Thursday, June 28, 2012
He's All Yours Bounty Hunter...Vintage Kenner Cloud City Playset 1980
From September to December 1980, my Star Wars Collection had grown by leaps and bounds. I had two thirds of the then thirty-two available action figures and had been systematically crossing off the playsets and vehicles found in the marketing juggernaut wish catalogs contained with every packaged Star Wars toy.
Christmas that year brought me Darth Vader's Star Destroyer, Imperial Troop Transporter, TIE Fighter, Ice Planet Hoth Adventure Set, Die Cast TIE Bomber, and an army of Stormtroopers and Rebel Soldiers. Just weeks before it also brought me the Sears Exclusive Cloud City Playset.
I can remember like it was yesterday, when my Dad took me to Sears in hopes to get the playset I had scoped out in their 1980 Christmas Wish Book. There were a plethora of not only the Cloud City Playsets, but tons of other Star Wars toys that I had hoped to receive on the morning of December 25.
I do remember my Dad asking, "Is this one next?" Pointing to Darth Vader's TIE Fighter. My response with a sly grin, "Maybe?" Thinking whole heartedly that my Dad had just given me a hint one of the toys I would receive in a couple of weeks. Interestingly, I did not. Shortly after Darth's Fighter was discontinued and I would have to wait for the Collector's Special Edition version to be released years later.
The Bespin based playset, like the Cantina Adventure Set before it and the Rebel Command Center the year after, came with action figures not yet available carded, Han Solo in his Bespin Outfit, Lobot, Dengar, and Ugnaught. I was the envy of all my friends. Not only to have this carbon freezing chamber exclusive, but to have figures that none of them had. My friend Henry was out of his skin that I had a Han Solo with a jacket. I can still see his face as he held it in awe.
The Cloud City Playset was basically a cheap cardboard diorama, but did have some cool graphics that included a three dimensional carbonite chamber and the device that was used to torture Han. With exception of Kenner's Cloud City Micro Collection playsets, this was the only to get one for use with the 4 inch figures. It also came with plastic foot pegs to assist with posing figures.
The Canadian version came with the original version of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Boba Fett. Rather than Han (Bespin Outfit), Lobot, and Dengar. Hasbro came out with a proper playset in 90's that pretty sweet as well.