action fleet classic
the 1st 2500 pieces produced of the 1st series of action fleet vehicles were individually numbered. additionally, they differ from later releases in that they have no weathering or battle scorched painted effects, they are
darth vaders tie fighter (this one is the larger version)
a-wing (this one also differs in that the canopy hinge is concealed)
shuttle tydirium (the canopy hinge is concealed on this one as well)
snowspeeder (this one is even tougher to find than the others, as it was only packed 1-2 pieces per case, all the others were packed 4-5 pieces per case)
kay-bee two pack at-st/landspeeder (not quite sure how many of these were numbered, but i have one that is numbered 48)
the only other individually numbred vehicle from this line is the japanese exclusive zaap pack which contains lukes x-wing and vaders tie, both of these, as well as the figure included are finished in a pewter tone effect. these were released only in japan, and were limited to a production run of 4800.
these were the last produced vehicles in the classic line. galoobs distribution had pretty much fallen to pieces by the time these were released. the only retail store that i'm aware of that ever carried these was target, and not for too long a time at that!
the single pack millenium falcon was also not distributed very widely. i never saw one in retail. the classic duel, falcon and tie interceptor two pack, was a toys r us exclusive, but they had a lot of em in stock when it came out. the difference between the two pack falcon, and the single pack, is the inscription jkf (jim fong, the lead designer for galoob), had included inside the hull dedicating the falcon to his son, and all of us fans! the falcon which came in the two pack does not contain this inscription.
the other tail end release vehicles, jabbas sail barge, t-16 skyhopper, imperial landing craft, and rebel blockade runner, may be considered hard to find vehicles, but i saw quite a lot of these guys (particularly in walgreen's) when they were 1st released.
the rancor, and virago are considered by some to be hard to find, but in fact, i think that these were released in good numbers at 1st, but due to the public apathy to these two (the rancor not being a vehicle, and the virago being from shadows of the empire, and thus not being cannon) led to these not being shipped in numbers at later dates. when they 1st came out, i saw lots of these guys everywhere.
of course, the other vehicle which seems to be impossible to find is the green a-wing minus the lightning bolts and rebel insignia. i only include this, cause i have yet to acquire this guy
battle pack #12 - cantina smugglers and spies (this is the only battle pack set that i could never find anywhere!)
vader tie and lukes x-wing flight controller sets with bonus mm vehicles(nobody seems to know the full story on these guys, but they are certainly only available in seemingly very low numbers)
i would include the 1st 8 battle packs which contain the dropped figure, but even now, these are pretty easy to find at reasonable prices.
action fleet episode I
we all know that when the movie 1st came out, the 1st wave was everywhere (and still is). the choice of vehicles for this 1st wave was not exemplary wharton school of business sense. i mean how many republic cruisers can one have? and sebulbas pod? not even anakins? don't even git me started on the mtt, i've got several of these, and each one is as boring as the next! if only the naboo fighter had come with a naboo pilot (instead of anakin), and if the droid fighter had been released with the 1st wave instead of the 2nd wave, more people might have bought several of these fighters as army builders. (even after i bought the naboo hanger playset with the additional vehicle docking areas contianed within, i still didn't buy another fighter due to the lil orphan annie being the figure included factor!)(but i digress)
the most hard to find of the this line is the 3rd wave
droid control ship
i never saw these on retail shelves. as far as i know, they were only available on line. and not mainstream online vendors either. (etoys and amazon never seemed to have these, only specialty on line retailors like d&s toys)
the series alpha droid fighter only saw limited initial release. as indicated in my other thread, when they finally got around to releasing the series alpha naboo fighter, the droid fighter seemed to have disapeared into a balck hole, thus making this one a truely tough to find item. if you didin't get it at targets (again the only retail establishment where i ever saw these alpha guys on the shelf) you were pretty much enslaved to ebay if you wanted one
the 2nd wave of vehicles were not shipped in great quantities due to the fiasco of wave one, but they were available for a reasonable amount of time particularly at walmarts. of this wave, i would have to say that the trade federation lander was the toughest to come by. that one was short packed in the cases, and usually only one, maybe two would be on the shelves compared with the 5 or 6 of the other vehicles.
as for the mini scenes, i never had a problem finding any of these when they came out. i got all eight from amazon for $1.50 apiece.
people claim the otah gunga and the theed palace plaset are hard to find, (heck, i remeber when they were 1st released, jedijones actually sold these for 200 samolians apiece to the same bidder! sheeeeesh ), but both of these playsets were carried at the time in decent numbers by several online retailers ( i believe i got mine from D&S toys for 14 apiece)(hey anytine i can save 372 smackers, count me in! )
micro machines classic
epic collection 4,5, and 6. hands down. if you didn't jump on 1-800-galoob when they was offered, you lost out. that's all she wrote on those puppies.(hell, i didn't even know these things existed until i saw em on brit cit's excellent web site!)
mini heads 5,6,7,8,and 9. these were only released in europe (and possibly asia), and of these, set VII is the toughest to find (particularly with regards to the snowtrooper) almost all the heads from these sets were part of a pizza hut promotional (with the exception of the snowtrooper, 4-lom, and luke skywalker, of course all of these are from set VII)
c3p0 mini head, this was a mail in giveway with the purchase of the se triolgy video set. the only other way to get this head was part of a european only released mini head gift set. this gift set also included the 4-lom, and luke skywalker head from set VII, but not the snowtrooper, making the snowtrooper the hardest to find, as well as the rareset of any of the mini heads.
x-ray set 5, 6, and 7, again, these were only released in europe, and not in great quantities.
j.c. penny had a trilogy gift set which included several x-ray vehicles but in fully painted versions. this set also included the x-ray version of the shuttle tydirium which was the only way to get this particular x-ray vehicle
die cast vehicles
the 4 last tailenders a-wing, landspeeder, snowspeeder, and tie bomber, were not shipped in large numbers, making these guys rather tough to find. of these 4, i have to say that the snowspeeder is the hardest to come by. (thanx to another mythical score by none other than vulcantouch himself, i would not have this one!)
episode I micro machines
sets 11, 12, and 13 only recently showed themselves in europe, and not many of tem have been spotted
sets 14, 15, and 16 have yet to be seen, but they may be out there. (if found, please let us know!)
sets 7, 8, 9, and 10 have started cropping up in seemingly greater numbers ( i got mine in a ebay auction, sets 1-10 for $23.00!, seeeeeeeee vt, sometimes i can be downright frugal!) d&s toys has em as well as some other online retailers.
episode I playsets
tatooine desert with royal starship (from mm pack 12), is a tough find. some online retailers had em for awhile, but lately it's been incognito.
in case no one knew this fact, the pod race arena (which is becoming scarecer to find) has aldar beedo's pod racer included, which along with the above mentioned tatooine desert, makes this the only other playset to have an exclusive vehicle which is not available elsewise! (elsewise?)
and last (but certainly not least) is the potj jedi braid set, which was only released in the land of vegemite sandwhiches, this set included a holographic micro machines royal starship.
whew! i think that sums it up!(at least imho)