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When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby £1.49 FIGURES » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:40 am

Another dose of nostalgia here I'm afraid.

Curious to know the experience of others regarding when they last spotted the figures and vehicles being sold in the 1980s before they disappeared from shop shelves for good.

I moved on from buying Star Wars around about my tenth birthday when I got a home computer and so any spending money / birthday money / pocket money / cash scrimped away from not buying school dinners etc was spent on Spectrum games. However, such was the strength of my devotion for Star Wars which peaked around about Christmas 1983, I always had a look at the new figures and ships etc and remember admiring the look of the B-Wing while also wondering why it had taken so long for the Y-Wing to get released.

The very last time I remember seeing Star Wars toys for sale was around about Autumn 1985 in John Menzies in Kilmarnock where, standing out in the toy section there were boxes of Ewok Villages, Rancors and - oh,to have a time machine now - Imperial Shuttles. All pretty heavily discounted. I remember seeing the discount sale stickers on them saying "Was £24.99 - now £4.99" for the Ewok Villages and Rancors I think were "Was 19.99 - now £4.99". The Imperial Shuttles were discounted down to £9.99.

At roughly the same time I had coughed up close to £20 for a Transformers Soundwave with some birthday money when I could have walked away with one of each of the three JEDI boxed goodies. Such was my level of disdain for the Ewoks however that I doubt that would ever have been a possibility.

I have a vague memory the following year of being with my brother when he was buying some Subutteo stuff in the local toy shop in Kilmarnock and spotting a Power of The Force Tattoine Skiff on a shelf but nothing else. It was such a huge difference to a few years previously where the shop was THE place to buy your Palitoy items and it seemed wall-to-wall Star Wars. Time and toy buying habits had most definitely moved on.

I have no recollection of ever seeing any POTF carded figures , last 17 or otherwise, after 1985 and so was surprised in later years to learn that there were more than the final JEDI batch of Rancor Keeper, Leia in Combat Poncho etc which was roughly the period when I stopped collecting figures - my final purchased figures around about Spring 1984 were Prune Face and Teebo. The only time I ever saw a last 17 figure for sale was on a tri-logo card in a different toy shop window in the Summer of 1985 which was the R2D2 pop-up lightsaber and I can still recall thinking to myself that they must be getting desperate by bringing out a third R2. There were a couple of other carded figures for sale but they were all Ewoks which sent me away from the window pretty quickly. The very last figure I owned from my original time collecting was the mail-away for Anakin Skywalker, I believe, and I remember being none too impressed with it when it arrived. 32 years on and I'm a lot more fond of the figure now.

I daresay that if I had looked around about the main toy shops in Glasgow etc then I may still have spotted Star Wars figures and ships but I genuinely didn't see anything other than what I've mentioned above in my own sphere of local town shops. Nothing in Woolworths, WH Smiths etc - none of the new figure stickered Last 17 at bargain prices or 50p Scout Walkers and Speeder Bikes etc.They really did just disappear from my own small world of shops. I recall the same thing happening with He-Man a year or two later which was my little brother's toy of choice.

Would love to hear your own stories, guys.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby maxf » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:57 am

I definitely saw some last 17 for sale at a Tesco in Peterborough, then being hurried along by my mum. I didnt get any. Probably my last memory of seeing SW for sale in the 80s was at a card shop (I think) in Peterborough - they had tens and tens of Scout Walkers, all around the shop on some high shelf which ran around the edges of the shop.

I actually saw some Jedi figures being sold in the early 1990s in Hunstanton (klaatus and Madines from memory), in a bargain bin at one of the tat shops. I went back when I started collecting in the late 1990s but they'd obviously long gone.
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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby PulsarP » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:32 pm

Great topic!

I had 'grown out' of buying toys by the time Jedi came out.
I was now 15yrs of age and spent my money on clothes and trying to impress girls.
I did go and see the film as soon as it came out of course and bloody loved it. Went to see it a week later.
Then after about another month we went on a family holiday to Scotland and took one of my mates.
We both wanted to go and see the new James Bond film which was showing in Edinburgh, I think it was 'For your eyes only' or maybe another one from that time.
The reason I'm not sure is because when we got there there were Return of the Jedi posters and pictures around the building outside and in so guess what? Yep, I went to see that while he went to see the Bond movie.
Back to the toys, The first time I noticed seeing them was a day trip to Skegness with my girlfriend around 1985 and the last time was in 92 when i was working in Doncaster.
The bendems had just come out and I bought them as the Timothy Zahn trilogy had sparked my interest.
A short time after I popped into a nearby model shop to buy a DV tie fighter model that had been reissued.
As I walked in I noticed 3 AT-AT walkers all in nice original boxes on a top shelf.
They were asking 30 quid each so I considered it.
About 2 days later I went back to buy one and they had all gone.
Was gutted.

Very shortly after I started to collect again.
Looking for any Palitoy logo esp. 30, 41 and 45a.
Also looking for any 20back droids and cantina aliens on any cardback.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby SublevelStudios » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:14 pm

The Imperial Gunner was the last figure I ever bought BITD, not even sure why I bought it as I'd already sold most of my original toys and only had a handful of figures left by then. I think it was because I thought he was a cool looking figure. This would have been around 1985, long after all my mates had left SW behind - it was computer games, bikes and clothes by then.

SW has never left me though.

The last time I saw SW for sale on the high street would have been in Woolworths in Newcastle-under-Lyme around 1986-87, there was practically a wall of boxed Jedi stuff, nothing rare but all dirt cheap.

When I was 16 and left school I got a part time job at Toys R Us, this allowed me to go out on Saturday night with my mates and get pissed, then get up at 6am on Sunday morning and walk around some of the local carboots. On the way back from one I walked past this shop in Burslem (around 1990):


In the window was a Jedi carded Death Star Droid with a price tag of 25p, and a handwritten sign saying 'more inside'. I went back the following day and filled a small box full of Jedi carded figures and displayed them in my room.

In the same town, there was a small, family run toy shop that mainly sold baby stuff and prams but had a small selection of random toys for older kids - it had been around for ages and the chap was closing down. I asked on the off chance there was any SW stuff and he told me to come back the following week.

I did and waiting for my was a shipping case full of Speeder bikes, a single mint ESB Palitoy Taun Taun and a handful of carded figures - mostly Tri Logo Han Hoths - price paid? £10.

I don't recall seeing much else for sale past 1992.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby scooternick » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:21 pm

Northern Spanish coast circa 1993'ish. 3 ewok hangliders, jabba and he man attack traks. Cleared them out of star wars!!

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Nita Nitro » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:54 pm

I'm not sure if it's the last time I remember seeing them, but certainly the last time I remember buying a figure was when I picked up Luke in Stormtrooper outfit for, as I recall, 49p, in Scotch Corner in Kilmarnock... I have not much recollection of the packaging as he was opened during the car ride home, and the packaging was lost after that, but seem to remember it was different to the packaging I was used to, so somehow didn't feel right at the time. Probably was around 1984-5
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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby tobedesu » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:30 pm

Woolworths mid-late 80's.
I was 11 in 1985 and had got bitten by the martial arts bug so I started karate.
My dad had put all my toys in the loft as the progression from playing with Star Wars and Transformers to doing kata in the living room was rapid.

I have vague recollections of sales, but only in Woolworths. This has been confirmed by a mate who remembers better than me.
I must have picked up an at-at driver late on because the card back I have has a huge sales sticker with 69p on it.
And a tri logo Klaatu skiff with a small 69p on it.
They could be amongst the last of my purchases.
I don't recall all of the figures packs for sale towards the end.
Vaguely remember stocks of Falcons and Ewok Village going for £4.99 in Woolies.
Don't remember any sales in other shops, but I'm sure my other sources of Zodiac Toys and Co-op had sales at the time.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby StarWarsFan » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:52 pm

Can sort of remember some Jedi figures in a now long closed down toy shop call Colliderscope, would have been 1990 or 91 no idea which ones though as I wasn't into Star Wars back then was 4.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Woolyniner » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:24 pm

1984 a shop in the middle of Chesters shopping arcade. I remember thinking shall I buy another ROTJ figure or one of those shiny new Transformers. The robots won on that day.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Dannywhiteley » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:29 pm

Bargain bin full of Droids ATL interceptors and side gunners in TRU in Preston in 1993. Even though I was just starting to collect vintage around then I left them as I wasn't bothered about Droids stuff at all. Lol

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Tickion » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:51 pm

Catford Tesco's around 1987/88...a friend tipped me off and though my interest had passed I still checked it out and there was an absolute ton of stuff on offer, by far the biggest display of SW I'd ever seen in one place (except perhaps Hamleys) Included Imperial Shuttles, B-wings, Tie Interceptors and a huge wall of 49p figures.

I'd tried to be a completist until stopping collecting around early'84 and all this new stuff was a bit overwhelming so despite it being bargain cheap II I promptly bought nothing, even though my friend suggested sticking a load away for the future. Strangely years later I bought a full loose set of loose mint figures that came from this same branch and the guy'd taken them off the card to save space.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby chipsteak » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:34 am

Great thread.

I too remember the Menzies discounts. By Christmas 1985 I was wanting non-toys but my mum got me lots of smallish SW toys with with Lewis's 'reduced' labels as extras.

The last time I saw them for sale was my local corner shop, which never sold toys btw, having a box of mostly Jabba's goons at three for a quid. This was June 1986.

My mate - who always had money due to a guilty father - bought three just to throw about like a brat. One of them was a Fett. He had stolen a condom from his dad that day and the Fett got en-sheathed in it, thrown about and eventually disgarded as litter.

God, that's depressing.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Gaz46&2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:43 am

1985 was the last year I remember buying them and seeing them for sale. The last places I remember selling them were woolies, BHS, WHsmith and market stalls. Mostly it was the market stalls. I remember seeing Y-Wings for £4 and buying an AT-ST for £3

I know it was 1985 as my mum left my Dad in March 1986 and I didn't get any more star wars stuff after that.

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby edd_jedi » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:04 am

At retail, in Grimsby in about 1986/7. I did however win a Bib Fortuna MOC on a hook the duck stall in around 89/90!

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Re: When was the last time (first time round1) you spotted the original toys?

Postby Richard_H » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:19 am

I only have one memory of vintage SW and that was on the DV tour. We were poor as kids so I never got pocket money or anything like that. Don't recall ever remember going to a single shop other than the dreaded trip to Tesco on the bus. SW made way to MOTU, Transformers and Spectrum games for me when SW would have still be on the shelves. Transformers was very brief. My Dad broke my Optimus Prime and yet it ended up being my fault for leaving it lying around :o I lost interest then as I knew I'd never get another and OP was the jewel in the crown.
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