I think it’s easy to forget that Star Wars was the first licensed toy line to really take off with action figures. Because of that, I don’t think Kenner really knew what would hit. That is why the early days included Play Doh, vans, role play items, etc. One of the more unique lines from the early Kenner Star Wars days was the Die Cast line. This is one of those early pieces, the Landspeeder.
I’m assuming this was to cash in on the whole Matchbox/Hot Wheels kids aisle. This landspeeder has three wheels and rolls fairly smoothly. Ironically, this is the one I remember that was the peg warmer back in the day. Everybody wanted the much cooler space ships.
One of the things that set this line apart was the drivers. Each of the smaller ships ships had a driver that really made it stand out from it’s other contemporary vehicles. The landspeeder even got two, with permanently attached Luke and C3-PO. Of course the whole landspeeder is quite a bit bigger than any Hot Wheels Car, as well.
The figures are tiny, and obviously out of scale. The detail is a little soft, but not too bad. The paint on the Luke is a bit sloppy, but forgivable. The vac metal Threepio is probably the best of the figure representations in this line.
The speeder itself isn’t too bad. The main body is metal with plastic bits attached for the chrome, engine pods and seats. The yellowing clear windshield is a separate piece, and can be dislodged. I’m guessing quite a few flea market finds of this will be missing it.
The overall paint scheme is brown. The red stripe is there, as well. The wear in the front and other places? That’s real. The original version of this had pristine paint. Much as a I suspect on the real one, bumping into stuff did a number on the nose paint.
I love this piece of my collection. Not every Star Wars collector knows about the Die Cast stuff, so it’s a cool to have. No, it’s not as realistic as some of the late 90’s versions. But, it does hold some great memories to it for me.