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Other kid's Star Wars toys
By Bert Ehrmann
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Fort Wayne Reader
From as far back as I can remember I’ve always had Star Wars toys. I don’t remember which ones I had first; I was two when Star Wars was released and tidal wave of merchandise that followed, but I have photos of myself getting the Death Star playset which was released in ’78 so that must’ve been one of the first. And I remember having lots of toys like Han Solo and Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker and more that I got when I was still too young to remember getting them.
I had everything from the X-Wing, the Millennium Falcon, the Land and Snow Speeders, the Cloud Car, the AT-ST, the Speeder Bike, dozens of figures and on and on and on. And I have one definite memory of getting Slave I Christmas of ’80.
Unfortunately, other than a handful of figures that I still have, my Star Wars toys that would be worth many thousands of dollars today in mint condition were thrown out when they were broken one too many times or left behind in a move.
The weird thing is that I can remember the Star Wars things my friends had almost as much as the ones I did.
I remember my friend Chris’ older brother in elementary school had a Return of the Jedi storybook. And since I had a “making of” book the brother let me read the storybook while he checked out my book at recess one day. I remember around that time being interested in just what the new Scout Trooper would be up to in the film and learning of his name via Chris’ brother’s book.
My neighbor friend Jeremy was cool because he had a pool at his house AND he and his little brother had turned their bedroom into a miniature Ewok village. I was much more into all the various characters from Return of the Jedi than just the Ewoks, but Jeremy had some sort of laser focus and had most of the different Ewok figures along with the corresponding playsets too. I remember being particularly intrigued over how neither Jeremy nor his brother never have to put their toys away when they were done playing with them as their room was setup all Ewok all the time.
Which is something my brother and myself would adopt the next summer as we’d turn out rooms into toy “bases” in order that we could have all our toys out all the time too.
PJ was the friend with a plan. He was a few years older than me and had a closet full of Star Wars toys. And if Jeremy’s toys were always out ready to be played with PJ’s were always put away and secure. In fact, other than a few times I don’t ever remember seeing his Star Wars toys out. EVER.
PJ was the one kid I knew who had the colossal AT-AT vehicle. Really more of a playset than a toy, the AT-AT was bigger than anything else Star Wars and I only ever remember him having it out one time and him letting me try the legs and turn the head. Otherwise I suppose it resided in the closet with the rest of the collection as I never saw it again.
Which was, and still is, maddening for a Star Wars toy fiend like myself.
And PJ’s plan for his toys? He wanted to keep them nice and as new as possible because he figured that when he was an adult these toys would be valuable and therefore hard to get. And that if he wanted any future children of his to be able to play with Star Wars toys they’d have be his toys from when he was a kid and he wanted to keep them as nice as possible for them.
Meanwhile, I played with my toys hard, would eventually break every vehicle I ever had and as I got older used some of my collection a fireworks fodder when I was a teen looking for fun on the 4th of July.
Though we’ve lost touch over the years I’ve always wondered if PJ’s kids ever ended up with his toys, though somehow I doubt it.