~1997/1998 12" Han Solo in Smuggler Outfit by Kenner.

All photos by Becky Green Photography. Blaster bolts and effects by me.

  • DL-44 Blaster Pistol
  • Hip Holster and Gunslinger's Belt

This 12" Han Solo figure is the quintessential smuggler as we know him from Episode 4: A New Hope. It's the clothing every kid wanted to dress up in, and every girl swooned over. (Those tight pants and low-slung belt? Yeah, sexy). Something about the outfit fits perfectly with Han's swagger when he boasts that the Millennium Falcon was the one "who made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs" to a skeptical Obi-wan and confused Luke. (Most likely because parsecs are a unit of distance, not speed. However, this isn't actually a mistake on Han's or the scriptwriters' part, seeing as the Kessel Run is a well-traveled smuggler's path that runs through an asteroid field edged by a cluster of black holes. The closer one pilots their ship to the black holes to avoid losing time dodging among the asteroids, the more space and time are warped, thereby shaving distance from the route. This makes Han's boast not only correct, but an impressively dangerous accomplishment.)

This Han figure technically belongs to my oldest brother, though it resides at my house for now. (I'll be getting my own duplicate as soon as I can.) I love the detail of his jacket and the way his belt sits with the grip of his blaster right next to his hand. Notice the Corellian Bloodstripe running down those trousers, an award for bravery, I believe. He's the only dude who can actually pull off a popped collar. While his face isn't the truest representation of Harrison Ford's (even the 6" Kenner figures from 1995 do a better portrayal), I consider it a fun interpretation of the character, rather than an attempt at a real-life face.

Han runs a close second to Luke as far as favorite characters go, and I've always liked the Star Wars novels featuring Han prominently best. His cocky attitude and dangerous scowl are the perfect foil to Luke's earnestness in A New Hope. His relationship with Chewie has always fired my imagination; just two buddies out adventuring in the galaxy and running from those up-tight Imps. While Harrison Ford has long held that he didn't think the character had enough depth, I've always disagreed; Han may not be a true anti-hero, but he has that same spirit, the guy who sometimes does the right thing, but is never far from trouble. After all, Han did shoot first.

~1997/1998 12" Luke Skywalker in Hoth Gear by Kenner.

All photos by Becky Green Photography, lightsabers and effects by me.
  • Blue Lightsaber
  • DL-44 Blaster Pistol
  • Standard Issue Rebel Blaster Rifle with working missile
  • Removeable Helmet, Goggles, and Scarf

This 12" figure of Luke Skywalker takes its outfit from The Empire Strikes Back, Episode 4 of the original Star Wars Trilogy. In the movie, Luke begins on the ice planet of Hoth, helping to install a new rebel base after the Empire destroyed the previous base on the jungle moon of Yavin IV. Due to the extreme cold, all the characters are dressed in thick coats as they explore the snow-covered surface on the furred-lizard tauntauns. I've always liked the design behind all the cold weather costumes in this part of the movie, and was super excited to get this figure many, many years ago. I'm pretty sure it was for my birthday.

Real Life
The Hoth version of Luke is one of my favorites of all the 12" Kenner figures I own. The detail and stitching on his jacket and pants is of incredible quality and each piece of his outfit comes off separately. His cuffs even unfold and his scarf can be tied any way you want. Notice the communicator on his wrist, just like in the movie. While his face isn't incredibly true to Mark Hamill's, it's a mite better than the monkey-visage present on the 6" figures Kenner introduced in 1995.

I've always been a big fan of Luke despite pop culture's portrayal of how whiny he is in A New Hope. It's probably because he has such a defined character arc and I prefer to look at his whole journey through the trilogy as opposed to one movie at a time. I think his "farm boy" archetype has to be one of my favorites, as evidenced by my love for Taran from The Prydain Chronicles, Sam from The Lord of the Rings, and the characters in my own novels.

Click to Expand

I've been interviewed again!

A twitter buddy of mine and soon to be published author Kristin McFarland deemed me worthy of an interview on her blog recently, where I promptly grew long-winded. Check it out if you're interested and see what I have to say about writing YA fantasy!

Introducing a new feature of my blog: Weekly Star Wars Toy Highlights!

Before you take a single breath further, know I am aware how nerdy this is and realize how little I care.

I posted about my resurrected Star Wars collection already on this blog, which was fun, but left me wanting to talk about it more. So I've decided to highlight each piece in the collection once a week, complete with quality photos and description of their place in the movie universe. I'm hoping to include a breakdown of their accessories, a brief history, along with the year they were manufactured, if I can swing it. For the more interesting or rare pieces, I'll include the details that make them such. I'm excited by the idea because it will give me an excuse to play with everything once more, and of course, talk about Star Wars toys.

I'll begin with my favorites, then move on to the smaller and less consequential pieces, all the while mixing in the new pieces I acquire going forward. The first post should come some time this week!

Join me, and together, we can build our collection as father and son!

The Star Wars movies, books, comics, and radio dramas were some of the most wonderful things to me in my childhood to mid teen years, and I feel no shame in how much of a role they played in my life. I count the EU novels to be one of the big reasons I developed a love for reading--and by extension--writing.

Anyway, when I was a kid, my brothers and I had a ton of Star Wars toys. I mean a TON of them, from different manufacturing runs and decades from before I was even born. We never had a lot of random toys lying around everywhere like you might imagine a spoiled kid might have had, but we scrimped and saved allowances for each action figure and begged Santa for the more expensive vehicle sets (my poor, poor mother). Because of this, each acquisition was precious and well played with. (Unfortunately, that also means we no longer have any boxes for the collector items, more about that later.)

When my three brothers and I grew up, other things took priority over continuing our Star Wars collection: a sofa to sit on, a $50 TV from the D.I., a kitchen table, those sorts of things. We got married, got jobs, went to college, etc. Unfortunately none of us really had room for our old Star Wars collection in our little apartments, and my mom eventually boxed everything up and stuck them in the garage.

Until now.

I've always been a geek (the kind that gets bullied at school because they can't bring themselves to hide it)  and as I grew up, I never lost my love for fantasy and scifi. I've recently begun to embrace that aspect of my life once more and my new collection of superhero action figures and comics has slowly been growing as I rewatch the old Star Trek TNG/Voyager/DS9 episodes and write fantasy novels.

My mind has naturally turned once more to the boxes of Star Wars toys at my mother's house.

So, a couple weeks ago, I stopped by and broke open the boxes for the first time in years (while screaming like a girl at the spiderwebs).

It was like Christmas times twenty. I didn't even remember some of the stuff I found before I actually pulled them out! My HUGE X-wing fighter, the MASSIVE Millennium Falcon, our SWEET AT-AT walker, not to mention the hundreds of action figures. We have playsets, SW micro-machines, full-size lightsabers, puzzles, and half a dozen smaller vehicles like the A-wing, Luke's landspeeder, a special edition snowspeeder based off a Ralph McQuarrie painting, and much more.

Perhaps most valuable are the dozen or so original Kenner toys from the '80s, including such figures as telescoping lightsaber Darth Vader (x2), RoTJ Obi-wan, Imperial Star Destroyer Controller, AT-AT Pilot, Walrus Face, Weequay (x2), and a many more I can't recall at the moment. We even have a super rare RoTJ Anakin Skywalker that would be worth BIG (and I mean MEGA) bucks if we only had the box he came in. This is super painful, because he'd be worth more than a lot of used cars if we had never opened him up (not that I'd ever sell him anyway, nostalgia and all that).

But I wasn't prepared for the wave of comfy nostalgia brought on by my pride and joy: a set of 1998 12" fully-poseable dolls with real cloth costumes and armor. There's Luke, Han, Darth Vader, Obi-wan, and Luke with Hoth gear. Man, we had so much fun with those (I used to swap Darth Vader's clothes to Luke and pretend he'd turned to the Dark Side like in the graphic novels). They just don't make toys like that any more.

I'll add some better
pictures later.
Each one belongs to a different brother, with the two Lukes belonging to me, but for now, they're all residing at my house with the rest of the Star Wars stuff (minus the toys from the Prequels, they went back in the boxes and are now sleeping with the spiders, as is fitting. Seriously, screw them). My dearest wish is to continue adding more of the 1998 12" dolls to that collection, since Amazon has a ton of characters I never knew belonged to that particular toy line. There's even a Boba Fett, which I think I might faint when I can finally afford to buy (peeps love that bounty hunter, so he's kind of expensive).

I dedicated a whole corner of my writing office to the display shelves that reach almost to the ceiling and stare at the collection for perhaps longer than is strictly necessary. I don't know why it took me so long to reclaim everything from my mom's house, but I'm really glad I finally did. I'm sure at some point my brothers will also come to their senses and start stripping their personally-owned toys from the collection (as is their right), but until then, I just gotta work on building my own collection to fill in the eventual gaps.

So yeah, I have a geeky collection once again, and life is good.

UPDATE: I have just purchased two new 12" figures: Luke Skywalker in black Jedi gear, and Emperor Palpatine from RoTJ.