You know, a lot of ink gets spilled about the significance of the first 12 (or 12-back) Star Wars action figures that hit toy store shelves in the Spring of 1978. But rarely given the same respect are the vehicles that were available at the same time.
If you consult the back of a 12-back action figure package you’ll see that Kenner was promoting a Tie Fighter, an X-Wing Fighter, and a Landspeeder. What a feast, right?
Personally I’m not certain that anything more than the Landspeeder was actually available at first. But in truth it was enough. As a kid of 7 years, playing with my new Star Wars guys was a heady experience to be sure. But it was the Landspeeder that provided the glue. With the Landspeeder, the action figures could live out their adventures rolling together as a team, no droid left behind!
Check out the Landspeeder here, slightly abstracted, but ready to whisk Ben and Threepio (you guessed it, 12-backs) into their next cosmic adventure.
I’ll go ahead and stick my neck out. The landspeeder was the best vintage vehicle. It has the perfect balance of size, playability and detail. It’s action feature accurately recreates what’s on the screen, and you can fit (at least) four figures on it.
Amen Jonesy. It’s also the most nostalgic for me since I was able somehow to get my mom to buy it for me alongside my R2 and Chewie (my first Star Wars toys!). Christ I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast today but I can still vividly remember everything about that day nearly 35 years ago.
I have to agree. I didn’t have many vehicles at all but I had this one and boy did I LIKE it. I remember spending hours shuttling figures up and down our hallway on the plush carpet on many a life and death mission.