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!

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.


 

International Star Wars toy and merchandise images 1977 – 1997

TVTA is proud to present a gallery of some of the best vintage Star Wars print images you will see this side of the galaxy!

From the vaults of TVTA we share more than 250 images showing international adverts and catalogue pages for the Star Wars Original Trilogy films, toys, merchandise, and promotional offers.

Covering the period between 1977 and 1997… this incredible post shows exactly how the Star Wars brand was sold around the world!

Thanks for looking, and MTFBWY!


Star Wars as seen in the US

Star Wars Jedi Arena video game. US.,1983.

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Vintage Star Wars on the magazine cover

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

As fans around the world prepare themselves for yet another Star Wars feature film that will hopefully delight, thrill and amaze, TVTA digs into the archives to find a selection of old-school Star Wars as seen on the covers of various magazines throughout the late 70s and early 80s.

US. National Doll World. Aug 1984. Contains a feature on the large size action figure range from Kenner.

US. Fine Scale Modeler. Jan / Feb 1986. Model diorama special for Speederbike and Scout.

US. Starlog Covers various.

US. More Starlog various covers.

France. Lecran Fantastique. Return of the Jedi 100 page special. Oct 1983.

Titans. France. 1984. Jean Frisano cover.

France. Pif Gadget. Empire Strikes Back cover and features. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. Return of the Jedi cover and features. 1983.

UK. Starburst. 1980.

UK. Photo Play. 1983.

US. Starlog 74. 1983.

Thank you for browsing with us!

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!