As I said last time, I have quite a few Empire card backs that have survived the decades, so here they are!

It’s kind of awesome looking at the backs of the card backs to see how the line progressed from 21 figures up to 48 by the end of the Empire run.

Once again, click on an image to get a higer-resolution view!

As you can see, Boba Fett was already available for sale, so he couldn’t be the secret action figure that was available by sending in 4 proofs of purchase. However, it was another galactic bounty hunter, the Trandoshan known as Bossk!

I can’t think of anything more iconic of vintage Star Wars action figures as that Darth Vader carrying case. It was a thing of beauty. I still have mine and if I died tomorrow, I’d probably want to be buried with it (just kidding – I’m getting cremated and having my ashes scattered at Skywalker Ranch [whether they know it or not]).

As you can see by the giant Xs over the two playsets here, I never had any interest in the Star Destroyer playset nor the Hoth Ice Planet playset. As for the Star Destroyer, I don’t know if I was too young to think that abstractly, that it was simply trying to convey aspects of the entire ship in a small space, but to me it was unrecognizable, so therefore unappealing. To this day I have no interest in pursuing one for my collection (although if you’re giving one away, I’ll gladly take it off your hands).

The Hoth set might have also been a bit too abstract for my 5-year old mind. I see what it’s doing now, but at the time I couldn’t put together that it was trying to be all of the Hoth sequence – the Wampa cave and the AT-AT assault on the rebel base. So, once again, it was unrecognizable to me, therefore not worth having. Besides, after destroying the flimsy cardboard Cantina playset (see my Part 1 post) I probably would have destroyed the flimsy, cardboard AT-AT backdrop, too.

The Troop Transporter wasn’t something I asked for, but I received it for Christmas anyway. And, despite it not being seen on-screen until the Rebels animated series, I freaking loved this thing! I still have mine, but, as did a lot of kids with this toy, I lost the prisoner control helmets and my sound effects no longer work. I think the sound effects are what made it ok to have in my little brain, even if it wasn’t seen in the film.

I always wanted the Snowspeeder, but never did get it. I would have had some epic adventures playing with it during the winter, back when it used to snow.

I’ve always loved the design of the Snowtrooper.

I was able to convince my mom to mail-away for the Survival Kit accessory pack and I loved them all. I still have two of the gas masks, at least one of the Hoth backpacks, and the Jedi training harness. I’m sure the weapons are mixed into my collection as well. I only vaguely remember the grappling hook, so that one was probably lost fairly early on.

I’m not entirely sure how I wound up with two IG-88s (scroll up a little for the other one), but I did and I couldn’t be happier about it. Most likely, my Mom sent my “Want List” to my aunts and they both got one for me. Again, not complaining.

Of the toys on the back, I have the Tauntaun and the MTV-7 mini-rig. The mini-rigs were toys designed to be smaller and cheaper than the large-scale vehicles like the Snowspeeder, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Millennium Falcon, among others. The catch was, they were never seen on-screen, but they still felt like they could have been part of a Star Wars adventure. Once again, I didn’t ask for it, but I was gifted the MTV-7, and I couldn’t have been happier. I played with this thing all the time, especially during the winter. I’m not entirely sure it would be practical in almost any setting, but it was a fun toy and that’s really all that mattered.

As for my Tauntaun, he is his missing harness. That piece frequently broke or got lost for a lot of collectors, so I’m pretty happy to have him mostly complete, although he’s starting to yellow a little bit in spots. This is the solid-belly design, by the way. The split-belly version came out after I got this one, but my parents would never buy it for me. I think my Mom thought the whole idea was a little dark for a toy. As a 5-year old I couldn’t have disagreed more, but as a parent now, I get it (although I still would have gotten my kid one).

The AT-AT is my Star Wars Holy Grail. I only knew two kids who had the AT-AT and I only knew one of them who was crazy enough to bring it to school so we could play with it on the playground. Miraculously, it survived afternoon recess, but probably only because we were all so in awe of it that we hardly touched it. If I could find a complete AT-AT in good condition that was a price I could justify spending, I can honestly say I’d probably stop searching for vintage Star Wars toys and be content with what I have in my collection.

And those are my Empire Strikes Back action figure card backs!

I have some Return of the Jedi ones to share as well, so come back later!

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