|Darth Vader Collector's Case|
What impact does this strange but true fact have on the collectability of this item? Let's just say that, in the eyes of most of today's collectors, loose Darth Vader Collector's Cases are like the Star Wars hobby equivalent of tribbles (yes, that's a Star Trek reference)-- they seem to reproduce and multiply until you're literally drowning in the things. I have dealer friends who've taken them to collectibles shows and tried to give them away. And, honestly, I have at least five of the things lurking in my basement at this very moment. It's almost scary.
So, loose, it's dirt common. In unused condition, however, with its cardboard skirts intact, the toy is considerably tougher to find and can sell for a decent (if not exactly high) price.
When one considers that so many of these cases are out there on today's market, it becomes apparent that Kenner sold tons of them. And, I have to admit, it's a nice looking item. As a case, though, the thing functioned horribly. You seriously could not close figures inside of it and carry them around without causing about one-third of them to tumble out of their compartments and fall to the bottom of the case. In short, it didn't work. If you wanted to store and protect your figures, the much more mundane vinyl storage case was a much better option.
First issued in 1980, the earliest Darth Vader cases did not come with the colorfully-printed "skirt" package that later versions did. This is because toy toy was first sold through catalog retailers, who shipped the item bare inside of a plain cardboard mailing box. When the item did reach stores, it featured the skirt, which displayed the 31 figures then included in the line on its reverse. Between 1980 and 1984, the Vader case experienced a number of packaging revisions, most of them concerning the number of figures displayed on the skit. The variations I know of are listed below. The item was also issued in a Return of the Jedi skirt, as well as with two different trios of free action figures: Bossk, Boba Fett and IG-88; and Luke Bespin, Yoda and Darth Vader. The insert included inside of the case can also be found in a number of different versions.
It should be noted that, during the early '90s, toy producer Just Toys issued a carrying case for their line of bendable rubber figures. It, too, was fashioned after Darth Vader's bust, and thus it resembles the vintage Kenner piece to a high degree.
First Issued: 1980 (mailer box, without package, with 31-figure insert)
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Ron Salvatore|
|Film:||Empire Strikes Back|
|Category:||Toys / Action Figure Related / Action Figure Accessories|