Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Star Wars in Japan: Alternate Photos!!!


The other article in this month's issue of Super 7 Magazine that I was honored to shoot was for the "Star Wars in Japan" feature. Fortunately for you readers, when Brian compared my shots to toy photography legend, Tim Brisko, it was a no-brainer!! Suffice to say, Brian made the right choice and went with Brisko's shots. Tim is one of my inspirations from years ago when I started taking pictures of my toys. One of these days, i'm gonna have to upgrade my 2 megapixel camera! Anyways, here are some of my favorite shots that didn't make it into the magazine from the Takara Star Wars Die-cast line featuring Darth Vader and R2-D2!!!


The following are excepts from Super 7 Magazine, "Star Wars In Japan" written by Will Grief. For the full article including Tim Brisko's luxurious photo's, buy Super 7, Issue #15!!!!

"A long time ago in a country far, far away known as 1978 Japan, the toymaker Takara jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon with a line of cool toys geared exclusively toward the Japanese market.

Unfortunately, most of these toys were never made available in the United States, so American Star Wars collectors of that era were often not aware that these toys even existed. A few "supercollectors", however, figured out how to get their hands on them. Some took trips to Japan specifically to buy Star Wars collectibles. One savvy collector, after learning of the toy line, wrote Takara directly for a catalog of their offerings, and requested product samples. Lo and behold, good customer service was not yet an anomaly. Although the collector corresponded in English and the company corresponded in Japanese, somehow he managed to submit and receive his order. You see, all he needed was a picture and a price. He circled what he wanted, went to his bank, and withdrew a cashier's check in yen. About a month later, Takara sent the customer the Star Wars product catalog and several empty boxes of their current line.


Die-Cast and Action Toys

Takara's next-most recognizable set included die-cast versions of Darth Vader, C-3PO and R2-D2, which all came in cardboard boxes with action figures packed in foam trays and with stands. Darth Vader came with a vinyl cape, a glow-in-the-dark lightsaber, and a fully functional crossbow that could fire glow-in-the-dark projectiles.


For the last figure, R2-D2, Takara produced four different larger-size R2-D2s with action features: the standard missle-firing R2-D2; the movie-slide viewer R2-D2 (who also happened to shoot missiles!); the bump-and-go R2-D2; and the remote-controlled, disc firing R2-D2. The standard missile-firing R2-D2 was the likely third wheel, and came packaged with three silver missiles and some decals. The three remaining R2-D2s all came with awesome, "I wish i'd had that as a kid" features. I mean, who wouldn't want an R2-D2 that showed slides from the movie? The next R2-D2 was the bump-and-go R2-D2, which was a little larger than the movie-viewer R2-D2 and was battery operated. Once you turned him on, there was no stopping him. He ran on a horrible-sounding motor, and whenever he hit a wall, he would change positions. And if none of those R2-D2s fit your bill, you could also buy in on the granddaddy 8" remote-controlled disc firing R2-D2. Remember when C-3PO said to let the Wookie win? Maybe he ain't so tough when he's up against an R2-D2 unit that can shoot exploding discs from his mouth, move around, spin his head, light up, and make noises that also came boxed in a Styrofoam tray."


Will Grief is a private collector who is always seeking to expand his knowledge and archives, and always interested in purchasing additional vintage Star Wars collections, especially Takara packaged items and advertising displays. Feel free to flog your Takara Star Wars toys to him at









Anonymous said...

They turned down that third photo??

And you take those photos with a 2 mpx camera? I'm impressed. I thought I was old skool with my 3.2 mpx Canon.

Kenn Munk said...

very cool! thanks for sharing these. I haven't read the article yet, but did you take pics of other SW toys for them as well?

toybot studios said...

hi Kenn,
no other SW toys were loaned for pics unfortunately!

i'm kidding about 2mpx. the Canon SLR I have has 8mpx I think. I need to upgrade anyways though....

Anonymous said...

Star Wars is great! and u got some pretty Nice Vader pics too!
What a coincident, I just posted some darth maul pics on my blog too!
Check it out and do give me your comments.

Btw, I went looking for bikes the other time and found that 1:10 scale bikes are more suitable for SIC figures. I used the 1:12 scale bike for revoltech figures though.

toybot studios said...


Just wanted to let you guys know that the 3rd pic was not intended to be sexual in any way. it was supposed to depict Darth Vader grabbing R2-D2 as he was running away....seriously! he's leaning AWAY from Darth!!

Televex said...

Nice pics and incredible toys! Thanks.

Related Posts with Thumbnails