Star Wars Mini-Rigs (1981 – 1985)

Back in my youth our local mall had a Woolworth’s department store and it was a very odd store, not just in the way it looked…I mean in the late 80’s it still was decorated as if it was the 1960s. The store was absolutely well kept and clean and brightly lit, which is one of the reason my Grandmother liked shopping there when we were able to make it up that way, but it did appear to somehow have become stuck in time.

Now while I always wanted to stop by the Kay Bee toy store for the current video game or action figure to add to my collection…there was a joy at visiting that Woolworth as for some reason they continued to stock older toys, like they had a warehouse filled with Secret Wars, Inhumanoids, and Star Wars figures to name a few. They had A LOT of Star Wars stuff. Which is how in 1989 I picked up some of the Star Wars Mini-Rigs on clearance.

[Via] Hall of Advertising

As you can tell from the video the Mini-Rigs were basically one figure vehicles, Kenner had it in their heads to designs toys that may not have been seen in the films themselves but that kids could sense were from that universe. I picked up the MLC-3 or the Mobile Laser Cannon, which was supposedly a tank that the Rebel Alliance used on Hoth. Frankly I picked it up because it just looked awesome to me.

Star Wars - MLC3

I also nabbed the Personnel Deployment Transport or PDT-8 which was a Droid transport vehicle. I was always a sucker for anything to do with droids in the Star Wars universe…still am.

Star Wars - PDT 8

The last rig I picked up was part of the Body-Rigs series which Kenner released originally in 1985 and it was the Sand Skimmer, which as you might imagine was used by Jabba’s henchmen on Tatooine.

Star Wars - Sand Skimmer

It’s funny that of all the stores in that mall that I frequented growing up that have come and gone, I miss that Woolworth the most…maybe it’s because I feel like I missed out on really scoring some great older toys? If you want to know even more about the Mini-Rigs and how they’ve been featured in the Star Wars universe, just hop on over to Star Wars.Com to get the skinny on them.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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