In the beginning, back in 1977…
People didn’t quite expect to see big, fast moving space ships after the movie credits rolled. Up until that time, space transport was no bigger than the USS Enterprise.
Then, came the Star Destroyers:
These wedge shaped capital ships made the Millennium Falcon very tiny in comparison. There is a reason why Kenner didn’t create a replica star destroyer, as several Tie Fighters would have to fit inside. Those fighters were big enough already, to scale with a 3 and 3/4″ action figure.
This is the best rendition of a star destroyer back in the 80’s to fit the action figures, but it was more of a playset than anything else.
It’s more like a representation of part of the bridge, but not very appealing.
So, on a positive note, some of the other ships were absolutely amazing!
After the first Star Wars movie figures were released, the toy makers knew they had to create some of the vehicles from the movie.
Before the regular toy, there was the Sonic Controlled Landspeeder:
This was a J.C. Penney exclusive, and only sold through their catalogue from 1978-1980. Here is the ad from the good old days…
Every kid had to wait for the release of Empire Strikes Back for the Millennium Falcon. This was no doubt a very cool ship with a loading ramp, compartments, storage area, and chess board.
And for the less fortunate kids like myself, I settled with the smaller ships.
It wasn’t until Empire strikes back, that the X-Wing fighter included the top of R2-D2’s head.
The biggest vehicle of them all, was the Imperial walker, (AT-AT). As an all-terrain, armored transport vehicle, it would also hold a lot of figures. It was definitely essential for storming the planet Hoth playset.
Of course, we can’t forget the living vehicle that transported Luke and Han around the planet Hoth…
It was a bit of disturbing feature to have an action figure fit in the belly of a Tauntaun, but that’s how it played out in the movie.
Here is a final showcase of some of the other cool vehicles worth mentioning, which were sold on the successful releases of Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi:
Here is a description of the speeder bike: