Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the know the rest

I was in the very dirty basement of a turn-of-the-last-century home in Webster Groves, Missouri a month or so ago and came across a box of various small toys and figures.  Among the toys were some 1970's Fisher Price Adventure People figures, a Smurf, a Battlestar Galactica Daggit, and this mystery monster.

I figured it was part of some dime store rubber monster figure pack and gave it to my kids.

A few weeks passed and I was at another sale.  There I picked up this empty Empire Strikes Back Wampa box (got it thrown in for free with my other purchases).

At the same sale, I bought this Death Star Space Station in its original box.  I paid $25 for it.

After downloading the assembly instructions from the internet, I discovered the identity of the mystery monster.

I would have never guessed.  It looked nothing like I imagined the trash monster would look.  I always imagined it more octopus-like.  And why the wings/flippers?  By the way, it's known as a "Dianoga".  I don't recall that from the movie either.

Anyway, after assembling, I found most pieces were there.

I was missing one of the control panel inserts which I found and reprinted from the idaho51st blog.

The trap door was missing as was the rope Luke uses to swing Leia to safety.

The trash compactor, home of the trash monster.  It no longer had the original trash pieces.  I'll substitute Styrofoam peanuts.

And my final piece from that same sale brought back a particular memory.

I recall with great vividness playing with one of these in our local Kroger grocery store in the late '70's while my mom shopped.  Similar to the Fisher Price Movie Viewers of the same era, short 8mm movie clips stored in a cartridge could be inserted and watched via the viewfinder. The ability to watch a clip from Star Wars and even pause it and run it in reverse fascinated me.  Alas, its $7 price tag at the time put it out of my allowance range and reach.

It came with these two movies.

Unfortunately, despite having the original box, the viewer itself was missing.  They can be obtained fairly cheaply on eBay and I have a watch set so I can eventually complete this set and a memory from nearly 40 years ago.


  1. holy crap, i can't believe you found an original Death Star in the box. i wanted one of those SO BADLY. i could've told you the creature's name was a dionaga, but it wasn't mentioned in the movie... i think you had to get it from the comic or the book version. it's not what i thought it looked like, either. i thought it was basically just a big snake. such great scores!

    1. >i can't believe you found an original Death Star in the box
      What's even more surprising is I went to the sale on the last day, late in the afternoon and it was all still there. That's how I managed to score everything for cheap.

    2. you have the most incredible mojo for this sort of thing. i bow to you.

  2. I had the death star and played with it until it fell apart. Another great find!


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