|Power Spark AT-ST Prototypes|
|The year was 1994 and Kenner was just kicking off a revitalization of the Star Wars toys that made the company a giant in the industry during the previous decade. A new boys toy line called Power Spark was to include an AT-ST and X-Wing but these classic Star Wars vehicles ever reached store shelves.
The principle behind the Power Spark line was that you could build, crash, and weld together your toy using the supplied welding gun. The base set was a generic vehicle which included the welding gun and power pack with the idea that accessory sets could be purchased to expand play environments and increase play value. However, this line was very short-lived and only two accessory sets were released and capitalized on two of Kenner's Boys Toys lines of the time, the Legends of Batman action vehicle as well as the G.I. Joe Military Helicopter accessory set. These sets provided more versatility for a kid hot to weld up, crash, and repair his toys, but it seems that this basic concept didn't go over well with kids and the entire line died soon thereafter.
Kenner got far along in the production for the X-Wing and AT-ST vehicles, each complete with their own articulated figures, although in the case of the Star Wars sets the welding gun seemed to add power to a built-in electrical feature rather than to actually weld anything. As seen in the Kenner file photography below, the charging port is behind the cockpit, much like on the X-Wing.
As is evident from the included images, Power Spark vehicles were created both in hardcopy and first shot form. The urethane hardcopy pieces are fully hand-created and assembled, and, as you can see in the close up above, quite intricate in their detail. In the cases of both figures and vehicles, the hardcopy pieces were fully decorated with paint and stickers, most likely for use in preliminary photography. The first shots, on the other hand, although they are unpainted, resemble production toys in that they are injection molded.
In the case of the AT-ST, a terrain-like plastic base would have been provided on which to stand the vehicle. To the left is the unpainted first shot of the base, and to the right is the painted hardcopy.
It is unknown why the Star Wars toys were never part of this line of accessory sets, but perhaps it was felt that Star Wars was big enough to stand on its own and not required to be a small spoke in a larger wheel of a generic toy such as the Power Spark line. Also the success of the POTF2 line of 4" action figures may have contributed to the demise of the Star Wars Power Spark line. The Star Wars figures developed for use with the Power Spark vehicles--Luke as X-wing pilot, R2-D2, AT-ST driver, and an Ewok--were in a very small scale and completely incompatible with the larger POTF2 figures. Contrast this against the Legends of Batman set that was comparable to the Legends action figure line and that might help explain why the Batman Power Spark set made it to market, while those for Star Wars were nixed soon after the first shot stage. Still, the Star Wars figures were quite well done, and, in terms of detail and body proportions, were much more realistic than their early POTF2 action figure counterparts.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore, Chris Georgoulias|
|Photo:||Nick Stathis, Dennis Grundmann|
|From the collection of:||Joseph Yglesias, Dennis Grundmann|
|Film:||Non Film Specific|
|Category:||Prototypes / Miscellaneous Toys|