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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Restoring The Fastest Hunk Of Junk In The Galaxy



Kenner's vintage Millennium Falcon Spaceship was a vehicle, a playset, and action figure storage case. At least for me it was all the above. The Millennium Falcon is the oldest Star Wars toy in my collection and as a kid it was probably part of every adventure my imagination could dream up. It was also probably why my Falcon was worn down.



The restoration project for this toy was one of the first projects I took on and ironically was on one of my longest. I wish I had taken pics of the before specimen for the restoration undertaking, but I had started this project a good seven years ago and good four years before The Batcave Toy Room was born. So, what I have is pretty much the finished project.

I started the project with a good cleaning and almost complete part replacement. I started with the replacement of the laser turret on top. The male/female studs that hold the turret together were broken and the turret was held together by tape for years. I also had to replace the swivel and hinge part that held the radar in place. These were easily found on eBay.



I also needed to replace the landing ramp as the hinge was broken. Likewise, one of the ramp struts was broken and really wasn't worth a darn. These too were also readily available on eBay.



The part replacement task was then followed by a good cleaning and decal replacement. The decals came from the now defunct Toy Restore. I don't know whatever happened to the site, but Toy Restore had the best reproduction decals I have ever seen. I strive to obtain original parts whenever possible, but as far Star Wars reproduction stickers go, these guys were the best. Oh, Toy Restore, why did you leave me?


The toughest part for me to replace was the lightsaber seeker ball. I had pretty much given up on finding an original. These days, the only way to guarantee an original is to pretty much crack open a sealed MIB Millenium Falcon and  open the parts bag, but that would be just silly. So, I settled on a repro version, which I picked up at reproparts.net.


When I bought the seeker ball, I also received a repro arm that held the blue orb by a string. Both the arm and the seeker ball are very well done, but you see in the pic that the original, which is on the right, is a darker gray than the reproduced version. If you are looking for an original keep that in mind.


All in all, I am happy to have my favorite spaceship back in tip top shape. A feat that Han Solo never seemed to accomplish the movies.

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.

11 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks JBoy! She's my pride and joy.

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  2. What a sweet-ass ride! I'm only a casual collector of vintage Star Wars stuff... but this is one of those items where if I found it I would HAVE to HAVE it! Great job restoring it by the way. I was not even aware that you could pick up reproduced parts and decals for old toys. How cool!

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    1. Thank you sir. If you ever need me to point you in the right direction for reproduction parts and decals let me know. I'll work on posting some links to the most reliable sites.

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  3. Bravo...I weighed my options on my Falcon shell and ended up selling it for scrap parts...needing a part or two is one thing but the ball, chessboard, floor plate, both guns, radar dish, bay door and cockpit??? Too rich for my blood, you can buy one in the box for the cost to wrangle all those parts.

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    1. Thanks Mr R. It can add up fast. If this Falcon wasn't as sentimental as it is, I would have done the same thing. I've actually been doing that a lot this year. Sell less than quality pieces and turn around and buy better specimens.

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  4. I find this whole toy restoration idea to be fascinating especially with such a signature piece as the Falcon.

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  5. I've always been fascinated in fixing things Cal. It's almost as fun a hobby as just plain toy collecting itself. More restoration pieces coming soon.

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  6. SO great! Still have the old hull on mine-should scrap her out on ebay

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    1. I've been doing a lot of that lately Colin. If it's not worth restoring or is not repairable, it goes into the scrap pile.

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  7. I got "chewed out" for buying myself a now "custom-made" Joker....
    But I look forward to adding him to my collection of 1/6th scale Joker Figures....

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