Sunday, June 2, 2013

Restoring An Imperial Troop Transporter

Stripped Vintage Imperial Troop Transporter. Photo: Batcave Toy Room
There's one. Set for stun!

Do you hear what I hear? The unmistakable sounds from the vintage Kenner Imperial Troop Transporter.

For me, probably one of my favorite Star Wars toys simply because it played sounds and dialogue from the movie. Six sounds in all, which included:

  • "R2-D2, where are you?"
  • "There's one. Set for stun!"
  • R2-D2 beeping
  • The sound of the transporter itself.
  • A blaster firing a couple of rounds.
  • A blaster firing in stun mode.
Sound effects like this are pretty common place for toys these days, but in 1979 this was pretty sophisticated electronics. Basically, there is a little record inside that plays when one of the red buttons on top is pushed.

Restoring a vintage Star Wars Imperial Troop Transporter. Photo: Batcave Toy Room
This is not my original Troop Transporter. I just happened to pick up this stripped model. Mine is in some rough shape and beyond restoration, but I thought I'd clean this one up and give it some TLC.

I didn't need to do much to it. Just a clean up and sticker replacement. I used the same Oxi-Clean/Soap solution I've mentioned before.

The sound works, however, it tends to play slow. The toy did have a feature that slowed the sound down, but that's not the problem. It is slow whether I use the feature or not.

Usually, the sound on these stops working because the rubber band that surrounds and causes the record to spin comes off its track. You have to open the toy and get the band back in place, but I think the bands have the tendency to stretch as they get old and it's just not tight enough to play the record at its proper speed. Causing the sound effects to drag.

Not sure if I can fix it. If I could replace the band maybe it would work properly.

Fully restored Kenner Imperial Troop Transporter. Photo: Batcave Toy Room
Even though the sound isn't a hundred percent, I still think she looks darn good and Day 27 of my 31 Days to a Better Toy Collection Challenge leaves me satisfied.

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. Looks fantastic John as always you do some fine work. Also I plan on trying your Oxi-Clean/Soap solution soon myself on the Starcom set I just picked up because it needs some cleaning in a bad way.

    1. Thanks JBoy. Sweet! I am sure it will look as good as new when you're done. Let us know how it turns out.

  2. I had this as a kid. I always prefered it with the Rebel Alliance though.

    1. The Imperial Troop Transporter was originally a Kenner creation. They even gave it a behind the scenes back story. However, it did appear in the Star Wars comics and it does appear in the Rebel Base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.


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