Box Sides (click to enlarge)
"Turret/Probot" Box Variation (click to enlarge)
STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
WATCH OUT, REBELS! PROBOT IS LOOKING FOR YOU!
Kids can relive dramatic HOTH battles with this sculpted replica of the ICE PLANET. Rebel Action Figure can eject and "destroy" PROBOT with action lever. For added thrills, there's a realistic Rebel Laser Gun-Turret. Action Figures fit inside through the opening side door, and into the hatch on top. Turret laser cannon clicks as it turns. Action Figures sold separately. Ages 4 and up.
Image Source: 1980 Sears Canada Wish Book
Along with the Death Star, Droid Factory and Slave 1, the Turret and Probot playset was one of the few Kenner action figure toys to include what might be considered an exclusive figure. In this case, it was the Probot, Kenner's version of the Imperial probe droid seen in the opening moments of The Empire Strikes Back. It was a pretty cool inclusion for a playset that, really, wasn't much more than a white plastic base.
The idea behind the toy was to condense two ESB action sequences into one play environment. Thus, the encounter that Han Solo and Chewbacca have with the probe droid was combined with a gun turret, styled after those seen during the Rebels' confrontation with Imperial walkers later in the film. Unfortunately, the turret was vastly out of scale. Still, it was kind of neat, and, personally, I think the playset was quite a success despite its weird combination. For a kid, getting a probe droid and gun turret in one toy was reason enough for infatuation.
A variation exists with respect to the title text featured on the box. The earliest editions employed the slightly awkward title of "Turret/Probot Playset," but this seems to have been changed to "Turret & Probot" rather quickly. (Kenner's 1981 Toy Fair catalog, issued in February of that year, already shows the toy's box as bearing the amended title.) It should also be noted that a version of the set issued by Sears Canada bore the title "Gun Turret and Probot."
First Issued: 1981 (ESB packaging, "Turret/Probot")
Re-issues: 1981 (ESB packaging, "Turret & Probot")
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