Val’s Toy Chest- Star Wars Memories

It is a brand new year at Forbidden Planet and this week is fairly light in terms of new toy releases, so I am going to discuss a toy line that I’ve had an on/off affair with- we’re currently on at the moment. That being said- this week’s new releases are all about Minimates. We are getting two new Marvel series in as well as a Predator series. Each set usually comes with two figures and interchangeable limbs and weapons. Marvel fans can look forward to the Jane Foster Thor, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, Dazzler, Howard the Duck, Siryn and more in the two Marvel assortments. The Predator assortment features different Predators as well as some of the human characters from Predator 1 and 2. We are also getting a neat Femme Fatales statue of Wonder Woman as she appeared in Justice League.

So there was a new Star Wars movie at the end of last year and I loved it. Watching it brought some of my childhood nostalgia back and made me reminisce about all of the Star Wars toys I’ve bought over the years. I’ve been into Star Wars for most of my life- though I have gone through periods where I’ve not been as into it. I really liked the original trilogy and had some of the figures when I was a kid during the ’80’s. Even back when I was four or five years old I always loved the female characters. Of course the main woman in the original trilogy is Princess Leia Organa and its telling that I had the most figures of her when I was a child. I’ve touched on my favorite Leia figure in this column before so I won’t get into that this rime. I will however try to highlight some of my favorite Star Wars toys encompassing all eras from when I was a kid all the way through today. I’m going to try and be diverse and not just make a list of every Leia figure that I’ve ever owned…

I had a limited collection of Star Wars figures in 1983 and through the 80s. I think I still have some of them at my mother’s apartment though they aren’t in great shape. I did manage to get at least one of each unique hero in the trilogy though they all came from different movies. I clearly remember having the neat¬†C-3P0 with removable limbs as a kid. Something about an action figure that you could take apart appealed to me. I do kind of wish that one had survived my youth but alas. I did manage to get an updated version from Hasbro many years later. Another neat figure from my childhood and very much keeping in line with my favorite Leia was the Lando Calrissian in Skiff Guard outfit. As seen in Return of the Jedi– this was the Lando as he appeared during the Jabba’s Palace sequence. I must have loved removable helmets as a child. I guess the secret identity/disguise aspect appealed to me. My Lando is gone too. Interestingly enough I never had a Darth Vader growing up.

Moving into the ’90’s- Star Wars had fallen in popularity after the release of the final movie in the original trilogy and the Kenner toy line died after 1985. Ten years later Kenner would return to Star Wars with their Power of the Force line. That line was like Star Wars on steroids- though later figures in the line were well done and not as muscle-bound as the earlier 1995-1996 figures. Some highlights for this series include the very first Princess Leia as Jabba’s Prisoner figure which was one of the hottest commodities way back in 1997. I also loved the Oola and Salacious Crumb two pack that was originally produced as an exclusive for Star Wars Insider magazine. Oola was one of the few featured female characters in the original trilogy and though she meets her demise rather quickly at the hands of Jabba and the Rancor, she was a very memorable character and a welcome addition to the collection. The updated version with more articulation was nice too, but the original figure still has a nice sculpt.

I didn’t collect much Star Wars between 2000-2012- with a few stray Leia and/or female figures here and there but I got back into it a bit with the Vintage Collection and the Black Series. The Black Series is now mostly a 6″ action figure line as the 3 and 3/4″ figures are now Walmart exclusive, but the 3 3/4″ line gave me characters like the now out of canon Mara Jade who as a fully poseable action figure was awesome. As far as the 6″ line goes- there have been some gorgeous figures including Boba Fett, Chewbacca and the X-Wing Luke– but one figure stood out for me so much that I had to get it despite the fact that I swore not to collect the 6″ line as heavily- Darth Vader. As an adult I had several smaller Vader figures- but the recent 6″ figure was a beauty. Crafted with cloth parts and full articulation plus a removable helmet to reveal the scarred visage of Anakin Skywalker as seen in the original trilogy, Vader is a definite favorite in my collection.

And that brings us to the current The Force Awakens line and my wallet crying for mercy. I have decided to embrace this new trilogy with open arms and I look forward to adding the main players to my personal collection of figures. I’ve already acquired the beautiful Captain Phasma figure as well as new hero Poe Dameron. Both figures are nicely detailed and come with character appropriate accessories. I just need to get Rey, BB-8, Finn and the rest and I should be good-and-broke.¬†That’s it for me this week- catch you next time with more toy news! Happy New Year!

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