Box Back (click to enlarge)
Second-Issue Box Front and Back (click to enlarge)
Rebate Offer Box (click to enlarge)
STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Snow beast that attacks LUKE on the ice planet, HOTH! This awesome looking replica has movable legs and spring-loaded arms that can knock over obstacles. HOTH WAMPA'S hands can even hold an Action Figure above his head or drag it along the ground. Action Figures sold separately. Ages 4 and up.
Source: 1982 Kenner Toy Fair Catalog
No one who has seen the '80s television commercial for the Wampa toy is likely to forget it. It features a child who is holding the toy and moving it about sporadically. As he's doing this, he's screaming "Wampa, WampaWampaWampa...WAMPA!!!" in about the most maniacal voice you could possibly imagine. My parents wouldn't let me watch Rambo, for goodness sake, but they based their decisions regarding what toys to buy me on satanic advertising like this? It's no wonder I'm so screwed up.
Despite the scary commercials, the Wampa is considered by many to be part of the standard Star Wars action figure line. And it's always been popular with collectors. I've always considered the sculpting on the toy to be a little sub-par (those elephant feet are horrendous!), but the spring-loaded arms were a good feature and, heck, any Hoth action figure adventure is incomplete without a Wampa toy.
Although it didn't appear in Kenner's annual Toy Fair catalog until 1982, the last year of the Empire Strikes Back line, the Wampa was issued in three different boxes. The first depicted the Wampa on the left of the box, dragging the Rebel Commander figure behind him. The second issue box showed the Wampa on the right, with the Luke Hoth figure in tow. The backs of the two boxes also differ, as do their titles: the text on the earlier package read simply "Wampa" while the later issue amended this to "Hoth Wampa." The earlier version is usually considered rarer and thus is more valuable. Lastly, the second Wampa package was updated late in its run with a printed rebate offer.
Loose, the Wampa figure has a tendency to turn yellow, but it's not very hard to find. Hasbro released a Wampa in the late '90s, but it derived from an entirely new sculpt.
First Issued: 1982 (ESB packaging, with Rebel Commander on box)
Re-issues: 1982 (ESB packaging, with Luke Hoth on box); 1982 (ESB packaging, with Luke Hoth on box and printed rebate offer)
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