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Mr Palitoy's Cardback Guide


SW 12A Cardback

SW 12B Cardback

SW 12C Cardback

SW 20 Cardback

ESB 30A Cardback

ESB 30B Cardback

ESB 41A Cardback

ESB 41B Cardback

ESB 41C Cardback

ESB 45A Cardback

ESB 45B Cardback

ROTJ 45C Cardback

ROTJ 65A Cardback

ROTJ 65B Cardback

ROTJ 65C Cardback

ROTJ 65D Cardback

ROTJ/TL 70A Cardback

TL 70B Cardback

TL 70C Cardback

TL 70D Cardback

ESB GM45A Cardback

ESB GM45B Cardback

ROTJ GM45C Cardback

ESB CL45 Cardback

ESB KPS45A Cardback

ESB KPS47A Cardback

ESB KPS48B Cardback

ESB KPS48C Cardback

ROTJ KPS48D Cardback

ROTJ KPS48E Cardback

ROTJ KPS48F Cardback

SW Diecasts

SW Vehicles

SW Spaceships

SW Playsets

SW Large Action Figures

SW Weapons

SW Board Games

SW Activities

SW Catalogues

SW History

SW Offers


Vehicles are toys that are designed to move the action figures around. I have split up the Palitoy catalogue definition of a vehicle to also include spaceships for vehicles designed to leave a planet's atmosphere, and creatures for the larger alien and monster toys seen in the movies. For the Star Wars line, Palitoy produced 2 vehicles according to this definition, the Land Speeder and the Imperial Troop Transporter.

The Land Speeder was one of the first vehicles you would often get as kid. The box features the Land Speeder with Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker action figures sitting inside with R2-D2 in front, and a Stormtrooper behind holding up his weapon. The Palitoy logo is in the bottom right hand corner of the box. The back of the box is the same as the front.

Inside the box, the Land Speeder came with a cardboard insert that folded round the vehicle. Almost all boxed toys came with these inserts, which kept the integrity and shape of the box and protected the toy inside. These are often missing with boxed toys that are for sale, so it is worth checking if they are included. Vintage replacements are expensive and reproduction inserts are made to fill this market so it is worth checking that your inserts are original also!

Palitoy produced this vehicle using a mould that was acquired from Kenner. You can see on the base of the vehicle that it says '(c) Kenner Products Inc, Cincinnati Ohio, USA'. Although Palitoy produced the vast majority of vehicles for the UK market, very few of them have a Country of Origin (COO) stamp that originates from the UK. They almost all have the Kenner COO that came on the moulds that were acquired.

To cut production costs, Palitoy simplified these Kenner moulds and often left out the electronics that were available on the Kenner versions of the vehicle. The 12A cardback was reprinted as the 12B cardback to remove references to these electronics. In the case of the Land Speeder, the bonnet which opened on the Kenner version by pressing a button on the front of the Land Speeder was missing on the Palitoy version which did not open. Stickers for this vehicle were pre applied which was normally not the case as most vehicles came with a separate sticker sheet that had to be applied. The Star Wars branding for the Land Speeder was not updated for the later films, so this is the only variation of the Land Speeder that was available from Palitoy.

The Imperial Troop Transporter was the other vehicle produced for the Star Wars range, and was unusual as it was not a vehicle that featured in the fim. The vast majority of toys produced were featured in the original 3 movies. The box features the transporter carrying five Stormtroopers and Princess Leia in a head restraint, with R2-D2 and C3-PO at the back and 2 more Stormtroopers standing at the front of the vehicle. The Palitoy logo is in the bottom right hand corner of the box. A white box to the left of the transporter features text in French which shows that this was intended for sale in the European market as well as the UK. The back of the box is the same as the front of the box.

The vehicle comes with 2 doors that open at the front and an opening rear 'DROID prisoner' compartment which meant the vehicle could hold up to 11 action figures. The 6 side compartments (3 on each side) came unattached inside a clear plastic bag. Another clear plastic bag contained the radar dish that kind of looks like a small seat that clips on top of the vehicle behind the laser turret and 2 prisoner immobilisation units, one of which can be seen on the box cover on top of Princess Leia.

There were no loose cardboard inserts that came with this vehicle, unusually the inserts are attached to the inside of the box! So if you see one for sale that says the inserts are missing, then you know why. Only the Kenner version came with separate cardboard inserts. There is a detachable battery cover at the year of the vehicle and the compartment at the rear opens up to reveal an on/off switch. One of the big selling points for this vehicle is that it had talking sound, which was quite a feat for toys made in the '70s. The top of the vehicle has 6 push buttons in a circle in front of the laser turret which activate 6 different sound clips taken from the film. They are R2-D2 beeping, the transporter's engine sound, a blaster firing in stun mode, a blaster firing a couple of rounds, a Stormtrooper saying 'There's one. Set for stun!' and C3-PO saying 'R2-D2, where are you?'.

More often than not, the sound does not work on these for an easily fixable reason. If you remove the 3 screws on the base of the vehicle, the bottom can be unclipped from the front revealing the inner workings of the toy. There is a white box with a loudspeaker in it that has another 3 screws in it. Once unscrewed, the white box splits in half revealing a little mini record player! There is a red elastic band that goes round the disc of the record player that needs to loop over the motorised metal spindle on the opposite half of the box. This band falls off with time or gets stretchy over time so the sounds emitted sound longer and slower. Reattaching this rubber band will normally fix the problem!

Other things that came with the vehicle were the 2 prisoner immobilisation units already mentioned. If missing, these can often be found stored inside the rear compartment for droids. There is a separate sticker sheet which will normally have been applied unless the vehicle is mint in box. Also often missing is a little Kenner branded slip that went over the top of the buttons for the movie clip sounds explaining what they were.

There are Palitoy printed instructions which fold out and are double side giving 4 pages of instructions for the vehicle in all. These detail how to assemble the vehicle, the features of the vehicle and the all important movie sounds and what they are.

There is also a Kenner branded mini comic book included with 7 pages featuring a storyline not seen in the film that features the use of the Imperial Troop Transporter and it's attack on a Jawa Sand Crawler. I guess they were trying to justify the fact that the vehicle did not appear in the film!

There is a vehicle variation where the battery compartment cover is grey rather than red. The grey version is much less common than the red one.

The grey battery cover version has the Kenner COO to the side of the 2 rear wheels underneath the vehicle with a catalogue number of 9335. The red battery cover version has the Kenner COO between the 2 rear wheels with a catalogue number of 39290, the catalogue number listed in catalogues of the time. 

There is a box variation for this vehicle too. The Star Wars branding was kept for the Empire Strikes Back, and 6 Boba Fett symbols for an unused Bounty Hunter promotion were added to the left of the top of the box. A Bounty Hunter capture log was also included with the ESB version of the box. Some of these ESB boxes also included a folded ESB catalogue which is much rarer than the more common later version. When folded, the catalogue features only the ESB logo. The ESB box version is rarer than the SW box version and has the red battery cover version of the vehicle inside. This indicates that the grey battery cover version of the vehicle came first and was produced in small numbers before being superseded by the red battery cover version.