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Tycho
09-06-2006, 06:26 PM
Yup. We needed a new on-going thread that everyone could come in and yap on. So I sniffed a Mouse Droid and then invented "The Star Wars Playset of the Day Discussion Thread."

Dating back to vintage era days and including everything up to the modern line we will open the floor to discussion of a new Star Wars playset every day.

I'm going to try a wild approach: alternating between the oldest vintage and the latest modern each day. So we'll see how that goes. It shouldn't get boring!

The first playset we're going to talk about is the 1979 Death Star Battle Station Playset - a true classic.

It featured a working elevator, a trap door that led into a working garbage masher complete with foam garbage and a trash monster, a retractable light bridge, a rope swing figures could traverse the open "pit" with, a turbo laser cannon that rotated, raised and lowered, and "exploded" and 4 levels of play environment.

Now tell us how you really feel about that. :D

stillakid
09-06-2006, 09:41 PM
Now tell us how you really feel about that. :D

One bit me as a child and I harbor some resentment still. Thanks for bringing it back up. I'm going to go get drunk and jump off a tall building now. :upset:

Rogue II
09-06-2006, 10:14 PM
Death Star PlaySet Re-Release (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=32463)

Next.

Tycho
09-08-2006, 12:36 AM
Today's Playset of the Day to be discussed will be the Mustafar Duel Playset.

This set included an erupting lava volcano, a flip-over lava trap to make figures sink into a pool of lava, break-away mining platform struts, a ledge, a hollow interior without much decor, and the ability to inter-connect with other ROTS battle arena playset pieces.

2 pack in figures (Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker) were also included.

Does anyone have anything to say about this?

figrin bran
09-08-2006, 01:50 AM
what nobody has said yet.

actually, i've never owned any of the playsets...unless you count the cardboard cantina and jabba's palace backdrops?

plasticfetish
09-08-2006, 02:05 AM
Death Star Space Station = a lot of fun. I never had one as a kid, don't have one now either, but would love to find a Death Star Space Station some day when I have somewhere to display it.

Mustafar Duel Playset = boring. Seriously, I already have one dirt colored playset in my house, and didn't want this one after getting a good look at it. The pack-in figures are lame (just not unique in any way) and it doesn't feel as though Hasbro tried very hard with this one... or maybe they tried too hard. The lava ball thing is stupid.

TheCivilCollector
09-08-2006, 02:18 AM
Death Star Playset-
Awesome, but I'm sure alot of that is nostalgia. This is one of the first toys I recall getting for Christmas. I was obsessed with the trash compactor part.

Mustafar Duel Playset-
Meh. I like the entrance to the battle room at the bottom, but the catwalks are ridiculously out of scale. Why not one larger one?

I LOVE when you can connect playsets together and enhance play value. Remember the He-Man Talon Fighter where you could connect the top to Castle Grayskull? That's the kind of thing that's cool.

Tycho
09-08-2006, 02:30 AM
PlasticFetish - did you once have the vintage Death Star Playset (not when you were a child, like you said, but more recently, though not now?)

What did you think? Did you use it with the modern figures? (I did - makes for great diorama building!)

As far as the lava ball thing - I like it. No - it's not movie accurate, but without some kid-fun-feature, it is hardly different from Pride Displays type of things. The lave ball launcher makes this "a toy" actually, and that adds to the fun.

I think the mining platform scaffolding is done alright - though hardly sturdy. It could have had a tighter connection with a more heavily engineered release for it's crumpling effect.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
09-08-2006, 04:56 PM
Due to how my shelves are set up, I only have one Mustafar scaffolding thing actually connected to the playset, but it keeps falling off and hitting the Anakin and Padmé figures under it. This playset is pretty cool, especially for only $30, but it's nothing really outstanding.

Tycho
09-08-2006, 05:05 PM
If the playset is perched on a bookshelf, I assume you have 3 "walls" around it. Back the scaffolding you're using into one of the walls (depending upon what view you choose to display of the playset) and let that help you support the scaffolding.

Hope that helps (and works).

If you've got it completely reversed so the scaffolding is sticking out like Bespin's weather vane, then consider altering the way you display Mustafar.

It sucks that HASBRO's lack of quality here makes us discuss this problem as such. You don't hear of problems with KENNER's Death Star!

maatu
09-08-2006, 05:37 PM
why can't hasbro over say a year and a half. release individual little playset enviroments. that if you put them together correctly once you have them all create a new improved death star. this would be simple enough.
they could redo the the improved prison holdong block and the luke and leia swing set.i t would be simple again...

TheCivilCollector
09-08-2006, 06:22 PM
why can't hasbro over say a year and a half. release individual little playset enviroments. that if you put them together correctly once you have them all create a new improved death star.

TOTALLY AGREED! Wouldn't it be cool if they releasd a "death star corridor set" that would connect to all the other little sets enabling you to build a huge sprawling Death Star?

For "Key locations" I could see the hanger, control room, trash compactor, detention block, elevator, rope swing, tractor beam control, turbo laser, conference room, etc. Price the small sets at $10-15 and let you build it as big as you want.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-08-2006, 08:30 PM
I still have my vintage Death Star playset. I've got some modern figures displayed on it. Great to play with as a kid, but I would prefer to have areas that look more like scenes from the movie

I don't much like the Mustafar set. The figures weren't too bad for pack-ins. I have mine on the rug, so perhaps that affects the stability. The figures always fall off the spinning platforms, and the scaffolding things tend to fall off. There's not really much play area to the set. I didn't get the battle arenas to connect to them. That seemed a bit like rock-em-sock-em robots to me.

Tycho
09-08-2006, 08:50 PM
I didn't buy the battle arenas either - for the same reason as MSP.

The flooring doesn't match either if you connect Utopau, Palpatine's office, or the Invisible Hand's deck plates to Mustafar.

Hasbro makes toys, and as such, they make stuff that kids will want to buy on impulse. That's fine. But I'd like it if they didn't write off us diorama builders when we want serious set design pieces. Pride Displays' version of Palpatine's office might be the first set I buy from them - and multiple purchases of it as well (is that thing available yet?)

Ultarama makes a nice set you can use for the Death Star. It would work for Cloud City as well I think - though they don't make the backgrounds.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
09-09-2006, 01:02 PM
Tycho, in my room I have six wall-length shelves (one for each movie) in addition to bookshelves in the basement. The Mustafar playset is set up so that only one piece of scaffolding can be attached, and . . . well, it's hard to explain without pictures (which I want to have on here sometime soon). I tied a piece of string to the scaffolding so that it could get support from the bottom of the AOTC shelf, but I need to re-work it.

Tycho
09-09-2006, 01:16 PM
John, if you use clear fishing wire, that might ease your "string effect."

Well I got behind, and it's time to add a new Playset to our discussion thread.

Today we go back to vintage days and as long as we're talking about building and customization, we'll discuss The Droid Factory Playset.

This vintage set came with probably over 100 different parts you could combine to make all sorts of robots, as well as R2D2 with a 3rd leg (as this was not seen in the vintage collection days). A crane arm could be used to attach and move around droid parts, but you had to use your hands to actually build anything - but that could include droids on treads, on wheels, ones that walked (with manual support) etc. Plus it was a great place to make a vintage "Purchase of the Droids scene," and display those Jawas.

The set came with a lot of orange wires you could cut to get the length you wanted out of them for your creations, as well as a ton of male-male sealing bolts that helped you put your creations together.

It wasn't Legos, but it felt like it was made in the spirit of those toys.

The playset base was a sort of "Jawa rusted tan color," which clearly said "Tatooine" about it.

COMMANDERCODY2795
09-10-2006, 09:10 AM
wast alive whaen it came out but want it. mybe and pdated version. i build bases for my clones out of gi joews so i like have protocal droids andastromechs. i have 5 3 of wich are r2 d2. so build yuo own droid would be good re release.

Tycho
09-10-2006, 11:20 AM
Unfortunately, with the vintage Droid Factory Playset, you could only build one astromech at a time. I agree: an updated version would have to be really updated so that you can build a lot of different droids. Finding a vintage set that's complete and intact would also probably be extremely difficult.

Today's Playset of the Day will focus on 3 multiple sets I bet many here balked at:

Revenge of the Sith Battle Arena Sets.

I did not buy these myself.

3 different action stand environments came with cardboard backdrops. Levers moved 2 pack-in figures around the stands to simulate them fighting and the feature worked with "Try Me pakaging." There were:

Anakin Skywalker vs. Darth Tyranus on the Invisible Hand
Obi-Wan vs. Grievous' Body Guard on Utopau
Darth Sidious vs. Mace Windu in Palpatine's Office on Coruscant

2 of these at a time could connect to the Mustafar Playset for strange exterior decorating.

Most of the time the windowboxes these came in were crushed due to "kid handling" as probably many collectors left them behind.

The actual figures they came with were pre-posed and not to articulated.

Discuss.

plasticfetish
09-10-2006, 01:20 PM
I didn't buy any of those. Thought they were lame. Do they really count as playsets? There wasn't much "set" and the "play" value was pretty limited.

Tycho
09-10-2006, 04:00 PM
I didn't buy any of those. Thought they were lame. Do they really count as playsets? There wasn't much "set" and the "play" value was pretty limited.

I guess they could be False-Playsets. Let's decide.

Let's try to define True-Playsets for a moment:

1) They recreate a movie environment through landscaping and hopefully a background. (so this could leave Ultaramas and Pride Displays open to the definition).

2) They have action features - usually movie orientated - such as a colapsing bridge and remote levers to make figures move and fight.

3) They might include scene - appropriate figure pack-ins, or mini-props or vehicles.

So, by 2 out of 3 criteria above, or a majority of conditions being met, the darn Battle Arenas are indeed "playsets," though I agree that they sure don't feel like them.

It more likely feels that Hasbro found a cost-cutting solution to providing play environments once again.

Notice the contrast between the Battle Arenas, even the size of the Mustafar set, and the vintage Death Star or Droid Factory.

stillakid
09-10-2006, 04:33 PM
I didn't buy any of those. Thought they were lame. Do they really count as playsets? There wasn't much "set" and the "play" value was pretty limited.

My kids and I played with them for a week or so. :) I wouldn't count them as playsets though, not in the true "diorama" sense. They were more like Deluxe figures with larger accessories.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-10-2006, 05:46 PM
I didn't buy any of those. Thought they were lame.Fascinating. I was just thinking of the old Almost Live recurring feature, "The Lame List, or What's Weak This Week, brought to you by Seattle's (later changed to America's) heavy metal community". Here is an example.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF94zlnBw4U

You really only need to see one, as they always followed the same formula.

Tycho
09-11-2006, 07:15 PM
I loved "The Lame List." That brings back memories for some reason...hehe.

Anyway, today's Playset of the Day is the Vintage KENNER Land of the Jawas Playset.

This was the first playset to feature their oft-reused landscaped base with the little cave on the left-hand corner (used 3 times total if I counted right) and later mimicked by Pride Displays in their homage to vintage playsets.

The set also featured an action lever that moved one figure to face another, which stood over a pop-up splinter in the floor piece that would pop-up of course, and knock the character over. Its intention was to either make a Jawa shoot down R2D2, or a Sand Person strike down Luke.

The set also included molded sandcrawler tread tracks in the sand base, and an inset impression in the sand where the pack-in Tantive IV escape pod vehicle rested. This opened and could accomodate at least 2 figures (R2D2 and C-3PO) with barely any interior detailing (certainly not movie accurate). But it made a fun toy. I remember playing with this one in the swimming pool because it had no electronics. You had to avoid water landings for R2D2 though - because in those days he had a sticker!

The last part of the set was a large cardboard sandcrawler that formed the background. It featured and elevator (or a platform) that you operated from the back to "vacuum" a droid up into the Sandcrawler just like in the movie. There was also a hole in one of the "windows" of the cardboard sandcrawler backdrop that a Jawa could peak out of, but I don't remember if it had a ledge there for a figure to stand on or if you had to hold it up during play.

In any case, I was never thrilled about cardboard playsets, but they'd get both better and worse than this one in the future.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-11-2006, 08:44 PM
I loved "The Lame List." That brings back memories for some reason...hehe.Maybe because of the dude from Soundgarden.

I never had the Land of the Jawas set, though I remember seeing it in the Sears catalog all the time. I have the picture of it in The Action Figure Archive, and it looks like a decent playset. I think I might have wanted it as a kid. Probably the part that interested me the most was the escape pod. The droid elevator seems kind of cool. I might have been wary of getting a cardboard Sandcrawler. I never did get a regular Sandcrawler either until the one that came out a couple years ago.

I have the Pride Display that incorporates the cave and the tracks, but the other half is part of the Cantina Bar set, so not much room to devote to either one.

Tycho
09-11-2006, 09:14 PM
There's nearly 30-some figures that are directly related to the Mos Eisley Cantina now - and more rumored to be coming (we all hope!) Is the Pride Display worthwhile?

I can see using the whole thing for a decent Purchase of the Droids thing (except the bar is in the way), but...

Mad Slanted Powers
09-11-2006, 09:51 PM
There's nearly 30-some figures that are directly related to the Mos Eisley Cantina now - and more rumored to be coming (we all hope!) Is the Pride Display worthwhile?

I can see using the whole thing for a decent Purchase of the Droids thing (except the bar is in the way), but...For an authentic diorama, the first Pride Display is probably not that good. Not a lot of room for either half, but it's kind of a nice way to display a few figures. The backdrop is a thick cardboard with jawas and the bottom of the sandcrawler visible, so not appropriate for a Cantina scene. The other side of the cardboard has the old TIE Fighter shooting the X-Wing, so not appropriate for either scene. I never had either of the sets as a kid, so perhaps in some way it fills in something that I missed. Another good thing is that it comes with fifty figure stands. They are smaller and oval and have a modern peg and a vintage peg. I like that they take up less room than the round Real stands.

Tycho
09-11-2006, 11:26 PM
I don't think 50 figures would actually fit on the Pride Display though, right?

You'll use many of the stands "off-site?"

Mad Slanted Powers
09-12-2006, 12:03 AM
I don't think 50 figures would actually fit on the Pride Display though, right?

You'll use many of the stands "off-site?"Correct. Since a lot of the older figures didn't come with stands, I can grab one of these when I need one. I bought some Real Stands once, but I've used all of those. Most of the new figures have had stands lately so I haven't needed to use too many. Some figures stand pretty well without them. I've been opening a bunch of older figures lately, so I've needed a few.

DarkArtist
09-12-2006, 09:52 AM
I still have the escape pod from the playset but for me the cardboard sets bit the dust. I think I still have the Hoth set with the AT-AT but the cardboard is all but destroyed.

LusiferSam
09-12-2006, 10:59 AM
Oh, man I just found this thread. So let me play catch up here.
Death Star: Any one who has spent any time in the vintage section should know my opinion of this one. Good, but very flawed.


Mustafar Duel Playset: Don't own. I thought it look ok and might be fun to own.

Droid Factory: Very EU, but one of Kenner's best ideas. The three legged R2 was pretty cool and I think what most of the set rests on.

Revenge of the Sith Battle Arena Sets: Don't own and totally unfamiliar with.

Land of the Jawas: An ok playset. I've not a big fan of the cardboard backdrop set in general. This one works ok. The sandcrawler does what it's suppose to do. The escape pod is pretty cool. The base with it's action leveler is something I think I'd like better as a kid.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
09-12-2006, 07:20 PM
Droid Factory: I'd love for Hasbro to return to something like this in the future, but preferably styled like the Geonosis Droid Factory and with pieces for Separatist droids as well as astro, protocol, etc.

Battle Arenas: I never got these, but I'm looking into buying them at some point. I think they were a little overpriced and not that well done. If they're gonna do battles, I'd rather see them do some SA figure sets instead.

Land of the Jawas: This looked pretty cool, for a low-cost set. However since they'd already done the sandcrawler it was kind of an odd duck.

Tycho
09-12-2006, 11:51 PM
Hasbro's recent playsets have been scarce. I think we covered everything from Revenge of the Sith and can move backwards to Attack of the Clones.

There can be some debate as to whether we should discuss some deluxe figures sometimes, but those are just that: Deluxe figures - not playsets even if "building Darth Vader (ROTS) and the C-3PO / Battle Droid Swap Set (AOTC) felt like it.

There can be no controversy however, when the premier Episode Two playset is brought up, the Geonosis Arena Playset.

This was a sort of a quarter section of the arena (You could do awesomely well assembling 4 or more of these into a true arena.)

The front featured a balcony for Count Dooku, Poggle the Lesser, Jango Fett, etc. It wasn't quite big enough to fit all the characters that ought to be displayed there, but you could convey the general idea.

Below the balcony, hinged doors opened "saloon style," - totally inaccurate to the actual movie which had barred gates that rose to let the execution creatures into the arena. Anyway, the size of the gate worked fine for the Reek or Nexu, but the Acklay would never be able to fit through them.

There were smaller "doorways" into the arena, but only R2D2 or a Jawa could fit through them. Even Geonosian figures wouldn't really work well there.

Some of the arena floor was molded and included action levers to make figures move and fight - though the new floor pegs didn't hold the figures very well at all. Molded battle droid parts littered the floor landscape - a nice touch.

The back of the arena included scenery reminiscient of Dooku's hanger he fought the Jedi within, as well as places to assemble the Droid Factory piece the set came with - the chopper blades that threatened Anakin. The blades were hardly long enough to really reach any figure positioned on the assembly line - especially one lying down as Anakin was in the movie. However, the part connects with the C-3PO Deluxe Figure set and the Super Battle Droid mold maker to help build an entire droid assembly line.

Backing up to the balcony on the front of the set, was a bridge you could slide in, retracting like the one that dumped Padme and Anakin into the Droid Factory in the first place. I think it jutted out too far to really suggest any danger of falling for the action figure versions of the characters - plus instead of a blast door sliding down to trap them on the ledge, the figures were free to walk back through the hallway to the Arena balcony.

All in all, I wouldn't want to be without this playset, as it's a good piece to use in a diorama to recreate an important part of the movie - yet it still could have been better. I recommend having at least 2 of them to do any justice to an arena diorama. 4 or more are ideal.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-13-2006, 01:24 AM
I passed on this at first thinking I didn't need to have a playset. I had also passed on the Reek at first. Eventually the Nexu was released, and I got that and found the Reek on clearance. Then I saw all of the figures that were coming with pieces that fit in with the playset and I thought that was pretty cool. However, I couldn't find it in the store anymore. I had to get the Acklay and the playset online.

I have this set up on one of those banquet tables, about 5' by 2.5'. It's probably a bit too wide to go across the table, so I have it going the length of the table. Once I start putting Jedi and battle droids and beasts on there, it's pretty crowded. You really do need several of these and a lot more space to make room for all of the arena occupants.

Overall, I think it was a pretty good attempt by Hasbro, especially with the way they tried to make other items that could add on to the set, and figures with bases that blended in, like Aayla, Barriss, and Coleman.

This set also came with some sort of beginning RPG game that I haven't bothered to look at that closely, since I've no one to RPG with anyway. It was one more good selling point to me though.

JEDIpartner
09-13-2006, 09:23 AM
I love the playsets. I think they are fun toys and really encourage some imagination to happen. People b*tch about all the shortcomings but don't see the beauty of these things. You shouldn't be handed everything. Play requires some imagination and well, quite frankly, most people have such lazy minds these days.

When I look at the playsets, I see a great springboard for play opportunities. I envision the rest of the environment without all of that stuff having to be there. I think they did a great job with most of the playsets they have made. Hasbro was also smart in making certain pieces modular.

The ones that were lacking were the Death Star pieces they made back in the 1990s. They probably wouldn't have been so bad if they had made a control room, tractor beam device and a trash compactor to go with the pieces they made. Instead, it was a bit incomplete.

Here are the ones I have:

Vintage Death Star
Vintage Turret and Probot
Vintage Dagobah
Vintage Droid Factory
Vintage Hoth Rebel Base (just using the ground piece)
Vintage Ewok Village (recently acquired)
Vintage Darth Vader's Star Destroyer (recently acquired)
Utapau and Trade Federation Battleship Battle arenas
Geonosis Arena Playset
Mustafar Duel Playset

jedi master sal
09-13-2006, 09:54 AM
I passed on the Geonoian Arena. While I wouldn't mind owning one, I know I'll never find one for the price I'm willing to pay for it. Besides I have plans for a much grander scaled diorama of it.

About the droid factory, I would SO love to see that rereleased. Especially if it was made to be the Geonosian factory and came with pertinent (sp?) parts. Plenty of Battle droid arms, legs, torsos and heads...

This could be SO cheaply done to yet look so good. It's a no brainer to me...Hopefully it's not a case of too much time has gone by for Hasbro to consider it, but I fear that is the case.

Jaff
09-14-2006, 08:38 AM
Got a lot of catching up here.

Death Star Playset - I always wanted this one, and remember it was what I imagined a playset should be since I was young. It really is a great playset with lots of play options. It even looked good for displaying figures on.

Mustafar Duel - I got this one and hate the figs that come with it. It's just a lump of plastic with little options both for play value and display possibilities. Still I don't hate it, they could have done a lot better with it.

Droid Factory Playset - I loved this when I had it as a kid. It was unique, interesting, and with many options for playing. It isn't great for Dio's as it was never in the film, but it was cool nonetheless. Thinking of this I always thought their should have been a sandcrawler playset that opens up with many levels like the Death Star Playset. Then we could have a sandcrawler somewhat bigger than the mini crawler we have today.

Revenge of the Sith playset - I never thought these were playsets. They were statues with a backdrop very much annalogous to Cinema scene three packs. Never bought one.

Land of the Jawas - I had this one and it was cool. So what if there was a paper backdrop. Even the land base was great for dio's and playability. R2 could hide behind the dune, you could move a fig by a lever and the pod (although small) was cool.

Geonisis Arena Playset - When it came out I did not want to pay the price. Now I regret it because I want it badly. It's on my Christmas list, and I think my wife will get it for me this year. After studying it, it's just what a playset should be, and when I have enough room it will be a great diorama backdrop.

Tycho
09-14-2006, 09:26 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the vintage KENNER Mos Eisley Cantina (plastic) Playset (there were 2 vintage Kenner cantina playsets).

This one was a one-sided set, with a cardboard backdrop displaying the interior of the bar, and the Modal Nodes playing in the background - the only way they were "available" for vintage dioramas.

The features included rubberband activated "spring-open" saloon doors which were not movie accurate, nor did they ever quite work right. (In fact, one would be thankful for each time only 1 of 2 doors actually opened, and neither side fell off its hinges.

There were 2 action lever areas: in front of the bar where Obi-Wan could strike down Walrusman (Ponda Baba in vintage-speak), and around Han Solo's boothe area, where Han could shoot first and kill Greedo (see OOT, not the SE for details). There was enough room for the 4-5 cantina aliens they made in those days, plus Han, Chewie, Obi-Wan, Luke, and a Stormtrooper (who thought he was a Sandtrooper). Your droids had to wait outside ;)

The bar was a molded semi-half circle, big enough for one character to stand behind. Many used Blue Snaggletoothe as the bartender back in those days, because Kenner never made Wuher (a certain fan victory for Hasbro collectors during more recent years - 1999 to be precise).

There were steps up to the bar area, on a molded stone floor. Both inaccurate to the movie, and not really asserting that the cantina was entirely indoors, as why would there need to be steps? It only served to add to the sculpting of the set, so that Kenner would demonstrate they "did something." Fortunately, I don't think it cut down on figure display room. As you could fit 10 figures on this playset, that was pretty cool. However, today there are approximately 30 cantina patrons in the modern sculpts, not even counting the heroes and Imperials.

What's your point of view?

Mad Slanted Powers
09-14-2006, 06:31 PM
From the pictures, it doesn't look like a lot of area to put figures, but at least it has some interactive features. I probably would have played with it more than with my cardboard diorama from Sears, though the Sears one gave me a blue snaggletooth.

Tycho
09-14-2006, 09:54 PM
Look at the ratios of playsets to movies, as well.

We're not even through vintage ANH - as yeah, we have the Sears cardboard cantina to adress still - and I have to check, but I think that's it. (The modern ANH sets will be covered in due time).

But we're already going to move on to TPM's playsets having finished with ROTS and AOTC's. It got pathetic in terms of modern collecting.

For ROTS, Palpatine's Office deserved a better playset than the Battle Arena thing. Mustafar could have yet been larger and possibly included a working blast door at least - and move the mining repulsar sleds (and make them authentic versus those disc ones) to the back, over a larger lava field, and offer the control room counsel (I used the Separatist War Room 3-pack table sections, plus those figures from the AOTC sets to compensate.)

For AOTC, a more complete droid factory, plus somehow a Kamino Clone Lab set with perhaps EU training mechanisms, would have helped, plus maybe Padme's Apartment with breakaway window? The Outlander Bar? The Jedi Council Chamber was fortunately well covered by the 3-packs.

But Kenner ran circles around Hasbro in terms of play value in their playsets.

Jaff
09-14-2006, 10:59 PM
I remember the Sears exclusive vintage cantina set well. I loved it at the time because it was the best we had next to the Death Star. Growing up poor, this was the best thing I could hope for. Today I'm fond of it for nostalgia, but don't really care for it otherwise.

Tycho
09-21-2006, 12:01 AM
Whoa! I neglected this thread for a few days (been busy)!

Today's Playset of the Day will be another prequel addition: The Theed Hanger Playset.

This set simulated probably 1/8th or less of the size of the Theed fighter hanger the Naboo used to defend their planet. There was no actual room or mechanism to suspend a docked N1 fighter, let alone the Queen's Royal Starship, at all.

Two figures were included: a "kicking Qui-Gon" who had a very loose leg that swung freely when he was remote controlled and moved around slots in the floor by way of a joystick lightsaber handle; the other figure was a Battle Droid who broke in half, held together by a magnet. Qui-Gon had his lightsaber, the droid a backpack and a blaster rifle.

The floor was very flimsy and felt like it would break, or surely bend, if a small pet sat on it. Furthermore, the action platform Qui-Gon would be foot-pegged into managed to slip out of its motion-track all the time, making this more-often-than-not fail to work the way Hasbro had intended. The use of a firmer plastic would have completely solved that problem!

Meanwhile, the blast doors opened by remote, for Darth Maul's iconic entrance. There was a catwalk above the playset which collapsed by remote lever, spilling whatever figures were on it into about a 1 1/2 story plunge that was never seen in the movie - or at least not in that particular set (perhaps it was inspired by the Duel of the Fates?) Also, by moving Qui-Gon around the hanger floor, you activated a blast-open wall and a Battle Droid bursts through (this didn't work either), and on the other end of the hanger, a droid can get chopped down and fall into supply crates that fall over. (This feature worked slightly better).

The best use of the set was not for play, but rather for dioramas where having maybe at least 2 to 4 of them made for an interesting diorama set dressing. Again, you'd have to add to it to plug in N-1 fighters in the hanger like there ought to have been, but you can have your battle take place "after the heroic Ric Olee launched" too.

I didn't care for this playset too much, but I liked the location it represented, so I bought a few.

What did you think?

Mad Slanted Powers
09-21-2006, 12:19 AM
Don't have this set except for the battle droid that I think the fan club threw in with some order I made.

pbarnard
09-21-2006, 02:44 PM
Boy was I fool when I bought this. I thought the base construction was flimsy. That stupid lightsaber handle that you could use to take a figure around was idiotic.

The break through walls were lame. The battle damage sections were nice. The blast door was nice. The boxes if you painted or dyed them could be nice.

Oh, and this is the first one on the list that I've actually owned, and I regret it dreadfully.

LusiferSam
09-22-2006, 09:28 PM
I've been spacing this thread out, good thing it hasn't advanced too much. I'm really disappointed by the Theed Hanger. I think the only cool this about this set was the break-a-part Battle Droid. Qui-Gon was one of the oddest figures. The floppy leg thing was too much.

The floor with it's track it terrible. It doesn't stand up under it's know weight. In fact the set really doesn't stay together very well at all. Between the floor, walls and catwalk my just barely holds up. Very few of the action features work well. Most need to be staged very carefully. The doors on the right hand side might be cool if there was some thing behind them.

Very all it's one of Hasbro's worst in my opinion.

Tycho
09-23-2006, 01:40 AM
LuciferSam, I totally agree with you. This set could have been so much better even as it is designed, had they used heavier plastic! Of course there was more room to improve it and the remote control lever not being part of it would have helped. They could have used the old-fashioned action lever / rotating disc stands that have always worked since Kenner days.

Anyway, going back to KENNER Days, the Playset of the Day today will be the Cardboard Cantina Playset that Jaff mentioned already. Most people bought this as a Sears' exclusive to get the 4 cantina alien figures that Kenner made back in those days. It was the only way to get Blue Snaggletoothe, and it also came with Greedo, Hammerhead (Momaw Nadon), and Walrusman (Ponda Baba). At the time of its release, Kenner didn't have a color picture of Snaggletoothe (Zutton), nor an accurate description of his height. A smaller Red Snaggletoothe (also Zutton) was later released on a 21-back Kenner card. For neophytes coming into SW collecting with Hasbro's renaissance, Takeel from the cantina aliens 2 Cinema Scene was a completely different character, though actually seen in ANH. Zutton was seen in the Holiday Special, though he's rumored to have been cut off screen from A New Hope.

Meanwhile, the cardboard set was Kenner's very first attempt at selling an all-cardboard set. T-type foot pegs helped characters stand inside the cantina, though they were very insecurely fastened down to the inside of the cantina. There was not as much detail to the set as there would be with Hasbro's cardboard set, years later. What is interesting is that the exterior of the set displays some of the exterior streets of Mos Eisley Spaceport so diorama builders can create Tatooine both indoors and outside - not that there were many figures to do that with back in the Vintage Days.

We're still talking about vintage sets from A New Hope, while we've completely covered Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones, and moved on to The Phantom Menace by way of comparison. Hasbro has sucked at getting us playsets!

Jaff
09-23-2006, 01:59 AM
Theed Hanger Playset:

Yuckkk! As Tycho said, the parts are useful for dioramas, but it, and it's droid are not very good.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-26-2006, 07:13 PM
Meanwhile, the cardboard set was Kenner's very first attempt at selling an all-cardboard set. T-type foot pegs helped characters stand inside the cantina, though they were very insecurely fastened down to the inside of the cantina. There was not as much detail to the set as there would be with Hasbro's cardboard set, years later. What is interesting is that the exterior of the set displays some of the exterior streets of Mos Eisley Spaceport so diorama builders can create Tatooine both indoors and outside - not that there were many figures to do that with back in the Vintage Days.I'm a little confused. This set doesn't depict the inside of the Cantina, only the outside with a couple of doors that you can see in. I just took a quick pick with the camera built into my computer.

Tycho
09-26-2006, 09:03 PM
You're right, MSP. I either didn't have the set myself (and got my Blue Snaggletoothe figure from a friend or a garage sale) - or I didn't assemble the cardboard set, as I never was crazy about cardboard versus plastic with action features. I can't remember. That was more than 25 years ago now.

Most of the playsets we'll discuss here, I actually owned. The cardboard cantina is one of probably few exceptions.

Today's Playset of the Day will be The Theed Generator Room Playset.

This was not much of a playset. In reality, it barely recreates a setting from TPM. A crossway of bridges with observation stations form the scene. Additionally, a catwalk is supposed to connect with the Theed Hanger Playset, but instead of being a straight walk out the doors of the other playset, the "bridge" doesn't connect and has to be angled like a ramp - nothing like what you saw in the movie.

On the opposite cross ways, flip-up pannels can "launch" 2 combatants at each other, towards the center of the cross way. You're supposed to use Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul in this setting. However the playset comes with a BattleDroid who is missing most of his articulation and his backback, plus has his gun glued into his hand.

This playset was very weak if you ask me, but might help a fledgling diorama out - at least that's why I bought it. By the way, putting a few of these together won't make anything any bit cooler. I only bought one, but I could tell already that the more of these you add together, the further you step away from the look of the Theed Generator Room in the movie.

Oh well - it's something to stand Darth Maul on - and press a button and make him fall over. *sigh*

pbarnard
09-26-2006, 10:13 PM
Also regretted buying this one (and most of the Episode I stuff). I removed the large yellow archway and it was more useful for me. For a long time I used it as a platform/display for the various lightsaber duels in the saga.

It did have the advantage of at least being sturdier than the Hangar.

Jaff
09-26-2006, 11:30 PM
The Theed Generator Room Playset

Yet another playset that I passed on with ease. How has action figures advanced so wonderfully, and yet the playsets (in general) have lost the quality and imagination that we knew only too well during the 70's and 80's. I am sure some day we will see the return of good playsets. Hasbro has really not let us down, and I'm sure they will get it right sooner or later.

LusiferSam
09-27-2006, 12:24 AM
I think the Cantina Adventure Set gets my vote as the lamest of the vintage playsets. All this is meant to get is sell the four figures that came with it. It might be ok as a diorama with the landspeeder and a pair of Stormtroopers. Other than that it sucked. And Tycho for your information this set was not the only way to get Blue Snaggletooth. Sears sold the figures in pairs independent of the playset. So you could buy a Greedo/Snaggletooth pair and get the blue version. Also you might do consider calling the vintage figures by their names and not their POFT (or later) names.

Ok, the Theed Generator Room Playset. Small is what comes to my mind. And where's the generator? This set totally dropped the ball. It has very little movie based action. The flip pads don't work that well on mine (very stiff, like it's need WD-40). 10 or more and you might have a good set up. Also it looked like if this and the hanger sold well Hasbro might have been planning more sets to connect to this one.

Tycho
09-27-2006, 03:18 AM
How has action figures advanced so wonderfully, and yet the playsets (in general) have lost the quality and imagination that we knew only too well during the 70's and 80's. I am sure some day we will see the return of good playsets. Hasbro has really not let us down, and I'm sure they will get it right sooner or later.

It sure doesn't sound like they'll get back to making good sets when you read their opinion of the demand for them in many of the fan sites' Q&A's with Hasbro. I'd only wished they appease us.

I totally agree with you Jaff - the '70's and '80's were the heydays of great playsets as this thread is demonstrating.



Also you might do consider calling the vintage figures by their names and not their POFT (or later) names.

I try to post both, i.e. Walrusman (Ponda Baba) so the newbies will know what the heck we're talking about.


10 or more and you might have a good set up.

Are there any pictures anywhere that shows somebody doing that? I don't think it would look right. Those observation decks were only seen just inside the generator room, right beyong the hanger's blast doors.


Also it looked like if this and the hanger sold well Hasbro might have been planning more sets to connect to this one.

They might've used better quality materials on the Hanger Playset, and done more with it or Theed's palace from the outset, to get to selling more period. We could have only hoped. Either MicroMachines or Action Fleet had an awesome Theed Palace I wish they could have made for 3 3/4" figures!

jonthejedi
09-27-2006, 04:51 AM
Dear Hasbro....Stop. Go to local WalMart & scope out Black Pearl Playset from Zizzle. Stop. THIS is how a playset can look(Read: 2 1/2 foot Jabba Sail Barge). Stop. It can be done. STOP telling us your parameters for not doing it. Take some of the $$$ you've made from all the repacks & redos & please your customers(Big kids, little kids, kids who climb on rocks).

Tycho
09-28-2006, 06:46 AM
JontheJedi: excellent post! We totally voted on that question being asked of Hasbro for their SSG Q&A, but it seems to have been ignored. I really want that answered!

Today's Playset of the Day takes us back to vintage days - and we've finally discussed all the playsets from ANH that KENNER produced which I can remember (we'll get to Hasbro's later). But since Kenner is taking its turn, we move on to some excellent releases for The Empire Strikes Back!

First up and probably foremost in a lot of people's minds, is The Imperial Attack Base.

I'm not sure what folks at Kenner were thinking when they boxed this with pictures of the Empire, Darth Vader commanding Snowtroopers, interacting with the product. Possibly that Imperials sell better than Rebels? I don't know. But the playset actually very accurately depicts the Rebel Trenches on the North Ridge of Echo Base.

Some liberties with the set include a collapsing command bunker that falls away with the back ice wall, the "steel" structural frame, and 2 pieces of the ceiling "exploding" at the press of a button. Though the bunker is terribly small, I still can't help but think the Deluxe General Rieeken with his tactical screen prop piece and K-3PO would look awesome in there.

Moving along the playset, there are plenty of "fox holes" in the snow dug in with action figure footpeg stands for (it would be more accurate) Rebel troopers. On the top back, a "landmine" foot popper is positioned to help one of your armies score a hit. moving further right along the trench (when facing it), there is the ice bridge which collapses via a hidden "blast activator." The ice bridge really helps symbolize the Wampa Cave if nothing else, but you can't hang Luke upside down from it, and I think the clearance is too short for ANY Kenner or Hasbro Wampa figure to navigate underneathe it.

In front of the "ice bridge" is a heavy repeater blaster cannon with a footpeg for figures and a built in "clicking" sound effect when you turn the blaster. It is extremely movie accurate - as it was seen being used by the Rebel Alliance Echo Base defenders.

The playset is totally solid plastic and one of the most fantastic sets Kenner ever did - certainly my favorite from The Empire Strikes Back. Really only ANH's Death Star gives the Imperial Attack Base a challenge - but nothing can beat the Death Star - "the ultimate power in the universe." Still the I.A.B. rocks. This is what playsets should be!

Jaff
09-28-2006, 07:00 AM
The Imperial Attack Base

Awesome playset. If they rereleased it just as it was today I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

Mothman
09-30-2006, 07:23 AM
I think that the AF Death Star was a great play set

Tycho
09-30-2006, 12:38 PM
Action Fleet had some cool stuff, but I never bought into it. The Death Star, I think Yavin Base - there were a few that tempted me. Eventually, someone here better versed in Action Fleet and MicroMachines could take this thread down that path. I'm concentrating on the 3 3/4" playsets myself.

The next addition was really pretty lousy. You can barely call it a playset. It was the R2D2 CarryCase / Trade Federation Droid Control Ship Playset.
I really better link to a picture of this: many of you won't remember it -

http://www.rebelscum.com/episodeIr2playset.asp

It basically gives you the entrance to the hallway Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fought the security droids in, a simulation of the blast door to the bridge that Qui-Gon was trying to cut through, and one working feature: another blast door - presumably the one leading into and out of the conference room. It's too bad that there are not some pictures with the figures assembled on the set, to give me a better idea of the room it gives you, but if you look at the picture provided on the packaging, you cans sort of tell that this is for 5 or less figures.

Furthermore, it seems to suck as a carrying case. TPM was origianlly released with 18 action figures for Midnight Madness 1. This case cannot even hold all of them, let alone their weapons securely. I mean you can tell that by looking at the pictures.

This was another turkey.

Mad Slanted Powers
09-30-2006, 01:02 PM
Yes, I mainly bought it for the destroyer droid, but was quite disappointed with that. Plus, I think I goofed putting the stickers on. I think the decals on some of these things are made with little kid fingers in mind. Difficult on some vehicles and such getting into small areas and putting the decals on properly.

Tycho
09-30-2006, 03:46 PM
I think you could later get that destroyer droid (rolled up version) with a Deluxe Figure (I think from the Clone Wars line, not sure though).

Yeah, it was a waste for either purchase. I didn't bother - but I was given the Deluxe DD "launcher" as a gift from a friend at Galactic Hunter (likely just so he could clean his closet and get rid of junk he didn't want but that I could make some use out of).

Jaff
10-01-2006, 08:50 AM
R2 carry playset!

I don't mean to nay on Hasbro on the items they make because I really appreciate what their doing, but here comes a few barbed words.

Hasbro claims that they won't make playsets because of plastic costs and projected sales. They base sales projections on playsets they made, and this (like the Theed hanger playset) is one of those. Well.......Yeah, if you make junk like this thinking it's an exciting toy of course it will bomb. I think if hasbro just made One affordable, awesome playset they would discover the potential rewards. Start with a cheap playset to test the waters like Yoda's Dagobah house (it would be under $50, they could even rehash the same 80's mold to save more cash). Then go big. It would work. The R2 is just an example of poor execution that subverts future possibilities.

Regardles of these words, I'm really happy with what Hasbro is doing today. I ignore the rehashes, and am astounded by some of the new figs they are doing and the direction they're going.

Tycho
10-02-2006, 04:14 AM
Jaff brought up KENNER's Dagobah Playset from The Empire Strikes Back and now seems as good as any time to discuss it.

I really liked this set. It featured a sponge simulating a mini-bog that you could sink R2D2 into, a remote lever activated by pushing down on a rock that could help Luke use the Force to levitate his cargo containers, a tree branch lever that could help you levitate Luke himself, the interior of Yoda's hut with enough room for probably 3-4 figures, and the tree cave part with action levers to help you make Luke and the Darth Vader apparition fight their duel.

It was a small set, but packed with a lot of features.

For all those that put down the Mustafar set, I cite that the Dagobah set was practically the same size back in the day - however, the Mustafar set doesn't seem to measure up in terms of features:

(another of Tycho's lists brought to you by the True-Tychonator)

Dagobah.....................Mustafar

swamp bog.................Lava pool
levitation lever............cable cords that figures swing from (weak)
levitating boxes...........collapsing mining pylons (weak and undersized)
dueling levers..............launching lava balls (fun)
Yoda's hut interior........doorway into interior (non-detailed)
................................Lava mining platforms that spin for dueling (manual)
................................Anakin AND Obi-Wan pack-in figures

I think the sets actually are comparable. I think out of all the prequel sets, Mustafar probably measures up the best. What do you think?

dindae
10-02-2006, 09:43 AM
I had the dagobah playset and wore it out. I can't remember what ever happened to it. I traded a lot of my stuff for GI Joe back in the day. To me the Mustaphar playset doesn't hold a candle to it. While they both took lots of things that happened on the same planet and tried to bring them Dagobah lended itself to this idea better. The other downside was the fact that since Hasbro didn't see the final film before sending the toy to development a lot of the features were changed or inaccurate. To me the Mustaphar set probably comes in around fourth or so for prequel playset mainly because there is nothing that I can recreate acurately in the film except maybe the fight scene on the mining pylons but they can't really hold any extra weight. At least with the two TPM playsets you have an area that looks like something you saw in the films.

Jaff
10-02-2006, 04:38 PM
Dagobah playset

Awesome, wonderful, perfection, fun at it's best.

Just remake this one, and I would be very happy.

LusiferSam
10-03-2006, 05:02 PM
Again I'm play catch up.

R2 Case: Lame. That's I need to say. It should have been either all a carrying case or all a playset, not 50/50.

Imperial Attack Base: easily the best the of the Hoth playsets (we have a lot to choose from). Other than the fact that it should be the Imperials attacking the Rebel base everything is prefect. Should there's somethings not in the movies. But they fit. As a kid my favorite part was the collapsing bridge. A friend and I played with his so much that we broke it.

Dagobah: I love this set. I think this is the second best SW playset. And think comparison with Mustafar are very unfair for Mustafar. Dagobah all fits together. Nothing really feels out of place. What really drew me to this as a kid was that fact that it was Yoda's home. This is also the toy that turned me from someone who had SW toys into a collector. I know I over played for, I think it was worth all the same.

Tycho
10-15-2006, 09:47 PM
I'm sorry I neglected this thread for a while (but you guys didn't post in here either). Perhaps Hasbro is right and interest in playsets is low? j/k.

Anyway, at this point, I think we've dealt with every prequel playset in the modern line. Since it's once again the modern line's turn, we'll go on to the OT modern playsets and I think I'll move backwards from Return of the Jedi.

The first one is the Shield Generator's Bunker doors, dubbed The Endor Attack Playset.

http://www.rebelscum.com/POTF2endorattack.asp

This is a nice piece for diorama designing - I see it often used in collection pictures. But it's not much of a playset.

It features double doors to the rear entrance to the shiled generator where Han and Leia fought a desperate battle to get back inside, and Leia and R2 both got shot. Add some nice Endor figures (they make a lot of them now) and maybe Chewie in an AT-ST, and you have yourself a cool diorama.

The entrance doesn't go anywhere though. You just get the doorway. *sigh* - Leia won't get shot if she just walks around the playset ;)

The set also includes burnt out tree stumps with a springing branch that can knock over action figures. Was it the agressive trees in Star Wars that scared you the most as a little kid. Man those trees had something over the Rancor...but I digress.

Finally, from Dragonheart toys, Hasbro rehased the rock catapult. Why? The KENNER Ewok one from the accessory set line from "back in the day" was much more movie authentic and fun to play with. Oh yeah - cost cutting :rolleyes: They didn't have to put the Kenner piece back into production and include the extra expense of having someone tie string to it.

I dare say that what fans really wanted, Hasbro might not have been very capable of affording. A large base with the exploding shield generator dish, the docking platform which could support a shuttle, and dock an AT-AT, plus the generator itslef, and a control room - with a rear entrance with those bunker doors. They might have to go "EU" a little to make the rest of the base, or a front entrance to it, etc. - but they could have possibly cannibalized some GI Joe stuff for that. If this set would be too much, then sell it as pieces you could assemble - sort of like the old Micro-Collection sets were made - only this time large enough for 3 3/4" figures - which wouldn't be that large anyway. THIS IS WHY THEY MADE SW FIGS 3 3/4" - as action figures were at one point all non-poseable army men or 12" GI Joes. SW was uniquely scaled (in KENNER's time) so they could make playsets and vehicles.

OK, did I vent enough? I'm still glad they made Endor's Bunker, but it leaves much to be desired.

pbarnard
10-16-2006, 08:38 AM
This is one I do have, and it is for dio purposes mostly. The outline of the bunker is good, and if they would've just left it at that, a lot more would be happy. But they tried to match the price point with the slightly better Hoth Trench out at the same time. It is/was rather annoying to try and put in the two levels of doors. While it could be bulkier, and have a small interior with at least one control station for Han to stick up, and than knock the officer over with the charge satchel, it doesn't. It does capture the exterior which is where most of the action does take place. Depending on what you have you can create the breaking in (both times), the troops rushing in, the captured rebels being marched out, the Ewok assault, R2 getting blasted, Leia getting blasted. So it does work.

The tree stump isn't so bad. Living in the midwest (and for a time in TX, still showering that one off me), there's a lack of giant trees and branches one can use to be Endor filler. The platform works to have a hidden Ewok throw a spear on an unsuspecting stormie.

The catapult leaves me perplexed. Looking back through the Action Figure Archive book and seeing the vintage catapult, as it pains me, I agree with Tycho. It sucks. Is the boulder nice? maybe the highpoint of the little catapult.

Glad I have it? Yeah, completes my Endor collection/dio. But it either should've included less and been cheaper, or had a beefier bunker and lost the extras.

dindae
10-16-2006, 09:16 AM
To me this was a great set. I will concede that the catapult could be better, but this was just after the time of super buff chest and 6 foot lightsabers. For the $10-15 dollars it was (I can't remember which) I thought it was great. It was small and everything I need. I can make trees and hills. If they made more of these I would love it. I could easily see taking this set out as a kid and putting it up against and small mound off dirt or something and recreating the scene. The worst thing about this set is how easily it falls apart. It's not terrible but annoying when you bump it and have to rebuild it.

Tycho
10-18-2006, 04:11 PM
Today's Playset of the Day harkens back to vintage times and once again: The Empire Strikes Back.

The Rebel Command Center was a re-use of the "Land of the Jawas" base plastic, with IIRC, the action levers taken out of it. It was just painted white, as sand or snow - Kenner thought it all looked pretty much alike.

This time the cardboard background showed the flight hanger of Echo Base and I think it is the only representation of this scene in both the vintage and modern collection.

The selling point was a chance to get 3 figures that seemed hard to find at retail anyway: Luke Skywalker in Hoth Gear, AT-AT Commander, and R2D2 with Sensorscope.

And since there's little to talk about concerning this playset, the figures become of great interest.

R2 with Sensorscope was a cool way to update vintage R2D2.

AT-AT Commander was modeled after General Veers. His carded Canadian figure actually said General Veers in those days. However, it wasn't until this year, 26 years later, that we got an official General Maximillian Veers figure for American release.

Luke Hoth was a cool figure and showed signs of superior sculpting for those vintage days. However, he came with a Rebel Soldier rifle and no lightsaber in spite of things being that this should have been entirely the opposite.

For that matter, "General Veers" came with a Bespin Security Guard's blaster. WTF? (that stands for "where's the fork?" for all you kiddies out there.)

All in all, if you have this vintage playset, it could make a pretty cool display with either vintage or modern figures:

Vintage:

Han Bespin, Luke X-wing, Leia Hoth, Chewie, C-3PO, R2 Sensorscope, Hoth Rebel Soldier, Hoth Rebel Commander, 21-B, FX-7, more???

Modern:

General Rieeken, Major Derlin, K-3PO, Leia Hoth, Han Bespin, Luke Bacta, 21-B, FX-7, Wedge, Hoth Power Droid, Hoth R3 Droid, Hoth Rebel 1, Hoth Rebel 2, Deluxe Hoth Rebel, Hoth R4 droid, C-3PO, R2D2 with sensorscope, Chewbacca Mechanic, more most likely....

Tycho
10-21-2006, 11:44 AM
I can see the Rebel Command Center garnered a lot of attentive responses. Hehe.

Well I gave it "the playset of several days," and now it's time to move on. Our next selection will be from the modern collection, still from Return of the Jedi.

It is one of the two cardboard diorama setups that Hasbro came up with - this one in 1999 I believe: Jabba the Hutt's Throne Room.

This is the only real representation we have of any Jabba environment, as I'm not sure the Saga Deluxe figure that comes with a bannister and the hooka, nor the vintage figure that sits on his throne, really cover the definition of "playset."

To review, I defined a True-Playset as:

1) It recreates a movie environment through landscaping and hopefully a background. (so this could leave Ultaramas and Pride Displays open to the definition).

2) It has action features - usually movie orientated - such as a colapsing bridge and remote levers to make figures move and fight.

3) It might include scene - appropriate figure pack-ins, or mini-props or vehicles.

Hmmm. This kind of does leave the vintage Jabba set open to a visit when we get to Classic Return of the Jedi sets.

Well, back to the modern cardboard one:

It came with a unfrozen Han Carbonite figure with an interesting wet-hair sculpt and the first "impressed but unfrozen carbonite block." I guess that was a focus-point figure to pack in. With Jabba's palace, there were so many choices.

The set displays many of the Jabba diorama characters (but there are too many these days to fit all of them!)

I actually cut mine up as I wanted to recreate the scene from a different POV - that of looking down Luke Skywalker's gun barrel as he uses the Force to grab a weapon a second before winding up in the Rancor Pit. I don't like the painted Rancor in the pit on this display by the way. I always intended to redo the floor with a coat of paint and then add my own grating for the trap door and viewing area.

Well, any comments on Jabba's Throne Room?

Mad Slanted Powers
10-21-2006, 12:15 PM
It's a decent looking diorama. The cardboard is kind of flimsy and makes it hard to hook together and stay together. Perhaps it would work better if you applied the cardboard to a harder surface if you wanted something more permanent. Someday, I should open this up again and set up my Jabba's Palace figures on it. In fact, maybe I'll do that today. I have most of my Jabba's Palace and sail barge figures right here on top of the hutch on my desk, so I have a place to display it. The Han figure isn't that great, since it is a puffed up POTF2 figure.

pbarnard
10-21-2006, 12:49 PM
I liked the Jabba's display. The most often over looked aspect is the reverse side which showed the outside/aproach shots. This also could be used for dio, dio stories, and other uses.

The display itself was decent place to have on display all relevant figures. The biggest problem though was that Jabba often collapsed his own thrown for me. Fat HUTT!!!

I have since replaced this with a constructed central receiving room (and hope to add more modules like a band stand/block dias, approach way etc).

The Han Solo was a decent sculpt showing the more emergent and the carbonite block was fairly well done for POTF2 scale.

Jaff
10-21-2006, 10:36 PM
Endor Attack Playset - I actually like this little set. Itís great for dioramas, and even the little tree is useful. I think I gave away the ewok catapult, but all in all this was a very useful accessory.
Rebel Command Center - This early Hasbro rehash was something I wasnít interested in since the cardboard AT-AT playset was the same thing. I barely remember it, because for me, it was something to ignore.
Jabba the Huttís Throne Room - Now when this first came out I loved the set, especially because it had the only THAWED carbonite block in SW history. It was great for dio purposes. Today it has lost itís luster for one reason alone. Itís too small. You canít fit the current created figures on the playset.

Mad Slanted Powers
10-21-2006, 10:51 PM
I put the Jabba's Palace diorama together tonight. Sure is annoying how much trouble I had getting all the flaps and tabs in the slots and staying together. Then the ones that go through the bottom don't stay folded over so they want to lift the floor up a bit. Now that I got some figures on it, it looks all right, but indeed it is too small for all the figures we have to go with it now.

Tycho
10-21-2006, 11:57 PM
Even I never counted or listed all the figures that go with Jabba's Palace that we have today. I have no idea if we're talking 30 to 70?

For diorama purposes, you wouldn't have BOTH Leia Boussh and Leia Slave, as well as Holo Luke and regular Luke, or both versions of Bib Fortuna, but all in all, it's still a lot of figures.

That's a great complaint to have though!

LusiferSam
10-23-2006, 09:10 PM
Why can't a very stay caught up on this thread?

Endor Attack: A mediocre playset from a mediocre time. I liked the doors to the bunker (I never trouble keeping it together). It's too bad there wasn't more of the bunker, that really would have made the set. The tree is ok, very gimmicky. I hate the catapult. It's completly wrong for the Ewoks. That and Hasbro should have had the Kenner Ewok catapult molds somewhere. Overall a poor playset.

Rebel Command Center: This is just Kenner and Sears (I think you forgot that this was a Sears exclusive Tycho) trying to sell three figures. I won't comment on the figures as they aren't exclusive. A cardboard background and a third go around for the plastic base, joy. And it's like the fourth Hoth playset Kenner gave us. What's up with that? The plastic base works better here than for it's predecessor, the Hoth Ice Planet playset. The backdrop is ok. I think the coolest thing about this playset is the little ice cave. When the backdrop is in place it forms a little weapons catch. But it's too little to save this playset. I guess as part of a diorama with the Falcon, X-Wing fighters and snow speeders it might be cool, at the end of the day it's still just Kenner and Sears trying to sell three figures.

Jabba the Huttís Throne Room: :o Paper playsets, I think I hate these worst than I hate cardboard playsets. It might be a great playset had Hasbro not gone for the mega cheap and used plastic. It's everything you'd want or need in a Jabba playset. A lot of room for figures, cool little nooks and crannies, and it's multi sided. But the fact that's paper is the deal breaker. The figure of Han is one of the He-Man figures. Cool Hasbro made it when they did, but eight years later who cares.

Tycho
10-23-2006, 10:28 PM
Now's a good of day as any for an update to the Playset of the Day discussion thread.

Today's selection is from Vintage Empire Strikes Back, or Revenge of the Cardboard.

As LuciferSam put it before, this set is (another) attempt by Sears and Kenner to sell (this time) 4 more figures.

Hence we have the Cloud CIty Playset..

http://www.toysrgus.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39649

This diorama (single-side print I believe) came with Han Solo Bespin, Dengar, Lobot, and an Ugnaught. An almost decent selection for Cloud City, though Dengar doesn't really fit in the scene.

The carboard featured a hole in a "podium" of sorts, that probably 1 figure could stand on (Han) and then be pushed into the pit to simulate being frozen. I think you could pull your figure out the back.

On the outside and to the right of the pit's podium, was the picture of the electro-torture chair manned by Stormtroopers. So not much was left to the imagination of kids to try and recreate this with their figures.

The other sidewall of the playset showed the dinning room where the heroes were captured by Darth Vader and Boba Fett. You probably could only stand about 1/4 of the cast that was present for that scene in the limited space.

The outside of the podium itself was decorated as the Carbon Freezing Room and also showed a Stormtrooper on guard in the Cloud City Junk Room where Chewie saved Threepio's scatterd parts.

Overall, this set was too cramped, and too "collaged together" to use it to any great good - especially considering the amount of figures we have that go with Cloud City today:

Lando (Bespin or Bespin Escape)
Han (Bespin or Carbonite)
Leia (Bespin, Leia Collection, or Bespin Escape)
Chewie (Bespin Escape)
C-3PO (or not, see Chewie Bespin Escape)
Ugnaught 1
Ugnaught 2
Lobot 1 or 2
Bespin Guard Pack-in
Bespin Guard POTJ
Darth Vader
R2D2
Luke Bespin
Boba Fett
Stormtroopers (at least 2)
Imperial Officer

And I'm sure I forgot some. They need to make Treva Horme and Wilrow Hood as well.

Anyway, you can forget displaying all of those here - and Cloud City is one of the MOST lacking locations for a variety of figures from all of the saga!

Jaff
10-24-2006, 12:14 AM
Cloud City!
I remember seeing this playset in a store and wishing I had it when I was young. There were so many on the shelves. If only I could go back in time and buy some. I would have no debt today. With that reflection I am very fond of this set. However, it would not serve any use for me today as it's both too small, and not very detailed for today's standards. I don't dislike it, I just have no use for it. Someday I will own this one in mint condition, that is, after I have no debt!

Tycho
10-26-2006, 11:12 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the POTF2's modern Hoth Battle.

This set featured an undersized turret cannon you could sit a figure in, with slide out red streamers to simulate its laser blasts (I so cut mine off!) Similar to the vintage set (we'll get to that) the ground-level door to the turret opened and another figure (a suitably short one I might add) could go in the bottom door. (That's what the '04 stunted Hoth Rebel Soldier is for?)

The front formed the trench and had a missile firing portable cannon for the soldiers to use.

It also featured the only representation of the shield generator sunk in the snow - which you could "blow up" in one neat ejecting piece by the touch of a button.

The two halves of the playset were separable so you could theoretically create as long of a trench as you wanted - with as many shield generators (so I guess you could also buy more AT-ATs?) General Veers' brother, General Beers, helps with this as he sees double anyway.

Well, break out your magnifying glasses and let us know what you think of the Hoth Battle Playset:

http://www.rebelscum.com/POTF2hothbattle.asp

JON9000
10-26-2006, 11:31 AM
this thing is awesome, with its snow trenches, power generator and cannons. Every collector should have one! I think it's a lot cooler than the endor set that came out around the same time.

pbarnard
10-26-2006, 05:10 PM
There was one problem with creating an infinitely long trench. I have 3 of these (I have an ESB/Hoth thing), and unless it's the two normally "mated" surfaces, it doesn't go together well. The Trench cannon is way to big (as opposed to the turret cannon). I'm still trying to figure out how to take the Saga Clone Trooper extra tripod cannon to replace it.

If one was to use this in a dio, you'd need to sink it somehow into the scenery, otherwise they sit to high and not in a trench.

It is better for the money than the Endor one. It would've been nice to have "cleaner" snow because the scenery was rather pristine and not as highway dirty (although this is probably more realistic and helps prevent yellowing).

LusiferSam
10-26-2006, 08:05 PM
Cloud City: Ok Kenner totally screwed us over on this one. Out of the six ESB playsets four of them were Hoth based. Movie wise more important action happened on Bespin than Hoth. So what do we get? One crummy cardboard playset that is meant to sell four figures. Than you look at the Micro Collection Bespin World and see what a Cloud City playset could/should have been I get really ticked.

Hoth Battle: Another lame playset. The biggest problem with this set is it's too small. The turret is too small, the trench is too small, and the generator is too small. About the only thing that isn't under scaled is the gun, and that's over scaled. Hasbro should have been aiming for the Imperial Attack Base, but ended up with a lame cross between that and the Turret/Probot playset.

Tycho
10-27-2006, 11:11 AM
As long as the Turret / Probot Playset has been brought up and it is the turn of the vintage playsets to have a go-round, let's discuss it.

This 1981 set also featured a turret cannon you could seat a figure in, and a base to the same cannon, that another figure could walk through a door into.

The probe droid, a very detailed sculpt, sat on "a flag poll" with a pop-up action that shook the droid off of it, when an action lever was turned (with Han Solo Hoth persumably positioned on the footpegs.)

The playset offered little else, but it had great and authentic detail and room for other characters on it (though no protective cover for them from enemy fire). In fact, the only thing this set lacks are snow banks for Han and Chewie to hide behind. Still this set, combined with the Vintage Imperial Attack Base, is far superior to anything Hasbro has done with modern playsets.

http://www.toysrgus.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39650

LusiferSam
10-29-2006, 11:47 AM
Turret/Probot: What an odd ball combination. But some how it worked. I'm pretty sure this was also a Sears exclusive. The base is well sculpted and gives a nice icy landscape feel. The turret is huge compared the Hasbro version. On the down side I don't think it stays on the base very well. The Probot is the high light of these. I love the job Kenner did with it. For it's day I think it's pretty accurate. And it's truly an exclusive figure. Like Tycho said about the thing it's missing is a large snow bank. And odd combination, but a great playset.

Jaff
10-30-2006, 03:27 AM
Hoth Battle - I like the trench, and don't much like the rest. Size matters, unlike Yoda said - well, for this playset anyway!

Turret and Probot - Once again, vintage playsets run circles around newer stuff. I thought things were improved with time. That's all I have to say about that!

Tycho
11-01-2006, 01:28 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the Carbon Freezing Playset.

http://www.starwars.com/collecting/news/hasbro/news20010514.html




Exclusive Carbon-Freeze Playset
May 14, 2001

Members of the Official Star Wars Fan Club can now purchase the much anticipated Carbon-Freezing Chamber Action Playset. Starting May 14 (2001), fan club members are the first to be able to place orders on this elaborate Hasbro playset. [What a joke!] On May 21, non-fan club members will get their chance to make their purchases. [And waste their money, too.]

As seen in The Empire Strikes Back, Cloud City's carbon-freezing facility was originally intended for the preservation and transport of Tibanna gas. Darth Vader, however, adapted the chamber as a means of containing prisoners. Vader's minions encased their first test subject, Captain Solo, in a block of solid carbonite.

The Carbon-Freezing Action Playset features realistic movie styling, [that's why you can fit the whole Bespin cast of characters on this playset, right?] an opening block of carbonite that can hold a regular-sized action figure, [there will be no freezing a Gamorrean Guard - or Boba Fett for that matter (at least not with his backpack on) ] a break-away control panel, a detention center [a hole in the base with an ugly yellow door not seen in the movie] , and a spring-loaded launcher [You never saw the scenes off camera where the Ugnaughts defeated the Stormtroopers just like the Ewoks did]. The playset comes complete with an exclusive action figure, a Bespin security guard. [Who is garaunteed to suck - and I mean we're talking on par with '97's R5-D4! Well, almost.]

The playset, priced at $24.99, is exclusive to the Official Star Wars Fan Club. If you're a member, head over to their official website today, and place an order. If you're not a member, head over now and sign up. [Because it's so worth it unless of course Master Replicas comes out with Carrie Fisher's enema bag]

Well, it was a nice try Hasbro. How they could have fixed it?

1) Would it have killed them to make it slightly larger - say Kenner Ewok Village sized so you could display all the appropriate personnel down to Lobot and the Ugnaughts?

2) Include a good pack-in figure or not one at all. This was 2001? The good Bespin Guard came out during the same year. Change the head sculpt for this figure and use it. No - it wasn't out at the time Hasbro solicited for this playset, but it must've been tooled. They could have used a "mystery figure" campaign like they did with Carnor Jax or shown the prototype on the ad displays with a disclaimer "actual product might vary."

3) It didn't need a launching missle! It could have had connectors to further create a "Bespin World" out of future playsets, like Kenner's old Micro-Collection did - you know: leading to the breakthrough window and the gantry.

4) The holding cell door could have been molded in black or gray - duh. Who's idea was to make it yellow? Yeah - kids respond to bright primary colors. Well then make Luke Tatooine's poncho green and Darth Vader's armor pink! :rolleyes:

I didn't buy this one for sure. Mike from Galactic Hunter let me play with his, but I was never tempted to get one of my own. I just wanted to freeze a character (I think I did freeze Boba Fett without his jet pack on - a little revenge I'd been waiting for since childhood) and that was it.

So you know what I think. What do you think?

[Edit - I have to give Hasbro credit for trying a unique action feature that let you actually carbon freeze some figures]

dindae
11-01-2006, 08:17 AM
I liked this playset over all. Sure the pack in figure was junk and the top side of the playset is so small you can barely put all the major players in the scene on the top but it was a cool action feature.

pbarnard
11-01-2006, 09:08 AM
I'm mixed on this set. The first thing, this was supposed to be released as a "second wave" to the Bunker and Hoth sets earlier. It languished in obscurity for months/years behind the over produced Episode I and the unwillingness to go with anything classic.

The price point was fair, not overly expensive, and not cheap. It is fairly solid if on a level surface. The freezing chamber does work, and it was fun for a few months putting a variety of figures into the nylon case...Ewoks, Jar-Jar, Luke, Leia, Lando, Lobot (wait didn't get him till OTC)....

The color does match the Bespin Guard. It is undersized, but at this point, it's what we expected.

Drawbacks, that huge Dh-17 cannon up on the elevated steps. What in the name of all POTF2 stupid launchers was that? The pack in, i think it is possibly the worst figure in the whole line.

Although if i had to choose between keeping my microverse 80s freezing chamber and this one, I choose the micro.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-01-2006, 09:10 AM
I didn't hate the figure as much as everyone else seems to. It's not any worse than all the rebel pilot pack-ins and at least it is something different from that. I concur that the top is kind of small. I tried the freezing thing once or twice. Seemed kind of hard to do it right. I like the way a neighbor chose to freeze figures back in the day. Put them in water and put them in the freezer. Maybe we should demand that Hasbro make a playset that actually freezes figures like in the movie.

Overall, I'm glad I got the playset. It's a nice addition and it gives me a place to display some of the Bespin figures I've opened.

JEDIpartner
11-01-2006, 11:32 AM
Turret/Probot: What an odd ball combination. But some how it worked. I'm pretty sure this was also a Sears exclusive. The base is well sculpted and gives a nice icy landscape feel. The turret is huge compared the Hasbro version. On the down side I don't think it stays on the base very well. The Probot is the high light of these. I love the job Kenner did with it. For it's day I think it's pretty accurate. And it's truly an exclusive figure. Like Tycho said about the thing it's missing is a large snow bank. And odd combination, but a great playset.

I recall getting this from Children's Palace as our Sears rarely had ANY toys on the shelves. I still have my set but swapped out the old probot with the new one. It works pretty well. The Turret still sits in the indentation pretty well and always has. Maybe it was just the one you had, LS.


The Carbon Freezing Playset Well, it was a nice try Hasbro. How they could have fixed it?

I really liked it. Then again, I managed to get it for $5.99. It was marked down to $15.99 at the time I ordered it and it was also around the same time that the SWshop.com website was going live. They compromised order information and sent out a bunch of $10.00 "for your trouble" certificates, which wasn't necessary 'cos the problem hadn't affected me. So... $5.99.

I think it's a nifty little set. no, it's not nearly as accurate as one would hope but at least it did a little more than the bunker or the Death Star pieces did. It ouwl have been nice if there were a little more to the platform at the top. Maybe if it were larger to allow for more play area. The platform could've been supported by some beams that sorta recalled the area where Luke got all that junk hurled at him by Vader without having to go into too much detail.

Jaff
11-03-2006, 04:18 AM
I think I gave away my Cloud City Playset. I still have the Bespin Security Guard in my doubles tote. That's enough said on this one.

Tycho
11-03-2006, 10:40 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the Kenner Vintage Darth Vader's Star Destroyer.

http://www.toysrgus.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39648

I kind of have some problems with this one dispite my favoring many vintage sets over modern ones.

I actually bought this, even boxed (but previously opened) from a dealer, and then was lucky enough to convince him to let me return it for an exchange.

I really tried to make this one work, but it wasn't to my taste.

The playset tries to simulate the bridge and Vader's meditation chamber, presumably aboard The Executer.


Catalog Description:
Darth Vader Star Destroyer. This is where Lord Vader communicates with the Dark Side of the Force. Activate the Force Light in the meditation chamber and Darth strenghtens his dark powers. Chamber opens and closes. He commands from a swiveling command podium. There's a movable laser cannon, a simulated hologram unit to communicate with the Grand Emperor. Push-button escape hatch. Detention pegs to hang any captured rebels upside down, a control room, an assembly area for Bounty Hunters. Plastic. 9x14x12 in. high. Uses 2 "C" batteries. Figures shown not included.

Amazingly, this sold for $18.88 - probably actually worth that price to me even in today's dollars - but were it made now, I'm sure Hasbro would have retailers mark the thing up to at least $30. I don't remember what the vintage goes for now. I think $65? It's not worth it.

Let's get into it:The hologram simulation didn't show anything - they could have at least made an attempt to incorporate Palpatine's image on it. It was a good idea I suppose, but done half-arse.

The escape hatch? Everyone asks "escape to where on a Star Destroyer?" But nevertheless, that element is drawn from the Death Star, so it's somewhat logical.

Hanging captured Rebels upside down on the bridge of the Star Destroyer? Had they done that in the movie, Vader would have been REALLY seen as brutal. Nice toy. Haha. But actually, that's kind of cool in an S&M sort of way.

An assembly area for bounty hunters? There's not enough room for all 6 bounty hunters. That's why I hunted this down at dealers - I wanted to try this out. The package displays Bossk, IG-88, and Boba Fett, but Zuckuss, 4-LOM , and Dengar do not fit along with them - and they should be in the back of the bridge, not the front anyway.

Finally, the colors are kind of off. This set would've looked great in gun-metal and I guess they could keep some black. But the child-attracting white and blue had to go. It really made the set look cheaper in person. Well I'm into dioramas not toys. So to each their own tastes. But I bought and then returned this about 7-8 years ago. That might tell you something.

dindae
11-03-2006, 12:57 PM
I agree with every point you made Tycho. I would pick it up for nostalgia sake's alone but not for any need for display.

Jaff
11-03-2006, 01:57 PM
Star Destroyer playset

There's really no room to play with this set. Everything was just conjested.

abell748
11-04-2006, 06:10 AM
Here I thought that the flat piece of red plastic on my Star Destroyer playset was the "holographic image of the Emperor". I'm crushed... I picked up a boxed one a few years ago. It is OK, I might have liked it better when I was a kid. Since it was something I did not have when I was a kid, I thought I would pick it up and give it a go. Since it is useless for displays, it sits in the box on my vintage shelves.

Tycho
11-07-2006, 01:56 PM
Today's Playset of the Day is the Hasbro Death Star Escape set.

This set simulates the swing across the open chasm in the first Death Star that took Luke Skywalker to safety as he rescued Princess Leia from a lot of stormtroopers.

A stormtrooper tackle gear accessory belt connects the grappling cable (uh, otherwise known as string) to the midpoint fixture that resembles the tractor beam control Obi-Wan shut off, except that it's too small for even an Action Fleet Obi-Wan figure.

Meanwhile, a blast door closes on one side, to trap Luke and Leia on a ledge over a cardboard picture of the bottomless chasm. One slip and they might take a lethal plunge of about 1 1/2 inches (but that's like 2 1/2 feet to them).

Meanwhile, stormtroopers can occupy the ledges and shoot at them. Maybe only 1 per ledge - but one of them can use the giant plastic missle launcher that must have been edited out of the movie. :rolleyes:

All this is going on to distract you that the ledges and door frames actually lead to nowhere. You wonder whether folks at Hasbro actually planned for a lot of different Death Star playsets to connect to one another to build a larger Death Star play environment, sort of like the Micro Collection did in the 80's. But if so, the Death Star Escape (bridge and rope swing) is a pathetic contribution to it.

Oh, you can put an actual "light bridge" piece down across the chasm that figures can walk across or fight on, but again, they'll walk exactly where? Even a lot of these sets put together create a road to nowhere.

http://www.rebelscum.com/POTF2deathstarescapeplayset.asp

dindae
11-07-2006, 02:26 PM
I didn't mind that the doors led to nowhere but it could have been bulked up a little. I could have done without the large firing gun on top as well. The playset does offer what I needed for the scene however. The framework was a little flimsy and causes the bridge to slant so you are forced to use the pegs for figures.

Tycho
11-11-2006, 12:51 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Set.

http://www.toysrgus.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39647

This vintage set used what was originally the Land of the Jawas plastic base but painted it white for a snowscape instead. Included with it was a Rebel Radar Dish Cannon - smaller than the one later offered as an individually boxed accessory toy. The ice cave still only fit the smallest of figures, and in the case of who was on Hoth, that would be limited to ONLY R2-D2.

The background was a very undersized AT-AT. I remember getting this as a kid, and having so badly wanted an AT-AT (the toy we all love had not been issued or even rumored as of that point), I'd thought "you mean THAT's it?" An elevator platform lowered an action figure out of the AT-AT to debark troops for ground assault. (Real Snowtroopers jumped out on ropes like Airborne Rangers - see ROTS and Utopau for examples (without AT-AT's) of their rappelling skills). I belive a figure or two could stand inside of the cardboard backdrop and appear like they were looking out a window in the AT-AT.

Oh, the traditional lever that moves a figure while it knocks down another under a "land mine" was also included of course. I guess it was great for troop combat. One shot and the Battle of Hoth would be over...

Overall, this set was just a re-use of an existing set and something to sell while KENNER developed the AT-AT. Still, as kids, I bet most of us bought it (or our parents bought it for us - same thing).

LusiferSam
11-11-2006, 01:15 PM
Carbon Freezing Chamber: Although released as a POTJ playset it was really a POTF playset. And the best of these playsets. I did buy this set at full price from the fan club. I also really like this playset. The freezing action takes a bit to get down, once you have it down it works great. And that's the main point of the playset is to freeze figures. Nothing else. The BFG cannon is lame, as is the jail. The Bespin Guard is terrible. And the top platform could be bigger.

Vader's Star Destroyer: I always forget this is a playset and not a vehicle. Which means I misspoke earlier, there are seven ESB playsets. This had to be the biggest disappointment. One of the first playsets I buy as an adult, I couldn't believe how bad it was. I never thought it looked like any Star Destroyer. The mediation chamber is a glorified flashlight. The hologram thingy is blows pretty hard. An aside, the instructions call the person Vader talks to the "Grand Vizier." The rest of the features are all pretty lame and out of place. I don't know what Kenner was thinking but somebody should have been shot over this "design."

Death Star Escape: Yuk! Of the two POTF Death Star playsets this one is the worst. It's a lot of empty space. As part of a bigger playset (like the vintage Kenner Death Star) and this might be ok. As it is it's not great. A top platform with a BFG for a Stormtrooper to man, two tiny platforms for Luke and Leia to swing back and forth, a door and "bottomless pit." :o When these first playsets came out in '96 I heard a rumor that their were going to be modular and that both could connected some how. So much for that rumor.

Hoth Ice Planet: Or Land of the Jawas Redux. Not the best Hoth playset, clearly not the worst either. The graphic is a pretty cool night time Hoth battle. Very EU, but well done (for 1980). The AT-AT isn't much to write home about. It can house some snowtroopers and a driver. The elevator, a hold over from the Land of the Jawas, is completely out of place and unnecessary. The radar laser cannon is a nice accessory and boosts the play value.

Tycho
11-13-2006, 04:29 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the Cantina at Mos Eisley 3-D Display Diorama.

http://www.rebelscum.com/POTF23dcantina.asp

This set was the first all-cardboard play environment made for the POTF2 or modern collection.

It was issued twice - once as a Fan Club Exclusive (with no figure) and later in stores with an Exclusive Sandtrooper Sergeant (white shoulder pauldron).

We take a moment to see if I've got Sandtrooper ranks down right:

Commander - black (POTJ)
Captain - Orange (POTF2)
Lieutenient - Grey (Dewback)
Sergeant - white (Cantina Diorama)

The Evolutions set included a Sandtrooper as well I believe. I think the recent Saga 2 one was a repack of the POTJ figure. Not sure. I didn't pay attention to that until I just thought of it right now.

So this is all unconfirmed. Anyone who might correct me, please feel free to contribute. But I got that the white was a Sergeant from Rebelscum's description of said figure.

Anyway, the cardboard diorama is pretty large. It actually can display a majority, though not all, of the cantina figures they make now (which is somewhere between 20 and 30 figures! - we'll come back to that in a second)

There is the U-shaped bar, the booth for Han and Greedo, and another table alcove with only 1 seat - all cardboard of course. You can't really incorporate the newer plastic cantina bar sections into this diorama. The reverse of the display shows the street-side view of the bar with no characters - pretty neat for those wishing to add their own - though hard to display on both sides unless this is used as a table centerpiece somewhere.

Anyway, the cantina is no where near big enough for all the figures that are available now:

1) Luke
2) Obi-Wan
3) Han
4) Chewie
5) Greedo
6) Sandtrooper
7) Momaw Nadon
8) Jawas
9) Dr. Evezan
10) Ponda Baba
11) Garindan (technically)
12) Lak Sivrak
13) Labrina
14) Nabrum Leids
15) Takeel
16) Wuher
17) Duro
18) Ketwol
19) Zutton
20) Djas Puhr
21) Figrin 'Dan (x 6 to be more accurate)
22) Muftak
23) Kabe
24) Bo Shek
25) Feltipern Trevag
26) Myo
27) Dannik Jerriko
28) Hem Dazon

Anyway, there's no way more than half of these figures could really fit into this cardboard diorama, but half is a lot more than could fit in the old Kenner set were it ever attempted.

So what do you think of the cardboard cantina?

DarkArtist
11-13-2006, 08:00 AM
I liked the Cantina set and had it displayed for some time until the cardboard started warping. Thought the concept was a great idea and the figure with the prode droid was a cool pack-in. Missed out on the fan-club version and was glad when it was released to the general public.
Overall I would give it a B- but i wish that Hasbro would release more of these and perhaps re-issue both the cantina and Jabba's palace again but with perhaps a new pack-in.

dindae
11-13-2006, 09:05 AM
It was a great cheap set. Aside from the fact that this was cardboard it was a great set. This was a $19 set for minus the figure it was $15 which I definately feel I have gotten my money out of it. I definately would like to see them do the Han/Greedo table like they said in this weeks Q & A. You could buy a bunch of them and get a good modular cantina going with the bar pieces we have.

Tycho
11-13-2006, 12:37 PM
I would concur with Dindae, in that a plastic, modular cantina you could build would be most awesome.

At least one of the recent figures have included an undersized table now (Momaw) - but that really doesn't do us much good.

The bar pieces are kind of nice, though you got them through resculpts:

Momaw (how many does one need?)
Ponda (OK the removeable arm was an improvement)
Greedo (enough of Greedo really)
Dr. Evezan (not great for those of us that had the Cinema Scene one)
Kitik Keed Kak (awesome! This was the first chance to get her)
Wuher (we only needed one, the CommTech one we all already had anyway)

Here's a pic (at the bottom) of 3 of them assembled together:

http://www.rebelscum.com/SAGAmiscstands.asp

This doesn't make a bar diorama though.

First off, talbes need to be large enough for 4 to gather around, not hold 1 drink (like Momaws)

Second, if they make Han & Greedo's booth, it should accomdate 4 figures: Han, Chewie, Luke, Obi-Wan - but I could see it barely holding Han & Greedo if they make it.

Third, an alcove with staging area needs to be there for the Modal Nodes - holding 6 of them.

Fourth, other figures might need to come with booth parts, because Han & Greedo didn't share the only booth seats in the whole cantina.

Fifth, there might still be enough cantina creatures not yet made to include the parts with (the parts are just arbitrarily listed below):

1) Brainiac - booth 1/2
2) Tvzzvt (fly) - booth 1/2
3) Bom Vimdim - booth 1/2
4) Sauran - booth 1/2
5) Ranat - bar curve
6) space suit - bar curve
7) Tonnika Sister 1 - table
8) Tonnika Sister 2 - table

Flooring panels with footpegs should also be created so you can build the bar as big as you need it to be. Perhaps a mail-away or online exclusive would include the floor plates, the stage, and a booth, plus some tables that perhaps plug into slots on the floor?

8 more figures, plus the 28 or more already made = 36 figures. A cardboard set really large enough for that many characters would really start to sag.

There are a lot of genre locations in the Star Wars saga, but few require the environment the size (or feasibility) of the cantina.

pbarnard
11-13-2006, 01:37 PM
I also liked this set and think the most underrated missed feature on this and the jabba's set is the flip side that shows the exterior. It could do double duty. The stormie was nice at the time, Hasbro should do something with that droid again. I am happy that I traded it away when I upgraded to my plywood cantina. It served me well and now some one else enjoys it.

dindae
11-13-2006, 01:58 PM
Yeah according the the Q & A we are getting the Curved part of the bar in 2007 and the distillery behind the bar in 2008 so I will be excited to see the pack ins for that. I would hope they pack in new characters but I realize the need to do more recognizable figures for mass market although for kids I don't see that Momaw is any more recognizable than Ranat or Sauran. Right now I have the cardboard playset up with the extra bar sections I got from the Kmart packs extending from where the sides of the cardboard playset ends. While not accurate in any way it gives me more room and something to do with the extra sections.

Tycho
11-13-2006, 03:54 PM
pbarnard: do you have pictures posted of your plywood custom cantina anywhere?

Can we all take a look? Sounds cool!

dindae
11-13-2006, 04:02 PM
He posted them in the collections area. Good stuff.

http://photos.sirstevesguide.com/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5816

Tycho
11-13-2006, 04:10 PM
Yes indeed. A lot of customization done there, pbarnard. A message to Hasbro to "get on the ball?" hehe. I admire and share your enthusiasm. I saw Corran Horn's X-wing amongst other Rogue Squadron characters etc. And the catina featured exactly the kind of set up it needed to have, as well as useable back to it it would seem (though I would have loved a wide-angle picture of it all so I could take in the whole size of the setup and all its features and creatures.

pbarnard
11-13-2006, 04:29 PM
pbarnard: do you have pictures posted of your plywood custom cantina anywhere?

Can we all take a look? Sounds cool!

some here http://photos.sirstevesguide.com/showgallery.php?cat=500&page=2&ppuser=5816

Most http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v521/pbarny/Cantina/

Tycho
11-13-2006, 05:36 PM
Dude! That is seriously cool! THAT is the way to make the cantina - and you have plenty of room to add 8-20 more characters if Hasbro comes up with them.

Anyway, I loved the overhead view where you could see the whole layout like Incredible Cross-Sections and locate every Star Wars cantina figure they make somewhere in the bar - and your customs.

pbarnard: good job. I can't stress that enough.

Tycho
11-15-2006, 01:32 PM
Today's Playset of the Day is the vintage KENNER Ewok Village Playset!

http://www.toysrgus.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39657

This was another of Kenner's best efforts! There's so much going on here:

There's the rope elevator into the tree top village.

There's 2 huts you can actually put figures into.

One of those huts has an escape "slide" - well actually, figures just drop out the bottom's secret tree exit.

There's the rope net you can capture the Endor Rebel Strike Team in.

There's the boulder-on-a-rope you can clobber stormtroopers with.

There's a lookout position above one hut.

There's a drum prop.

There's the campfire spit you can cook Han Solo on!

There's even C-3PO's Ewok Throne - the only other way it was ever available before this year's Endor Wave.

All in all, this set was perfect and did everything an Ewok playset should. I wound up with two of them for my large Battle of Endor diorama so I could expand on the village. This one was really worth it.

I also remember the day I got my first one as a child and how I played with it on the living room floor. I don't think Kenner made nearly enough Ewoks at the time this was released - only 2 out of 8 had been released, and neither Han nor Leia Endor were as of yet. You could use ANH Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Jedi, the Endor Rebel Trooper, Bikerscout, Chief Chirpa, Logray, R2D2, and C-3PO, and some Stormtroopers and an Imperial Commander Figure and Death Squad Commander (Death Star Trooper in today's terms). That was about it. As the post-Jedi vintage collection expanded, you got 6 more Ewoks and new Luke, Leia, and Han Solo figures to add in.

This was a fun playset. They don't make them like they used to.

dindae
11-15-2006, 02:19 PM
This was a great set although I never owned I knew someone that did. And Kenner certainly got it's money worth from the mold since I know they released it for the Robin Hood line but I think they release it again as well.

pbarnard
11-15-2006, 06:49 PM
This was a fairly detailed playset for the day. I've always wanted to go back and touch up the color on the base for the village. Also want to figure out how to incorporate it into the Endor display with the bunker on my shelf and maybe extend it further out.

It was a great set and i remember fondly crashing the speeder bike into the giant tree trunks for days on end. I am glad when my brother and I started dividing things up i gave up some transformers that were incomplete for this.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-15-2006, 08:07 PM
Looks like a decent set, however, after ANH I only got five ESB vintage figures and nothing more until 1999.

LusiferSam
11-15-2006, 08:10 PM
Cantina at Mos Eisley 3-D Display Diorama: Sadly I think this is the best Cantina playset to date. I hate the fact that it's paper. It just can't hold up to any real play. After all it is a "playset" not a "diorama set." I really didn't need a third Sandtrooper, but the little SE droid is cool.

Ewok Village: I love this playset. I think it's Kenner's best, easily beating the fragile Death Tower. The details are great. The net, the spit, the escape slide, the large hut, its all great. I could go over the details but Tycho already has so I won't.

I spend countless hours playing with mine. In fact it's not in the greatest shape any more. The legs of the spit both had their pegs brake off, the split peg is broken, and the sticker for the fire pit is long gone as are the original strings. Some day I might restring it with thread that looks more original. The elevator and boulder aren't to bad, but the net complete wrong. I don't remember the net working went you followed Kenner's instructions for stringing it. But I'd love see if as an adult I could make it work.

Tycho
11-15-2006, 10:59 PM
Also want to figure out how to incorporate it into the Endor display with the bunker on my shelf and maybe extend it further out.


You can try to locate a 2nd Ewok Village on the secondary market. A complete one might only run you $50-100 (I didn't check). Vintage toy shops have dried up from the way they were back when Star Wars raged back into the scene in 1995-2000. Those were strong years for toy collecting's rebirth.

As to the shield generator and bunker - well aside from the doors, there's no toy that does it justice. Maybe you can add the Endor doors to the GI Joe Command Center somehow, but otherwise it's a build-it yourself undertaking. And I don't even recall if the Incredible Cross-Sections Locations book from DK documents this one to help you out any. Only the shield generator dish, the landing platform, its gantryway, and the doors that they made were ever shown. Who knows what the base looked like, or if a lot of it was underground to safeguard it from Rebel attack?

It could still make an awesome construct for dioramas though - were someone to put a huge amount of effort into this one. Again on the Ewok side, it would take 2 or more village toys, but they are good enough sets for sure!

Lucifer Sam, an imagination helps a lot with the net, as it does with all toys. Don't feel bad: I couldn't really make it work as an adult either. But I'm glad you had so much fun with this playset. Me too!

These were the days when you could easily fit 20+ figures in a playset. That's unheard of now. Whatever happened to making great quality products that are the talk of the times?

LusiferSam
11-16-2006, 12:35 AM
Lucifer Sam, an imagination helps a lot with the net, as it does with all toys. Don't feel bad: I couldn't really make it work as an adult either. But I'm glad you had so much fun with this playset. Me too!

Oh my net does work. I've got strings tied at the corners. But if you look at the instructions they show two very different way of lacing two or three string through the net to have it cinch up. That way I don't remember working.

Jaff
11-16-2006, 07:19 AM
I loved the Ewok Playset, I never had one, but was envious of my buddy who had one.

Tycho
11-20-2006, 03:36 AM
Today's Playset of the Day will be the Detention Block Rescue .

http://www.rebelscum.com/POTF2detentionblockrescue.asp

Luke and Han disguise themselves in Stormtrooper armor and race down a hallway that's only big enough for themselves and Chewie, so you wonder what the rush is.

They open a cell door to discover Princess Leia had a very bad appointment with a plastic surgeon!

Then they blast their way out of the cell block - not shooting anyone because there's no room on the playset for anyone else.

And Leia shoots open a secret hatch that must lead into Outer Space because there's a turbo laser cannon pointing out from the playset as if it also simulates part of the Death Star Trench.

I can only have hoped that the designers of this set planned to have it sit on top of a later manufactured trash compactor set that never materialized, so if one was building a Death Star, the heroes would fall through the escape hatch into the garbage chute just like in the movie. Also if this set was situated above another set, it might be standing tall enough to permit crossing into the rope-swing-to-saftey playset that came out at the same time. Instead this playset came out as another wasted chance to get anything remotely good resembling the Death Star.

Enjoy chewing this one up.

Jaff
11-20-2006, 04:00 AM
Actually I liked this one for dioramas, and hoped it would have grown into something bigger, like a larger playset. Unfortunately id didn't grow into something, and therefore it was just a footnote in playset history. It has no play value, nor interesting value. It's just there, pure and simple.

tagmac
11-20-2006, 12:20 PM
Boy....talk about entering a thread late. I'm sorry I missed the majority
of this one. Even though I haven't bought any of the modern playsets
(aside from the two cardboard ones), I still have several of the vintage
ones put away. If you don't mind, I'd like to give my thoughts on the ones
I do have from that era.

Imperial Attack Base - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who realized years later that this was actually the rebel trench with an incorrect name. As a kid, of course, I always posed my figures exactly as they were on the box, although I only had one of each Stormtrooper, so I would use Veers and imperial Commander as "fill-ins."

Turret & Probot Playset - The first playset I ever got, that was my favorite Christmas gift from Santa when i wwas 6 years old. I loved having han blast the probot, and posing my Rebel soldier in the top of the turret. This playset was always set opposite the Imperial Attack base for my battles.

Dagobah Playset - Got this the same year as the Turret/Probot from Santa, as I was hooked the moment I saw the commercial with R2 going into the "mud pit." Sadly, the foam on that broke down and is all but gone, having sat in the crawlspace for years, but the rest of the set is pretty much intact, and probably still useful. Shame we didn't have a Dagobah Luke to pose in the ring that could be used to pose him upside down. The battle stands for the Luke/Vader scene in the back of the playset were also a great touch.

Ewok Village - yet another Santa gift a couple years later, this was the probably the biggest toy my parents ever let me have (until Cat's Lair and Fortress Maximus came out years later). The net trap was my favorite part of the toy, although I remember it took my father a while to figure it out, and he ended up using four pieces of heavy thread, instead of the two pieces of flimsy thread that came with the toy. I used to love posing 3PO in the chair, and Han on the cooking spit, while recreating the batle on Endor scenes. Again, a shame we were missing certain vital figures at the time (most notably Endor Leia) that would have made this even more fun.

Tycho
11-22-2006, 12:40 AM
Today's Playset of the Day is the vintage Jabba the Hutt Action Playset.

I'm not sure I would call this a playset versus a Deluxe Beast or something, but KENNER called it a playset.

Jabba himself I count as a figure, as I do the non-poseable Salacious Crumb.

This is still one of the best Jabba's we've ever gotten, and the only actual-plastic throne dias for him.

Jabba's arms are poseable and when you move his head, his tail can swish and knock over an action figure.

His throne features his hooka pipe and waterbowl, as well as the frog-snack bowl beneath it, suspended on the deck railing.

Remarkably, but perhaps unrealistically, Jabba's throne opens with a twist of a couple of the gargoyle heads on the front edge, and a captive pit lies beneath the grating. It would have proven very difficult for a creature of Jabba's size to move off his dias for prisoners to be surprised by a trap in his throne. You can play that they are thrown in there to be tortured by whatever passes as Jabba's excement which might fall beneath him through the grating. But it's a useless feature if you ask me.

Meanwhile, a slave collar is connected to a string that simulates the chain and attaches to a figure to keep them leashed to another gargoyle. Back in the day KENNER did not make Oola or Slave Leia. It was either considered not a marketable option towards kids, or not an appropriate one for decency standards of the day - honestly I don't know. You'd have to ask folks who were at Kenner at the time and in on those decisions. I suspect you might get varying answers, too.

However, note that Oola hasn't seen a carded release as a standard figure yet (though she's rumored for next year) - but her POTF2 appearance was rather a Fan Club Exclusive. I think it was more a "she won't be exciting for kids issue" than a decency one - which is the same reason I think Hasbro is using to hold up Yarna.

Leia was a main character on the other hand. I'm not sure of the lack of Leia Slave in the vintage collection, but sculpting wasn't what it is nowadays, and the figure would have turned out pretty bad in the vintage style I suspect.

Meanwhile, the vintage Jabba, though painted monotone and thus not so greatly, remains a great sculpt that looks nice next to modern versions of the Tatooine gangster. I think the recent 2003 Ultra Figure was a re-release of the Jabba Glob. I bought it but never had a reason to open yet, so I can't say for sure.

Anyway, here's Jabba:

http://theswca.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39667

pbarnard
11-22-2006, 10:01 AM
The skeletons molded into the dungeon, imagine sitting under a foul smelling Hutt (and no, slugs can't fart as they lack anal sphincters and the equivalent of large intestine as we know it, they just smell bad) as he drools and drops food over you. Torture was never so evil, unless it was Vader reciting sonnets he wrote to his dead wife.

Tycho
11-23-2006, 05:14 AM
The final modern "Playset" of the Day isn't exactly a Playset, but heck, many of these are hard to classify as such. I'll refer you to the Millennium Falcon CD ROM Playset.

http://www.rebelscum.com/potf2cdhan.asp

This set let you fit an unauthentic replica of the Millennium Falcon cockpit over your computer keyboard so you could fit your figures on it, and look through the Falcon's oversized canopy at your monitor, as you pushed buttons on the controls to make the Falcon take you on a tour of many of the Star Wars worlds where you could shoot TIE Fighters.

The set is the only Falcon cockpit large enough to fit 4 figures, though I wouldn't say the set really has anything close to back seats. The gunner station is off to the side, necessarily making a major sacrafice in authenticity in order to include it in the set here. A 5th figure can man the quadlaser cannon station there.

The set included an exclusive Han Solo in his standard vest, but this time with his gunner station headset on him, and gloves on his hands. (Is this appearance of Han Solo overdone now or what?) The only difference between this figure and the gunner station figure is that Han has bending knees.

I didn't get the traditional play value out of this set at all: I cannibalized the cockpit set to install it (minus the gunner station section which I cut off) into my homemade blockade runner toy. I use a natural keyboard anyway, which this set could never fit over.

The concept might've been a cool idea. I don't know. I don't really play any kind of video games or simulations.

In any case, that wraps up ALL the modern playsets that Hasbro has done. There's one more left from KENNER's vintage days, and we'll be wrapping up this thread.

I could say it's been fun, but often enough it's been PATHETIC. That wasn't my fault though. Write to Hasbro!

See you all soon.

LusiferSam
11-23-2006, 11:57 AM
Detention Block Rescue: I rather like this set. Grant it we have only two modern Death Star playsets to choose from. For the detention block I think it's pretty good. Ok the big *** gun is out of place, but rest it pretty good. I like the jail cell. The doorway with it's guns isn't too bad. A dozen or more lined up might make a great diorama. The biggest problem is that it feels like it needs to be part of a modular playset that Hasbro never made.

Jabba the Hutt: Is this a playset? I'm not sure, bu the only opinion that matters on the subject is Kenner's. Jabba and Salacious Crumb I thought were both well done for there day. Jabba's eyes are great. Although Jabba maybe a little monotone, we really didn't see much color on him in ROTJ. The throne is what really makes this a playset. The armrest and hooka are great. I love the way the throne opens up and how the instruction show figures in there. The details, like skeletons and rats are off the wall. I used this feature as a kid all the time. The chain and collar is disappointing to me. The only figure that makes sense to put this on is Boushh Leia. But the high collar on this figure makes it impossible to do. Other Leias and other figures work but it's not the same.

Millennium Falcon CD ROM Playset: This isn't a playset. It's a computer game. I won't buy crap for a crappy OS (any and all versions of Windows are inferior). So I don't own this one, nor will I get it.

Tycho, I know what vintage playset you're saving for last. But there is other one. Why not end on a high note?

Jaff
11-24-2006, 06:56 AM
Jabba's Playset, I never really liked it that much. There really isn't a reason why.

Millenium falcon cockpit - I did like this concept, just not enough to like it. It would really be cool if Hasbro would make screen scenes with a room in the falcon. After collecting so many sets you would have the interior of the ship that would form the ship. Would that not be cool....

Tycho
11-24-2006, 12:26 PM
It would really be cool if Hasbro would make screen scenes with a room in the falcon. After collecting so many sets you would have the interior of the ship that would form the ship. Would that not be cool....

Four words: Attakus..... Mucho Expensive......unfortunate.

dindae
11-24-2006, 03:58 PM
Death Star Escape and Jabba's Palace seem the same to me. Both are decent peices but by them selves offer very little however with a little more could be very good peices. The corridor was very small and can't even fit all four of the heroes that are suppose to be the scene. The gun was sillyness but didn't detract too much from the playset. But had they added the control room or the garbage compactor on to the set you would have had something really cool. The Jabba's Palace was just Jabba and his throne nothing special. Sure you could open it up but had they somehow created a trap door infront of the throne or a plastic throne room It would have been great. Still I would probably grab a vintage one and put it in my diorama if they decide not to do an updated version of this.

Millenium Falcon CD Rom game. This set was interesting but when it is firmly strapped down to a keyboard it is terribly unstable. There is much of an enviroment created and the fact that the whole thing is unstable makes it hard to have fun with it. And to make matters worse the game was complete crap. It was a novel idea but poorly executed.

tagmac
11-24-2006, 10:09 PM
Jabba's Palace - I got this the same Christmas I got the Ewok Village. This was a great toy, which I had a lot of fun with. I would put a figure right in the middle of the grates on the throne, turn the knobs, and watch the figure fall into the "pit," which I would pretend was the Rancor pit. The Jabba figure was awesome, and definitely holds up with today's figures. The glassy eyes were a nice touch, especially for back then.

Millenium Falcon CD-ROM - Initially I thought this was a cool toy, giving us the first scale cockpit of the Falcon. However, after playing the CD-ROM game once, I realized that this was just a kids toy, and ended up giving it to a cousin at the time who was young enough to not get bored by the game as quickly as I did.

Tycho
11-25-2006, 04:32 AM
While our discussion thread will not be ending just yet, the final Playset of the Day will be offered up now, as well as take us out on a dull note.

It's The Jabba The Hutt Dungeon Action Playset.

There were two of these versions released, notably different only by their exclusive figures KENNER included:

http://theswca.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39658

http://theswca.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=39659

All that Kenner did was retool the base that came out in 1979 as the original Droid Factory Playset. They filled in the storage areas that held the make-your-own-droid parts, and added an electro-branding torture device to the end of the crane, in addition to the hook.

That was likely the only "action" you could call a feature of this set.

The first issue of it came with 8D8, Nikto, and Klaatu Skiff Guard.

The second issue of it came with EV-9D9, Barada, and Amanaman (no collector coins however).

I'd say this has to be the No. 1 most worthless, featureless, inaccurate playset that the vintage KENNER collection ever saw! I mean the guys that thought of this have to have stayed on to be currently employed at Hasbro.

In fact, it's hard to find a modern-line playset that is this featureless and boring out of today's choices.

The complaint department is now open for business.

JEDIpartner
11-25-2006, 10:16 AM
Okay... I have go back and chime in on the Jabba the Hutt Action Playset as it still has the best Jabba the Hutt made to date! Sure, the colours are a bit "off" but it looks more like Jabba than anything the modern line has offered up. It also includes the dais!!! This thing rocks from beginning to end. This is the Jabba I have on display even though I have two other Jabba "figures".

Tycho
11-25-2006, 11:34 AM
This is the Jabba I have on display even though I have two other Jabba "figures".


You're not alone. The vintage Jabba on the vintage dais from this playset is what I display, too.

I took apart my cardboard Jabba's Palace from POTF2, and made it so I could both change the point of view into the throne room offered by the diorama, and add this Jabba set with his throne to it.

LusiferSam
11-25-2006, 10:29 PM
The Jabba The Hutt Dungeon: I've got both versions of this playset. I'll disagree with Tycho it being the most featureless and inaccurate of Kenner's playset. Inaccurate, maybe. How much of Jabba's dungeons did we see and how do we really need to recreate it? And the playset is hardly featureless. I does have the crane with branding iron. Ok I'm stretching. I like the tan base better than the gray for some reason. The real deal with this playset is to sell three figures.

I remember seeing in the '84 Sears catalog and wanting it (hey, it one of the only new things in that catalog). A couple years later I was told by many of my friend that I dreamed it up, like the POTF figures. I just wish I go find these friends and rub all of this "dreamed" up stuff in their face.

tagmac
11-26-2006, 08:33 PM
The Jabba The Hutt Dungeon - I also got this one for Christmas, having asked for it the same year I got Jabba. Mine was the first version, with 8D8, Klaatu Skiff Guard, and Nikto. It certainly wasn't the greatest playset, but as a kid, I loved the branding iron feature, and would use it to burn Power droid's feet all the time. just disappointed that I never was able to get the vintage EV-9D9 to go with it.

Tycho
11-27-2006, 10:52 PM
We're now going to take this thread into each one of 7 discussing points I figured out for playsets.

The first being a comparison of quantity offered between KENNER's original line and Hasbro's modern.

I was surprised to learn that there is almost an equal number of playsets between the two 3 3/4" lines.

However, with twice as many movies available for source material today, that's really not that impressive with vintage still outnumbering modern sets by 1. Theoretically, the modern sets should have numbered twice as many as the vintage ones.

Well here's the lists:


KENNER VINTAGE........................................... .......HASBRO MODERN

1) Death Star Battle Station...................................Mustafar Duel Playset
2) Droid Factory........................................... ........E3 Battle Arenas
3) Land of the Jawas............................................. Geonosis Arena
4) Plastic Mos Eisley Cantina...................................Theed Hanger Playset
5) Cardboard Mos Eisley.........................................The ed Generator Playset
6) Imperial Attack Base..........................................Trad e Federation / Carrying Case
7) Dagobah Playset........................................... .....Endor Attack Bunker
8) Rebel Command Center (Hoth)..............................Jabba's Throne Room
9) Cloud City.............................................. ...........Hoth Battle
10) Turret / Probot............................................ ....Carbon Freezing Chamber
11) Star Destroyer......................................... ........Death Star Escape (rope)
12) Hoth Adventure......................................... ......Cantina Diorama
13) Ewok Village........................................... .........Dentention Cell Rescue
14) Jabba's Throne............................................ ....Falcon CD ROM Playset
15) Jabba's Dungeon

Mad Slanted Powers
11-28-2006, 12:09 AM
Actually, I would almost qualify the Queen's Starship as a playset. It's as big or bigger than many that we have discussed, it has some play features, and it came with a figure.

Tycho
11-28-2006, 12:33 AM
The Queen's Royal Starship really fits the Largest Vehicle Assortment, Hasbro's highest price point for a 3 3/4" vehicle.

Each movie had one:

TPM: Royal Starship
AOTC: Republic Gunship
ROTS: ARC-170 Fighter
ANH: Millennium Falcon
ESB: AT-AT
ROTJ: Imperial Shuttle

That's the question - can they redeaux this?

TPM: MTT?
AOTC: AT-TE?
ROTS: Turbo Tank?
ANH: Tantive IV?
ESB: Star Destroyer?
ROTJ: Jabba's Sailbarge?

Obviously, many of these would not be to scale - tha capital ships being the worst offenders. But all of these would be sweet.

Other vehicles would fall into $30 and under categories most likely. These here would be the $50-100+ category (likely more for the ANH and ESB offerings I suggested).

However, these vehicles would be far more exciting than most new playsets.

Yet the playsets still could be done well (as most of them haven't been for a long time).

LusiferSam
11-28-2006, 08:17 PM
Quantity is a bit of a funny one. First off how kids (and that is who Kenner and Hasbro have always targeted) play with their toys and how the toys are marketed has changed. In general you don't see the number of playsets, for any toy, that you use to. Hasbro really hasn't made any playsets that are vehicles for selling figures like Kenner. Kenner had 4 playset who's primary objective was to sell figures. Without those Hasbro would be a head.

Also the count would change is you used a different definition of playset. For instance, Jabba the Hutt and the Star Destroyer wouldn't be playsets today, they would be a creature and a vehicle.

I'll also weight in on the Royal Starship. The box says "Blockade Cruiser/Playset." To me that says it's a playset and vehicle. As for as I know no other toy from Star Wars has every said it was both a vehicle and playset. Because the box (ie Hasbro) says it's both, we must also count it as both. That means you have two more playsets to talk about Tycho. :lipsrsealed:

Tycho
11-28-2006, 08:25 PM
2 more? I got the Royal Starship out of that for consideration, but must have missed your point about another one.

It's interesting, that while Hasbro did not deliberately use figures as the major enticement for their modern playsets, 9 out of 17 (if you count all the E3 Battle Arenas) came with figures - 10 out of 18 if you're going to count the Royal Starship.

Meanwhile, 2 of the 4 Kenner sets were cardboard, while 2 utilized plastic bases.

If you ask me, it all looks like haphazard product development, with no consistent plan for the products.

Tycho
12-01-2006, 03:59 PM
Well, I think Mad Slanter Powers and LuciferSam were waiting for me to discuss the Royal Starship as a Playset. I guess I'll take a request from the audience. So why not?

http://www.rebelscum.com/episodeIvehroyalstarship.asp Note that Rebelscum also classifies this as a vehicle, not a playset.

So first, let's deal with the classification issue. Each movie did have it's large vehicle: the Falcon, AT-AT, Tyderium, Royal Starship, Republic Gunship, and ARC-170.

You know, each of these fits at least 4 action figures - the ARC-170 being the smallest. The Gunship can have you assembling a squad of shocktroopers on board it. The Tyderium fits a small (very small) strike team on board, but I've got at least Han, Chewie, Luke, Leia, R2, C-3PO, and an Endor Soldier inside. The AT-AT can handle 2 in the cockpit, and if you wanted to line up Snowtroopers and General Veers in the back, it's possible to have 4-5 more figures on board. The Millennium Falcon carries 2 in the cockpit (well the instructions say so) and up to 6 or more in the back (3 around the chess table, 1 in the gunner chair, and 2 or more in the lightsaber training area that's really the smuggling compartment.

So the Naboo Royal Starship holds even more? Well - let's see: 4 can take chairs in the cockpit. 3 Droids can fit in the lower main hold, a 4th in the droid elevator. The Queen, if a softgoods were ever made of Padme so she could sit down, plus 2 handmaidens, maybe 2 guards, could go in the throne area, as well as perhaps the Jedi and JarJar. Random guards could also occupy the lower main hold, and a figure can sit in the escape ship, as well as another astromech. That's 20 figures if you can do it!

OK - it outdoes even the Millennium Falcon, Gunship, or Tyderium in that regard.

The AT-AT and ARC-170 were very clearly vehicles, though at the higher pricepoint to be sure.

Alright - features.

Let's start from the nose - the front section opens to reveal the escape ship. Only one figure fits inside to pilot it, and they pretty much like down. An astrodroid fits in the navigator's position. If the ship within a ship is removed, there isn't enough head clearance room to feature a play area for more figures other than perhaps astromechs in the front of the ship. The escape ship itself can be used on Naboo as a covered water skimmer or something. The engine banks are a little extreme for a surface vehicle though - as is a compartment for an astromech. If painted silver, I suppose this could double as one of Padme's star yachts, but it'd sort of be shaped wrong. As it was, a chrome or silver paint job would have looked dull inside the chrome / silver ship, so they used what else? but bright "Naboo yellow" inspired by the N1s.
Next, is the Queen's receiving court room. Her throne is nice but they don't make a softgoods Padme that can sit in the chair as the Queen. An evolutions set for Padme, in the purple or a resculpt of the Black Travel Sabe would be the ideal choices. I'm sure Ascension Gun Padme could sit - but to what end? She didn't hold court on the ship in the Theed Battle Outfit.

You might be able to squeeze her handmaiden figures in on either side of her, and then have room for Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and maybe JarJar, squeezing Panaka and a guard into the hall. In the rear hold, you could probably fit 3 of those droid rechargers in the alcoves. The ship comes with one, and R2-B1 has one, plus if you won multiples of this droid, they can loan socket terminals to another droid or two (R2B1's doesn't match the starship's, though it should). Additionally several other figures can wander the lower hold.

The hyperdrive piece gets placed inside the ship here. It is electronically coded, so when you activate the ship's sounds, if the clean side is facing out, the hyperdrive engages. If the blasted side is facing out, the hyperdrive fails and the alarm sounds. Additonally, there are red and green light indicators to tell you how your hyperdrive is doing. Very creative.

The elevator tube is only tall enough for astromechs unfortunately. There were several turbolifts in the movie ship, but this one is to represent R2D2's. It goes up to the cockpit level, or outside and on top of the ship.

On the upper deck of the interior, is the cockpit seating for 4. Softgoods Jedi and regular E1 Anakin can handle it up here, as seems to be the case with Ric Olee, the actual pilot. However, Captain Panaka needs a very useable softgoods resculpt to work here - and he should have it (with removeable hat, too). Speaking of figures, the ship does come with an exclusive red R2 unit which is really a nice figure.

A boarding ramp extends just like in the movie. Its entrance is right in the middle of the Queen's throne room though.

A unique feature is the droid fighter which goes on a handle and has sound effects and shoots an infrared beam to receptors on the Royal Starship, activating sound effects and battle damage features: a panel gets blown off exposing the external hyperdrive controls, and an action lever pops up to knock a droid off the ship's exterior. All in all, there's 15 sound effects - mostly battle but some regarding ship maintainence.

It is one of the all-time best Star Wars toys out there. I do regard it as a vehicle and not a playset myself though. One can "fly" this ship by putting the rear landing gear on either side of your arm, and holding the ship steady by its front landing gear in your hand. Then run around your room holding this ship and vocalizing ship engine noises. You should have reverted to only the 5th year of your entire life once this is done. You might also be institutionalized, but it's all in good fun.

So go ahead and comment on The Royal Starship if you'd like.

Mad Slanted Powers
12-01-2006, 07:44 PM
When you point out all of those things that you can do with this and how much room for figures that it has, it truly seems more like a playset than any of the other big vehicles. Perhaps the AT-AT comes close in that regard, but I don't have one in that scale to say for sure.

I guess the point I was making in bringing up the Queen's ship as a playset is that these large vehicles with more features help make up for, at least in a small way, the lack of real playsets in the modern line. It probably works better for Hasbro that way. A vehicle is often more recognizeable and therefore more sellable than a large playset. Plus, they are more mobile than something like a Geonosian Arena.

dindae
12-01-2006, 10:01 PM
I love this ship. I would like to display this open with the figures inside but do to room contraints I have it higher up without the figures. I can't really think of a downside to this playset/vehicle. Aside from the size which it really is big enough for me I can't think of anything missing from the action in the movie.

pbarnard
12-01-2006, 10:59 PM
This is a good "playset". I don't see it as a vehicle in that it's hard even for me as a grown adult to handle and move around. The bridge area is nice and probably the best. No reason to slide it out at all unless you want to play pop the astromech out the repair port. The hyperdrive would've been more fun had I found the Hyperdrive repair kit at retail. The droid fighter attack feature actually works, a plus in that department. Pack in figure, alright, and probably the best astromech body till the VOTC one and the later ROTS preview.

The entryway works if the ship is open, totally unrealistic in closed mode. The escape/scout vehicle is nice touch too, but probably could've been done without and added something into that front cone instead.

Jaff
12-02-2006, 12:46 AM
I enjoyed this set very much. I only wish the AT-AT was as big and intricate.

General_Grievous
12-06-2006, 07:22 PM
Ah, this was a good Christmas when I got this back in '99. Definitely the best vehicle/playset from the prequel trilogy. The throne it came with was a bit useless, though.

Tycho
12-08-2006, 03:27 PM
Well, we looked at Playsets by quantity per individual lines.

Vintage had 15 sets for 3 movies, and modern had 15/18 sets for 6 movies. Clearly the trend took us downhill.

Now let's look at the sets by way of the movies:

TPM

Theed Hanger - modern
Theed Generator - modern
Trade Federation Ship / R2 Carry Case - modern
Royal Starship - modern

AOTC

Geonosis Arena - modern

ROTS

Mustafar - modern
Invisible Hand Battle Arena - modern
Utopau Battle Arena - modern
Palpatine's Office Battle Arena - modern

ANH

Death Star - vintage
Droid Factory - vintage
Land of the Jawas - vintage
plastic cantina - vintage
carboard cantina - vintage
Death Star Escape - modern
cantina - modern
Detention Block - modern
Falcon CD ROM - modern

ESB

Imperial Attack Base - vintage
Dagobah - vintage
Rebel Command Center - vintage
Cloud City - vintage
Turret-Probot - vintage
Star Destroyer - vintage
Hoth Adventure - vintage
Hoth Battle - modern
Carbon Freezing Chamber - modern

ROTJ

Ewok Village - vintage
Jabba's Throne - vintage
Jabba's Dungeon - vintage
Endor Attack - modern
Jabba's Throne - modern

I never would have guessed, but Empire Strikes Back tied with ANH for the most amount of playsets, while it was the movie with the least amount of new figures.

AOTC had the least amount of playsets. Dooku's ship hanger and Kamino could have somehow been done, you'd think. The latter could be mostly EU and include Clone Training exercises. The former could be dueling levers and maybe even include the solar sailor ship with pilot droid as its main feature. A grand Droid Factory would have really been nice. The Galactic Senate might've been made for any of the prequel movies, but an action set ROTS themed would've worked the best.

Empire Strikes Back also had the best quality sets in the highest numbers - and almost entirely owed to the vintage sets from Dagobah and Hoth, though the modern Carbon Freezing Chamber was inspired, if not very small.

Tycho
12-10-2006, 06:23 PM
Well, looking at the sets by way of the movies that inspired them got no responses for several days. So now let's look at the planets / settings that playsets have featured, and the planets / settings that have lacked representation in plastic.

The Trade Federation / CIS Battle Fleet:

Trade Federation Ship / R2 Carry Case - modern

Invisible Hand Battle Arena - modern

Both these capital ships needed better playsets and representation. Even in light of the vintage Star Destroyer Playset, kind of craptacular in my book, more could have been done with these two locations in the movies.


Naboo

Theed Hanger - modern
Theed Generator - modern
Royal Starship - modern

The Royal Starship was nearly perfect. The Theed Hanger could have been molded in hard plastic so its features worked better, and perhaps have been designed to connect to multiple (and duplicate sets) with also a section that interacted with the N1 Fighter, plus allowed for more authentic linkage with the Theed Generator Room playset. In turn the Generator Room set could have also been made to expand to the melting pit or whatever Maul and the Jedi finished their duel by, inclusive of the radiation shields that separated the combatants several times.

Action Fleet (I think it was AF) had an incredible Theed Palace that would have translated nicely into a great deluxe playset for 3 3/4" figures. A lot of movie-authentic action features could be put into it.

Otah Gunga was completely ignored. The underwater city and the Gungan Sacred Place would have made nice diorama locales if nothing else. Hard-sculpted diorama locales would have been a boon for these scenes. Screw cardboard.


Tatooine

There's an over-abundance of locations on Tatooine from 5 out of the 6 movies.

First a Pod Race Arena might've been another great hard-sculpted diorama of at least the grand stand and box seats, including Jabba's and Fode & Beed's announcer box, Qui-Gon's elevator, etc. A connecting hanger playset, perhaps each including an exclusive pod race vehicle, would have been the way to market this. It could be made more kid-friendly with "escape hatches" for smugglers and spies, etc.

The slave quarters and Mos Espa market place might've made a good combo set geared towards diorama builders.

The Lars Homestead and Garage would have also made a very versatile diorama builders' set useable by 3 different groups of movie fans (or bought 3 times each by the die-hards).


Land of the Jawas - vintage - this was decent. Incorporating a correctly scaled plastic sandcrawler (or bi-sected one) would have done nicely to revamp this idea for the modern line.

plastic cantina - vintage - this could really be well done with modular sets designed to work with the Incredible Cross-Section layout of the bar and using the already sculpted elements like the bar sections made for the exclusive Deluxe Figures from the past.

carboard Mos Eisley - vintage - I'll take a pass.

Droid Factory - vintage - this was actually an unnecessary set in the new scheme of things. I'll revisit this idea when we get to Geonosis though - for a different take on the idea.

cantina - modern - more cardboard, and undersized. Making it bigger would be a decent step, but the hard plastic modular sets described above would be the way to handle this.

Jabba's Throne - vintage - a nice set. It's pretty much perfect, save that the grates don't have to open for a pretty much unusable action feature. They could incorporate this mold into a far more elaborate set with a multi-levels and thus perhaps a trap door that works as it really should.

Jabba's Dungeon - vintage - an actual set as part of a modular Jabba's Palace would be nice. As it was, this was a plastic hunk of junk.

Jabba's Throne - modern - more cardboard. :rolleyes: Too small. Let's go plastic, large, and full of features.

Coruscant

Palpatine's Office Battle Arena - modern - Pride Displays didn't do half bad with their attempt, but it is a collaged diorama with elements of Mustafar in it, etc. This could either completely be a diorama environment, or include a blow-out window as an action feature, and perhaps dueling levers, much like the Battle Arena set, only better.

The Galactic Senate might've been made for any of the prequel movies, but an action set ROTS themed would've worked the best. A large set on the scale of the old GI Joe's Cobra Terror Dome would have been very cool.

The Jedi Council was able to be created with the chamber pieces included with the 3 packs (though Depa and Even weren't sculpted so they could sit down) but more of the Temple, mostly done as a diorama set with areas shown during Order 66 and perhaps the starfighter hanger would be quite nice.

Padme's Apartment might actually be capable of having action features, mainly from AOTC, but be useable for ROTS scenes as well.

Club Outlander done up in plastic, and including the small parts already released with figures, would be quite nice.

Dexter's Diner is another location that might be fleshed out for dioramas.


Kamino

This locale was totally ignored by Hasbro. A mostly EU Clone Training Ground set could be made, based on descriptions in the novels, but include elements seen in the movie for diorama purposes. Parts included with the Obi-Wan / Jango Deluxe figures that help recreate Slave-One's landing platform would be great. Jango's apartment would also be a nice feature. The embroyo and fetus incubators might make this look like Barbie's Deam OB-GYN, but the Kamino-look to things would keep it cool.

Geonosis

Geonosis Arena - modern - this set was pretty good, but more authentic gates for the beasts would have worked better, as well as more stands you could put Geonosian figures in. Additionally, it should have been advertised as to what you could do with maybe 4 of these forming a completely rounded off Arena, and an action floor might've been cool as well.


A Corporate Alliance Starship that was designed to collapse on a large Homing Spider Droid might've actually made a cool playset feature.

Dooku's ship hanger could have somehow been done, you'd think. It could feature dueling levers and maybe even include the solar sailor ship with pilot droid as its main feature.

Here, a grand Droid Factory would have really been nice, perhaps with the parts to build all kinds of droid types seen in the films, including the small sentry Spider Droids etc. to give kids a wide variety of parts to play with. This might be able to create nearly every kind of droid seen in the movies including the large flying cargo lifters and even a tank droid (though they weren't actually manufactured on Geonosis). The gauntlet Padme and Anakin went through would definitely be recreated in full. This would be a really popular and fun set.


Kashyyyk

A Wookiee tree village might be interesting. The set could also include Yoda's escape ship.

Utopau

Utopau Battle Arena - modern - this was seriously weak. A landing platform, the catwalks for Boga, another landing platform for Grievous' ship, and the Separatist meeting room would be a nice setup.

Mustafar

This playset was pretty good, but could've been expanded upon with the Separatists' control room I suppose. A larger more authentic set would've been the best of course.



Death Star

Death Star - vintage - re-releasing this and advertising what you can create with several of them (starting to make a sphere) would be a good step. An alternate "ROTJ Emperor's Tower" type of setup might be a good idea as well. All of it could combine.

Death Star Escape - modern - they shouldn't waste their time really, unless this could connect to other modular sets.

Detention Block - modern - they shouldn't waste their time really, unless this could connect to other modular sets.

Yavin Base

A pyramid with a ship hanger big enough for 2 fighters and a briefing room, ceremony hall, control room etc. might be a nice set. It would be more for diorama builders, but would resemble a nice play environment. EU features could be added with hideable defense cannons.

Hoth

Imperial Attack Base - vintage - this was perfect and should be marketed as the Rebel Trench.

Turret-Probot - vintage - another great set, it could be made to be used in conjuntion with the "Imperial Attack Base."

Hoth Adventure - vintage - let's skip it, but a Wampa Cave Playset based around what was done with 2004's Luke and Wampa figures would be great.


Hoth Battle - modern - enlarging this and having a correctly scaled Shield Generator would be nice. Additionally, they could have the ION Cannon made with this set similar to how the Micro Collection was done back in the day.


Rebel Command Center - vintage - Perhaps Snowspeeder hangers, Rieeken's command post, and the Med Center with parts included with Bacta Luke would be a better route to go. Thanks but no cardboard.


Star Destroyer

- vintage. This ought to have been incorporated into some form of exterior that also resembled the vehicle. The size and plastic mold colors were also ill chosen (maybe not for kiddie marketing - but I'm an adult and thus concerned with a Star Destroyer set being made for adults. Increasing the size would only be a beginning. Many of the custom Star Destroyers that have been built and sold on eBay are a step in the right direction. This wouldn't even be being discussed here (as the Tantive IV is not) but for having a Star Destroyer marketed in the vintage line as a playset.

Dagobah

- vintage - this was a good set. I don't think I'd change a thing, but instead re-release this.


Bespin

Cloud City - vintage - no thank you.

Carbon Freezing Chamber - modern - how about the KENNER Micro-Collection set being transformed to the 3 3/4" scale. That really ought to do most of it, save for the dining room and a landing platform or two, and the droid melting room which all might want to be conveyed in the set or modular components that create a larger set. Cloud City is a key location that ought to be given its fair share of respect. The freezing mechanism done for the modern 2001 playset was quite inventive though, and it could stay an element of the set, but the surrounding diorama space should be tripled.

Endor

Ewok Village - vintage - this could be re-released and have it advertised what you could do with 2 or more of the sets put together!

Endor Attack - modern - the bunker was a good start, but an entire base with landing platform for the shuttle, entry ramps for the AT-ATs, and perhaps much EU detail for the reactor and control stations, and of course the shield projector dish (explodable) should all be included. That would be some playset!

So did I miss anything? Would you change my ideas in any way?

Discuss.

Tycho
12-12-2006, 07:23 AM
So did I miss anything? Would you change my ideas in any way?

Discuss.

No response. So therefore I must be some kind of genius - everyone stands in awe of me.

This seems like an appropriate time to discuss the fascinating idea of cardboard! (Applause).

vintage Mos Eisley...................modern Jabba's Throne Room
vintage Cloud City...................modern cantina diorama

There were 2 all-cardboard sets in both collecting eras.

While I'm not really a big fan of warping posterboard, the cardboard sets on the modern era were bigger and more authentic and detailed.

Figures were included usually (except the first release of the modern cantina) but the vintage sets were designed to sell 4 figures each, the modern releases included one resculpt as an afterthought.

Each time, Han Solo gets carbon frozen and cardboarded somehow.

So do any of you have any final opinions about all-cardboard playsets? Would you want any more of them? Any re-releases of them? Do you loathe them?

Mad Slanted Powers
12-12-2006, 08:39 AM
Figures were included usually (except the first release of the modern cantina) but the vintage sets were designed to sell 4 figures each, the modern releases included one resculpt as an afterthought.

Each time, Han Solo gets carbon frozen and cardboarded somehow.

So do any of you have any final opinions about all-cardboard playsets? Would you want any more of them? Any re-releases of them? Do you loathe them?The modern cantina set came with a sandtrooper with a cam droid(Never mind, now I see you said first release). It would have been nice if this set were made out of the same cardboard as the vintage cardboard cantina.

DarkArtist
12-12-2006, 09:51 AM
do any of you have any final opinions about all-cardboard playsets? Would you want any more of them? Any re-releases of them? Do you loathe them?

I liked the cardboard sets, they were an idea that if exanded upon could really have been a great way to get some cheap playsets that include a figure. Loved the ideas you mentioned in the previous post. Please Hasbro if you really want your fans to be happy give us playsets, even if they are smaller modular sets with a figure. The Death Star ideas on these forums would sell. Just give us a new sculpted figure or figures and not re-packs.

Tycho
12-14-2006, 04:53 PM
Since we've discussed the all-cardboard sets, let's look at the sets that had plastic bases and cardboard scene-backs.

This idea was started in the vintage era, and returned in the modern one:

Vintage - Land of the Jawas (this base was used a few times over)
Vintage - plastic base cantina (this was bordering on an all-plastic set)
Vintage - Rebel Command Center (Echo Base )
Vintage - Hoth Adventure (the one with the cardboard AT-AT)

Modern - Battle Arena - Invisible Hand
Modern - Battle Arena - Utopau
Modern - Battle Arena - Palpatine's Office
Modern - Death Star Escape - well the elevator shafts were shown on the cardboard floor for a different take on the position of the cardboard, but it was pretty close to the same thing.

I'm slightly disappointed in these:

The Land of the Jawas could have used a plastic half-back to scale for a sandcrawler.

The plastic cantina was pretty good for the day. It wouldn't work today with some 30 characters made for Mos Eisley's bar though.

The Rebel Command Center was weak and mainly used to market 3 figures for more than Kenner would get for them carded (Luke Hoth, AT-AT Commander, R2D2 Sensorscope). This was really unnecessary and a playset with Rieeken's command post and an attached Bacta Tank room would have been awesome (see the Micro Collection Echo Base).

The Hoth Adventure must have been fun for kids. I won't argue for a half-section AT-AT here. Even Kenner's eventual vehicle would have been too large for a playset piece - and that would not be a cool way to market one either, as you don't need a snow base to play with the AT-AT vehicle. So for those who couldn't afford the AT-AT vehicle - what was it $40 originally back in the day? The Hoth Adventure was probably a good toy for kids. It's different than how I'd handle Land of the Jawas with a half-section in-scale sandcrawler, because the crawler wasn't a combat vehicle and all it really had to do was vacuum up droids and maybe have an extra internal EU feature in it, besides stand there for Purchase of the Droids dioramas.

Modern - Battle Arena - Invisible Hand - this would have been awesome as an observation room playset (aboard Dooku's starcruiser). It would have been very similar to an all-plastic Emperor's Throne Room from ROTJ. A collapsing walkway, dueling disk levers, Palpatine's prisoner chair, all would have made cool set pieces and be easily convertable to a ROTJ set from the ROTS one. They missed an opportunity here.

Modern - Battle Arena - Utopau - this was unnecessary. A diorama setup with the hanger lip the Jedi Starfighter landed on and the Separatists' council table as well as Boga's catwalk might have been cool for some of us, but ultimately a money loser. You could have rappel lines for Cody's Airborne Clones though. That'd be cool. Set the whole thing up with crab droids as well. You could make this work, but 2005 was the year to do it.


Modern - Battle Arena - Palpatine's Office - this one could still work as a full playset. A blast out window, dueling levers, Palpatine's desk and seating for diorama displays - this set might've sold multiple times to the same buyer (I would have picked up several if it were that versatile). It was sort of half-wittedly executed.


Modern - Death Star Escape - Escape to where? I've said many times that I really would only appreciate this if it were a component part of a larger Death Star set.

Overall, Kenner-Hasbro didn't score to well with me for most of these. What did you think of the cardboard backs to plastic bases type of "playsets?"

General_Grievous
12-14-2006, 09:48 PM
Well, Tycho, when you mentioned plastic bases with cardboard backs, I immediately thought of the POTF2 and EP1 Cinema Scene three packs. While featureless, they could have been used as play environments or for small dioramas.

As a side note, I forgot that AOTC only had one playset. That movie sure does get the s*** end of the stick when it comes to toys.

Tenric78
12-15-2006, 12:06 AM
I hate to plug my own website, but I just wrote a nifty little story about the time I got my Ewok Village. Feel free to check it out at

http://www.toybender.com/a-christmas-memory/ (http://www.toybender.com/a-christmas-memory/)

I pretty much agree about it being awesome. One thing that was wierd about mine was that I got a wrong piece with it, so when it was assembled one of the outer walkways never fit right. Oh well...

Edit: well thats embarassing, somehow I'm replying to an older post on her about the ewok playset... oh well.

Tycho
12-15-2006, 01:13 AM
Cool story. I like the conclusion "Rudolph is a pimp-daddy!" Hehe.

Yeah I remember getting my Ewok Village. I knew it was coming though. I think I made my Mom take me to make sure she picked it up. Then I had to have her help me get the string through the capture net. I played with it on our living room floor and got permission to leave it out there over night as I certainly didn't want to take it apart. I think my Dad tolarated it for a few days. Part of waking up was to go and enjoy it, and part of it was to see if Dad still allowed it to remain there - a centerpiece in our living room.

I think that when it came out, we only had 2 of the eventual 8 vintage Ewoks, so you had to include the Endor Rebel Soldier, Jedi Luke, a "Mos Eisley" Han Solo figure, Hoth Leia, etc. to get a good grouping of the cast in there.

That brings up another twist on the Playsets that I was going to save for another day, but it works now, so why wait? That is the size limits.

I think a great playset allows for a lot of figures to be used with it. Would you agree this adds value?

Vintage Ewok Village - you could use a lot of figures on or under here:

Chirpa
Logray
Wicket
Teebo
Paploo
Lumat
Warok
Romba
Endor Rebel Soldier
Endor Leia
Endor Han
Chewie
Endor Luke
Ghost Anakin
Obi-Wan
Yoda
Bikerscout
Stormtrooper
Imperial Officer
AT-ST Driver
Death Squad Commander

Vintage Star Destroyer - not a favorite by a longshot, but you can use:

Darth Vader
Death Squad Commander
Imperial Officer
Death Star Gunner
TIE Pilot
Boba Fett
Bossk
IG-88

*There isn't enough room for all 6 bounty hunters

Vintage Dagobah - it's small, but fair. A great set. But the cast potrayed there was small too:

Yoda
Luke Bespin
Obi-Wan
R2D2
Darth Vader

Vintage Imperial Attack Base - gosh this is still a darn good set! You can use:

Hoth Rebel Commander
Hoth Rebel Soldier
Luke Hoth
Han Hoth
Chewbacca
Leia Hoth
Luke X-wing Pilot (as generic pilot)
C-3PO
R2D2 Sensorscope
Snowtrooper (on the outside)
Darth Vader (on the outside)
AT-AT Driver (on the outside)
AT-AT Commander (on the outside)
AT-ST Driver (on the outside)

*if you use modern figures alternatively, you can really kick butt with this playset. The Turret / Probot set wasn't listed, as it's great, but you can position a limited amount of figures with it - probably 4 generally.

Vintage Cardboard Mos Eisley - in spite of my not being too fond of this, you can display a lot of figures IIRC:

Stormtrooper
R5D4
PowerDroid
Jawa
Hammerhead
Walrusman
Greedo
SnaggleToothe
Blue Snaggletoothe
Luke
Ob-Wan
Han
Chewie
R2D2
C-3PO

Vintage Plastic Mos Eisley Cantina This one was a better set, but had a smaller play area. You could fit:

Stormtrooper
Jawa
Hammerhead
Walrusman
Greedo
SnaggleToothe
Blue Snaggletoothe
Luke
Obi-Wan
Han
Chewie

Maybe some droids outside.

Vintage Death Star Playset - this is really the ultimate playset period - from both eras. You can use so many characters from the vintage days, let alone what you can do with the modern collection:

Darth Vader
Emperor Palpatine
Royal Guard
Stormtrooper
Death Squad Commander
Imperial Officer
TIE Fighter Pilot
Death Star Gunner
Imperial Dignitary
Bikerscout
AT-ST Driver
Death Star Droid
PowerDroid
Luke Skywalker (original, Stormtrooper, or Jedi Knight)
Han Solo
Chewbacca
Princess Leia
Obi-Wan Kenobi
C-3PO
R2D2

I know I'm forgetting some - and with the modern figures, the possibilities grow!

The modern sets allow for limited space - even on the larger ones:

Well except Modern Royal Starship::

Captain Panaka
Naboo Royal Guard
Naboo Royal Security
Naboo Soldier (recent)
Queen Amidala (Theed fight)
Sabe (Decoy)
R2D2
R2B1
red R2 Unit
Qui-Gon
Obi-Wan
Anakin
JarJar

More I'm sure that I've forgotten - like Darth Maul jumping on the ramp.

The modern Cantina Diorama provided some play space:

Han
Chewie
Luke
Obi-Wan
Wuher
Greedo
Sandtrooper
Momaw Nadon
Jawa
Dr. Evezan
Figrin'Dan
Ponda Baba
Garindan
Lak Sivrak
Muftak
Kabe
Duro
Ketwol
Labrina
Nabrum Leids
Takeel

* There are plenty more like Bo Shek, Zutton, Djas Puhr, Dannik Jerriko, etc. but you'll run out of room on this diorama, so I allowed for 21 figures (with only 1 band member!). They really need to build something big to display all of these.

Modern Carbon Freezing Chamber Playset is too small, but such that you could display:

Lando
Lobot
Han Bespin
Leia Bespin Escape
Chewie Bespin Escape (with C-3PO on his back)
Stormtrooper
Darth Vader
Boba Fett (below)
Bespin Guard (below)
Ugnaught (below)

- no this just doesn't work and fit all the cast members it should. It's plenty big for a Luke Bespin / Vader duel by themselves - but most people get playsets to display more than 2 figures. Everyone I listed won't really fit here.

Modern Theed Hanger Playset

Battle Droid Blasted
Battle Droid Sliced
Battle Droid Clean
Destroyer Droid
Captain Panaka
Naboo Royal Guard
Naboo Royal Security
Queen Amidala (Theed fight)
Sabe (Decoy)
R2D2
Anakin

It'd be hard to get all these figures into a scene on this set, let alone there are more. I'd take the Jedi vs. Sith out of it and put them in the generator duel environment immediately to save space if you only have one Theed Hanger set.

Modern Geonosis Arena This display can't handle nearly all the figures one set could hold. But I'll start with the balcony and then try to add as much as I can:

Dooku
Poggle the Lesser
Jango Fett
Nute Gunray
Boba Fett
Battle Droid
Destroyer Droid
Super Battle Droid
Obi-Wan
Anakin
Padme
Geonosian Warrior
Geonosian Sentry
Sun Fac
C-3PO / Droid Swap
R2D2
Plo Koon
Ki-Adi Mundi
SaeSee Tiin
Mace Windu
Eeth Koth
Shaak-Ti
Coleman Trebor

- You're filled up by now without Aayla Secura, Luminara, Bariss, Sora Bulq and more, let alone the Arena Beasts or the Clones. 1 Arena Playset just doesn't cut it unless you want to only display your favorite Geonosis figures.

modern Mustafar Playset - very small, you're limited with who you can display here:

Anakin (Vader)
Obi-wan
Padme
C-3PO
R2D2
Mustafar Sentry
Niemoidian Warrior
Nute Gunray
Wat Tambor (around back)
Shu Mai (around back)
Passel Argente (around back)
San Hill (around back)

and that's really it. The upcoming Mustafar Lava Miner won't have any room - plus there's supposed to be 2 of the Sentries, the Lava Miners, the Niemodian Warriors (or you can use 1 Captain and one Warrior) - but there's no room. The back hardly makes for a command center - it's best to add the Geonosian War Room furniture (the ship holograms removed). Another take on this might be:

Vader (lava damaged Anakin)
Palpatine
2 Coruscant shocktroopers
And you can add the Chopper Droid or FX-7 and 21-B just for the heck of it.

But most of the playsets don't actually display all the figures that could be associated with them. There's the old axiom that less is more though - but it becomes really painful to choose!

What do you guys think?

Tenric78
12-15-2006, 04:01 PM
Great post. Thanks for kudos. I like hearing other people's memories of getting this stuff. My Ewok Village story is one of the reasons why I LOVE Star Wars toys to this day, I've got a lot of fond memories attached to them.

You're right about being able to play with a lot of figures on a set makes it better. My imagination would take other characters and put them in the scene, but it was always better if they matched to the films. What I liked most of all about the village is that you could use it for a number of things, mostly for a makeshift rebel base. I can't count how many times I used the elevator and the trap accesory in various ways.

Tycho
12-15-2006, 05:03 PM
I forgot Jabba's Throne Room from the modern sets of all things. Though I'm not really a fan, I looked at the Battle Arena sets to create some dioramas, but you can't really fit more than the 2 figures they came with on any of them.

So Modern Jabbas Throne Room - you can hardly fit all the figures they made in here, but I listed as far as one can get:

Jabba the Hutt
Salacious Crumb
Bubo
B'Omarr Monk
Wol Cabo****e
C-3PO
Boba Fett
Luke Jedi
Leia Boussh
Han Carbonite
Greedo
Jawa
Bossk
Bib Fortuna
Lando Skiff
Dengar
Gamorrean
Yak Face
Malakalei
EV-9D9
Ree-Yees
8D8
Chewie in Chains
Pote Snitkin
Amanaman
Tessek
Ephant Mon
Rappertunie
Tanus Spijeck
J'Quille

I didn't include the Max Rebo Band nor the Palace Dancers as they won't fit with the rest of these listed. Also, Oola, Slave Leia, and Boussh are all interchangeable depending upon what time frame in the movie you are depicting. This is 30 figures as it is - with most of the skiff guards excluded too, as they appear later in the movie in their forms they are incarnated in plastic in. (I put Pote Snitkin in there because he's really unique and unexpected).

Tenric78
12-15-2006, 07:06 PM
This thread really makes me miss the glory of the playset. sigh.

Tycho
12-15-2006, 09:39 PM
This thread really makes me miss the glory of the playset. sigh.

And Zizzle goes on selling that blasted Black Pearl Pirate Ship made by Kenner's former employees - rubbing salt in our wounds! (it's a good set if you're into POTC).

Tenric78
12-15-2006, 10:36 PM
That playset is beyond perfect for that line. I thought the same thing when I first saw it in stores.

I was watching old commercials the other day when I saw the Insectors giant playset. How sad was it when they could get a gigantic Castle Greyskull playset back then, but today one of the biggest toylines have almost none? Unfair I say!

Tycho
12-16-2006, 12:19 AM
If we ranked good playset size by the criteria on how many figures you could display with your setup, it turns out that they situate at:

7 vintage to 7 modern sets (listed and discussed above). You wouldn't have thought it - and the vintage sets are generally thought of as being better. But I didn't realize this until Tenric 78 made his comment and caused me to think about counting them up.

Recollect there is about 15 vintage to 15 modern sets as well (though twice as many modern movies - which doesn't speak too highly of what Hasbro has done with the playset line).

Tycho
12-18-2006, 09:31 PM
So which ones are THE BEST?

Vintage Death Star
Vintage Imperial Attack Base
Vintage Dagobah
Vintage Turret / Probot (not much room for figures, but great sculpt)
Vintage Ewok Village
Vintage Jabba's Throne (a bit small, but the best we've got)

Modern Mustafar
Modern Geonosian Arena
Modern Royal Starship (I still call this a vehicle)
Modern Cardboard Jabba's Throne Room (it can display a lot of figures)
Modern Cardboard Cantina - ditto - so much room to display figures

Aside from the Royal Starship, (which is a vehicle darn it!) not much in the modern line really counts out as impressive feats of engineering. Back in the day, KENNER had it going on with huge playsets (Death Star, Ewok Village) and a lot of features in all of them.

Tycho
12-21-2006, 12:42 PM
So with all this that's been discussed,

WHICH IS THE BEST AND WHICH IS THE WORST?

For me:

Best - vintage Death Star Playset - it goes with good guys as well as bad guys and the most characters are appropriate for use with it on all levels of the playset from the ground to the top. It's full of features and can hold 20 or more figures. This is the way to build them!


Worst - vintage Jabba's Dungeon - even the Kenner cardboard sets like Cloud City offered more of a in-continuity environment, and I have to acknowledge that Hasbro's cardboard sets were actually pretty decent. Everything else that was made was useable in some way. The Dungeon set was not remotely alike with what its title suggested it to be, and it was just a plastic base taken from what was one a Droid Factory setup, and then used to sell (up to) 6 figures (3 at a time). It was a low-point for Kenner that believe it or not, Hasbro hasn't actually crossed with their craptacular playset offerings.