Thoughts on a Rainy Wednesday Afternoon: June 10, 2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Midweek Musings

Well, it’s late afternoon on Wednesday, June 10 as I sit in my corner of Florida and finally get started on a blog post. I usually start working on my blogs – either here or on Blogger – in the morning, but today…not so much. I woke up tired and foggy-brained – a classic case of going to bed too late and having to get up too early.[1] I had a light breakfast and a cup of coffee before 8 AM, and two hot dogs for lunch around noon, but I still don’t have the stamina or the clear head I need for a blog post with substance, i.e. a review or essay.

I had planned to write another review of a Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series figure, or at least that’s the last thing I remember consciously thinking before hitting the sack. We’re finally – after two and-a-half years – putting together the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand that came with a Hasbro Darth Vader (Special Edition) figure I received as a gift during the Christmas 2017 season. I’m not going to bore you with the plethora of reasons why we’re getting around to it almost three years later, suffice it to say that life got complicated between then and now – and that the important thing is that it’s getting done.

Yesterday, for instance, my friend installed a floating shelf from Ikea onto one of the walls in my study. We bought it – yep, shortly after the 2017 Christmas season – to display the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand and its 12 Star Wars The Black Series six-inch figures[2]. Right now, the floating shelf – or, as I once referred to it, a “flying shelf” – is almost bare; my friend was tired from a long day at work, so she forgot about the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand, carefully removed Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi from his “Kenner” cardback package, and placed him on the shelf. The figure looks cool, of course, but kind of lonely, and my friend – after I reminded her that the Darth Vader (Special Edition) figure came with a Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand promised she’d assemble it for me today.

Promo photo of the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand. Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2017 Hasbro, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)

She started working on the assembly of the display stand during her lunch break; so far, the base where the figures will eventually “stand’ has been assembled. We chose the art for the backdrop that attaches to the base – we had a choice of a “Battle Over the Death Star” scene or a replica of a Kenner illustration depicting stylized renditions of the 12 characters represented by the original Kenner Twelve that were announced during the infamous Early Bird “Empty Box” campaign of Christmas 1978.[3]

We went with the Death Star battle backdrop for two reasons.

First, it’s a dynamic illustration that depicts an Imperial TIE Fighter pursuing a Rebel X-Wing fighter above a stylized depiction of the Death Star while two other X-Wings fly off in the distance, presumably to attack the Empire’s menacing battle station. It’s evocative of the late 1970s; the Death Star looks a little bit like a disco ball in space, and the main illustration is loosely based on what I think is one of the few stills 20th Century Fox released in 1977 derived from the Battle of Yavin.

Second, while the “12 Characters” illustration, created for the “Empty Box” campaign and later used in Kenner promotional materials for the “micro-action figures, including as art on the cardbacks’ reverse side, is a nice one, it does compete with the figures that will be on the stand.

Looking at the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand parts where they lie – on top of the kitchen’s “island’ countertop – I am guessing that all that remains to be done is the assembly of the frame for the backdrop, and voila! The figures can be placed on their supporting pegs, which “mate” with corresponding holes in the figures’ feet.

Unfortunately, my friend’s lunch break is only one hour long, and she has other things to do besides building display stands for Star Wars figures, so she will finish assembling the frame for the backdrop later.

Photo by the author.

As for me, other than writing this post, I have basically taken it easy on this second Wednesday in June. I read a little, checked my Facebook account for updates about my friends and the world in general, and played – intermittently – a few turns of Strategic Command – WWII: World at War. And even though – as I write this –  it’s now nearly 5:30 PM,  I’m still a bit punchy and in no shape to write any kind of review.

Maybe tomorrow!


[1] I have no idea at what time I went to bed. Definitely after midnight, though; the last time I checked the clock on our microwave oven, it was 12:42 AM. I dozed off trying to watch some episodes of Star Wars Rebels on the Blu-ray player after I looked at the clock, so I’m guessing I dragged myself to bed around 1:30 AM. Just a guess, though.

[2] In addition to Darth Vader, the stand will display Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, Death Squad Commander, Stormtrooper, Chewbacca, Tusken Raider (Sand People), Jawa, See Threepio (C-3PO), and Artoo Detoo (R2-D2). Hasbro chose those figures in an homage to the original “Kenner Twelve” released in 1978.

[3] It’s easy to forget in these days when Star Wars has been part of our cultural DNA for over 40 years, but when George Lucas was searching for potential licensees to make toys, posters, and other merchandising stuff that 20th Century Fox wasn’t keen on back in 1976, Kenner Toys of Cincinnati (OH) was one of the few toy companies that wanted in on the deal with Lucas’s The Star Wars Corporation. But Kenner didn’t anticipate the demand for Star Wars toys – the film had been forecast to become a modestly-successful performer at the box office, not a cultural phenomenon, so even though it already had designed some action figures, vehicles, creatures – including the Patrol Dewback, mass production of Star Wars toys hadn’t yet begun when the movie morphed into a blockbuster that soon rivaled the success of 1975’s Jaws. Knowing that the first huge batches of figures, X-Wings, TIE Fighters and Landspeeders wouldn’t be in stores till after Christmas, Kenner sold collectible packaging with stands – along the lines of the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Stand but smaller – with certificates one would fill out and mail in order to get some of the first 12 figures. Thus, this marketing effort entered the history books as the “Empty Box” campaign.  

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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