On a recent Saturday afternoon, I spent some fantastic quality time with my nine year old daughter. Together we enjoyed playing with Star Wars figures, in this case some of those from my vintage collection.
I also dug out my Death Star playset, and we set about playing scenes from the film.
Or at least I did, she was more interested in making her own stories up. Why won’t anyone sensibly recreate the movie with me? Ever?! Ah well, at least she had fun.
All of my Star Wars toy collection means a lot to me, but there are a few items I have that I’m really proud of – and stoked to own. This Death Star Playset is one of the outstanding pieces in the collection.
It’s made from cardboard sections that slot together, creating a number of rooms in which to recreate scenes from the film. Rescue Princess Leia and escape via the garbage chute? No problem. Have Han Solo chase a squad of stormtroopers into a dead end? Easily accomplished.
It was bought second hand – along with a few other playsets – back in the early 80s, when I was about 10. Someone advertised them for sale in the local paper, and my Dad bought them for me. I was very happy as I’d wanted this playset (and the others) for a long time. I think the lot cost about £20 at the time, which is a pretty good price.
The Death Star on it’s own is probably worth a lot more than that now. Although it’s not in mint condition – the box is pretty beaten up (always was) and there are a few tears here and there, as you can see in the photos. In the USA, they had a plastic Death Star, and this Palitoy UK cardboard version is quite sought after over there.
It was fantastic fun, bringing back a lot of great memories. I enjoyed setting the figures up and recreating little scenes from the film. The cell block fight and the trash compactor were great, in particular.
Recreating mini versions of the film with my figures was always a major goal for me – still is! With this playset that aim became much more attainable. When I was a kid, I only had two stormtroopers and one Death Squad Commander, so my Death Star looked a little empty. Over the years I’ve added a few troops to the collection (very cheaply) and now the whole set up looks much more impressive.
The main reason I’d dug the Death Star out was to place my new “retro style” Grand Moff Tarkin figure in there. I got him for Christmas along with the Escape the Death Star board game. Tarkin was never made for the action figure line originally, and he was a glaring absence when trying to recreate the movie.
However, I didn’t realise that my new Tarkin was sealed on a card inside the board game box. I didn’t dare open him. So the Death Star is still not quite finished.
Should I have just opened Tarkin anyway?!