Friday, July 21, 2017

All the Appeal of the Movie (or Some of it Anyway): Vintage Star Wars Board Games

Ron writes:

 I'd list all the activities I enjoy less than playing board games, but we have a data limit here at the blog, and I'm not sure I can describe some of them without using language outside the parameters of civilized discourse. Have you ever seen the movie called The Naked Prey? Remember the part where Cornell Wilde watches some poor sap get slowly cooked inside a human-shaped oven made of clay? Suffice it to say that I find that somewhat less horrifying than Chutes and Ladders.

My opinions aside, board games lie at the very foundation of Star Wars toy licensing. As discussed here, Kenner's original contract with Lucasfilm required the company to produce exactly one item: a board game. Had the movie been a box-office dud, that's likely all Kenner would have produced: one lonely board game to languish on toy store shelves alongside the Pet Rock and Mattel's toy representation of Horshak from "Welcome Back Kotter."

Weirdly, Kenner didn't have a whole lot of experience producing board games. Parker Brothers was the board game ace of the General Mills Fun Group. In fact, when the time came to produce a board game based on the Six Million Dollar Man, a property for which Kenner produced a popular line of action figures, it was Parker Brothers rather than Kenner that did the deed. But Kenner was a company eager to explore new horizons, and a Star Wars board game must have seemed like a fairly inexpensive means of breaking into this newly acquired license.

Board games, consisting largely of printed paper goods, aren't nearly as difficult to produce as action figures. Once one is designed, a toy company can bring it market in a matter of months. Consequently, Kenner's first Star Wars board game, "Escape from Death Star," was among the first licensed Star Wars trinkets to appear on store shelves -- which meant it was one of the few Star Wars items a child could hope to receive for Christmas of 1977. The action figures, of course, weren't available until spring of the following year.

Above you see the first order form that Kenner distributed to retailers. It includes the Early Bird Certificate as well as several other paper-based products: puzzles, Dip Dots, Playnts, and, of course, the Escape from Death Star Board Game.

If you were a Star Wars-obsessed kid, and you were opening your presents on Christmas of 1977, which of these alleged toys would have disappointed you the least?

Kenner's 1978 industry catalog makes some dubious claims. I have never played Escape from Death Star, but I have a hunch that it doesn't quite have "all the appeal of the movie." It probably doesn't even have the appeal of your slow cousin Freddy's verbal summation of the movie, in which he referred to Chewbacca as a spaceship and confused the ending with the punchline of a joke about pandas.

Based on the catalog photo and description, the game involved moving pieces around the board in accordance with directions yielded by a spinner.

If this sounds like 95% of the board games you've played, well, allow me to leave you with a complimentary copy of our brochure. A membership in the I Hate Board Games Society costs only $3.97 a year, and it comes with a bumper sticker that reads, "Honk if you'll stab the next person who asks you to play Monopoly."

Jokes aside, Escape from Death Star must have been pretty successful. Today, it's easily found in opened condition, and it was released around the world by Kenner's various sublicensees.

In 1978 Kenner released the Adventures of R2-D2 Game. Aimed at younger children, it involved, uh, moving pieces around the board in accordance with directions yielded by a spinner.

As the box makes clear, "reading and counting [were] not required to play" the game. Presumably, kids merely needed to be able to recognize colors in order to progress along the paths printed on the board.

If you were color blind, I suppose you were SOL, and you added Kenner to the list of companies worthy of your undying hatred, along with Crayola and the makers of Twister.

You probably can't tell from this photo, but the boards of these games tended to feature terrific graphics, usually the result of an artist's painstaking work with an airbrush. From a collecting standpoint, it's the art used on the boards and the boxes that makes these items attractive.

The box containing the board game released by Kenner in 1979, the "Destroy Death Star Game," was substantially larger than those associated with their other offerings in this vein. In fact, its box was about twice the size of a traditional board game box. The game's playing board didn't fold in half, meaning the box had to be about the size of the board. This surely resulted in a greater shipping expense, but it also yielded a more impressive-looking product. In my experience, Destroy Death Star is the most popular board game among Star Wars collectors -- largely because of its impressive size.

This catalog image reveals that the board was decorated with an image of the Death Star. This was bisected by a graphical path intended to represent the trench down which Luke's X-Wing zooms during the film's exciting finale. Maybe Kenner opted to omit the fold in the board because they didn't want to interfere with this detail?

My favorite element of the above image is the kid on the right. He looks like someone just reminded him that he has red hair.

This image gives a better sense of the graphics featured on the board and spinner.

Hey, did you see this article concerning the orientation of the Death Star's trench? In it author Todd Vaziri explains why people who believe the trench ran along the equator of the space station are mistaken. The equatorial line visible on the Death Star is a giant chasm where ships dock, and is not the rather narrow channel through which the Rebels navigate in their efforts to exploit the weapon's fatal weakness.

Now, I don't mean to brag, but I was never under the impression that the X-Wings were racing along the equator of the Death Star. But Vaziri's article clearly states that he and other fans did believe that to be the case -- to such an extent that they were shocked to learn otherwise. Is the Destroy Death Star Game the earliest licensed product to perpetuate this misconception? Might it be the source of some folks' false memories?

In 1980 Kenner released the "Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game" to coincide with the release of the first Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.

Is it me or is the design of the box used to package this product among the worst of Kenner's Star Wars offerings? The image, showing the Rebels scurrying about in a snow trench, lacks a focal point. And, aside from perhaps the turret cannon, it features none of the film's iconic elements. There's no AT-AT, no probe droid, no main character. It's almost as if Kenner's marketing team decided to telegraph the game's dullness. I almost wish they'd allowed this impulse further expression by printing on the box: "Contents: Game board, spinner, self-loathing, rejection."

The game's playing surface almost made up for the lack of packaging fireworks: It was a collage of Hoth scenes and character portraits, and it included a lot of bright primary colors.

The inclusion of Boba Fett is a little odd, no? I don't remember Boba Fett being on Hoth. The molded plastic Falcons are a nice touch.

For some reason the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game is pretty tough to find with its original plastic shrinkwrap intact. If you collect this sort of thing, and you see a sealed example at a decent price, don't hesitate to snap it up.

In 1981 Kenner added to their range of ESB board games with the "Yoda the Jedi Master Game." The appearance of Yoda, remember, was kept secret prior to the release of the film. Consequently, most Yoda-focused products didn't hit the market until late 1980 or 1981.

This time out the box art was entirely painted. This yielded a product that was considerably more attractive than the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game.

Oh, look: The game play involved moving pieces around the board in accordance with directions yielded by a spinner. Hopefully, dumb children didn't run into problems upon encountering such novelty.

Is it me or does the spinner seem to be embedded in an anus?

I think I'm starting to understand why Luke was so eager to escape from that bog planet.

Luke: Master Yoda, is this really necessary? Obi-Wan never told me about this exercise.
Yoda: Incomplete is the training. Spin again you must.
Luke: But that's your answer to everything! How can I become a Jedi if all I do is play with your spinner?
Yoda: Concentrate!
Luke: In this particular instance I'm trying not to.
Yoda: Spin slower. Slooooowerrr.

The Yoda the Jedi Master Game was the last Star Wars board game released by Kenner during the vintage years. After 1981, Parker Brothers assumed responsibility for releasing Star Wars games -- including those relying on cards and video cartridges (which we won't be covering here).

The company's first effort, which I believe was released in 1982, featured slick cover art of Luke, Vader, and their respective spacecraft. The white background color really set it apart from earlier Star Wars board games. All of Kenner's offerings featured the black-and-silver scheme for which the company's Star Wars line is noted.

The Parker Brothers game was called simply "Star Wars."

I don't have a marketing image of this game, so the reverse of the box will have to serve to satisfy our curiosity regarding its looks and features. Parker Brothers seems to have done a nice job of adding complexity to the game play. There are puzzles to complete. There are also two spinners: one for the Rebels and another for the Imperials.

Interestingly, the game is a mashup of the two Star Wars films then in existence. It references Yoda and Hoth, but it also relies heavily on the planet known as Dantooine. Given that Princess Leia told Grand Moff Tarkin that the Rebels had a base on Dantooine, I'm not sure the planet was capable of serving as an effective post-Hoth hiding place. But you have to give the folks at Parker Brothers credit for pulling such a peculiar reference out of their hats.

Like the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game, this item is surprisingly difficult to find in sealed condition.

In 1983, Return of the Jedi hit theaters, and Parker Brothers was ready with the colorful and novel "Battle at Sarlacc's Pit Game."

The artwork adorning the box of this game is among the nicest of the ROTJ era. Not only is the nicely rendered, its composition is convincingly dynamic. You feel the energy of that battle.

Does the product qualify as a board game? It features a playing board, playing tokens, and cards, so I'm fine considering it as such. But it must be pointed out that the item's three-dimensional quality has caused more than a few people to remember it as an action figure toy.

Trust me, when some nerdlinger insists that he once owned a Sarlacc playset, you can be sure that he's remembering this game and not some mythical Kenner prototype.

The Battle at Sarlaac's Pit Game featured in Parker Brothers' 1984 industry catalog displayed a prototype version of the product. If you look closely, you'll see that the artwork featured on the box and base differ notably from that found on the version sold in stores.

At some point in 1983 Parker Brothers released this game, called simply "Wicket the Ewok." It was part of Lucasfilm's push to make the Ewoks the basis of a toy range appealing to younger children.

Children, rather sensibly, balked at the idea of cartoon Ewoks, and the spate of kiddie-focused Ewoks products lasted only a couple of years. However, that doesn't mean that adult collectors won't spend thousands of dollars on some of these things -- the unproduced action figure prototypes especially.

We adult collectors are a bit like kids without any constraints or limitations -- including those dictated by common sense.

The copy on the back of the box commands the player to:

Romp through the forest with WICKET and his friends KNEESAA, PAPLOO and LATARA as they collect berries, nuts, pears, mushrooms, and wild honey, too. You'll travel on shaggy ponies and in rickety wagons. You'll even swing on hang-gliders. All this adventure is yours as you try to be the first EWOK home with all five kinds of food.
Good lord that sounds absolutely horrifying. I feel like I just watched a Wes Anderson movie.

My favorite word in the above marketing copy is either "irrepressible" or "mythological."

In 1984 Parker Brothers added to their lineup of Ewoks board games with "Ewoks Save the Trees!" It was a Funburst game.

I take it the Funburst line combined the worst aspects of board games with the worst aspects of pop-up books.

The line's products came in special boxes that could be folded into briefcase-like configurations, presumably to allow socially awkward kids to carry them to their friends' homes, where they could be used to inflict on others the joy of playing Funburst games.

Kid 1: There's Timmy again. He's in your driveway, just standing there.
Kid 2: Does he have that dang Ewoks Save the Trees! game with him?
K1: Yep, that and a little stuffed animal shaped like McGruff the Crime Dog.
K2: Oh, God. Pretend you don't see him.
K1: Too late. He just waved at me.
K2: Maybe he's shooing away a mosquito?
K1: Nope, he just held up a sign that reads, "Timmy Perkins: World's Best Friend."
K2: You grab the weed-whacker and I'll grab the leaf-blower. We'll strap them to skateboards, fix each to the "on" position, and deploy them straight outta the garage and in his direction.
K1: Hold on a sec. I want to see what happens.
K2: I don't know about you, but I'm not giving in without a fight.
K1: I think he's trying to play catch with the fire hydrant.

With that little morality play I'll end this look at vintage Star Wars board games, a class of product only barely redeemed by the fact that its name gets the spelling of "bored" wrong.

But, like Steve Jobs, I do have one more thing. It's a product released by All About Town, a company that produced board games for various municipalities. This particular example is focused on the city of Cincinnati, Ohio -- which of course was the home of the Kenner toy company. To learn more about it and its Kenner-specific references check out Chris Georgoulias' excellent write-up on the item.

And don't forget to check out my co-blogger Amy Sjoberg's excellent article regarding her experiences playing several of these games.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Collector's Chimera: The Meccano ROTJ Princess Leia

Stephane writes:

 Definitely part of the top-five rarest officially licensed production figure of all times, topping Glasslite Vlix or Trilogo Madine – here comes the Meccano ROTJ Princess Leia 😲. Its existence was confirmed only in 2014 when it surfaced to the collectors market. Here’s the story…

The Meccano ‘Retour du Jedi’ (Return of the Jedi) original Princess Leia has been a chimera, a collector’s dream even since the early days of the hobby. From the start, the only evidence it could have existed was a tiny 1-inch square picture of the blister on the back cover of a pocket-size PIF Poche magazine promoting a contest to win an AT-ST vehicle and action figures in 1983. 

As odd as it can be, even the abundance of cardbacks in the early days of collecting didn’t bring any single cardback, even damaged, to the surface… At some point, the card shown was supposed to be a mock-up, but a very close inspection of the back cover of the magazine was sufficient to reveal details which seemed to indicate it was indeed a standard production card…

In the summer of 2014, something beyond expectations happened as a lot of 40+ Meccano ROTJ carded figures in their factory shipping box was auctioned by a famous Parisian auction house. The listing had been placed in a video game related auction and was totally overlooked. For the record, it was sold at an insanely lowball price and made the day of the lucky buyer who didn't find any competitors that day. 

That pictures speaks for itself. In that lot were *THREE* dead-mint specimen of the infamous Meccano ROTJ Princess Leia. Later on, those cards found their way to LULUBERLU, a famous Paris toy collectibles store, and listed for a premium. It took a little time, but they did sell because that's the only source for any collector focusing on Meccano or Leia before they'd definitely end up locked into collections!!

Late 2016, Star Wars toys and various other lines from the 1980s-early 90s started to surface from a retired Meccano employee working at the product shipping & clearing department who had saved hundreds of toys he was supposed to bin.

Among a huge lot of 140 Trilogo figures were a few Meccano ROTJs and square cards. It became a nice surprise when I found out that not only he had another bunch of THREE Meccano ROTJ Leias, but some of the ROTJs were never-seen-before Meccano/Trilogo hybrid cards (that is Meccano ROTJ cardback with french large Trilogo bubble), in a similar way as Palitoys (Palitoy ROTJ with large edged Trilogo bubble).

Those cards are actually late Meccano production to get rid of overstock and were sold on the Meccano clearance 3-packs. The 3 Leias in that find were also Meccano 45-backs packaged with Trilogo bubbles, so that was a nice bonus.

After such bonanza in such little timeframe, nada... just a heavily damaged cardback, the first and only cardback available so far... over the past quarter of century, only those 6 carded figures have surfaced so far, which is why this card is particularly rare.

I ended up with THREE of the SIX cards known, as seen on this picture taken for the record on X-mas 2016 (snowflakes digitally enhanced 😏), and at the end of the journey I kept one of each that you see at the top of the article: the 'regular' 45-back with typical Meccano double-elevation layer bubble, and the latter 45-back with Trilogo bubble, both mint, secured forever for preservation in the Meccano-Trilogo collection.

If you want to read more about Meccano & Trilogo carded figures or vintage French merchandise, don't forget to read our books:
La French Touch 2016 - the Definitive Guide to French Star Wars Collectibles 1977-1987
Meccano Trilogo Collectors' Handbook

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

'Chive Cast 83 - Thousands of Prototypes: Steve Denny Story Time

Collecting folk hero Steve Denny regales the 'Chive Cast with tales of finding literally thousands of cared figures and prototypes in the wild wild Midwest of 1980s and 1990s Cincinnati. Learn about the proof finds, Canadian Droids and Ewoks, UDEs, Rocket Fetts, Revenge proof sets for $50 and the mysterious Mr. X. Plus, Skye unveils a conspiracy theory that may lead to the greatest scandal in the history of the hobby. All this on the cursed 83rd Vintage Pod! Brought to you with the help of John Wooten and


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06:40 – News: Steve’s "At The Movies" Podcast Launches
10:52 – News: Theft at Rancho Obi-Wan
14:55 – Skye’s Worst Joke Ever
24:00 – Skye’s Boat Trip
37:31 – Story Time: Steve Denny’s Inconceivably Huge Canadian Haul of Droids, Ewoks and Sandcrawlers
48:30 – Story Time: Zteca Influence on Kenner and Banana Boxes?
52:04 – Toy Shop Memories and Die Cast Displays with Ron
59:16 – Vintage Vocab: Proof Cards and a Proof’s Voyage
1:09:58 – The New Management of
1:13:39 – Storytime: How Steve Denny found ALL the proofs
1:19:40 – Chinchillas Attack!
1:20:29 – How Many Rocket Fetts?
1:21:59- Mr. X and His Magical Chalk Box of Prototypes
1:25:11 – Micro Prototypes
1:27:00 – A Most Peculiar Trade (How Many Snowtroopers?)
1:29:51 – Father’s Day Memories
1:32:15 – How to Get Rid of Revenge Proofs
1:36:22 – Skye’s Conspiracy of the Biggest Possible Scandal of All Time

Image Sources and Show Note Links:

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Match Made in the Heavens: Star Wars and Estes Model Rockets

Ron writes:

 The modern rocket was invented by the Nazis to kill British people.

But then there was Laika the Soviet space dog, the Apollo program, and Elton John, and by the '70s the rocket had been rehabilitated, allowing it to become a staple of the toy and craft industries, played with by thousands of children.

And all of this while we were under constant threat of annihilation by ICBMs.

In America the model rocket business was dominated by Estes, the brainchild of Colorado native Vern Estes, whose innovative and economical engines revolutionized the industry in the 1950s.

Even though Estes was sold to Damon in the '70s, the company remained associated with Vern, who personally addressed customers in regularly issued catalogs and newsletters.

By the '70s Estes had branched out into licensing, releasing rockets associated with properties such as Star Trek. So when Star Wars hit theaters, you can imagine Vern's excitement. Here was an opportunity to sell rockets in conjunction with the biggest space movie of all time!

Reportedly, his trucker cap spun around three times, and two of the patches popped off of his bomber jacket.

Here's Vern's justifiably proud announcement of his company's acquisition of the license, printed on page one of the 1978 catalog, the cover of which you see at the top of this post.

Of course, if you saw this as a kid, your eyes were drawn to the art rather than the text. At which point you wondered: Why is Luke doing jazzercise?

As Vern mentions, Estes' 1978 Star Wars line consisted of six different products. Judging by the information in the catalog, most of these were released in the spring, meaning they coincided with the debut in stores of Kenner's first Star Wars action figures.

But one rocket was released slightly earlier: the Proton Torpedo.

I can almost hear you muttering: "Well, that's just a missile with a decal that says 'Star Wars' on it. And it's pink."

True. But the box art was pretty rad. And the fact that it didn't require a specialized design meant that Estes could release it quickly by modifying one of their existing products.

As to the color...well, the proton torpedoes used in the movie were pink. Don't you value authenticity?

The Proton Torpedo was pricier than many of Estes' other products due to the fact that it came packaged with most of what was required to launch the rocket. The bulk of the company's other rockets required engines and launching paraphernalia that were available as separate purchases. I think it's likely that Estes, knowing that a lot of kids would be introduced to model rocketry via this kit, wanted to ensure that none were disappointed by an unanticipated requirement to purchase additional accessories.

By the way, have you ever wondered why George Lucas called the missiles utilized by the X-Wing Fighter proton torpedoes? Star Trek, of course, had photon torpedoes. This seems like a decision likely to inspire confusion.

It's claimed that Gene Rodenberry, upon seeing the Death Star briefing scene for the first time, rolled his eyes and said, "Well, at least the main character is named Luke Skywalker and not Captain Dirk."

If the Proton Torpedo suffered from being too obviously a rocket, Estes' R2-D2 struggled with the opposite problem: it didn't look the least bit like a projectile. Anticipating this problem, Estes printed a call-out on the front of box assuring their customers that, yes, "it really flies!"

Little did the folks at Estes know that, come 2002 and the release of Attack of the Clones, R2-D2 would be shown to possess full flight capability. Too bad he didn't use it to escape from that awful movie.

Of course, neither the engineers at Estes nor the animators of Clones have anything on the legendary Otto Dieffenbach, the Wernher von Braun of droid ballistics.

Estes' marketing materials emphasized that the droid was a "robot hero," lest it be forgotten that R2-D2 wasn't evil.

You can tell these kids love R2-D2 because they've fashioned their hair after him.

Released around the same time as R2-D2 was this X-Wing Fighter rocket. It was designed to soar over 300 feet into the air.

Given the prominent role played by the X-Wings in Star Wars, and the fact that, unlike R2-D2, they were explicitly intended for flight, the X-Wing Fighter is rightly reckoned the flagship of the Estes line. 

The marketability of the product was such that it was featured on the cover of this novelty catalog, where it was only slightly overshadowed by the technological breakthrough represented by the Perpetual Solar Engine.

Cost of a radio-controlled Firebird in 2017 dollars: $225.

The X-Wing isn't the sole Star Wars-related item included in the catalog: Death Invader makes an appearance on page 79. He's featured beside other luminaries of the day, such as Santa Claus and Drunk.

As the text inside the catalog makes clear, one had to purchase a host of materials in order to make the X-Wing Fighter rocket function as intended.

So, as they did in the case of the Proton Torpedo, Estes marketed a version of the X-Wing that came with most of the materials needed to make the thing soar into the sky. It was called, somewhat too wordily, The X-Wing Fighter Flying Model Rocketry Outfit.

That's alotta stuff.

I have no idea what recovery wadding is, but I like saying "recovery wadding."

From a collecting standpoint the product is somewhat nicer than the bare-bones version of the X-Wing, as the front of its box features cool art of Darth Vader and the droids in addition to the vignette of Luke and Leia.

But my favorite aspect of the box is this graphic, printed (or intentionally hidden?) on its side.

It depicts C-3PO telling R2-D2 that the package includes everything you need, provided your definition of "everything" doesn't include batteries, glue, and finishing supplies.

R2-D2 is a hard droid to read, but I'm pretty sure I can see the disappointment that has overtaken him upon taking in this brazen confession of corporate perfidy.

Is this the jerkiest C-3PO to appear on a vintage product? I think it might be. Nerdlingers: I hereby challenge you to find a jerkier C-3PO.

But the X-Wing Outfit wasn't the end of Estes' involvement with the X-Wing Fighter: The company also released a larger version of the spacecraft. It was called the Maxi-Brute X-Wing Fighter.

I have no idea what "Maxi-Brute" is supposed to mean or why Estes would use an appellation that calls to mind a feminine hygiene product infused with cologne. But I'm quite positive that the product's big selling point was that it was the same size as the effects models used by ILM during the filming of Star Wars.

The similar graphics and coloring of the boxes in which the three X-Wing products came packaged makes them hard to differentiate. Here's a group shot of the trio.

The final product released by Estes as part of their vintage Star Wars line is today the hardest to find in a boxed state: The Imperial TIE Fighter. I've seen only a handful of examples.

It's sometimes claimed that ILM used some of Estes' TIE Fighters in effects shots created for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I have no idea how true that is. Something similar is said of MPC's model kits.

You had to look at the side of the box to discover that, in order to make the boxy TIE Fighter fly, it was necessary to affix a long, missile-shaped appendage to it.

For some reason Jerky C-3PO didn't deliver this particular bit of bad news; it had to be inferred by the overly aggressive manner in which the kid on the right is attempting to talk his younger brother into enjoying this clearly sucky experience.

Estes was still selling Star Wars rockets in 1980 when The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters. The company's spring 1980 newsletter even included this cool preview of the film's vehicles and characters.

However, no additional rockets were released during the vintage years -- not even one representing Boba Fett, as likely a candidate for rocketry glory as any character in the Star Wars universe.

As this example of the X-Wing rocket proves, Estes, like MPC, updated their existing packaging with ESB stickers when the release of the sequel was imminent. These stickered versions must be pretty rare; this is the only example I've seen.

Estes also issued several of their rockets in bags decorated with graphical header cards. But the boxed rockets are the Estes products that collectors tend to lust after. Not only do they feature great artwork, they're scarce. It takes quite a bit of effort to assemble the complete set.

The collector who wants to get really serious about collecting this stuff might try pursuing the posters Estes issued as store displays. I am aware of two styles: the one you see above and the one seen here. According to Pete Vilmur's write-up in the linked database entry, the Proton Torpedo poster was also used as a premium. I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true of the X-Wing poster.

Estes also produced a couple of Star Wars-themed iron-ons: one representing the droids and another showing a dogfight between a TIE and an X-Wing.

Kids received these as freebies when they ordered rockets during odd-numbered months.

The iron-ons weren't particularly colorful, but they were free, and -- uh -- super-neat.

Once you've delved into the realm of super-neat iron-ons, you've exhausted your topic. So here ends our look at the wonderful world of vintage Estes model rockets.

If you decide to collect these rockets, good luck. And in the immortal words of perhaps our greatest Jedi: "May the Force be with you!"