Rancor Keeper (Kenner)

April 11, 2010 | By More

Ironically, Kenner’s Star Wars figures are what started my figure collection back when I was wee Nerd. However, I’ve never reviewed a vintage figure on the site. I’ve review other vintage stuff, but never a Kenner 3 3/4″ figure.

To continue the Rancor Keeper theme, I decided he’d be the first. You all know him. The bald overweight beastmaster from “Return of the Jedi”.


I always think of vintage figures and vehicles as being “Kennerized” in their appearance. By that, I mean they haven’t been stylized in a very specific way. It’s not cartoony, but it’s not film accurate either.

Some where in the middle is a blend of simple details and paint that blend to give a practical representation of the character. The vintage Star Wars figures tend to accomplish this by getting the key details right.

Now back when vintage figures were new, kids didn’t have DVD’s and the internet to check likenesses with. It was a trading card or fan magazine that had one picture of the character typically. And since most of what we see of the Rancor Keeper is from the waist up, this guy doesn’t do too badly.

I have to say the face, is no where close. The likeness reminds me more of the monster from “Young Frankenstein” than anything else. That’s just my opinion. It’s funny what you can somethmes see in a figure likeness.

This figure also came out in a time before paint washes. Molded flesh and green legs make up most of the color on this figure. The mixed waist color is an oddity for a SW fig, but it makes sense for the character.

The really cool part for back then is the removable hood. ROTJ figures were some of the first instances of removable hats at this scale. The hood is a nice flexible piece of rubber with a little detail on it. The only complaint about it, is the fit. It tends to fall off.


It surprises me this guy got made over some of the other Skiff Guards. He’s a guy that does nothing but cry in the film. How much excitement is that for a kid?

The articulation follows the standard pattern for the era. Legs, arms, and head. No waist, elbows, knees, etc… I’d love to make a movie where I guy time travel back to 1978 with a super articulated Stormtrooper and shows it to kids. Not that anybody would want to finance that film.

The one thing that I think they did right was the leg articulation. Compared to the highly visible leg joints on the Gamorean Guard, this looks a ton better.

Besidesd the hood, Mr. Keeper’s other accessory is a modified Gaffii stick. I guess to poke the Rancor around with.


While not a bad figure, Rancor Keeper isn’t a spectacular figure either. I can appreciate him now with a a collector’s eye. But, I can’t see how the kid focused vintage line included him, however. These were supposed to be Star Wars “Action” figures for crying out loud.

Engineernerd Score: 83/100 (2010 Rating)

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Category: Star Wars, Toy Reviews

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  1. Errex says:

    Well, the Kenner figures were consistent in their designs. Definitely likeness was not what they were shooting for with this guy, but as you mention, they got the most important traits right, and that’s pretty much all that mattered, back then.