If you were a child of a certain age, you had lots and lots of STAR WARS toys. I sure did. I wish they’d all survived in reasonable condition into my adulthood, as many of them are now worth a bit of dough. Not that’d I’d sell them, if I’m honest about it. But they’d command positions of honor on my bookshelves. Some of the stuff I had as a kid and lost or broke or my brother broke as I aged I managed to keep, and some of it I’ve managed to replace. (Thanks, eBay!) One of the pieces that survived my childhood along with me, and which I still possess, is the Wampa figure released as part of the toyline for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in 1980. His white plastic “fur” has turned yellow with the passage of time, but it actually makes him look cooler, I think. More “authentic.”
In the movie, the Wampa scared the bejeezus out of me. Yes, when I was very young, the Bumble from RUDOLPH also scared me, but cut a kid some slack. The Wampa was exactly like what I thought Bigfoot was supposed to look like, only bigger and meaner. Those freakin’ claws and those fangs! Naturally I had to have the figure of this shambling nightmare made flesh (or celluloid). He’s nowhere near mint condition these days–I mentioned the yellow discoloration–and you can find a Wampa figure for not a whole lotta dough on the aforementioned eBay. But I wouldn’t trade my banged-up, discolored old figure for a brand new one. A little mileage just adds character.