Friday, April 26, 2013
Kenner Star Wars Toys Strike Back: BaronSat's Lego Imperial Attack Base Playset
A few months ago, I published a post about BaronSat (a.k.a. Eric Druon), a devoted Lego hobbyist who made two Lego replicas of playsets from Kenner's short-lived Star Wars Micro Collection line. I just heard from BaronSat again, and he's made another impressive Lego replica from Kenner's Star Wars toy line: the Imperial Attack Base playset from Empire Strikes Back, which Kenner released for its 3 and 3/4 inch Star Wars action figures. Just as he did before, BaronSat took everything about the original playset and re-scaled it for Lego's Star Wars minifigs and the results are outstanding. Read on for more details and pictures of BaronSat's latest work.
The way I see it, the name "Imperial Attack Base" for this playset is one of the goofs made by Kenner during its run with the Star Wars toy license. (See also the blue Snaggletooth action figure and the 4-LOM/Zuckuss naming mix-up.) It's obvious that it was modeled after the trenches that the Rebel Alliance used to defend its Hoth base from the Imperials' assault in Empire Strikes Back. Yet between the playset's name and the images printed on the box, it looks like this Hoth base is for Darth Vader and his Snowtroopers, not the Rebels.
BaronSat is not lost on Kenner’s goof either. As he puts it on one of his Flickr pages, “(P)eople at Kenner, in the early 80's, saw a different movie (than Empire), so let me tell you the story: The peaceful Empire has set up an Imperial base on the sweet planet Hoth. They enjoy skiing, building snowmen and throwing snowballs at Wampas. But one awful day, the Rebel scum land on their planet and savagely attack the base. It follows a very fierce battle, known as the ‘Battle of Hoth’. Finally the Rebels are driven out of the planet and the Imperials resume their winter holidays.”
Despite the naming and publicity shot errors, the Imperial Attack Base was the most entertaining of Kenner's Hoth action figure playsets. It came with a snow bridge and command post that would collapse at the touch of a button, and its scale was complementary to the AT-AT, AT-ST and Snowspeeder vehicle toys. Kenner even molded little action figure-sized footprints into the playset's base to suggest that heavy foot traffic had moved through the snowy trenches. Curiously, the Hoth Rebel laser gun turret was not included in this playset; that would later be released as part of the awkward Turret and Probot playset.
Given his keen attention to detail, BaronSat included all of the features from the original Imperial Attack Base playset into his Lego replica. Lego made a few Hoth-themed Star Wars sets before but none of them recreated the Rebel's snow trenches, so it’s great to see BaronSat’s Lego version of a Kenner playset that did. The pictures below provide examples of everything the replica does, including a clever nod to the deleted Wampa attack scene from Empire Strikes Back. Sith happens, indeed.
Check out BarsonSat’s official site and Flickr pages for more examples of his work. You can also order custom Lego kits and custom kit instructions from him on his site.