Long before the Special Editions, there was a toy version of the Wampa released. As part of the vintage line, the Wampa was released in a box similar to the Taun Taun. He even got his own commmerical.
Things here are a little sketchy. Back before his digital enhancement, the Wampa didn’t get much screen time. Because of that, we really had very little idea what he looked like. I’m not even sure that the Wampa costume was much more than the head and arm.
Kenner’s take on the Wampa seems to take it’s cues from a some sort of snow kitty. The face has a cat like nose and ears. The ears are pointy little things that almost give him a cuteness. There’s even some whiskers sculpted on there.
Oddly, the eyes are triangular as well. They little triangle wells with a little raised spot in the middle of them. They are painted solid black over that.
Speaking of being painted solid black, the ghost shaped mouth is a black hole, as well.
To break up the feline face a bit, He has horns stolen from a unicorn. Okay. Not really. They are sculpted cleanly in an almost cartoony style. Very “Kennerized” in their appearance.
The body is covered in fur. And really for the time, he’s pretty decent. There’s layers and swirls to it. The whole piece must have taken awhile to do, as doesn’t look like there were any generic short cuts taken. For a vintage piece, the fur stands up pretty well.
The arms end in big Taun Taun crushing paws. There are pads on the inside of the paws painted with a brownish black. They have a pretty real look to them, except for the way they run up the fingers being a bit odd. Each finger also has a claw on the end of it. They are sculpted rounded off, but you can still feel them.
Speaking of his paws, that’s where his action feature comes in. His arms are spring loaded to give them Rebel crushing action. There’s a stretchy parachute cord keeping them together. Pull back his arm and he can knock over stuff.
I have to say, that despite being an action feature, it’s pretty well done. It doesn’t interfere with his appearance. The action works pretty well, even after all this time. Honestly, today’s toys could learn from this guy. Sometimes simple is better.
The one bit that I’ve always struggled with the wampa with is the feet. They are cut in an odd way so when he is standing he looks like he is mid stride. Some times you pose him and it looks he (she? I have no idea.) has his toes raised up. It can be a bit hard to get him to stand in anything but the one pose.
I remember my Wampa didn’t see much play as a kid. Unless you were re-enacting a scene directly from Empire, there just wasn’t much for him to do. He was such a random rogue element to the films, I just wasn’t sure what to do with him. However, my Wampa is still in great shape these days. While not matching today’s digital version, this guy holds his own.