When 1980 came around, and The Empire Strikes Back was released, I came out of the theater pumped up and excited about the new ship designs that had been used in the film! The Rebel Base attack scene on Hoth really stuck in my mind! After purchasing the ESB Sketchbook, I actually made my own Snowspeeder to fit my 1/18 Star Wars figures out of card stock. I used only the front and rear drawings from that Sketchbook as examples to make my Speeder… and it turned out really good! All of those intricate angles I achieved without seeing a side view…. and I was amazed! LOL. When the toy came out that same year I received one as a gift… and I LOVED IT! I still have it in storage today! It was cool! Compared to the other Star Wars toys that were misshapen-ed by Kenner to fit the figures to be in a small enough toy they could release, this toy Snowspeeder was shaped beautifully, and it fit the figures just fine. I used to have photos of my creation next to the Kenner toy, but sadly my 1980 Polaroid instant photos are all white now… like they are blank. It is upsetting indeed. However back then when I placed them next to each other I found the dimensions I made to be very near what the toy had in it’s own dimensions. That stated… this toy was cool. I did not appreciate the light-up laser cannons however. Even back then I thought it cheapened the toy.
The 2020 Hasbro Black Series Snowspeeder Toy with Kurt Kuhn
Stepping forward to today… about 3 to 4 months ago now (before I caught Covid 19). I was cruising around Amazon Prime and saw this amazing new Black Series Snowspeeder from Hasbro… and it included the Black Series 6 inch Dak Ralter figure! I had to have it, so after adding the Black Series 6 ” ESB Luke Sywalker Pilot Figure to my Cart (to complete the Pilot and Gunner Display), I clicked a few buttons… and I had it in my hands two days later! lol. When I opened this box, I noticed immediately how fantastic the detail is on it. Plus, Dak and Luke actually look like the actors who portrayed them. This toy, if repainted with a few details added, could be filmed as a studio model. It even has the panel on it’s right side able to be removed to display it yet as another miniature from ESB. The air brakes are tightly fit. Getting them to open is a minor challenge (having to pry them open), and when I did get them open, I could not get them to remain open for long. Each would fall back down after a few seconds. I don’t imagine this will be an issue for most people. There are three landing gear legs that disappear nicely under fuselage cover plates. The rear landing gear requires to be pulled out far enough to hear a click (indicating they are locked in place) in order for them to remain open. Even so, I found that when setting the toy on a table, with the rear landing gear in locked position, that if I turned the toy at all, the rear landing gear would become unlocked, and I would find the Snowspeeder then resting on it’s rear wings. For me it s not a concern, and the gear positioning, as well as it’s design ‘look’ are well done in my own opinion. The canopy opens wide and the interior is AWESOME! The details Hasbro placed in this toy are amazing. You are getting what you pay for in the hefty price these go for today. The canopy also fits tightly, making it difficult to open. Also, the canopy windows are not clear, however…. having a cloudy look about them. I thought at first there may be a thin protective film on them I may remove, but that is not the case here. It is what it is.. and this toy is still very cool! It is a large toy and when placed next to the studio model replicas I have here, you can see they are nearly the same size (tip to stern), but with a noticeable different in Pilot size. If I remember correctly (and I may be wrong) the studio scale T-47 had 1/8 scale Figures in it. Hasbro is using the 1/10 scale figures. I believe Hasbro went for a realistic scale between the figure and the toy here. The studio model really packed in the pilot and gunner, nearly making it impossible for the pilot to even sit in the cockpit. If one is to look at the life sized filming prop, you can see the size of the Snowspeeder to be about the size of the smallest Mini Cooper car. The size comparison for this new toy (as compared to the 6″ figures) makes the Snowspeeder nearly the size of a basic 1/2 ton Ford F-150 Truck. To be honest… I really don’t care as the figures now look proportioned correctly. It is funny however that instead of taking the Kenner approach in mis-sizing, this time Hasbro made a toy to the size of the 6″ figure instead of making it to the size it could have been (packing the 6″ figure into a smaller form vehicle, and matching the studio model). Making the vehicle smaller would have made it impossible to get the figures in, because it would have required to much bending that the figures simply could not do.
Bottom line…. This is a COOL TOY! I highly recommend it! Hasbro (and their Toy Designers) did an OUTSTANDING job and I applaud them! I may even purchase another and repaint them both for a display I have in mind.
Peace be unto you.
Kuhn Global Incorporated
Modelers Miniatures & Magic
…and here are photos utilized from WorthPoint of the 1980 Kenner Snowspeeder Toy for comparison…
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