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Bend-Ems Gamorrean Guard Figure by JusToys

June 17, 2011

It’s kind of hard to believe looking back on it today, but there was a time after the original movies had ended when there were no Star Wars on store shelves. Kenner certainly milked the franchise as much as it could, but by the early 1990s, Star Wars merchandise was hard to find. I wasn’t a collector or even an active Star Wars fan back then, but from what I hear many fans were excited when JusToys came out with their line of Star Wars Bend-Ems, mostly just because they were glad to see Star Wars toys of any kind available again. Released in 1993 and 1994, these were not particularly impressive as toys — they’re just unarticulated blobs of rubber with a wire skeleton underneath, allowing for some very basic poseability. But on the other hand, a lack of moving parts and tiny weapons probably made them safe for younger kids. There are different packaging variations, but this style came with a Topps trading card featuring Gamorrean Guard art as a bonus.

Generally speaking, I’m an “opener” — I like to open my toys rather than keep them in their packaging. But in this case, I think I’m just going to leave it as it is. It’s survived since 1994 in relatively good shape, and it’s not as if there’s much you can really do with a Bend-Ems figure once you get it out of the package. One thing I was interested to see on the back of the package was that they had appropriated the old Darth Vader carrying case from the Kenner vintage line for use with Bend-Ems. I’m not sure if they changed it all. It seems like they even let the carrying case determine how many figures would be in the line, since the case held 20 figures and that’s how many characters they made.

The only Jabba-related figures are the Gamorrean Guard and Bib Fortuna (who I still need to pick up). To be honest, if I had to pick 20 characters from all three Star Wars movies to make into figures, I don’t think either of these would be on the list. I can understand not having a Jabba, since size issues would make that difficult. But these two characters seem pretty out of place without one. I guess they needed some easily identifiable bad guys, but I probably would’ve gone with a Tarkin or one of the stormtrooper variants (snowtrooper, scout, etc.) over these two. Still as a Jabba collector, I’m happy they chose them.

 

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