Fond Farewells – Dave Prowse AKA Darth Vader and Green Cross Man

Archvillain Darth Vader, cover of TIME Magazine, May 19, 1980. Artwork by M. Arisman.

Another Star Wars legend passes on and joins that great gallery of personas who delighted us as kids in a galaxy far, far away.

I learned earlier today that actor David ‘Dave’ Prowse has passed away aged 85. Dave was famous for his role as Darth Vader in the original trilogy Star Wars films. As a boy I had a poster of Vader on my wall which I cherished, along with my Kenner action figure of him. But it wasn’t just Dave’s role as the Dark Lord Sith which captured my imagination as a kid, it was his role as the Green Cross Man in the British run of TV and print adverts which drummed into my head the importance of road safety. I will say that each time I crossed the road as a youngling I thought of Green Cross Man’s advice (and still do today).

Perhaps a mark of a great actor is to be able to play both the villain and hero. For me, and I’m sure for countless other fans and admirers, Dave Prowse accomplished this role splendidly.

Below is a small tribute to one of my all-time best childhood heroes, represented in print adverts and toys from the TVTA collection.

I Am Your Father. Dave Prowse documentary. Chirashi poster. Japan . 2015.

Green Cross Code. UK. 1979.

Star Wars Miro Meccano prizes. France. 1980.

Star Wars Pin-Up Special. 1978. UK.

Star Wars bubble bath. UK. 1978.

Green Cross Code. UK. 1978.

The Empire Strikes Back. 1980. UK.

Forbidden Planet welcomes Dave Prowse and Anthony Daniels. UK. 1980.

Waddington Design a spaceship competition. UK. 1984.

Kenner Darth Vader action figure. Hong Kong COO with letter A hilt. 1977. From the collection of TVTA.

1978 Die Cast Darth Vader figure, made by the Takara company, Japan. From the collection of TVTA.

1978 Die Cast Darth Vader figure, made by the Takara company, Japan. From the collection of TVTA.

Dave Prowse in 2013. Image: Wikipedia


RIP David Prowse. 1935 – 2020.


 

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!