Category Archives: STAR WARS

Marvel’s Empire Strikes Back First Issue

I was happy to add this first issue of Marvel’s The Empire Strikes Back from 1980. The UK copy came with a free sheet of Kraft Dairylea action transfers – which was unused and included with the issue I picked up.

Dagobah Bog Planet. Check out the odd-looking Yoda… what’s he pointing at? Why is Luke flying through the air with his back to us? Why so feisty Artoo, has the Dagobah bog water got into your circuits? And what are all those other weird images about? All becomes one with the Force when you take a look at the “How to use your Dairylea action transfers” page inside the comic…

The issue included a page upon which you could rub down your transfers onto a handy Dagobah Bog scene. You could then use ‘crayons’ to colour the rest of the scene. Our family was quite poor, but even we could afford fine-tipped felts. The cumbersome Crayola crayons we owned would surely have destroyed that page in seconds! And… I’m still trying to figure out where ‘flying Luke’ should go in the scene… Perhaps Yoda is ‘finger-Force-pointing’ at him and making him fly? Dammit, being an adult sucks, because I know I wouldn’t have hesitated to Crayola the crap out of that pic after rubbing off every last transfer image from the free sheet with a two-pence piece and sticking them wherever I chose. Take that adult comic collectors (including free gifts) 40 years later!!

Back page advert for Kraft Dairylea action transfers offer. Is the hunt on next for the bumper transfer pack?

Thanks for rubbing down transfers and spreading soft cheese with us! Until next time, mtfbwy! 🙂

Never mind the adverts Pt10 – Takara Die Cast Darth Vader

Welcome to another Never Mind The Adverts… Here Are The Toys! This time we take a look at the 1978 Die Cast Darth Vader figure made by the Takara company, Japan.

Japanese toy company Takara has never been shy of infusing its love of the quirky into the toys and merchandise it was licensed to produce and distribute for the first Star Wars film. The transforming X Wing Fighter and missile launching R2-D2 are just two examples. It’s no great surprise to see their die cast Darth Vader receiving similar treatment with a ‘robot-look’ makeover, and the issue of not just his trusty lightsaber but a full-on missile-firing crossbow!

Features: This cool die cast Darth Vader measures in at around 7 inches tall (17.78 cm) has articulated legs and arms, and can turn his head to the left and right via a lever located on his back.

Accessories: lightsaber, crossbow, two shots, removable vinyl cape, stand.

Packaging: the partially bilingual box comes with the typical Takara graphics and includes the ST logo belonging to the company responsible for checking the safety standards of the toy. Line drawings on the back of the box indicate the action features. The bottom right insert picture on the back appears to show the C-3PO die cast figure that was released along with Vader.





If you want to discover other cool Japanese vintage Star Wars collectables check out my guide over on The Imperial Gunnery Forum

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking, and join us again soon for another Never Mind The Adverts!


 

Latest vintage Star Wars ads

Representing merchandise as advertised in Italy, France, Germany, UK and the US.

Radio Control R2-D2. Italy.

Italy. 1979. Radio controlled R2-D2. In Italy this droid was called C1P8.

Star Wars toys. France.

France. Castors Juniors. 1979. Featuring models and action figures from both the small and large size lines. Plus… how often do you see a vinyl and cloth cape Jawa pictured together?

Star Wars Palitoy catalogue page from Hamleys. UK.

UK. Hamleys. 1983. Featuring vehicles for the 3.75 inch action figure line.

Star Wars model kits. Germany.

This 1979 Kenner Germany ad reads “Hello model fans”. It features Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, the X-Wing Fighter, and our two favourite droids. The photo of the X-Wing vehicle appears to be the electronic toy meant for the 3.75 inch action figures and not the model kit version. It is not uncommon to see vintage Star Wars toy ads substituting certain products with others. My idea is that sometimes the foreign (to US) license holder had to make do with whatever images or products were sent over by parent company Kenner from the US. In other cases we may also catch sight of prototype versions, which were the only images available at the time prior to a toy’s actual release.

In the case of French license holder Miro-Meccano, which in 1981 ran a spectacular “saynettes” ad series, a mixture of toys were used to create perspective. Here we see a small scale die cast X-Wing in the background, with the bigger 3.75 inch action figure Landspeeder in the foreground.

Star Wars Denys Fisher model kits competition. UK.

Star Wars Weekly. 1978. This UK competition offered the chance to win one of 40 prizes for Denys Fisher licensed Star Wars models.

Return of the Jedi SnapFix models. Airfix. UK.

UK. Hamleys Christmas Book. 1983.

Boots stores model kit products. Airfix. UK.

UK. Eagle. 1983. I remember Star Wars toys being on sale in UK toys shops and newsagents but not in Boots – which is a high street chemist that still exists today. This ad from 1983 shows that Boots did indeed stock some toys, and gives mention to Star Wars.

School stationery prize competition, Helix. UK.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978. The Star Wars Helix brand has always been popular in the UK collecting world, and items can command high prices. One of the most popular and perhaps rarest of Helix items is the Death Star Pencil Sharpener – which is mentioned here as a lowly “runners up prize”.  If only we knew back then how desirable those little pencil sharpeners would one day become!

Eagle comics Return of the Jedi sticker album offer. UK.

Eagle comics. UK. 1983.

Eagle comics Return of the Jedi free stickers. UK.

Eagle comics. UK. 1983.

Atari Return of the Jedi Death Star Battle. Parker Brothers. US.

US. Alpha Flight. 1983.

Intellivision and Atari cartridges by Parker Brothers. UK.

UK. Hamleys Christmas Book. 1983.

That’s all for now. Please check out our Star Wars section beneath the banner for the best international Star Wars vintage advertising this side of the galaxy! Thanks for looking!


Was Princess Leia’s white gown inspired by Princess Anne’s 1973 wedding dress?

And how about those ‘buns’?

I’m certain the answer to my question is a big royal no.

But while scanning newspaper ads from a 1973 UK royal wedding special, the moment I saw Princess Anne in her wedding dress my immediate thought was…

… that look … it’s just so Princess Leia!

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips were married on November 14, 1973, at Westminster Abbey, England. Anne’s wedding dress was created by designer Maureen Baker. Made in Suffolk, England from a speciality silk, it featured a high neckline (Anne’s idea), military-inspired epaulettes picked out in seed pearls, a tiny waist, and long medieval oversleeves with short swelling undersleeves.

Anne’s hair, though not made up in buns like Leia’s, gives a similar effect with its swept back sides, backcombing and a centre parting.

Princess Leia’s simple white hooded gown was designed by John Mollo who had the outfit made at Bermans & Nathan’s, a London costume shop. For me, this costume and the similar one worn at the medal ceremony in 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, defines the ‘Princess Leia look’. I think it’s a tribute to great costume-making and the talents of actress the late Carrie Fisher who played the role.

Princess dolls

Certainly there are some similarities between these two famous 1970s Princess costumes. And one final similarity… both Princesses have been made into dolls – Anne as a Peggy Nisbet doll and Leia as a Kenner doll.


images:

Princess Anne images taken from Daily Mail, Thursday, November 15, 1973.

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia photos property of Lucasfilm / Disney.

Peggy Nisbet doll image taken from Bidorbuy.

Kenner doll image taken from imperialgunnery.

Never Mind The Adverts… May The Fourth Be With You!

In this special 8th edition of the series Never Mind The Adverts… TVTA celebrates the annual ‘May The Fourth Be With You’ celebration of all things Star Wars!

We’ll be taking a look at Kenner’s vintage Star Wars Action Display Stand, a vintage Japanese bootleg model kit of the X-Wing Fighter, plus Greedo and White Armor Boba Fett from the modern Black Series line.

Happy Star Wars day!


Kenner Star Wars Action Display Stand for the first 12 figures

Just about as iconic as you can get regarding the first wave of vintage Star Wars toys, this 1979 display stand was designed for the first twelve action figures. The figures are attached to pegs on a revolving disc that can be turned manually to move the characters back and forth. The stand was available as a US mail away and special offer from some of the larger stores.





Bootleg model kit, Star Warrior X Space Fighter. Crown, Japan. Circa 1980

The Star Warrior X Space Fighter is an unlicensed X-Wing Fighter model kit made by the Japanese Crown company. The box artwork employs several images based on recognisable Star Wars properties such as the Death Star, a TIE Fighter and the X-Wing Fighter. The box side panels suggest other Crown kits available in the range like an R2-D2-type character and two ships resembling the Millenium Falcon.

Like other vintage Star Wars bootleg toys from back in the day, this item somehow managed to slip the radar of George Lucas and his legal team!



Black Series 6″ Greedo and White Armor Prototype Boba Fett figures

I’m not a collector of modern Star Wars toys, but the 6 inch Black Series figures have become a bit addictive …





That’s all, folks – until next May 4, thanks for looking, happy Star Wars day, and May The Fourth Be With You!


 

Never mind the adverts… here are the toys (Pt6)

Welcome to part 6 of TVTA’s series Never Mind The Adverts.

In this edition we focus on the best (or 2nd best depending on your stance) musical band to come out of the Star Wars original trilogy films:

Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band

Original concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie.


US toy manufacturer Kenner released the Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band play-set in 1983 for their 3.75 inch action figure line. The characters are representative of the alien pop band hired by gangster Jabba the Hutt in the third installment of the original Star Wars trilogy film Return of the Jedi. The play-set was also released for the european Trilogo line and the Spanish Lili Ledy line.

Sy Snootles

Image Lucasfilm.

Singing from curling lips that sprout from the end of her long proboscis, with spindly legs and arms, could Sy Snootles be the galactic female equivalent of Mick Jagger? There are barely a handful of female O/T Star Wars figures; luckily Sy Snootles attempts to make up for this by being one of the grooviest and most interesting-looking alien of the entire line. Her action figure does her fine justice.


Max Rebo

Image Starwars.com

Max Rebo is the floppy-eared blue elephant-like keyboard player and leader of the Max Rebo Band. He comes from planet Orto and his species is Ortolan. His piano is called a Red Ball Organ.


Droopy McCool

Image Starwars.com

Droopy McCool is a flute-playing Kitonak from planet Kirdo III

 


This is the second Sy Snootles and the Rebo band I’ve owned. My first was a boxed Trilogo which I traded a while back for other Stars Wars stuff. Here are a couple of pics I saved.



I really love this set and wish that Kenner had also made some Biths for a cantina band play-set. That would be some jam session putting both bands together!

As always thanks for looking. Join us again soon for another Never Mind The Adverts!


Sources:

Star Wars The Essential Guide To Characters by Andy Mangels. Boxtree. 1996.

Imperialgunneryforum.com

Starwars.com


 

RIP Carrie Fisher

So sad to hear that Carrie just passed away. I know she did plenty of other great work but she’ll always remain in my heart for her role as Princess Leia. Whenever I saw her interviewed on TV she was always funny and seemed a likeable person. My thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.


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nmta03

 



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The princess and the droid – an edited kiss, from 1983’s Charlie Mensuel. Plus 2000 AD Palitoy prizes

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Charlie Mensuel. Issue 19. 1983. France. Charlie Mensuel was a French adult comic book published between 1969 and 1986 with links to its current relative Charlie Hebdo and editor-in-chief the late Georges Wolinski. Issue 19 is packed with 18 pages of Return of the Jedi features, and contains the above artwork of Princess Leia kissing C-3PO! The text loosely translated is: “Lionel Bret (the artist) dreams up for you an episode edited out from Star Wars.”

The cover of issue 19, Charlie Mensuel, and some sample pages:

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2000 AD. Prog 320. 1983. UK. 2000 AD is a UK comic first published in 1977. Prog 320 devoted its cover and two inside pages to a competition to win Return of the Jedi prizes.

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Advert from Prog 319 announcing Prog 320.

UK. 2000 AD. 1983.


And lastly, an advert from Eagle comics, September 3, 1983. Return of the Jedi free gift stickers.

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