic scenes for an Empire Strikes Back audience hungry for new Star Wars toys.

Without doubt, nothing could be more inventive or dynamic than the special series of 25 adverts Miro-Meccano published in Pif Gadget between June 1981 and May 1982. Referred to by collectors as the “Pif Gadget ESB Small Scenes” or “Saynettes”, each advert featured an “episode” from a serialised story that utilised Star Wars toy figures and vehicles in the imagined space-setting of “Alfa du Centaure” (based on the real Alpha Centauri system).

In this exciting adventure, the Miro-Meccano photo team made clever use of perspective and background. It was a case of having to; the  toys chosen for the shoot ranged from the 3 and 3/4 inch line, the large-size action figure line, and even the die cast line! In some of the episodes, it’s possible to see these toy lines cleverly mixed together to create dramatic scenes.

The team wasn’t afraid to mix up a few timelines either… ever wondered what the Cantina Aliens would get up to on the cardboard Death Star play-set? Or what those same aliens would look like when captured by Hoth Rebel Soldiers? Or the charming Lando Calrissian being observed by a watchful Ben Kenobi? Then look no further than these imaginative, delightful and sometimes hilarious Miro-Meccano saynettes.


"Will Like be able to escape from the Imperial Stormtrooper?" Pif Gadget 638. 1981.

“Will Luke be able to escape from the Imperial Stormtrooper?” Pif Gadget 638. 1981.


Pif Gadget 640. 1981.

“Luke is saved by Ben Kenobi, but Ben should watch his back!” Pif Gadget 640. 1981.


Pif Gadget. 642. 1981.

“Chewbacca arrives in time to help Ben. A TIE Fighter shows up!” Pif Gadget. 642. 1981.


"Han Solo to rescue Chewbacca aboard his Millenium Falcon, will it have enough energy left?" Pif Gadget. 644. 1981.

“Han Solo to rescue Chewbacca aboard his Millenium Falcon, will he have the required energy?” Pif Gadget. 644. 1981.


Pif Gadget. 646. 1981.

“Luke in his X-Wing Fighter intervenes to help his friend Han Solo, but meanwhile…” Pif Gadget. 646. 1981.


"Princess Leia is at the mercy of Imperial Stormtroopers. Will she be able to rejoin her friend Luke?" Pif Gadget 648. 1981.

“Princess Leia is at the mercy of Imperial Stormtroopers. Will she be able to rejoin her friend Luke?” Pif Gadget 648. 1981.


"C-3PO and R2-D2 free the beautiful Princess Leia, but Darth Vader the demon is not far." Pif Gadget. 650. 1981.

“C-3PO and R2-D2 free the beautiful Princess Leia, but Darth Vader the demon is not far.” Pif Gadget. 650. 1981.


"Darth Vader conspires, what bad move is he making?" Pif Gadget. 652. 1981.

“Darth Vader conspires, what bad move is he preparing?” Pif Gadget. 652. 1981.


"Troop transporters are driving to the TIE Fighter base... but what is Luke doing?" Pif Gadget. 654. 1981.

“Troop transporters are driving to the TIE Fighter base… but what is Luke doing?” Pif Gadget. 654. 1981.


"It's Luke, on Alpha Centauri, preparing his counter-attack. But who are those nightmarish creatures?" Pif Gadget. 656. 1981.

“It’s Luke, on Alpha Centauri, preparing his counter-attack. But who are those nightmarish creatures?” Pif Gadget. 656. 1981.


"Hammerhead, Walrus-Man, Greedo, are about to reduce Luke's hopes... but nothing is settled yet..." Pif Gadget 658. 1981.

“Hammerhead, Walrus-Man, Greedo, are about to reduce Luke’s hopes to zero… but nothing is settled yet…” Pif Gadget 658. 1981.


"R2-D2 was faster. He has alerted the Rebel soldiers by code. But on the horizon..." Pif Gadget. 660. 1981.

“R2-D2 was faster. He has alerted the Rebel soldiers by code. But on the horizon…” Pif Gadget. 660. 1981.


"The TIE Fighters take position in the sky of Alpha Centauri... in 20 seconds, it's the attack." Pif Gadget. 662. 1981.

“The TIE Fighters take position in the sky of Alpha Centauri… in 20 seconds, it’s the attack.” Pif Gadget. 662. 1981.


"Luke still has 4 seconds, if the electronics don't fail him..." Pif Gadget. 664. 1981.

“Luke has 15 seconds to get back to his spaceship. Suddenly…” Pif Gadget. 664. 1981.


Pif Gadget. 666. 1981.

“Luke still has 4 seconds, if the electronics don’t fail him…” Pif Gadget. 666. 1981.


"R2-D2 did it. Luke locks the TIE Fighters in line of fire... It's the attack..." Pif Gadget. 668. 1982.

“R2-D2 did it. Luke locks the TIE Fighters in his line of fire… It’s the attack…” Pif Gadget. 668. 1982.


"The sky of Alpha Centauri is like hell. Luke doesn't doubt that thousands of light-years away..." Pif Gadget. 670. 1982.

“The sky of Alpha Centauri is like hell. Luke doesn’t imagine that thousands of light-years away…” Pif Gadget. 670. 1982.


"Princess Leia is under Lando's charm... but nothing can escape Ben Kenobi's vigilance." Pif Gadget. 672. 1982.

“Princess Leia is under Lando’s charm… but nothing can escape Ben Kenobi’s vigilance.” Pif Gadget. 672. 1982.


"Ben Kenobi reveals the traiterPif Gadget. 674. 1982.

“Ben Kenobi reveals the betrayal of Lando who is saved by his accomplices… Boba Fett and IG-88.” Pif Gadget. 674. 1982.


"Ben Kenobi is beaten in combat. There is only Luke who can save them..." Pif Gadget. 676. 1982.

“Ben Kenobi is beaten in combat. There is only Luke who can save them…” Pif Gadget. 676. 1982.


"Victory! Luke finally destroys the enemy. But, where is that Twin-Pod ship going?" Pif Gadget. 678. 1982.

“Victory! Luke has finally got rid of his enemy. But, where is that Bi-Pod ship going?” Pif Gadget. 678. 1982.

 


"Bi-Pod ship and Luke jump to light-speed to free Leia and Ben Kenobi." Pif Gadget. 680. 1982.

“Bi-Pod ship and Luke jump to light-speed to free Leia and Ben Kenobi.” Pif Gadget. 680. 1982.


"Will Leia and Ben Kenobi reveal Centauri's secrets to Darth Vader? Nothing can save them now..." Pif Gadget. 682. 1982.

“Will Leia and Ben Kenobi reveal Centauri’s secrets to Darth Vader? Nothing can save them now…” Pif Gadget. 682. 1982.


"Suddenly Luke, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2. All reunited for the decisive battle..." Pif Gadget. 684. 1982.

“Suddenly Luke, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2. All reunited for the decisive battle…” Pif Gadget. 684. 1982.


"Everything ends well... but nothing is ever over." Pif Gadget. 686. 1982.

“All’s well that ends well… but nothing is ever over.” Pif Gadget. 686. 1982.


Note: the last four episodes contain adverts for the Motta ice cream sweepstakes which was being publicised at the time. This promotion was printed over the final four scenes in Pif Gadget. It’s possible to find the same scenes published elsewhere without the Motta adverts.

I would like to give thanks to my collecting friend Stéphane Faucourt who first introduced me to the joys of Pif Gadget Star Wars comic ads in his excellent book From Meccano To Trilogo.

A very sinister C-3PO!

“Good evening Madame, I’m coming to get your child!”

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

Issue N°70 of Métal Hurlant, published as a Christmas special in 1981, has a cover featuring C-3PO as a very sinister Santa Claus ‘looking’ for children. However, one glance at C-3PO’s bloody axe and the grisly contents of his basket, tells us that his motives are far from festive! Interestingly, C-3PO doesn’t figure in any of the storylines inside this issue. His presence on the cover (drawn by artist Yves Chaland) is probably more in keeping with the spirit of subversion and horror that is typical of Métal Hurlant.

Métal Hurlant (translated as: Howling Metal) was a French comic anthology of sci-fi and horror stories published between 1974 – 1987. The title is considered one of the forerunners of the adult comic scene. Many of its storylines are dark, surreal and executed with stylish graphics. The comic also featured articles and reviews on music, cinema and science-fiction books.

The comic was reprinted in the US under the title Heavy Metal, and in 2012/2014 was made into a two-season English-language Belgian-Franco TV series called Métal Hurlant Chronicles.

Issue N°70 also featured a cool advert for Transfert Express, a company offering mail order sweat-shirt and tee-shirt prints. The advert shows one Star Wars design and two (less sinister) C-3POs!

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

 

Finally, I’ve included a scan showing the Métal Hurlant logo and ‘mascot’ who, alas, I haven’t been able to research namewise.

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

France. Métal Hurlant. 1981.

 

Custom Star Wars action figures: X-Wing Fighter and Snowspeeder personnel

Here is my small but growing collection of customised vintage Star Wars action figures. Each character relates to either the X-Wing Fighter or the Snowspeeder vehicles.

The usual suspects. Personnel from X-Wing Fighters and Snowspeeder vehicles.

The usual suspects. Personnel from X-Wing Fighter and Snowspeeder vehicles.

Dak Ralter

Rogue Squadron Snowspeeder gunner Dak Ralter who flew with Luke Skywalker in the Battle of Hoth. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7

Rogue Squadron Snowspeeder gunner Dak Ralter who flew with Luke Skywalker in the Battle of Hoth. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7

Dak's accessory is a Hoth cargo crate that was used by the rebels.

Dak’s accessory is a Hoth cargo crate that was used by the rebels.

 

Luke Snowspeeder Pilot

Luke Skywalker Snowspeeder Pilot with grapplinh hook blaster. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7.

Luke Skywalker Snowspeeder Pilot with grappling hook blaster. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7.

Luke used his grappling blaster to help bring down an AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back.

Luke used his grappling blaster to help bring down an AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back.

 

Grizz Frix

Grizz Frix, X-Wing Pilot.

Grizz Frix, X-Wing Pilot. Custom figure made by Ourchickenshack.

Grizz Frix was a human pilot who flew for the alliance during the Galactic Civil War.

Grizz Frix was a human pilot who flew for the alliance during the Galactic Civil War.

 

Tusken Raider X-Wing Pilot

Tusken Raider X-Wing Fighter. Custom figure made by me.

Tusken Raider X-Wing Pilot. Custom figure made by me.

I've no idea what a Tusken Raider is doing working for the Rebel Alliance... but for me this works!

I’ve no idea what a Tusken Raider is doing working for the Rebel Alliance… but for me this works!

 

Poe Dameron – X-Wing Pilot

Episode VII's Poe Dameron. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7.

Episode VII’s Poe Dameron. Custom figure made by Plisnithus7.

Poe Dameron.

Poe Dameron is armed with a vintage rebel blaster from the original line of action figures.

2000 AD comics featuring Star Wars

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.

I recently picked up a copy of UK comic 2000 AD and Tornado, prog 166, 1980, which featured the above Brian Bolland cover used to promote Chad Valley’s Star Wars Electronic Battle Command game. Inside the comic is a page with competition details on how to win one of fifteen of these electronic games, along with twenty runners-up prizes of Star Wars large action figures.

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.

This is not the first time I’ve come across 2000 AD and Star Wars together. Here is my copy of prog 44 from 1977, which devoted some of its cover along with a two-page photo review on the upcoming movie that would prove to be a worldwide sensation.

1977. Kevin O'Neill cover.

UK. 2000 AD. Kevin O’Neill cover. 1977.

2000 AD, prog 44. Photo Review.

2000 AD, prog 44. Photo Review.

2000 AD, prog 44. Photo Review.

2000 AD, prog 44. Photo Review.

Do you know of any other 2000 AD issues that featured Star Wars during the late 70s and the early 80s? Please let me know. Until then, “Splundig Vur Thrigg” and “May The Force Be With You!”