I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Landspeeder Toy

Check out this little beauty! Luke's landspeeder was one of the first wave of vehicles released alongside the original 12 figures in 1978 (the other two being the X-wing and TIE-fighter). Despite being slightly more brownish in colour than shown in the movie (I guess Kenner didn't think a pink toy would be much of a hot seller to young boys), this vehicle is surprisingly faithful and pretty much to scale. With all the cool Tatooine figures released at that time I can imagine that Kenner's landspeeder went trundling across many a shag carpet, knocking down Jawas, Stormtroopers and cantina scum with Luke and Ben behind the controls.




It's got some neat features too, like the pop-open hood which shows the engine and has room for some weapons to be stored. Also, the gear stick makes some spring loaded wheels pop down which causes the landspeeder to wobble about as if floating. It was often advertised showing R2-D2 and C-3PO sitting on the back as shown in the movie, but they would just slide off as soon as the landspeeder was given a playful shove unless their feet were fixed into the small pegs on the rear of the seats.



These aren't hard to pick up in decent, complete condition for low prices, but there are a few bits and pieces that can go missing over the years such as the dashboard stickers, hood, seats and windshield which has a tendency to yellow over time.



I don't have the box for mine, but here's what it looked like below. As far as I know the landspeeder was only released as part of the Star Wars line (and not repackaged for The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi). It was however re-released in 1984 along with a few other older vehicles as part of Kenner's 'Collector Series'.

8 comments:

Will Errickson said...

One of the few vintage SW vehicles I never had as a kid. Don't recall ever being disappointed I didn't have it either.

Brian A said...

Great blog!!! I don't know how I've missed your blog for so long. I, too, am fixated on the time period between Star Wars and Empire. It was such a great and magical time!!!... to see the merchandising of Star Wars start to take off and to be excited about what might be "over the horizon." Things like calendars, cards, and comic books were about all we had to "take home" from Star Wars that first year... and I cherish all of them to this day.

I've had a blast looking through all your posts and am running into images and items I had completely forgotten about. Keep up the great work!

Brian Ashmore said...

Sorry, should have commented with this account...

'77 - '80 Collector said...

Thanks Brian! Getting nice feedback from fellow enthusiasts makes it all worthwhile!

Cthulhu's Librarian said...

The Landspeeder was one of the first vehicles I had, received for my birthday (I think) along with the Patrol Dewback. For a long time it also doubled as an X-Wing whenever I wanted to have a starship battle.

chunky B said...

I received the Landspeeder, along with an X-Wing and TIE Fighter for my Birthday back in 78 as well, I always loved the not quit movie accurate wind shield and for some reason the pop up bonnet, great memories playing with these toys I think it may be time to track the originals down again.

Katie Parker said...

I always love all kinds of Star Wars Toys and Stuffs. This Landspeeder is what I've dreamt about as a kid. I didn't have one even today that I'm already a toy collector.

Anonymous said...

I have one but mine is missing the seats. Besides ebay, where can I get them?