Wampa (Vintage)

December 10, 2011 | By More

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.

Engineernerd Score: 88/100

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Category: Featured, Star Wars, Toy Reviews

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  1. Newt says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never thought of the Wampa as looking anything different than this. When I was younger, I had Wampa as a big monster. He was always a beast. Sure he looks kind of friendly, until he gets those claws on ya!

    I’ve retold this story 1,000 times, but might as well say it again. My brother and I used to do “monster wrestling” with various figures. Wampa and the Kenner Stay Puft Marshmallow Man were the two biggest figures in our collections… So they were arch rivals. Always battling it out. Whenever I see one one, I think of the other.

    I still have my Wampa from back then, but at some point he fell breaking part of his ear off. The figure was solid though, never breaking more than that and it’s been that way for two decades now. He broke doing a slam with his big arms and dropping his victim to the floor.

    Years later, I deemed the move the Wampa’s finishing move, the Wampa Slam.

    Good times. I need to dig my Wampa out.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    Awesome Story!

  3. Joseph Tages says:

    I used to have the Tauntaun with open belly as a kid instead of the Wampa. That commercial reminded me how I still have the Kenner “SW theme” in the back of my head to this day. I don’t think it’s been ever played anywhere else.

  4. Engineernerd says:

    I have an open belly taun taun too. Might have to review it coming up.

    I hadn’t thought about the music. I see some research coming up.

  5. Errex says:

    Vintage Wampa is an awesome figure. Mine still holds up quite nicely, considering these guys have rubber bands as integral part of their construction.

  6. Engineernerd says:

    I was kind of thinking the same thing. I’ve seen new rubber stuff not last as long.

  7. Dave says:

    Mine’s been in peroxide since June! Still can’t even this beast up!

  8. Engineernerd says:

    I notice some yellowing at the seams on mine. I have been brave enough to try any restorative methods yet.

  9. Howie says:

    This brings back great memories. I never had the Wampa or Tauntaun as a kid, oddly I didn’t get into Star Wars until Return of the Jedi – so most of my toys were Ewok and Jabba related. My wife tried to help me retro-collect from this missed childhood opportunity by getting me a Vintage Tauntaun this Christmas. I love the packaging how it mimics the original. Gone are the days of not being able to see the actual toy until you bought it and get it home and out of the box!

  10. Howie says:

    Oh and by the way, it’s odd because as I read this I was trying to decide if I’d consider the Wampa an “action figure” or not. I tend to want to classify bigger items like this as “vehicles” like a Tauntaun or “playsets” like Jabba the Hutt. However, no one rides on the Wampa, and he was available by himself, not as part of a playset. Thoughts? (you can probably guess why I’m trying to decide if he’s an action figure or not 🙂

  11. Tim says:

    Wow. I’d forgotten about that commercial. with that kid shuffling this toy along the floor and saying “wampa wampa wampa”.