For the most part, the Kenner Star Wars line was the first series of action figures I played with even prior to MOTU. Unfortunately, though, they aren’t as near and dear to my heart because I really didn’t have figures of my own to play with. All the Star Wars figures, the AT-AT, the Millennium Falcon, all of it, really belonged to my older brother, Dave. I had a couple figures of my own like my hero, Luke Skywalker, and sure Dave was nice enough to let me play with the toys anytime i wanted, but they still weren’t mine.
In fact, to the day, Dave has most of the Star Wars figures at his house, and they are not in my collection. I think that’s why the miniatures line was actually more important to me. These were my Star Wars toys, they didn’t belong to Dave, and so I was really able to connect with them more than the larger figures.
This and the fact that I have really fond memories of playing with these minis with my best childhood friend, my cousin, John Andrew. Even back then he was meticulous in keeping his toys all together and none of the pieces missing, unlike yours truly that seemed to be a holy terror when it came to keeping my toys in good working order. It was very important to do this with the minis especially, as because they were so small it was easy to lose pieces and end up having half put together play sets. But not my buddy, JA. I could also count on him to have his shite together.
Here’s some background on this series for those of you not in the know about them. The line was initially introduced in 1982, as a way to move the toy line into a direction not previously explored with the first two Star Wars films, especially with the mega blockbuster Return Of The Jedi ready to breathe new life into the franchise.
The line, which included only twelve pint-sized play sets and four vehicles, looked past the standard figure articulation and instead gave kids more of an interactive environment in order to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe and its characters.
The play sets were also designed to be sold in pieces that when connected would form an even bigger play set world for total immersment in the experience. There was the Death Star play sets from the first film that formed “Death Star World” when put together. From Empire Strikes Back there was a Hoth set and a Bespin set, both again that formed the larger “Hoth World” and “Bespin World” mega sets respectively.
My personal favorite was “Bespin World” because any one will tell you that my favorite scenes in all Star Wars are the lightsaber battles between Luke and Darth Vader on Bespin, and its always been that way. This play set really shows everything, from Han being frozen in Carbonite to the “I am your Father” scene. Smacktacular toy!
The four vehicles were an X-Wing and Tie Fighter, both which have break away pieces for battle damage. There was a Snowspeeder for the Hoth set, and finally a Millennium Falcon, which was more of a mini playset than a vehicle.
That’s my biggest regret from this line that neither John Andrew or myself had a Millennium Falcon from the micro collection. The toy is currently a major collector piece now because of its size and completeness in terms of accurate portraying the Falcon at a fraction of the size.
Speaking of collector piece, now that I’m quite a bit older, I personally feel that the Micro Collection was really the first legitimate Star Wars collectible instead of a real toy at least in the traditional sense. Even though most of the sets in the short-lived series featured special action features, it was truly designed as a display piece, and I kind of shutter now at the way I manhandle these toys growing up.
Luckily again, JA did not do the same. He actually has all of his Micro collection safely boxed up at his parents house along with the rest of his Star Wars classic collection. They are all in really great shape and over the years we’ve broken them out and relived our childhood days for a few minutes. Below is a picture from the time we played with them for a hour or so back when we were teenagers. Had a blast just like we did when we were 4.
I’m not exactly sure what caused the Micro collection to tank before they had a chance to make the playsets for which the line was originally intended: Return of the Jedi. Had the line not been cancelled early, kids would have seen the Emperor’s Throne Room produced for the Death Star World collection, the Bacta Chamber playset would have been produced for the Hoth World collection, the Torture Room would have been produced for the Bespin World collection, and Dagobah and Jabba’s Palace would have started two whole new Worlds.
It’s a bloody shame that we never got to see these great sets especially the Jabba Palace one, which might have had both a Sail Barge battle playset and a Rancor Pit. I have to think it was a real possiblity despite the only know prototype for this world being “The Droid torture area”. Just think we could have gotten more action Boba Fett minis, Mini Pig Guards, and wow..even a mini Slave Leia. Boggles the mind, it does.
Oh well, I’m really happy for the toys we got in this collection and I’m happy I got a chance to play with them as a kid. I personally recommend picking one up if you ever come across it at someone’s yard sale. They are great toys for kids and make kick ass shelve warmers for any adult Star Wars fan.