Anyone who has ever worked toward completing a collection has probably mashed their teeth while paying money for something they didn’t want. Every Atari 2600 collector knows that Pac-Man and E.T. are universally panned, and yet they all own them.
The challenge in collecting Star Wars figures is that especially toward the end of the run, Kenner really began scraping the bottom of the barrel. The original line of figures launched with a now famous 12 figures — one Luke, one Han, and so on. By the type Return of the Jedi wrapped, you had Luke in Hoth gear, Luke in Bespin gear, Luke in Stormtrooper armor, Luke in Jedi outfit, Luke in Endor fatigues, and so on — and that’s just Luke. Did you know Kenner cranked out at least six different Ewoks? I do, because as a collector, I’m in the midst of tracking them down. Toward the end of the line, anyone who appeared in a Star Wars film for more than a few seconds was fair game. This brings us to General Madine.
General Madine is the guy on the right, the one with the white stick. In a room full of guys with lobster heads and a woman in her pajamas, he’s easy to miss. In the film, General Madine has about three lines of dialogue. After informing a room full of rebels that the Rebellion has captured a Tyderian Shuttle, he asks Han if he has assembled his team yet. That’s it. No kid in the history of kids ever asked for a General Madine figure. No kid, while playing with Star Wars, wished they owned a General Madine figure to re-enact his two line speech.
I, however, a stupid collector, have a spot missing where General Madine must stand.
This weekend was the 36th anniversary of the release of Star Wars and the 30th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi. With Star Wars on the brain, I set out this weekend to work toward finishing off my vintage Star Wars figure collection. Fortunately I did not have to look far, as the first Vintage Stock I visited happened to have a loose General Madine figure for $2.99.
Next to my X-Wing fighter, I have a spare Luke. Next to my TIE Fighter, I have a spare Stormtrooper. Next to my Hoth Playset I have two or three spare Snowtroopers.
General Madine will stand on the shelf alone, where he belongs.