Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Imperial Troops Have Entered The Base: Vintage Kenner Rebel Command Center Adventure Set 1981

I had a hunch during the 1981 Christmas Season that Sears would once again have an exclusive Star Wars toy and my hunch was right. Like the Cantina Adventure Set released in 1978 and again in 1979 and the Cloud City Playset released in 1980, Kenner once again produced an exclusive playset including yet to be released action figures for Sears during the Christmas Season. This year the scarce Rebel Command Center Adventure Set was the toy of choice.

Not to be outdone, I once again pursued getting this Echo Base Playset as an early Christmas present. My Dad ordered one for me via Sears 1981 Christmas Wishbook, as the department store did not yet have them in stock. If memory serves we happened to be at Sears one night before the catalog order had come in and they just had stocked the shelves with the playset I was so anxiously awaiting its arrival. I talked my Dad into just buying one right then and there and cancel the catalog order.

The Rebel Command Center Adventure Set included a plastic base recycled from the Ice Planet Hoth Adventure Set that also was originally recycled from the Land of the Jawas Playset. Like this playsets predecessors, this playset came with a cardboard backdrop. This time representing the Rebel's Echo Base on Hoth.

You can see details like Han and Leia running towards the Millennium Falcon during their escape from the ice planet, Snowspeeders, X-Wing Fighters, a Rebel Soldier on a Tauntaun, and a cool ice cave with a laser rifle, backpack and map inside.

Most importantly the set came with 3 Star Wars action figures not yet available anywhere else. The previous Christmas exclusives had come with four figures, but this time around was minus one. However, the playset was of a little bit better quality since it had plastic base complete with an ice cave and action levers that would simulate battle. The three figures this go around were AT-AT Commander, R2-D2 (with sensorscope), and Luke Skywalker (Hoth Battle Gear).

Unlike the Canadian Cloud City Playset, that came with different figures than the U.S. version, the Canadian Rebel Command Center had figures that were named differently. The Canadian playset version came with the AT-AT Commander and called it General Veers, which is the actual name of the character and the only time any kind of AT-AT Commander is shown this uniform.

Once again I was the envy of all my Star Wars collecting friends to have figures that no one else was able to get. Well, they could have gone to Sears just like me and it was no secret where I bought them. So, why no one else jumped on the band wagon I'll never know.

During my parents famed garage Spring cleaning, the backdrop for this playset ended up in the trash and was rescued by me. However, the box was not as lucky. I recently picked up the box pictured here complete with instructions off eBay for $7.13 and the playset once again has its rightful home.

About the author: John Sholtz is an avid toy collector and the interim editor of the Batcave Toy Room due to the abrupt death of Bruce Wayne. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter at, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. It is so cool to see these sets and hear the stories behind them. I can just imagine your youthful excitement over these.

    1. Thanks JBoy. I am glad to hear you enjoy reading my exploits. I plan to continue with this format from now on.

  2. As cheap as it is, I really am liking this artwork. Makes me wish they actually did make an fuller scale echo base playset. I mean, they made a Micro Collection version and an Imperial Attack Base. The turret and probot set is still one of my favs.

    1. I agree. That is one of the reasons I like Kenner's Micro Collection so much, but can you imagine how cool it would have been to have a 3 3/4 inch action figure scale Echo Base, Wampa Cave, Rebel Generator, and the never produced Bacta Tank? I like the Turret & Probot playset as well. I have a post planned for it. Stay tuned.

  3. I've always liked snowy weather, so the Battle of Hoth has always been one of my favorite segments in Star Wars. Wish I had had this. Great to see so much enthusiasm. Cheers!

    1. Welcome aboard Gabriel! Seeing clips from the Battle of Hoth from the original trailer was partially responsible for making me a Star Wars fan. Thanks for stopping by.


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