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Star Wednesday: Die-Cast X-Wing Fighter

My Star Wars collection can be divided into three categories: things I owned as a child (and still own today), things I used to own as a child (and replaced over time), and new toys and collectibles I’ve bought as an adult. This die-cast X-Wing Fighter falls into the first category. This is the same one I owned back in the late 1970s.

Everybody is familiar with Kenner’s original line of 3 3/4″ action figures and their accompanying ships and play sets, but not everyone remembers all the other toys Kenner also released in 1979. Along with a few board games and radio-controlled toys, Kenner also released four miniature die-cast ships in 1978.

(Catalog scan courtesy of PlaidStallions)

The original wave of die-cast ships released in 1978 included this X-Wing fighter, along with Luke’s Landspeeder, Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, and a traditional TIE Fighter. The following year, Kenner released four additional vehicles, followed by another three for The Empire Strikes Back. Each ship had a plastic part or two that attached to the toys’ metal hull, and you can tell what they were by what parts are now missing from the ones you find in the wild. Due to their relatively small size, these ships weren’t terribly detailed. The X-Wing only had a couple of colors applied. R2’s dome was completely silver, and Luke (or whoever the pilot is) is completely orange. The X-Wing Fighter originally came with a clear canopy that fell off way too easily. It also had four rubber laser cannons that, as you can see here, got bent over time.

Because these things were so small I took them to school with me more than once. They slipped easily into lunch boxes and pencil bags and could be removed during lunch and recess. One vivid memory I have of this specific toy was holding it at arm’s length and running around the playground, pretending I was controlling a real spaceship. Whenever I would “fly” over a small mount of dirt I would kick it, pretending that the dirt flying up into the air was the result of a well-placed laser bolt. At home I remember doing the same thing while riding my bike.

I don’t recall for sure how many of those eight vintage die-cast vehicles I owned in all, but today I own three of them. All three have missing parts and display many battle scratches from the many playground adventures we had back in the late 70s.

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1 comment to Star Wednesday: Die-Cast X-Wing Fighter

  • Wow!

    I had (and still have) many of the original Kenner figures and ships, but I do not remember ever seeing these die-cast versions. I don’t recall any of my friends having them, nor do I remember seeing them at school. If I had seen them, I would have wanted them all. Very cool, indeed. Thanks for sharing your memories on this.