"I'm lost and confused, I'm lost at 22." -Life of Agony, "Lost at 22"

Star Wednesday: Yoda Hand Puppet

In the late 1970s, Kenner released twelve unique 12″ Star Wars action figures. The first ten figures were from Star Wars, while the last two (Boba Fett and IG-88) were from The Empire Strikes Back. The line didn’t sell well and was abandoned before more figures from Empire and Jedi were released. And while this particular toy wasn’t actually a part of Kenner’s vintage 12″ line of toys, he was close enough to scale that I always thought of him as one.

The Yoda Hand Puppet, released in 1981, was made out of vinyl and, other than a few strands of white hair stitched to the back of his head, was made of one single piece. Yoda is a puppet in the loosest of terms. He is hollow, but his mouth (which most people think of when they hear the word “puppet”) is not articulated. Instead, kids could make Yoda nod (“Yes, Luke!”), bring his hands up toward his chin, and… that’s about it.

This Yoda Hand Puppet is the one I owned as a kid. I can’t remember if I got him for Christmas or a birthday, but I do remember opening the box.

Again, as far as puppets go, the Yoda Hand Puppet is pretty lame. Of course as a display toy, he was pretty cool. The sculpt was detailed for the time, and as a kid there was always something cool about having toys that were “big.” While this Yoda was actually a little too large to be a part of the original 12″ line of figures, he’s almost perfect when displayed next to Jakks Pacific’s newer line of 18″ figures.

The back of the Yoda Hand Puppet box shows one child playing with the Yoda Hand Puppet and another playing with the then recently released yellow Force lightsaber. Both items were also featured in television commercials as well. Check out the amazing range of articulation on that puppet in this commercial!

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