TaunTaun (with open belly rescue feature)

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Box Sides (click to enlarge)

variation box (click to enlarge)
Variation Box (click to enlarge)


Catalog Entry
Catalog Description:

NEW! STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
TAUNTAUN WITH OPEN BELLY RESCUE FEATURE!

SAVE LUKE FROM FREEZING IN THE STORM!

TAUNTAUN--two legged transportation for the roughest of terrains--has a new feature! In addition to carrying LUKE SKYWALKER or HAN SOLO, TAUNTAUN can now "save" an Action Figure in its belly! Just as it happened in the movie. Authentically sculpted saddle and reins are removable. TAUNTAUN stands on movable hind legs. The front paws can be positioned for more adventure. Action figures each sold separately. Ages 4 and up.

Source: 1982 Kenner Toy Fair Catalog


Description:
1982's TaunTaun with open belly rescue feature was a modified version of Kenner's popular TaunTaun toy, originally released in 1980. In terms of basic detail and decoration it was identical to its forerunner. The principal change concerned the figure's "belly," where two pieces of flexible rubber replaced the solid plastic found on the older toy. Figures could be easily squeezed between these two pieces of rubber, in re-enactment of the scene in The Empire Strikes Back in which Han Solo revives a nearly freezing Luke by stowing him inside the belly of his dead TaunTaun.

It's kind of a strange idea for a toy when you think about it-- and it's a shame Kenner didn't install mock TaunTaun guts inside of the thing, in order to give it that extra bit of realism. But, by 1982, the TaunTaun toy was getting old, and Kenner surely wanted to freshen it a bit. The "open belly rescue feature" provided a simple means to accomplishing this.

The other modification made to the toy concerned its rubber saddle. The "open belly" version came with a saddle that had a much thicker strap. Kenner probaby made this modification in order to prevent the strap from splitting, something the original TaunTaun saddle was prone to doing.

The box of the open belly TaunTaun was totally different than that of its solid belly counterpart. It can be found with or without a printed rebate offer.

First Issued: 1982 (ESB packaging, no rebate offer)
Re-issues: 1982 (ESB packaging, with printed rebate offer)


Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:Empire Strikes Back
Licensee:Kenner
Year:1982
Category:Toys / Action Figure Related / Miscellaneous


  


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