May the 4th Be With You!

Greetings vintage mates! This is a big hello from a galaxy far, far away, as TVTA emerges from its hiatus to bring you a special Star Wars post and wish you a happy Star Wars Day and May The Fourth Be With You!

It has long been a tradition at TVTA to celebrate the 4th of May (the internationally-recognised Star Wars celebration day, and a play on the expression ‘May The Force Be With You’), and no evil Empire is going to stop me enjoying this year at TVTA, hiatus or not!

Recycling the Force

Alas, I don’t have enough space credits just yet to upgrade my plan to be able to present you with new Star Wars image delights (of which I have a-plenty), but be rest assured there is enough galactic goodness in my archives to help make this day a very special Star Wars Day indeed!

Believing the hype!

My good WP blogging mate and fellow Star Wars fan Julie over at Darkside Creative made an excellent post recently posing the question: How did you become a Star Wars fan?

For me, it all started with the toys before I even saw the first film, namely Kenner and Palitoy 3.75 inch action figures, along with the iconic Landspeeder vehicle and my prized toy back then – a Palitoy Battle-Damaged X-Wing Fighter complete with Luke X-Wing Pilot.

Later came a vintage Japanese Takara Transforming X-Wing Fighter and a 7 inch die cast Darth Vader complete with a Chewbacca bowcaster (was the Dark Lord of the Sith not content with only a lightsaber?).

Later still came an addictive collection of modern-era The Black Series 6 inch figures (of which a separate post will be demanded at some point).

So, as you may have already guessed, this year’s May The Fourth Be With You post is dedicated to Star Wars toys! No sushi. No chirashi. No comic books. Just wonderful vintage and modern toys!

Enjoy, and MTFBWY always!

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!


Star Wars Transforming X-Wing Fighter by Takara


NEW Takara X Wing 02

In 1977 Japanese toy manufacturer Takara was licensed to produce and distribute toys and merchandise from the first Star Wars film up until Popy took over for The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

Takara Star Wars toys often came with cool action features such as Missile Firing R2-D2s and C-3POs, a wind-up walking R2-D2 (often rumoured to be George Lucas’ favourite toy) and many other interesting and quirky items such as the Transforming X-Wing Fighter which is the subject of this post.

NEW Takara X Wing 01

NEW Takara X Wing 03a

The Transforming X-Wing Fighter was released in 1978 in Japan by Takara. The vehicle came in kit form and included fuselage, four wing sections, a sprue tree containing the smaller parts, a decal sheet, instuctions/catalogue and Luke Skywalker Pilot and R2-D2 figures. Working features included cockpit and landing gear, open/closed wings and spring-loaded missile-firing laser cannons!

But that’s not all… Takara also held the license for Microman which was later rebranded as Transformers for the western market. What could make better sense than to fuse the two lines together to create a super-cool X-Wing Fighter that transformed?

And so, with just a few snaps and clicks the X-Wing Fighter goes from this…

NEW Takara X Wing 04

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 05

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 06

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 07

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 08

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 09

… to this…

NEW Takara X Wing 10

… and much more! There are a few suggestion examples on the box to try out but essentially this toy is ideal to let your imagination fly.

For me the Takara is a winner. One of my favourite retro toy collectables is the vintage Star Wars line – in particular Kenner’s original X-Wing Fighter and its foreign variants. So hats off to Takara for not only producing a version of this iconic space vehicle but for taking it to a completely different level.

NEW Takara X Wing 11


NEW Takara X Wing 03

Below: Takara X-Wings. Collectable postcard. Star Wars The Toys Chronicle Books. 1995.

And finally, some collectors wonder about the scale of the Takara Transforming X-Wing in relation to the original Kenner model. The Takara version is almost the same size although the Luke and R2-D2 figures are significantly smaller than their 3 3/4 inch Kenner counterparts.

Below is a pic of the Takara, Palitoy original, and Micro-Collection X-Wings to give you an idea of the scale.

To learn more about the many variations that exist for vintage-era X-Wing Fighters check out my guide on TIG

Takara comparison 1