Jabba the Hutt Train (From Star Wars Express Glow-In-The-Dark Train Collection by Hawthorne Village)
Hawthorne Village is part of the Bradford Exchange, which specializes in only the finest collectibles featuring themes like eagles, NASCAR, and John Wayne. But they also have a number of popular culture properties like Star Wars, which they sell under the “Hawthorne Village” moniker. I’ve covered some of their “Galactic Village” collection in the past, as they released a Jabba’s Palace and Sail Barge. The quality can be a little iffy in some cases, but I do like them.
Like the Galactic Village collection, the Star Wars Express Collection is a subscription-based collection. The idea is that you sign up and they send you one item from the collection (in this case, one train car) every month or two. They literally say “about one every month or two” on the product page — you’d think they could nail that down a bit more. I’ve always disliked this approach, since it’s seems designed to get people to buy things they don’t actually want, or to hide the total cost of the collection. I generally have no interest in getting the entire collections of these things, so I just wait and buy them on eBay when they eventually show up (usually for less than the subscription price). These trains are normally $75 + $9.99 shipping if you buy them direct, but I got mine for a lot less.
The artwork on the train is not bad at all, even if it is based on standard shots from the movie that have been reworked a bit. The train itself seems pretty flimsy and plasticky, however.
Lest you be tempted to give it to a child to play with, there is this sticker on the bottom reading, “THIS IS A FINE COLLECTIBLE. NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.” Admittedly, it doesn’t seem like it would survive very long if used as a toy.
Inside you can see the luxurious white plastic seats. I had completely forgotten about the “glow-in-the-dark” aspect of this train, so I was very surprised to see it glowing pretty brightly when I left it in a darkened room. It’s a cool, if rather bizarre, feature.
Overall, this is a bit of a head-scratcher. People who are big fans of toy trains and Star Wars might love it, but I kind of get the same feeling from it as I did from the Star Wars vans that Kenner made back in the day — like they’re just shoehorning Star Wars someplace where it doesn’t really belong.