When I started this little blog it was with the intention of documenting my experiences as I got back into the gaming hobby that I loved so much as a kid, but also my adventures in being a father and sharing my childhood toys with my son. I’ve not posted on the latter for a long while and given that it is the boy’s birthday soon I though this was as a good a time as any.
One of the toys that I loved so much growing up was Star Wars. I was born in ’77 when the first film came out and by the time I was old enough to really get into toys and action figures the Star Wars merchandising machine was in full swing. I don’t ever remember seeing the original films in the cinema but do recall them being on TV every Christmas and that was in an age when the UK only had four TV channels. Therefore I don’t know how I got interested in Star Wars it must have been one of those playground crazes that every child of the time got caught up in along with Yo-yos, marbles and Panini football stickers.
Anyway I digress. Now that the boy is close to 3 he’s at an age where he can make up games with action figures along with his usual playtime that consists of books, puzzles and construction (more on that another time). When I was shopping recently I saw some Hasbro Star Wars figures on the shelves and couldn’t resist. £6 for a 2 character pack was price was really good and would be a welcome relief from the world of Play Mobil and Duplo.
The figures themselves aren’t too bad, with the exception of the droid which doesn’t properly stand up and is really soft and flimsy. The other figures are as I remember them with rigid arms and legs that rotate around and hands in a fixed position to clasp weapons. They are very detailed for what they are but seem to lack the charm of the originals, but then I think most toys of that era seem more charming than those that I see today. They are also softer to the touch than I remember. I think the plastic on the old ones was much harder and tougher.
I used to have a lot of stuff. I collected everything and had figures from both sides, but mainly collected the Rebel vehicles. I certainly had the Millennium Falcon, X-Wing and Y-Wings. I had some of the laser guns that explode in the Empire Strikes Back as the Rebels are under attack on Hoth. I also had what I think was a Storm Troopers gun that opened up and was a figure carry case. My brother and I played with them all the time and loved every minute. Growing up, we used to fight quite a bit over the years, but toys and playing always brought us together.
If you want to take a look at the old figures (or see them for the first time), then this site has some great pictures – http://www.rebelscum.com/vintage.asp
I’m going to keep buying the odd set of figures as I see them and as the boy grows up. When the time the new film comes out next year, he will be in school (wow that comes around quickly) so I’m hoping Star Wars will be sweeping the playground and he’ll have a head start on the rest 🙂
Now the keen eyed among you will have spotted that I said ‘remember’ there when comparing the new figures to the old Kenner ones. I have to remember as I have none of my old collection left. None of it! Now I may have told this story before, but I’m going to tell it again as a lesson to us all…
I was a teenager. Star Wars represented me as a kid, and teenagers don’t want to be associated with being kids (or at least I didn’t). So I did what everyone did back then (this was pre-eBay of course) and went to a car boot sale with my mum on a Sunday morning to make some money for my new teenage hobbies. It may be that those hobbies were Blood Bowl and Warhammer Fantasy but that is besides the point. Anyway, I sold my entire collection for £50. My. Entire. Collection. For. Fifty. Pounds. Sterling. The money felt great in my pocket, it was a lot of money to me back then, but it’s something that I’ve regretted ever since. Of course I wasn’t to know that this stuff would be worth lots of money, it’s not their current value that bothers me, more that I had a great collection of toys that represented a big part of my and I just got rid of it all. Nothing was spared.
The moral of the tale? Buy a house with a loft and keep stuff in it. Or use your parent’s loft. Doesn’t matter, just keep hold of things that are important to your kids longer than they want you to and don’t let them do anything too silly like selling them at a car boot sale.
Keep hold of your own stuff too. That goes without saying 🙂