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What could Kenner have done better ?

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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Pomse2001
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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Pomse2001 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:27 am

Things I think could have been better was farmer luke and luke bespin, they should have had blue sabers.

I also missed desert stormtroopers for tatooine, also a huge error maybe they could have sold many of them just like hoth stormies and stormies.

Why make Walrus Man when they did not make dr. evazan :? so they should have made dr. evazan.

Have any of you thought about Boba Fett he was made for a new hope but he was not in the movie if I remember correct ?

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Robstyley » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:35 am

Pomse2001 wrote:
Robstyley wrote:Not got the license to make Star Wars toys :lol:


:shock: I guess you wanted the license ? :lol:


No, more just that we'd all have more time, more money and more space in our houses :)

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Pomse2001
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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Pomse2001 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:04 pm

Robstyley wrote:
Pomse2001 wrote:
Robstyley wrote:Not got the license to make Star Wars toys :lol:


:shock: I guess you wanted the license ? :lol:


No, more just that we'd all have more time, more money and more space in our houses :)


I agree, I would also love to have more time, more money and more space. As I say to my girlfriend if I was rich and did not have to work then I would have the time that I need for collecting star wars :lol:

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Pomse2001 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:40 am

Have any of you thought about Boba Fett he was made for a new hope but we first saw him in esb in the old movies before lucus updated the movies :?

Did any of you think about that when you bought the figure in the late 70s ? :?

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Snaketibe » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:42 pm

Pomse2001 wrote:Have any of you thought about Boba Fett he was made for a new hope but we first saw him in esb in the old movies before lucus updated the movies :?

Did any of you think about that when you bought the figure in the late 70s ? :?

Well, the US had Boba Fett released on a Star Wars card, but I don't believe the rest of the world did. I do sometimes wonder what Americans buying him back in 1979 before Empire came out, thought about the character.

However, my biggest problem with Kenner's Boba Fett is not when he was released, but rather the lousy colour scheme and poor sculpt! He really is a prime candidate for this thread as let's be honest, cool though the figure undoubtedly is, Kenner really didn't try very hard to make him remotely movie-accurate! For starters, since when was Boba's helmet the same colour as his jump suit? His permanently moulded 'down' and shortened range finder isn't great either, and the less said about his backpack and the non-firing bright scarlet rocket, the better (and yes, I'm well aware of the whole history of the rocket and how it came to be the way it was, but that still doesn't make it look anything like it was in the films)!

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Mini99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:09 pm

I always thought that the Fett figure was different to the film character because Kenner must have been working from pre production photo’s, because as mentioned the figure was out well before the film?
If so then maybe you can understand how the errors slipped in.

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Snaketibe » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:07 pm

Mini99 wrote:I always thought that the Fett figure was different to the film character because Kenner must have been working from pre production photo’s, because as mentioned the figure was out well before the film?
If so then maybe you can understand how the errors slipped in.

There may well of course be some truth in what you say. However the history / evolution of Boba Fett's costume is fairly well known. Lucas knew well in advance that he wanted the character in ESB, and hence a lot of work went into designing his costume very early on (which of course explains how something incredibly close to the final film design was present on the 1979 cardback art for the figure a full year ahead of Empire's release).

The character first of course appeared in the gloriously terrible Holiday Special in 1978 when he looked like this:

Holiday Special.jpg

However due to the very early development of the costume, it rapidly became essentially the finished article in terms of design, if not colour, and that included the rocket Kenner had so many problems with ;-):

Prototype.JPG

And here it is again, this time with Star Wars Sound Designer Ben Burtt (all pictures shamelessly stolen from Google images). This shot is from 1978:

Ben And Boba.jpg

And the colour scheme seems to have been swiftly finalised after that, with just a few tweaks left to change it into the final version for Empire. The early colour prototype helmet with the eyes is well known:

Helmets.jpg

My point is, as with (let's face it!) an awful lot of our beloved vintage line, Kenner's faithfulness in reproducing the uniforms and costumes seen on screen into their 4 inch figure line was hardly perfect! Why is Luke's saber yellow for both the Farmboy and Bespin versions? Why does the Ugnaught have a blue smock? Why is Han Hoth's jacket blue? Why is Ben Kenobi all brown with a black undershirt? What the hell are the Cantina aliens wearing?, etc., etc. :-)

I suspect that Boba's final look was more to do with the general 'stylized' look Kenner often gave their figures (Han Bespin's boots being the same brown as his legs, etc.) as a cost-cutting measure, rather than falling foul of basing the figure's paint scheme off pre-production materials. After all, the second wave of figures (Greedo, Walrus Man, etc.) wasn't even planned until after Star Wars was already out and taking box offices by storm globally, and yet even though the reference materials were right there and available, Kenner still famously cocked up not just Snaggletooth's size and colour (they eventually based him off his look in the Holiday Special, of course!), but also managed to concoct dayglow clothes for Hammerhead, Walrus Man and Greedo, none of which were even close to accurate.

Anyway, much more importantly, why was this version of Boba Fett not in any of the films?

Lady Fett.jpg

;-)
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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Mini99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:53 pm

Thanks, very interesting read, didn’t know a lot of that !
With regards the Cantina aliens I suspect that the colours were used to appeal to kids, i.e. colourful rather than screen accurate.
Remember these were cheap toys!
As for the paint choices on other figures these choices must have been influenced by costs, as Kenner were all about extacting maximin proft as we see in other playsets etc.
Kenner could have done so many things different if they thought for one minute that anyone would be asking these questions in 40 years time. To them this was a toy line linked to a movie and these type of lines were normally very short lived back then and for that matter even now.

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Snaketibe » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:04 pm

"Remember these were cheap toys"?! Outrageous! :-D

I bet the design team at Kenner would have laughed in your face if you'd tried to convince them back when they were designing the toys, that collectors would one day spend thousands and thousands buying second-hand examples of them! :lol:

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Mini99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:41 pm

Snaketibe wrote:"Remember these were cheap toys"?! Outrageous! :-D

I bet the design team at Kenner would have laughed in your face if you'd tried to convince them back when they were designing the toys, that collectors would one day spend thousands and thousands buying second-hand examples of them! :lol:

Absolutely, you’ve hit the nail on the head!

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:24 pm

Thought I’d chime in with a few thoughts from the action figure line

- Perfected the design on EV-9D9. It’s a really nice Droid and the jaw mechanism is awesome, but it’s massively let down in the fatal flaw with the limbs, causing the arms in particular to drop off.
- provided more interaction with each figure... for example the facility to stow away their weapons and accessories. Han Hoth is awesome though I suspect that was more by luck than judgement, and I love the Leia Endor and Luke Poncho figures because of the belt accessories
- removable helmet for Luke Poncho... they did it with Leia Endor for god’s sake... how hard would it of been
- stuck to original sculpts for the POTF line instead of the overly muscular ones on Barada, Han Carbonite and Luke Stormie. Imperial Gunner pulls it off so is excused
- a better colour rifle for the Rebel Commando, and a better weapon for Ree Yees

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Pomse2001 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Thanks for all the great info about boba fett, so much that I did not know :shock:

Are you guys sure about that boba was not sold in europe ? could some shops not have imported them ?

I agree EV-9D9 is perfect in the design but the arms are fucking bad :evil:

Yes Han Solo Hoth, is awesome. Great figure 8)

Leia Endor and luke endor is cool figures with the belt and poncho, but why the fuck did luke not get a removable helmet ? :?

I also agree barada could be better, he looks like a bodybuilder :lol:

Han Carbonite figure could for sure be better, I think luke stormie is fine.

Imperial Gunner is also a great figure :D

I think the Rebel Commando rifle is the wrong colour should it not have been black ? :?

Ree-Yees rifle looks cool, but I do not remember that we see him in the movie with a weapon :?

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby Darth Bobby » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:02 pm

Very interesting thread. I’ve always thought they should have made more cantina aliens. That was my favourite scene as a kid. By the time of the last 17/15 they should have concentrated on earlier film’s characters instead of Ewoks and Jabba goons. Garindan, Evazan, Wuher, etc.

To be honest though they must have done something right as we’re all still here talking about them!!!

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby wicky0570 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:14 pm

The stand out figures for me that I missed the most are;

Grand Moff Tarkin
Rebel Fleet Officers

I always wanted to have GMT with Vader when I played Death Star Scenes, and would have loved to recreate the Tantive IV scene, but could not as only had Vader and Stormtrooper!
Martin Wickham

May The Force be with You! :D

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Re: What could Kenner have done better ?

Postby r2isamale » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:09 am

subzero wrote:Vader without his helmet, would have been a nice figure for the POTF line. They made an Imperial Dignitary ffs who had 5 seconds of screen time, so why not a 'no helmet' Vader for kids to recreate that final important scene after the epic Vader / Luke fight?, plus he looks awesome without the helmet.

A 'Stormtrooper disguise' Han, makes no sense to just have a Luke.

Oh and a slave Leia, for err, for research purposes! :?


I second Slave Leia. I think that most dads would have bought that one. Even if their children did not plat with SW :P


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