Tuesday, May 4, 2021

LucasArts/Lucasfilm Games: The Adventurer - Spring 1991

As part of Star Wars Day and Lucasfilm's 50th anniversary, I've scanned the complete Spring 1991 issue of The Adventurer from LucasArts/Lucasfilm Games. This was a quarterly newsletter for fans that was printed on newspaper. It's rather big and not easy to scan, and was a bit too wide for the copier I used. While there is some skewed text due to the paper being wavy, all of the articles are legible. I do own the Fall 1991 issue as well and scanned that at the same time but I'll wait until later in the year to post that one. This issue has a surprising spelling error seeing how this is from the maker of Star Wars. On page 11 two of the image captions spell Obi-Wan Kenobi as Kenobe!

Star Wars: Mos Eisley Arcade

This is a toy photoshoot featuring photographs of a large Jawa action figure playing Tomy's Cosmic Clash arcade game. Originally I planned to do a video of the Tomy toy but like so many of my old electronics, it is not fully functional though it does sometimes light up the ships and scroll for a second. Being from the '80s (cannot locate a copyright on the toy itself), it is not a fancy handheld video game. Instead it is a toy where images of spaceships scroll along the bottom of the "screen" and the user hits a fire button to try and hit them. A successful hit results in a purple explosion to appear on the the large space above the ships.

After giving up on a video for it I noticed the size (it's 8.5" tall) might make it suitable to pair with another toy for a photo shoot and the Jawa is perfect for that. If arcade games existed in the Star Wars universe it wouldn't be hard to imagine a Jawa playing a dingy arcade game (while standing on a stool) in a dark corner of the Mos Eisley Cantina. The toy itself doesn't give off much light at all and as I mentioned it's not currently functioning properly so that light emanating from that space onto the Jawa is something I added to mimic a real arcade cabinet.

I also tried many artistic filters in Photoshop on one image and here are my favorites:

[YouTube] Star Wars: Kenner Mini-Rigs

Between 1981-1984 Kenner released nine Star Wars toys that did not appear in the movies that it called "mini-rigs" as they are small vehicles that retailed for $4.99 which was about the price of two action figures. While there were creatures the figures could ride, like Dewbacks and Tauntauns, most movie vehicles were on the medium to large side until Return of the Jedi's speeder bike. The mini-rigs offered an affordable option for kids to have more toys to use with their action figures. Kenner did release another original vehicle before these and once the movies ended a few more of its own creations appeared in The Power of the Force series. I'm going to leave a link here to a 2013 story on StarWars.com that details the toys that did not appear in movies though many did later turn up in the comic books: Offscreen, but Not Forgotten: Mini-Rigs, Body-Rigs, and Other Kenner Vehicles.

I own seven of the nine mini-rigs which appear in the video and the photos below. The two I do not own can be seen in the above catalog scans where the left image can be considered toys for The Empire Strikes Back and the right Return of the Jedi (action figures were sold separately). In the left image I do not have the Multi-Terrain Vehicle (MTV-7) and in the right image I am missing the Endor Forest Ranger. Kenner appears to consider four of the mini-rigs to be Imperial, three to be for the Rebel Alliance, and two for Jabba-the-Hutt's guards. 

I'll put the photos in the same order as the catalog lists them and I'm also including a piece of the MLC's packaging and the ISP's manual. Also, some of the stickers are peeling, I'm missing the front piece of the Captivator, and I intentionally didn't pick the action figures that would make the most sense. In most cases I chose what I thought would be more obscure or less popular characters for the photos because the mini-rigs fit that profile as well since they aren't in the movies. The choice of Admiral Ackbar was for humor as I thought he looked good in the MLC with its fish bowl-like bubble. 

Captivator (CAP-2)

Interceptor (INT-4)

Mobile Laser Cannot (MLC-3)

Personnel Deployment Transport (PDT-8)

Desert Sail Skiff

Imperial Shuttle Pod (ISP-6)

Armored Sentinel Transport (AST-5)