Awakening My Childhood Star Wars Memories

In case you were somehow unaware, the next instalment of the Star Wars saga – The Force Awakens – is hours away from hitting cinema screens all around the country. Episode VII sees the return of familiar faces from the original trilogy – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher – and picks up 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi.

All of the hype and publicity surrounding the release has had me fondly looking back on my childhood. I’ve never been a ‘Star Wars geek’ – hell, I don’t even know if I’m going to see the new one at the cinema – but I quite clearly remember it being a big part of my life growing up.

This has always confused though as I have no idea how I got into Star Wars. Return Of The Jedi came out a full two years before I was born and it’s not like anyone in my family were particularly fans of the franchise. I can’t remember watching the films for the first time or getting my first Palitoy / Kenner action figure – all I remember was that it was always there when I was a kid.

I used to watch the films quite often though. However, from recollection, this was never a matter of sitting in front of the TV glued to the screen as I reeled off facts and quoted lines. It was more of a background noise. Something on the telly whilst I did other stuff – much in the same way that Judge Rinder and This Morning perform that role nowadays when I’m tapping on my laptop or playing with Toddler L.

I was massively into the Palitoy / Kenner Star Wars action figures though and would play with these all of the time. Along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and WWF (wrestling, not wildlife), they were hands down my go to play things. As mentioned above, I don’t know how I got into them, but they form such a clear part of my thoughts when I think back on my childhood. Let me share two quick memories…

There was a shop in the village next to ours which sold loads of random crap, mainly stuff like jewellery and trinkets. They used to have a display window which was always full of these vintage Star Wars toys (although they weren’t vintage at the time). I must have spent so many hours of my childhood with my nose pressed up against that window looking at the used toys and deciding which one I wanted to buy next with my pocket money. Whenever we went into the village, I always made sure that we stopped via this shop so that I could have a nosey.

My second memory surrounds the same shop. One morning, when peaking through the window, I saw the greatest thing ever. It was the Ewok Village Playset. I knew that I had to have it, but my folks didn’t have much money and it was way over my budget as an unemployed 8-year old. I remember hoping that if I saved, I’d be able to buy it in the future. However, on looking through that same window a few weeks later, the playset had gone. I was gutted.

A few months later, I was playing with one of my friends at my house and discovered that the living room door was closed. I remember thinking it was strange, but as I had a mate over, my mum must have shut it to keep us from playing in there. After he’d gone home, I opened the door and entered the living room, only to find my beloved Ewok Village in the middle of the room on the floor. I was elated! Such a vivid memory which I remember so clearly 20 years later.

When I went back to my parent’s house earlier in the year, I was having a rummage in the attic and came across my vintage 1978-1985 Palitoy / Kenner Star Wars collection. This brought back a hell of a lot of memories. My collection comprises of over 70 original action figures – including the supposedly quite rare Yakface – as well as a number of vehicles, creatures, accessories, and of course, my Ewok Village playset. I think I’m missing a fair few weapons / accessories and the figures are in pretty worn condition, but for me, it was about enjoying them rather than keeping in mind condition – after all, they were all bought second hand.

Toddler L is obviously a bit too young to play with these just yet, but I’m actually really looking forward to a few years time when I – I mean she – can play with the toys of my youth. A sort of daddy and daughter bonding experience as I share stories of my childhood. I wonder if she’ll be doing the same with these figures in thirty years time with her kids?

For my own interest, I used a few websites – such as Rebel Scum and Jedi Business – to check out what different Palitoy / Kenner Star Wars figures and vehicles are in my collection. It turns out that I actually have quite a lot. If you’re a big Star Wars geek and enjoy collective memorabilia, you might want to check out my figures listed below:

Star Wars Kenner Vintage Action Figures 1

  1. Jabba The Hut – Return Of The Jedi
  2. Teebo – Return Of The Jedi
  3. Logray – Return Of The Jedi
  4. Paploo – Return Of The Jedi
  5. Chief Cherpa – Return Of The Jedi
  6. Zuckuss – The Empire Strikes Back
  7. Ree-Yees – Return Of The Jedi
  8. Darth Vader – Star Wars
  9. Palpatine (The Emperor) – Return Of The Jedi
  10. Bespin Security Guard (1st Version) – The Empire Strikes Back
  11. Hoth Rebel Trooper – The Empire Strikes Back
  12. 4-LOM – The Empire Strikes Back
  13. Lobot – The Empire Strikes Back
  14. AT-AT Driver – The Empire Strikes Back
  15. Bossk – The Empire Strikes Back
  16. Biker Scout – Return Of The Jedi
  17. Wicket – Return Of The Jedi
  18. The Empire Strikes Back
  19. General Madine – Return Of The Jedi
  20. Squid Head – Return Of The Jedi
  21. IG-88 – The Empire Strikes Back
  22. Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) – The Empire Strikes Back
  23. Rebel Commander – The Empire Strikes Back
  24. Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) – Return Of The Jedi
  25. Ponda Baba – Star Wars
  26. Nien Nunb – Return Of The Jedi
  27. Klaatu (Skiff Guard Outfit) – Return Of The Jedi
  28. Tusken Raider – Star Wars
  29. Bib Fortuna – Return Of The Jedi
  30. Nikto – Return Of The Jedi
  31. Hammerhead – Star Wars
  32. Imperial Commander – The Empire Strikes Back
  33. Weequay – Return Of The Jedi
  34. Tie Fighter Pilot – The Empire Strikes Back
  35. Ugnaught – The Empire Strikes Back
  36. Cloud Car Pilot – The Empire Strikes Back
  37. Death Star Droid – Star Wars
  38. Boba Fett – The Empire Strikes Back
  39. Stormtrooper – Star Wars
  40. Anakin Skywalker – Return Of The Jedi

Star Wars Kenner Vintage Action Figures 2

  1. Snaggletooth – Star Wars
  2. Rebel Commando – Return Of The Jedi
  3. Yakface – Return Of The Jedi
  4. Gamorrean Guard – Return Of The Jedi
  5. FX-7 – The Empire Strikes Back
  6. Snowtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) – The Empire Strikes Back
  7. Luke Skywalker (Hoth Battle Gear) – The Empire Strikes Back
  8. Unknown (doesn’t even look to be Star Wars after Googling!)
  9. R5-D4 – Star Wars
  10. Rancor Keeper – Return Of The Jedi
  11. 8D8 – Return Of The Jedi
  12. AT-AT Commander – The Empire Strikes Back
  13. Han Solo (Hoth Outfit) – The Empire Strikes Back
  14. Bespin Security Guard (2nd Version) – The Empire Strikes Back
  15. Klaatu – Return Of The Jedi
  16. Prune Face – Return Of The Jedi
  17. Emperor’s Royal Guard – Return Of The Jedi
  18. Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) – Star Wars
  19. B-Wing Pilot – Return Of The Jedi
  20. Chewbacca – Star Wars
  21. Admiral Ackbar – Return Of The Jedi
  22. Death Squad Commander – Star Wars
  23. Dengar – The Empire Strikes Back
  24. Greedo – Star Wars
  25. C-3PO (Removable Limbs) – The Empire Strikes Back
  26. Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars
  27. Han Solo – Return Of The Jedi
  28. Han Solo (With Big Head) – Star Wars
  29. Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) – The Empire Strikes Back
  30. Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit) – The Return Of The Jedi
  31. Luke Skywalker (Blonde Hair) – Star Wars
  32. Princess Leia (Boushh Disguise) – Star Wars
  33. Lando Calrissian – The Empire Strikes Back
  34. Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) – Return Of The Jedi
  35. Lando Calrissian (General Pilot) – Return Of The Jedi
  36. Yoda – The Empire Strikes Back
  37. R2-D2 – Star Wars

Star Wars Kenner Vintage Playsets and vehicles

  1. Rancor Monster – Return Of The Jedi
  2. Radar Laser Cannon (From Hoth Ice Planet Playset) – The Empire Strikes Back
  3. AST-5 (Armored Sentinel Transport) – Return Of The Jedi
  4. INT-4 (Interceptor) – Return Of The Jedi
  5. Ewok Village Playset – Return Of The Jedi
  6. Speeder Bike – Return Of The Jedi
  7. ISP-6 (Imperial Shuttle Pod) – Return Of The Jedi
  8. MLC-3 (Mobile Laser Cannon) – The Empire Strikes Back
  9. Tauntaun – The Empire Strikes Back
  10. AT-ST All Terrain Scout Transport) – Return Of The Jedi
  11. Tri-Pod Laser Canon – The Empire Strikes Back
  12. Millennium Falcon (Not Shown)
  13. X-Wing Fighter (Not Shown)

So they are my childhood memories of Star Wars. What are your memories of Star Wars as a kid? Did you collect and / or play with any of the Palitoy / Kenner figures? Want to buy my collection off me for millions of pounds? Let me know below!

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  • Man vs Pink

    3 figures for a tenner?

  • Have I ever told you how much I value our friendship? And you know friends do share toys..

    • Haha. Does that mean you’re going to share your toys with me? Actually, on second thoughts, I don’t want to know the answer to that…

      • Nooo now I have been reminded of this posts and your amazing stash! :p Hey I’ll have you know my toys are rather fun and I got some new ones yesterday! 😀

  • Pingback: Fatherhood on Friday: The force is the Force (of course, of course)()

  • wow that’s quite a collection. James found loads of the same ones in his Mums loft a couple of years ago. The boys now play with them apart from the rare ones.