View Full Version : Cardboard spaceships & other substitute toys

06-25-2007, 11:46 AM
As a kid, Santa didn't bring me vehicles or even a lot of action figures from Star Wars. So I made my own vehicles...out of cardboard. I remember crafting together a Millenium Falcon based on the picture I saw on a trading card. The X-wing was a challenge because it had to have working wings. The TIE was cool but getting the vertical wings to stay glued on the body was tough.

Those are all long gone, but they were more than adequate for an eight-year old boy to play with.

It's not a remarkable story, but what makes it come to mind is that I continually run into other guys around my age who did the exact same thing. Some of the creations were far more elaborate than I remember mine being and some weren't. The common thread though is that we all felt compelled to recreate pieces of a movie in any way that we could, before we even knew that real toys would be available. I was a huge fan of Space 1999 and Battlestar Galactica later on, but I never had the desire to make my own versions of things from those shows.

There was just something about Star Wars that inspired some of us to bring it home in any way we could.

06-25-2007, 01:06 PM
That's a cool post Stillakid. I built a star destroyer and I guess the memory had a favorable stay with me, as when I designed the patterns for my blockade runner, I contracted to have it rendered in actual plastic.

That being noted, I have plans for Jabba's Sailbarge and another Star Destroyer as well. I am holding off until I have a large environment to display them in (and in hopes that Hasbro will at least make an underscale sailbarge in the same vein as Zizzle's Black Pearl - as the other company proved it CAN be done!) Regardless, I don't need to worry whether that's a pipe dream yet because I don't own a large home yet, so I don't have to worry about a sailbarge for the moment.

06-25-2007, 03:51 PM
My parents did not let me have vehicles because they "took up too much room" and we lived in a small house, so I would often have my figures flying around in various items from around the house. My mother's sewing box had compartments, which could work as a cockpit or different parts of the ship, so that was a favorite vessel.

Funny, it probably really helps kids with their imaginations and to understand you can't have everything you want, but I grew up really wanting a Falcon and bought one in 1996.

06-25-2007, 04:16 PM
We old farts did the same thing. When we weren't watching mom and dad paint bison hunts on the cave wall, we were making cardboard replicas of the Seaview and Fireball XL5.

06-25-2007, 04:36 PM
When we weren't watching mom and dad paint bison hunts on the cave wall,

LMAO. That has to be the funniest thing I've read in a while. :yes:

06-26-2007, 09:33 AM
I had a rubber turtle with a separate plastic shell that I subbed for a dewback- I also used one of them "magic snakes" to make little skimmer-type "vehicles". Dagobah was the roots of a HUGE tree in my driveway. I don't recall making any SW "prop" toys out of any paper or cardboard tho.

OH I DID make a "Phoenix" from Battle of the Planets from cardboard once- damn stupid rules meant there couldn't be toys from the show when it was on :beard: Iso & Baws
Cappy is at Cedar Point right now

06-26-2007, 01:22 PM
A few years after Star Wars drew me in, I recall looking longingly at those little booklets with the figures and vehicles that just looked so cool. The dream was to get the AT AT. I never saw one for real, but I imagined how huge they must have been...to an eleven year old anyway.

So one of my favorite ways to play was to recreate the entire film by going through the TOPPS trading cards one by one to mimic the story with the toys. So when I got to the snow battle on Hoth, I had a problem. No AT AT. :( But necessity is the mother of creativity so I emptied out the laundry basket, flipped it over, and plopped the Hoth Snowtroopers on top. The battle could continue! :yes:

06-26-2007, 01:25 PM
I built cardboard spaceships too. I definitely remember a landspeeder made from a shampoo bottle and an x-wing made from a cereal box and toilet roll insert tubes. I built a clay yodas hut and had it in the garden under a dug up tree root which also served in part as my endor setup where my bunker entrance was made from a chunk of styrene packing material.
I built a big spaceship with working lights out of a couple of corrugated card boxes and whatever junk was lying around. it wasn't the falcon but it served as transport and playset for other characters who didn't get vehicles.
My elder brother crafted a falcon cockpit for me but it ws very flimsy and held together with sellotape.
mostly it was down to us being so poor at the time the figures were all I could get. I think the only real vehicles i had were the speeder bike and AT-ST.
I even went as far as building star wars movie sets in lego for my figures. usually the detention block or cantina and then later on echo base and the hoth plains battle. especially the trenches.

The main reason star wars struck a chord i think is that it seemed real. Lucas' used universe seemed so real and Luke's humble beginnings in a galaxy fosaken location tapped into the feelings of many a small town boy.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-26-2007, 02:16 PM
The box that my parents' checkbook would come in made a perfect landspeeder, once you cut out a seat and drew on some other features.

Used toilet paper rolls could make good cannons.

Cocktail swords were... uh, swords. Blue for Luke/Ben, red for Vader, yellow if you needed a "fake" character (such as Luke Solo, Han Skywalker) no green yet (pre-ROJ).

Tan/brown sheets = Tatooine sands. White sheets = Hoth ice fields.

Flooded bark flower box = garbage compactor/Dagobah.

06-26-2007, 03:52 PM
My grandpa had this really cool chrome flashlight, and I used to make a long cone out of paper and tape it on the end to make my own lightsaber. I had totally forgotten about that until I read this thread. Thank you sincerely.

06-26-2007, 05:12 PM
Mr. DP- I totally forgot about makin a "death star/bespin/blockade runner" out of a big elaborate piece of styrofoam, your post jogged my memory, nice work!! I also built a cantina out of LEGO, we planned on actually shooting a film on 8mm over the summer in grade 4- we were going to make the bartender by turning Admiral Ackbars head around backwards and calling him "Fleckmar"... never got off the ground tho..

BCJ- oh yes, cocktail swords were AWESOME, I still have some of my "originals" :D
:beard: Iso & Baws
KH got a raise recently

06-27-2007, 07:36 AM
Flooded bark flower box = garbage compactor/Dagobah.

Pure genius! :thumbsup: What an image! This is one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments!