My childhood toy collecting days were all but done by the time Return of the Jedi was released (I bought only one figure: the awesome Biker Scout) so it smarts a bit to look back now and see all that I missed. Why? For Return of the Jedi, Kenner went into overdrive and released nearly 50 action figures, almost as many as they released for the first two Star Wars films combined. And with their craft honed over the course of the previous five years, Kenner was designing and producing some of their best and most ambitious work.
For the film’s main cast there was the stunning Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight, Princess Leia in Boushh Disguise, and a convertible Han Solo with his very own semi-translucent Carbon Freeze unit. For background characters there was an army of Jabba’s flunkies including the otherworldly Amanaman, the all-business Squidhead, and the under appreciated Ree-Yees to name a few. Naturally the Empire had their share of smash hits with the Biker Scout, the Emperor’s Royal Guard, and mean ol’ The Emperor himself.
The only missteps were arguably in Anakin Skywalker, General Madine, and Nien Nunb. But hey, 3 or 4 stinkers out of over 40. That’s not a bad batting average.
Anyway, we’re rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi. So crack open a cold one and crank up “Lapti Nek”, it’s time to celebrate!
Buying Notes on Vintage Princess Leia in Combat Poncho
The Princess Leia Organa in Combat Poncho is easily one of the better efforts by Kenner during the Return of the Jedi push. Be careful when scoping one out on eBay to account for all accessories before committing to a bid or purchase. There are four cool accessories: the soft-goods camouflage cape, a black utility belt, a tiny Endor blaster, and an unattached helmet. Full coverage on each is here. As always try to ensure tight joints and minimal or no paint loss/scratches.
Buying Notes on Vintage Romba
If you’re into Ewoks (hey, I am), Romba is a great choice to invest in. As one of the Last 17 released by Kenner in 1984-85, Romba’s considered to be more scarce in numbers and tends to fetch somewhat elevated prices. Two accessories to be concerned with: an Ewok hood and pointed Ewok spear. Some sellers will interchange Ewok hoods just to give the appearance of a complete figure, so keep a sharp eye out. Romba’s hood is the only one that’s meant to appear ‘tied’ under the chin. As always try to ensure tight joints and minimal or no paint loss/scratches.