Thursday, May 4, 2017

Star Wars Van / Star Wars Van Set (Kenner)



Star Wars Van / Star Wars Van Set
Kenner
1978

May the 4th be with you!

It's a phrase that has allegedly been used since May 4, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister. A Danish public broadcaster claims that her political party place a congratulatory advertisement in the London Evening News saying, "May the fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations."

As for celebrating the day, this first took place on May 4, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. The day featured Star Wars related Trivia, a costume contest, and several fan films shown on a big screen at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company recognizes the day, and "celebrates" by gouging treating fans with Star Wars related festivities at Disneyland and Disney World.

That's not to say that the Sith don't get their share of love. Fans have denoted May 5th to the "holiday" Revenge of the Fifth.

Though we're huge fans of Star Wars here at The Toy Box, we honestly don't do much of anything other than roll our eyes at the whole concept of both the May 4th and 5th Star Wars days. However, in the spirit of friendly participation, we've put together a post on one of the more obscure Star Wars toys produced by Kenner in conjunction with the first film.

As many Star Wars toy collector's know, nobody knew the impact that Star Wars would have on the world, so when the film was released in May of 1977 there were no toys to be had. As Kenner scrambled to release action figures, they also searched other areas that would help them mass produce Star Wars merchandise quickly. One such avenue was toy cars - Vans to be specific.

Kenner released only two cars before pushing headlong into the far more lucrative action figure business. Each car featured a fantastic paint job showcasing either the heroes from the film (white van), or Darth Vader (black van).


While each car was released separately, Kenner also produced a two pack van set. To date, it is much harder to track down the individual cars. Well, let us rephrase that - Because a lot of the cars are open, it's more difficult to track down a sealed two pack vs. the individual packs. Obviously a lot of the loose ones available could have come from the set.


Each van featured what Kenner called SSP (Super Sonic Power). This was essentially the high pitched sound the vehicle made when the "T" stick was pulled through it. Speaking of which, the "T" stick is what made the wheels start spinning so that when you put the car down it would take off. In other words, it was a ripcord that was thread through the car, then quickly pulled out.

Finding these vans on secondary markets isn't difficult. Especially if you don't mind getting them loose. It's when trying to track them down in the package that things get a little tougher. Loose they sell for about $15.00 to $20.00 each. However, it is note worthy that at this price the vans are typically missing their "T" stick. If you want a complete one, you're looking at spending about $45.00 - $50.00 a piece for them.

There is however a major disadvantage to buying loose - Well, other than you don't get the box. The paint jobs on a lot of vans are scratched up, scratched off, and in general usually in pretty bad shape. That's what happens when kids play with toy cars (as they should). That's not to say that all the loose vans are in this condition. Just be cognizant, and inspect all sides before making your decision to buy.

Loose van sets are fairly rare. However, you can tell if you're buying one because it will have all the cones and barrels with it - With of course the "T" sticks. The set includes six yellow barrels, six blue barrels and six orange cones...From a galaxy far, far away. We've only seen one complete loose set available, and it sold for $90.00.

If you're a mint in the box collector you're going to need to be a little patient in tracking these down. They're not rare, but they're certainly uncommon. The individual vans will run you around $130.00 to $150.00, and the two pack set sells for between $230.00 and $250.00.

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2 comments:

  1. nice vintage stuff- never knew these existed

    ReplyDelete
  2. They're definitely one of the more obscure vintage Star Wars items from Kenner.

    ReplyDelete

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