For over a generation, Hasbro have been the guardians of Star Wars action figure collectors in the modern era. Before that, there were dark times. Before that, there were Bend-Ems.
File this entry under The Days When You Were Happy With What You Had. We collectors like to bellyache about seemingly any and all things that stick in our craw with each new Hasbro toy offering. The figures aren’t as articulated as they should be, the paint jobs are wonky, we get too much Rey, and on and on. But if you’re of a certain age, you can remember a time before Kenner/Hasbro relaunched Star Wars into toy shelves. It was a time shortly after the Star Wars had started to crawl out from obscurity thanks first to West End Games RPG product, and then the publishing of Timothy Zahn’s novels.
JusToys produced a series of bendable figures that before all was said and done, encompassed a decent amount of character choices. The figures were available on single cards as well as multi-packs. This particular example epitomizes the 1990s action figure collectible fever that was sweeping antique malls and toy magazines. Heck, they even emblazoned the term right on the package. I only hope some poor souls didn’t actually believe they’d be able to retire on the resale value of something like this.
I don’t mean to be down on the toys, as they do have a charm of their own, and the whole thing has a sort of Wild West quality to the design and presentation, as if the licensee was given a wide berth for what they could produce. It’s definitely a unique time capsule item from a period not long remembered. And I just can’t bring myself to remove that K-Mart price tag.