Tag Archives: Vintage Star Wars

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!


The legend of black Wampa

Black Wampa… urban myth or reality? Only you can decide as TVTA takes you on a journey tracing the origins and adventures of this infamous toy in our special report.


1. Of the Unicorn. Woodcut illustration from the book The History of four-footed Beasts and Serpents by Edward Topsell. 2. Black Wampa by TVTA. 3. Hoaxed photo of Loch Ness Monster. 4. Patterson–Gimlin film frame N°352 of Bigfoot. 5. Ivan Bilibin, 065, Zmey Gorynych, the Russian three-headed dragon. 6. E.T.

1. Of the Unicorn. Woodcut illustration from the book The History of four-footed Beasts and Serpents by Edward Topsell. 2. Black Wampa by Artoo-Detour. 3. Hoaxed photo of Loch Ness Monster. 4. Patterson–Gimlin film frame N°352 of Bigfoot. 5. Ivan Bilibin, 065, Zmey Gorynych, the Russian three-headed dragon. 6. E.T.




bw5

Is this a Lili Ledy black Wampa or a cruel hoax?

The black Wampa (‘Wampa Oscuro’) has been the subject of much debate over the years as to its authenticity as a genuine Star Wars toy produced by the Mexican toy company Lili Ledy.

Forum tomfoolery?
Sources cite that it all began back in early 1980 just before the film release of The Empire Strikes Back, when a failed communication directive between Lili Ledy and Lucas Film Ltd led to the birth of the black Wampa.

Doctor Dengar's TIG guides gave us our first glimpse of the elusive black Wampa VS its Kenner brother.

Doctor Dengar’s superb TIG guides gave us our first glimpse of the elusive black Wampa VS its Kenner brother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other sources cite the 1983 ‘Mas crédulous fan de la Guerra de las Galaxias’ competition held by Lili Ledy to win one of ten black Wampas specially produced to coincide with the film release of Return of the Jedi.

Were you one of the ten lucky winners?

Were you one of the ten lucky winners? Mr Tree-Ent’s wonderful limelight holds some unexpected surprises!


So, facts? Or simply evil plots hatched by Star Wars internet forum geeks to fool the collecting community into believing in the existence of black Wampas?

What if TVTA was to tell you that we have been given a translated transcript of a completely unverifiable but exclusive 18 second interview recorded on a dictaphone in 1983 with a Lili Ledy mailing department employee who managed to talk briefly about the mail-away exclusive before being tragically shot dead by what we can only imagine as a sniper on a roof ?

tvta-transcript-llbw

Pretty chilling eh? But, maybe this is just another example of an elaborate hoax fuelled by elements from the dark side of vintage toy collecting. You thought scammers were bad enough, right? Repro-makers, shill bidders and back-doorers? Surely nothing in the history of Star Wars collecting will ever compare to being shafted by an imaginary toy… if indeed this turns out to be the case! For now, TVTA cannot say for certain if the black Wampa exists or not. Like you, we can only look at the evidence available in the darkest corners of vintage Star Wars collecting forums, and try to pick out the facts from fiction.


It’s on the cover of a licensed book!!!

Proof at last? No, this beast is only related to the Wampa family, and is in fact a Trompa.

Proof at last? No, this beast is only related to the Wampa family, and is in fact a Trompa. Look it up. It’s real. But is anything ever real?

Black Wampa ate my Lili Ledy Han Bespin…

LL Han Bespin prepare to meet your shaker-maker.

Lili Ledy Han Bespin, prepare to meet your shaker-maker!


Video killed the radio star!

BW: I just can't seem to get this damn TV set to work!

Black Wampa: “I just can’t get this damn TV set to work!” Power Droid: “Put me down, or else I’ll tune into the Holiday Special!”


A design for life

A design for life.

Danger. Have you seen this black Wampa design aimed at the clothing market? Do not approach. Keep Tauntauns and young Jedis safely indoors.


Waiter, there’s a black Wampa in my soup!

Here are 10 facts / fictions about black Wampa. Award yourself 4 points for a correct answer; deduct 2 points for an incorrect answer; do not collect £200 (unless you’re selling a relatively hard-to-find loose variation of a figure which under normal circumstances would cost £35 tops, but in today’s FBooky-driven BS market makes you want to puke because it has gone right through the roof; miss one turn if an old man performs a jedi mind trick on you; and finally, for 3 points – make the opponent on your left perform an impression of Chewbacca.

  1. Black Wampa has appeared in a published Lili Ledy reference book – so he must be real, right?
  2. Black Wampa has been spotted in many vintage-looking photos on the interweb.
  3. A black Wampa can be briefly seen in the distance behind Luke as Luke grapples up an AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back.
  4. Black Wampa is rumoured to be George Lucas’ favouite Star Wars toy.
  5. The black Wampa paint spray masks were found in a wheelie-bin on the car park and site where Richard III’s bones were discovered in Leicester.
  6. The black Wampa paint spray masks were found on the car park of the Walkers Crisps factory in Leicester.
  7. The black Wampa paint spray masks were found on the car park of a Doritos Crisps factory in Mexico.
  8. Music star Rick Springfield owns 3 black Wampas!
  9. In Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette, a black Wampa figure is partially hidden under a pair of Converse sneakers.
  10. Bonus COO question! (award yourself 100 points). The correct Country Of Origin mark for the Lili Ledy black Wampa is: (a) family IIIa, second cousin, twice removed, 29g, deep scar, Vader factory. Or (b) family IIc, father-in-law, 42c, very messy scar, Made In Honduras.

Answers next week!! Good luck!


So…

Black Wampa: a true Mexican toy or a monstrous myth? A Lili Ledy legend or a rock-solid reality? Only you can decide. The truth is out there, partially frozen in the wastelands of Hoth, covered in pizza sauce and Tauntaun entrails. May the force be with you. Graarrk! (Always let the Wookie have the last word).


discoclaimer: TVTA has done it's best to seek accurate info and cannot be held responsible for anything. If you know of any black Wampas please report them to your local collecting community group. No Tauntauns were harmed in the making of this special report.

2000 AD comics featuring Star Wars

This post will showcase two of the biggest pop culture entities that have appeared together … Star Wars and 2000 AD. If you know of any other 2000 AD titles that feature Star Wars please let me know. Here are the issues I’ve collected so far.


Prog 166. 1980. Brian Bolland artwork dedicated Empire Strikes Back competition cover.

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.

UK. 2000 AD and Tornado. 1980.


2000 AD and Tornado, prog 166, 1980, features 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.


2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1980. The Empire Strikes Back Photo Special.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1980.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1980. The Empire Strikes Back Photo Special. Double Page. First Page.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1980. The Empire Strikes Back Photo Special. Double Page. Second Page.


2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1983. Return Of The Jedi Colour Scan.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1983. Return Of The Jedi Colour Scan.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1983. Return Of The Jedi Colour Scan. Double Page. Page One.

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1983. Return Of The Jedi Colour Scan. Double Page. Page Two.


2000 AD. Prog 320. 1983.

Prog 320 devoted its cover and two inside pages to a competition to win Return of the Jedi prizes.

star-wars-prizes-cover-2000ad-prog-320-1983-post


star-wars-prizes-a-2000ad-prog-320-1983-post


star-wars-prizes-b-2000ad-prog-320-1983-post


Advert from Prog 319 announcing Prog 320.

UK. 2000 AD. 1983.

UK. 2000 AD. 1983.


Do you know of any other 2000 AD issues that feature 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!” 🙂

Tintin comic N° 27 Star Wars Special – and an erratum!

Cover of Tintin issue 27, 1982.

Cover of Tintin issue 27, 1982. Click to enlarge all pics.

 

There are many vintage comics and magazines featuring the Star Wars trilogy that appeal to collectors. Issue 27 of the July 1982 comic Tintin is one of them. This Empire Strikes Back-specific issue was packed full of Star Wars features, including its cover, two prize competitions, an article on the toys, a profile on George Lucas and his films, an advert, and a full-colour centrefold poster with art by Ralph McQuarrie. 

Tintin was published weekly for a Franco-Belgian audience in both Dutch and French language. The copy of issue 27 that I recently picked up was originally sold in Belgium and printed in French. It had been on my collecting radar for a long time and I couldn’t wait to open it up. When I did, I was surprised to find an additional little Star Wars nugget tucked loose inside the pages… an erratum from the Editor-in-Chief, presented as an A4 sheet of paper which had been included to inform readers of a not-so-minor printing error.

The erratum was included loose in the pages of the comic and showed the missing French text from the article on page 15.

The erratum was included loose in the pages of the comic and showed the missing French text from the article on page 15.

 

Here is the offending article from page 15. Look at the left-hand column – mistakenly printed in Dutch. The right-hand column is in French like the rest of the text in the comic.

For Bi-lingual readers only.

For Bi-lingual readers only? Please refer to your erratum if in difficulty.

 

I’ll admit I was geekily pleased by the addition of this erratum as it added an extra collectable interest to this comic which I’d had my eye on for a long while.

Another oddity I found was the Ralph McQuarrie artwork poster – it’s an inverted print from his original, and his signature reads backwards – EIRRAUQCMR 🙂

Artwork by

Centrefold poster with Ralph McQuarrie art.

 

Here are the remaining Star Wars features found in the comic –

Page 3. Movie talk. The article mentions the upcoming third part of the trilogy: 'La Revanche Du Jedi' which is the French translation for short-lived title 'Revenge of the Jedi' before it was changed to 'Return of the Jedi.'

Page 3. Movie talk. The article mentions the upcoming third part of the trilogy: ‘La Revanche Du Jedi’ which is the French translation for the short-lived title ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ before it was changed to ‘Return of the Jedi’.

 

Pages 4 and 5 continued from page 3.

Pages 4 and 5 continued from page 3.

 

Page 6.

Page 6 continued from page 5.

 

Pages 16 and 17 prize competition to win Star Wars toys. First prize was an AT-AT, second a Millenium Falcon, and third was a Darth Vader TIE Fighter. There were many additional prizes such as mini rigs and action figures.

Pages 16 and 17. Prize competition to win Star Wars toys. First prize was an AT-AT, second a Millenium Falcon, and third was a Darth Vader TIE Fighter. There were many additional prizes such as mini rigs and action figures.

 

Page 19. More prizes! This time it's Star Wars books.

Page 19. More prizes! This time it’s a chance to go and see the Star Wars films. Consolation prizes were also offered – Star Wars posters.

 

And finally, flicking all the way back to page 7 (and the author would have been miffed not to have found at least one Star Wars advert… luckily this comic doesn’t disappoint) – it’s an advert for the ESB Display Arena. 

Page 7. Advert for the Action Display Stand.

Page 7. Kenner advert for the Display Arena.

 

Photographs of the original text and images from the comic have been reproduced here by the author for research and educational purposes. Original copyright is Tintin N°27, 1982, Belgium.

 

 

 

 

 

1983 Star Wars Bookmarks by Random House

This Return of the Jedi bookmark set, made by Random House in 1983, is one of my favourite collectables and manages to tick three themes I love: Star Wars, books and art. I think the stylish artwork on this full set has a certain art nouveau element as well as comic book style. I’ve tried to research the artist(s) responsible but have had no luck and can only guess it was done by in-house artists employed by Random House – one of the largest trade book publishers in the world.

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 001

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 002

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 003

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 004

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 005

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 006

STAR WARS toys and merchandising adverts from around the world: 1977 to 1985

Motta sweepstakes

My favourite toy line is Star Wars, particularly the vintage era from the late 70s to the early 80s. Back then there was a real buzz for the toys and almost anything else Star Wars-related. This was evident in shops everywhere with their abundantly-packed shelves and wonderful displays. Added to this were exciting TV commercials and a huge range of paper advertisements found in comics, magazines and catalogues. I was lucky enough to have a small collection of toys that included a Landspeeder and most of the first twelve figures. I always thought the Sand Person was the most scary-looking figure – no doubt aided by my childhood memories of that howling Tusken Raider attacking Luke in the first Star Wars film.

My collection grew steadily throughout The Empire Strikes Back series and ended at the beginning of the Return Of The Jed line when by this time I’d outgrown ‘toys’ and had more pressing things on my radar like buying records and going to watch bands – a familiar story to many who grew up with the first wave of Star Wars toys and who became teenagers around 1983.

USA45

It wasn’t just the toys was it… a whole range of Star Wars-related products were available to tempt us, as illustrated in this US advert.

Looking back, it wasn’t just the toys that made such a big impression on me but all the other merchandise that accompanied them: Star Wars bed-clothes, bubble bath, toothbrushes, tee-shirts, posters, comics, badges, annuals and countless food and drink promotions – enough to keep any kid happy and their parents’ pockets empty.

Adverts

Some of my favourite adverts can be found in publications like Pif Gadget and Journal de Mickey. Meccano / Miro-Meccano produced some of the most innovative, stylish and irreverant ads, although I’ll always have a special love for Palitoy as this is the license I grew up with. I’m also a fan of the Heroes World adverts that can be found in many US comics.

The following examples are just a small selection from my large collection of international Star Wars ads. Featuring toys, clothing, masks, watches, video games, and a number of food and drink promotions, these ads show us exactly how the Star Wars brand was sold around the world.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978. Offer to win the first twelve action figures from Palitoy. R2-D2 must have been feeling a little camera-shy... he has his back to the camera.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978. Offer to win the first twelve action figures from Palitoy. R2-D2 must have been feeling a little camera-shy that day… he has his back to the camera.

US. Weird War Tales. 1979.

US. Weird War Tales. 1979. North American promotion for Texas Instruments watches. Texas Instruments was the first company licensed to sell Star Wars-themed watches. Another licensed company, Bradley Time, went on to sell Star Wars watches throughout all of the original trilogy.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983. Double page sweepstake to win prizes and a ROTJ cinema preview.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983. Double page sweepstake to win prizes and a ROTJ cinema preview.

France. Pif Gadget N° 758. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 758. 1983. Pif Gadget promotion for Panini album and stickers.

France. PIf Gadget. 1983. Another French ad for Panini album and stickers Pif Gadget promotion.

France. PIf Gadget. 1983. Another French ad for Panini album and stickers Pif Gadget promotion.

Denmark. Anders. 1985. Loose figures and MOC packaging on this toy page ad from BR.

Denmark. Anders. 1985. Loose figures and MOC packaging on this toy page ad from Faetter BR.

Germany. KDS. 1985. Advert for German Star Wars comics.

Germany. KDS. 1985. Advert for German Star Wars comics.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 792. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 792. 1984. The ‘Floating Yoda Head’ icon was used for several ad campaigns by Meccano. To my knowledge the icon has also appeared on similar or the same advertising as Clipper, Parker, Palitoy and Harbert.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 794. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 794. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 795. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 795. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 769. 1983.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 769. 1983.

Germany. Fix Und Foxi N° 37. 1984.

Germany. Fix Und Foxi. 1984. Parker ‘Yoda Floating Head’ advert. No slave Leia figure in 1984, so poor Han was chained up by Jabba instead!

Italy. 1984. This floating Yoda head example is from Harbert. UK's Palitoy is also credited on this advert - most likely because Palitoy photography is used from the original offer.

Italy. 1984. This ‘floating Yoda head’ example is from Italy’s Harbert. UK’s Palitoy is also credited on this advert – most likely because Palitoy photography is used from the original offer.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 818. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 818. 1984. Catalogue and poster promotion.

France. Pif Gadget 708. 1982.

France. Pif Gadget 708. 1982. Quarter page Stormtrooper ad as featured in the Meccano ‘Blue Ads’ series.

France. Pif Gadget 703. 1982.

France. Pif Gadget 703. 1982. Quarter page R2-D2 toy ad as featured in the Meccano ‘Blue Ads’ series.

USA. The Defenders 119. 1983.

USA. The Defenders 119. 1983. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s Jedi Arena.

USA. Power Man and Iron Fist 86. 1982.

USA. Power Man and Iron Fist 86. 1982. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s The Empire Strike Back.

USA. Marvel Power Pack 02. 1984.

USA. Marvel Power Pack 02. 1984. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s Star Wars: The Arcade Game.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978. Pif Gadget’s first Star Wars toy advert.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980. More Star Wars toys from Meccano.

France. Pif Gadget 558. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget 558. 1979. Meccano Radio-Controlled R2-D2.

France. Pif Gadget 613. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget 613. 1980. Miro-Meccano gets trippy with this 1980 ad: floating heads and a radioactive Falcon!

Italy. 1982.

Italy. 1982. The Festacolor projector as advertised by Italian licensee Harbert.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1980.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1980. Heroes World mail order ad for Star Wars toys.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1978.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1978. Heroes World mail order ad for Star Wars toys. The ad shows the earliest figures available for the ‘first 12’ as well as the first three vehicles released.

TVTA Hi C fruit drinks advert ROTJ 1983 Sunday Comics Promotions

USA. Sunday Comics Promotions. 1983. Hi-C fruit drink promotion.

UK. Star Wars Weekly 89. 1979.

UK. Star Wars Weekly 89. 1979. Cantina, Droid Factory and Land of the Jawa play-sets as advertised by Palitoy.

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker!

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker! Look closely and you’ll see that’s not Luke X-Wing in the cockpit!

Germany. Star Wars N° 1. 1985. Is the 'Ssssccch' sound being made by the Speeder Bike or cleverly hidden Ewoks about to spring a surprise?

Germany. Star Wars N° 1. 1985. Is the ‘Ssssccch’ sound being made by the Speeder Bike or cleverly hidden Ewoks about to spring a surprise?

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. No slave Leia figure in 1985, so Luke was chained up by Jabba instead!

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. No slave Leia figure in 1985, so Luke was chained up by Jabba instead!

France. Le Journal De Mickey 83003. 1983.

France. Le Journal De Mickey 83003. 1983. Amora mustard sweepstakes promotion.

France. Pif Gadget 595. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget 595. 1980. Prize contest.

CBS network premiere TV ad.

CBS network premiere TV ad.

UK Palitoy Emperor figure offer advert, 1984.

UK Palitoy Emperor figure offer advert, 1984.

USA. Starlog N° 76. 1983. Masks by Don Post.

USA. Starlog N° 76. 1983. Masks by Don Post.

Spain. 1980. Star Wars El Imperio Contraataca 12 inch Boba Fett and IG-88 figures.

Spain. 1980. Star Wars El Imperio Contraataca 12 inch Boba Fett and IG-88 figures.

US. Starlog. 1983. ROTJ Merchandise.

US. Starlog. 1983. ROTJ Merchandise.

UK. TESB Weekly. 1980. ESB Soundtracks.

UK. TESB Weekly. 1980. ESB Soundtracks.

Please check out my other Star Wars adverts and let me know your favoutes.

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

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