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Vintage Jabba the Hutt Dungeon Action Playset by Kenner

January 15, 2011

Sears was quite a player in the toy industry in the mid 1980s. So much so that they they even had their own exclusive products, made just for them. The Jabba the Dungeon Action Playset was one such product, but if you’ve seen many vintage Star Wars toys, you may be thinking that this looks a little familiar. In fact, the dungeon playset is just a reworked version of Kenner’s Droid Factory Playset, which came out a few years earlier. Both sets are more “inspired” by the movies than anything. This one is based on the scene where droids are being tortured in Jabba’s dungeon, but it looks nothing like what we saw in the movie.

There were two versions of this set. There’s this one, which included the Klaatu, Nikto, and 8D8 figures, and another one that came out later, which included Amanaman, Barada, and EV-9D9. The latter version is considerably more valuable.

There’s an interesting bit of trivia about this set. If you look on the side of the box, you can see a sentence under the picture of R2-D2 reading¬†“Use the branding iron on any Droids in JABBA’S DUNGEON.” However, this originally read “The branding iron will torture any Droids in JABBA’S DUNGEON.” Apparently they were wary about using the word “torture” on a child’s toy. You can see a shot of the original box design on the right above. The interesting thing is that they didn’t actually change the box — they just stuck a sticker with the revised wording on it over the old sentence. I guess the change came too late in the production process for them to change the box.

I originally bought this as a sealed box, thinking that I would keep it that way and get another loose one so I could display the contents as well, but it arrived in worse shape than I had expected. After a while I decided I might as well just open it. You can see the contents above. As I discovered with the Desert Sail Skiff Vehicle I got a while back, it can be pretty fun to open and assemble vintage toys. Unlike the Sail Skiff, though, the stickers that came with this set were almost completely dried up, so I had to use some glue to apply them. Everything else was in great shape. Each figure came in a taped baggie.

Even though I’ve been collecting Jabba items for quite some time now, it took me a long time to finally pick one of these up, and I think it’s mostly because it didn’t really appear in the movies, and is a little low in terms of its fun factor. It’s really just a plastic base with a crane on it. Still, it does have an interesting history.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 9:02 am

    Another good find icruise. I always felt that there could have been more of the droid torture chamber and am surprised that it’s not used more.

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