Sunday, May 13, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Special - part 13

The best of the vintage "Star Wars" toys, and one that rivals anything being put out today, is the Death Star Space Station. Nearly two feet tall and with four floors of play area, this was one well-thought out playset. It crams numerous scenes from the movie into a pretty compact space (that doesn't feel small at all) with contruction design that maximixes sturdiness and play area, with a minimal amount of materials. The entire thing is composed of triangular floors (only two of which are full floors, which are stacked atop each other using plastic girders at one end, and the long elevator shaft at the other.

The top level has a roof over a platform with a rotating laser turret mounted onto it. The lever in front of the laser turret causes the turret to "explode" off of its base when pulled, an action which usually throws the gunner from its seat as well.

Also on the top level, built onto the back of the top of the elevator shaft (with working elevator) is the tractor beam controls. Smartly placed up at the highest point of the structure, it recreates the sense of vertigo and danger that were present in the movie, while taking up very little space on the playset and creating visual interest.

The third floor contains a corridor of the Death Star, with graphics on the cardboard backdrop creating computers and so forth, if you wanted them. You could also slide this panel out of its setting without interfering with the stability of the playset. This open space could give the heroes a view of the "Millenium Flacon" (sold seperately) docked below.

This t-shaped corridor, also housed a retractable bridge, which seperated the main corridor from the elevator. A hanging plastic grapple line (missing here--though not lost!) which hooked into the sealing could be used to recreate the chasm swing made by Luke and Leia in the movie.

The second floor was a full floor which contained two computer stations which looked at a bank of monitors on the carboard back wall. It could serve as a control room, the detention block, or that room that the heroes holed up in when R2-D2 determined that Princess Leia was imprisoned on the Death Star.

Additionally, this command center housed a trap door in the floor which led directly to...

...the trash compactor on the first floor. Filled with shredded sponge "trash' and a rubber dianoga monster, there was also a screw mechanism which allowed the trash compactor wall to close in on the trapped heroes. Alas, it did not close all the way, so C-3PO and R2-D2 could never fail to save them.

All it was missing was a prison cell to stow away the Princess.

I had countless hours of fun with this thing, and am boggled why Hasbro doesn't make this available again for the new generation of "Star Wars" fans, 'cause they ain't getting mine.


Todd Franklin said...

The Death Star playset was one of my favorite Star Wars toys too. I spent hours and hours playing with it.

Rozum said...

I think the Death Star posts you're running now pretty much blow this toy out of the water.