Recreating the '85 Kenner kitbashed figures

I have four Beefheads and for some reason put Bib’s cloak on them (I guess their tribe needs to keep warm during those cold desert nights).
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Anyway, the tugboat thing kind of reminds me of this Rebels Phantom Attack Shuttle from 2014. It’s not the same but does have some similar features.
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I notice you did the same thing I did with Mongo Beefhead Tribesmen... you painted the neck brown to match the head.

Mine:

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But after scanning my recently-delivered second copy of the magazine article from '95, I now notice that Kenner didn't do that on the real prototype.

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{Alas, the scan was too big to upload here, so I've had to reduce the file by 50%}

I'm debating whether or not on my second Mongo Beefhead to leave the neck unpainted as well. Have to mull it over.

~~~

Here are some more of the 1985 Kenner prototype figures in better resolution than we've seen so far in this thread.

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And here's a nice detail from a Chris Moeller painting for the 'Battle of Cadinth' tie-in article that shows several of these Imperial Attack Droids deployed on the battlefield.

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The Tandem X-wing:

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(I don't think I ever realized until just now that the layout artist flipped the negative on the Tandem X-wing, just as they'd done with the Mongo Beefhead Tribesman. The astromech's domevis the telltale. I've flipped it back to the correct way now.)

The SRV-1 prototype seems to have a lot of hand-drawn details that I didn't see before.

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The Millennium Falcon cargo handler concept. Was I the only one who thought of this when they saw Solo: A Star Wars Story?

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This one seems to utilize some Snowspeeder cannons on the wingtips, a Y-wing thruster at the back, and I believe that chin turret comes from the AST-5 Mini-Rig.

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Not surprisingly, the Sandspeeder also uses the same modified Snowspeeder cannons.

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Anyone know what that 'gear' is on top of the cockpit canopy?

The rear-firing turret is from the Micro Collection Hoth Turret with two (thicker) barrels instead of just the one.

MC Hoth Turret.jpg

The large dark thrusters at the back of the Sandspeeder, I've just figured out, are the middle piece of the Snowspeeder side cannons, painted black and turned backwards.

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So that means that these two pieces of the Snowspeeder have switched locations for the Sandspeeder.

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And here's a little bonus image from a different magazine that I'd scanned recently.

It's not part of the '85 line extension, but it is still a nifty kitbash, so I felt it's germane.

They once made a motorcycle using the gunnery chair from the Falcon. (And a sticker from the Death Star playset!)

kitbash MTV-7.jpg

Believe it or not, this kitbash eventually evolved into the MTV-7 Mini-Rig.

Tomart's 27 prototypes article MTV-7.jpg

Alex
 
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Those tire treads (and height) don't look like they are the same as the MTV-7 tires. The tires look like they came off of Mcdonald's Stompers.

Schaper Stompers McDonald's 4x4s Vehicle

Chevy luv stomper 4x4
 
Well, poodoo.

From a site called World of Books, I had ordered the hardback version of the 2nd Edition price guide by Sansweet and Tumbusch, because it has some pics of the Tandem X-wing that I want to scan.

And this is what arrived today.

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I don't think that's a hardback, do you?

Alex
 
The other day my wife stumbled upon my old paint tray for customs. I threw out a double handful of craft acrylics which were no longer viable, but also found some vials of metallic Testors hobby paint... as well as some old toothbrushes with very rectangular heads. You know, from before the time they decided to make the things more ergonomic.

So of course I immediately remembered projects where I'd used those toothbrush bristles to flick spatters of paint onto customs.

And, hmmm, who was it that needed some drops of silver paint like that?

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Old school. Fitting for that 1985 handmade look.

UPDATE:

I guess I can call this one done.

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Improved scan for comparison.

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Alex
 
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Putting some projects away today, thought I'd get a pic of these three together in some poses that *aren't* recreating the 1985 archival photos.

Imperial Attack Droids A & B have captured Mongo Beefhead.

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Now maybe I can find time to make him some more Tribesmen to help.

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Alex
 
Tiny bit of progress today.

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I want this one to look more like a production piece than the one I made in '95. I may Dremel a hole into the bottom of the head in its new orientation so it can still turn on the post.

Alex
 
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Comparison to improved scan of Kenner prototype. I'll need to fill the socket of the Squid Head noggin.

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I'm also dreading cutting down that 4-LOM harness, even though I bought that beater figure expressly for this purpose.

It's an odd trait for a customizer, but I genuinely dislike damaging a perfectly good toy.

Alex
 
I made casts of the hammerhead arms. Partly because I wanted multiple arms for the family I made, but mostly because I couldn't permanently damage a Hammerhead figure. There are a handful of figures I have a hard time butcherin-- errr, customizing.

EDIT: I bought a POTF IG 88 today. I don't think I could chop up Kenner figures to make these droids (and even beaters are expensive here) but I can easily see myself using the PTFT line for this.
 
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I think it looks so much better with the full harness. I too would struggle with cutting it down. I'd probably 3d print it or cast a new piece.
 
I made casts of the hammerhead arms. Partly because I wanted multiple arms for the family I made, but mostly because I couldn't permanently damage a Hammerhead figure. There are a handful of figures I have a hard time butcherin-- errr, customizing.

I bought some beaters with wonky eye paint and loose arms/necks. Actually, one of the ones I bought as custom fodder was in better condition than a forgotten one I found on a shelf in storage, so I 'upgraded' the keeper and swapped the worse one for the Beefhead donor.

EDIT: I bought a POTF IG 88 today. I don't think I could chop up Kenner figures to make these droids (and even beaters are expensive here) but I can easily see myself using the PTFT line for this.

I had previously seen that headless one-armed IG-88 in the antique mall beater bin and scoffed, "What moron would buy THAT?!" A week later, having realized I could get a 3D printed Y-wing cannon, *I* was the moron racing back there hoping fervently the headless Iggy was still there.

On a side note, that specific antique store is apparently still standing, but a larger one two doors down had its roof ripped off by a tornado last week. The last purchase I made there was a Twin Pod Cloud Car a few weeks ago.

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This pic was snapped of it on the shelf so I could go to the front desk and ask the owner its price. It was missing a price tag, but she called the person whose booth it was, and they said $19.

The owner was having new wifi run in the ceiling that day, and so could not process card payments at the time, but she held it for me until the next afternoon. I brought cash just in case, but the card machines were back online.

The Cloud Car is in great condition, but has some sticker issues, including some from Mini Rigs et al. applied to it. I thought I might see if I can remove them without damaging them.

My boss was the one who told me that store had been damaged by the storms. He'd just picked up some items there days before it happened.

Alex
 
I think it looks so much better with the full harness. I too would struggle with cutting it down. I'd probably 3d print it or cast a new piece.

I will probably cut down at least one of them. I tried really hard in '95 to match the angle of the cut, which is ever so slightly asymmetrical.

But then once I'd done the irreversible deed, of course that's when I noticed the photo in the magazine was flipped mirror image. So my deliberate angle goes downhill the wrong direction.

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Probably something that only I see, and only in person, but it's an error I've been wanting to correct ever since.

Alex
 
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Switching track slightly, two new arrivals from eBay.

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They're not vintage, obviously... but when you're going to paint them black and heavily modify them, the POTF2 reissues are clearly the better choice.

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The POTF2 canopies are too dark now that I compare the reference pic, but a) clear vintage canopies are usually long since yellowed with age and b) they're rare as hen's teeth and drive the price up. Since the Tandem canopies will require added paint details, I'd be loath to use vintage anyway.

I got these for cheap. Two shipping fees included, less than $50 invested so far. They were no doubt cheaper because they lacked the lighter-colored POTF2 cannons, but since those are black on the Tandem, I didn't need them.

I can just temporarily loan the custom some vintage black cannons whenever I go to take pics.

Should be fun to start cutting them apart. I'm especially intrigued to finally give a vintage-sculpt X-wing a functional droid socket, yet somehow retain the opening S-foils mechanism.

Fingers crossed!

Alex
 
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One of the X-wings won't open its S-foils as widely as the other, so I guess I know which mechanism I'll be using for the Tandem.

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Took me a sec to remember how to get the wings apart so I could unscrew the faux astromech head. (I had taken some of these apart in the 90s and customized them to represent Reds 2, 3, and 6.)

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Here's an interesting detail. Looks like they X'ed out the original Kenner serial number on the upper line and put the new # on the lower.

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I was perturbed with myself for losing one of these tiny springs to the release mechanism for the S-foils. It flew off and I know not where.

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But I'll only need one of them when these two are chopped apart for the Tandem. Still annoying though.

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Alex
 
Well, poodoo.

From a site called World of Books, I had ordered the hardback version of the 2nd Edition price guide by Sansweet and Tumbusch, because it has some pics of the Tandem X-wing that I want to scan.

And this is what arrived today.

View attachment 455010

I don't think that's a hardback, do you?

Alex

Well, things moved somewhat leisurely on both ends, but a month later I have finally reached a resolution with the World of Books customer service.

I had asked if the return/refund would also reimburse me for the cost of shipping the item back. They offered an alternate option, to issue a 30% refund if I wanted to keep the softcover edition.

Since my previous copy of the softcover has some water damage from a leaky window soaking the carpet of my first house, I opted to take the partial refund.

So today is the first time I've actually removed the accidental redundant purchase from its shipping envelope. (Old on the left, new on the right.)

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I still need the hardback for the pics of the Tandem X-wing, so the search is back on for a copy in my price range. Wish me luck!

Alex
 
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Usually my packrat tendencies tend to be slowly smothering me, but on rare occasion, they do come in handy.

With my idea of giving my second MBT custom a working neck post, that meant I needed an extra severed post (or something similar) to fill the original hole in Tessek's head when he's rotated 90 degrees.

I thought about using a Lego piece or even a wooden dowel. But digging through the bin of custom fodder parts, look what I found in a baggie containing the leftovers from the imperial Attack Droid B.

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Yep, right there at lower right is the clipped post of the Zuckuss body. I remember hesitating about slicing it off, as that Zuckuss was still fully functional until that step.

So now, as I was feeling a similar trepidation about cutting a post off another fodder figure, there's a certain symmetry about killing two '85 kitbash custom' birds with one stone.

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I went ahead and sliced off the hump on the back of the head, too.

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Next it was time to dremel.

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And just like that, it was able to fit over the post and now I have a *5*POA Mongo Beefhead Tribesman for the first time ever.

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Instead of brush-painting this time, I wanted to get a more 'production figure' look to this version of the character. Short of teaching myself casting and molding in custom-colored plastic, that means spray paint.

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Being colorblind, it's always daunting to color-match existing pieces like the Hammerhead arms. I searched two stores and bought the closest paint I could, then did a test application on some scrap cardboard.

Once it dried I showed the paint sample to my wife along with the Hammerhead arms, and her opinion was, "I don't think you'll be able to find closer than that."

Fingers crossed.

Alex
 
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The spray-paint came out way too glossy, but I was able to mute it a little with some rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip.

The 1995 version of this custom used a different solution. I mixed my own acrylic color and painted both the Squid Head head *and* the Hammerhead arms so they'd automatically match.

Here's a comparison of the '95 attempt (l) and the 2023 version (r). The spray-painted head looks pretty close to the plastic of the Hammerhead arms...

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... at least with the naked eye. But if you use a flash, it's not as close.

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Alex
 
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I hate to tell you Alex, but the new one’s head is a noticeably different color brown than the arms, even to my naked eye 🤓. The old one on the left does match perfectly, obviously because it’s the same paint. I do like the two-tone of the harness thing though! 🤩
 
That's a scary first step. Congrats on taking the plunge. Perhaps I'll take inspiration and get back to some of my own projects.

Alex
 
I saw a pic on social media the other day that really got the customizing juices flowing..

pre weathering landspeeder outside Ogle Design in UK.jpg

... this is one of the original movie landspeeder props when it was first built by Ogle Designs in the UK.

Note the fully enclosed canopy, the red seats, the absent grille panels, and the stark white body.

Naturally I headed to eBay to look for a vintage beater.

I may have gone overboard.

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Short story... I bid on one, forgot doing so, did a Buy It Now on another, was never outbid on the first, won that too, then saw another BIN listing for a third at an even lower price.

Between the three of them, I should have enough parts to assemble/restore one that's nearly perfect. Note that I only have one seat (right) and one gear shift (middle).

I always prefer to do this wherever possible: put one complete toy back into existence before damaging another.

From the leftover parts, I'll make the Ogle Speeder, with a new canopy and different seats.

But what to do with the third?

Well, you may have already guessed the answer to that simply by which thread I'm posting this in.

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What about the Kenner design for the XP-36?

Line Extension entry at theswca.com

Now then, I am pretty sure somewhere I have a box of leftover parts from a different landspeeder project some decades ago. Hoping there might be another seat in there, otherwise it's off to eBay again.

Can anyone help ID the additional parts they added when they kitbashed the XP-36?

Remember this was done in 1985, so lots of various Star Wars toys, and even other toy lines might've been cannibalized, as well as model kits.

Alex
 
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No one can have enough landspeeders. I like this white one, which reminds me of the “White Witch” a bit.
 
Working on a landspeeder custom myself. Haven't decided on the color scheme yet. Love the white!
 
No one can have enough landspeeders. I like this white one, which reminds me of the “White Witch” a bit.

Gus Lopez posted a pic of his White Witch prototype on social media the other day, pointing out the irony that the only Kenner Star Wars toy with 'white' in the name is actually gray.

There's also one more option...

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Fixer's five-engine landspeeder from the deleted Tosche Station scene.

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AN
 
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Last night in the wee hours of the morning I began disassembling and cleaning the three newly purchased Landspeeders.

One of them had this sticker on its undercarriage. I'm leaving that where it is for the moment.

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The one in the best condition (least scratches from being driven on concrete) unfortunately had magic marker on the bottom.

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A quick test with a cotton swab and 70% isopropyl alcohol looked promising.

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Getting all the marker out of those tiny spaces in the letters took the longest, but eventually it all looked as good as new.

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That piece and all the other 'best' pieces were reassembled into the one seen here on the left, a complete functional and fully restored vintage Landspeeder.

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Now I can move forward with custom projects for the other two with a clear conscience.

Sadly, between all three speeders there were only nine springs for the 'floating' mechanism of the retractable wheels. There should be four each, or twelve total.

I put four each in the leftmost and middle ones, but only one in the rightmost, which is made of the worst parts from all three.

However, I also stumbled on an auction for two more beater Landspeeders with a Buy It Now for a great price, so... stay tuned.

Alex
 
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Some kid put the Luke sticker underneath there to indicate it belonged to Luke. There’s real living history in some of these old pieces. I’m glad you didn’t remove it. 😉
 
In which film is that blue speeder visible?

I agree. The thumbnail pic, though tiny, makes it look like the top engine is there.

Alex
 
YouTube knew this was relevant to my interests and auto-recommended it.


At about the 7:53 mark, he uses a pic of the AT-IC in much better resolution than I've ever seen.

Here's the best image I had previously:
85LineExt36ATIC (1).jpg

Source:
The SWCA dot com!

Zoomed in, but still blurry:
AT-IC zoom.jpg

But here's the image seen in the video:

AT-IC.jpg

That's the first time I've been able to make out sufficient detail on the 'cutaway side' to see that it might just be a scratch-build, and not any specific piece of the side of the existing toy.

Zoomed:
AT-IC b.jpg

It's also the first time I ever realized there's an AT-AT Commander figure standing there!

Note that this better photo has the telltales of something scanned from a magazine or maybe a book.

Anyone know in what source he might have found this? I'm always seeking better reference images for my recreations.

Alex
 
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On a side note, that specific antique store is apparently still standing, but a larger one two doors down had its roof ripped off by a tornado last week. The last purchase I made there was a Twin Pod Cloud Car a few weeks ago.

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I saw this April post above and thought I'd update it for posterity.

Sad to say, after months of sitting there empty and roofless, Bellemeade Antiques where I bought this Cloud Car has now been razed to the ground.

A damaged truck that was left in its parking lot until insurance adjustors processed the claim was still sitting there, but there's no building anymore.

Hopefully they're planning to rebuild, but who knows?

In tribute to the store, which provided me many collectibles, some costume pieces, and even some antique plates I bought for my mother, here's a post I made on my FB page last September.

"Went for a drive tonight, wound up stopping on impulse at BelleMeade antique mall. From many feet away, I spotted a Kenner Darth Vader carrying case which drew me over to this booth. As I glanced around, I spotted this dancing Caddyshack Gopher.

Being a Harold Ramis fan from way back, I have some similar Caddyshack golf club covers and a stuffed animal, but had never seen this specific item in person before.

I decided to film the toy just in case. I honestly figured it was empty of batteries, but hit the button just out of curiosity. I was surprised it played such a LONG stretch of the song "I'm Alright", and since it was pretty loud in the quiet antique store environment, I hit the button again to stop it rather than record the entire loop.


When I had barely turned off my recording, I realized there was a man just over my right shoulder who quietly asked, "Is that all they're asking for that?" The tag says $20. I shrugged, saying, "I guess so."

He asked, "Do you know what these go for on eBay?"

I said, "Not a clue." He said, "Usually about a hundred bucks."

I got the sense he was trying to see if I intended to buy it, which struck me as unusually generous. Responding in kind, I stepped slightly to the left to give him clearance to reach it, and said, "Grab it."

As if he was trying not to pinch himself to awaken from this pleasant dream, he then told me he'd once owned the item, but it had been stolen from his office desk and he'd been looking for one ever since. As he took it down from the shelf he cradled it in his muscular arm as if it was a small and fragile child.

The thought ran through my mind, "What if this was the VERY one he'd lost, and the thief had sold it for cheap, changing hands many times until they reunited just now?" But I didn't voice this odd flight of mental fancy.

He said he'd been at the other end of the store, heard the music, immediately recognized what item was producing it, and made a beeline for the direction it was coming from. I said, "I'm glad I decided to hit that button."

He still seemed like he was hesitant to break the 'finders keepers' code of honor, so I assured him I was only interested enough to shoot a video of it, and had no intention of buying it.

We bumped into him again later in another part of BelleMeade, and I said, "What are the odds that thing even had batteries in it?" Still cradling it, he said "It's fate. (pause) I think it was calling to me. I think this actually WAS mine."

I told him I'd actually had that thought earlier but hadn't said it aloud.

Moral of the story: Go ahead. Push the button. Sometimes it's destiny giving you a nudge so you can assist someone else with a happy ending."


By the way, that Dragonslayer book in the video clip? It went home with me that day. As did that mentioned Darth Vader carrying case on a later visit.

On the other hand, I'm certainly now kicking myself for not buying that Bionic Mission Vehicle I saw there for twenty bucks a few days before the tornado hit. It was incomplete, visibly missing several parts including one of the red wings, so I decided to wait and do some research about what all it was supposed to include and seek out possible websites to procure parts.

Images found online:
f36b61e21657a367538133737e6e22a3--space-ship-action-figures.jpg

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This was one item I never had as a kid for my meager Six Million Dollar Man collection, and I remember how neat I thought the neighbor's was.

I guess it goes to show the wisdom of my mother's oft-repeated mantra, which was also a sign on the wall by the register at Bellemeade:

"The time to buy an antique is when you see it."

Alex
 
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After buying three beater speeders recently, eBay auto-recommended me a Buy It Now auction for this pair. Since it was a nice low price, I went ahead and ordered them.

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I'll slice off the side thrusters from one of them for the custom of Fixer's speeder, and then cannibalize springs and other components from both.

Alex
 
Sad to say, after months of sitting there empty and roofless, Bellemeade Antiques ... Car has now been razed to the ground.

A damaged truck that was left in its parking lot until insurance adjustors processed the claim was still sitting there, but there's no building anymore.

Did a little digging on Google.

Here's what Bellemeade looked like back in March.

Bellemeade roofed March 2022.jpg

Here's what it looked like in July, post-tornado (which I believe was in April?).

Bellemeade roofless.jpg

And here's a pic I took of the site today.

Bellemeade no more.jpg

As you can see from this aerial image, its footprint was bigger than the combined footprints of the two other antique stores nearby, which only suffered minor damage. I still find the occasional neat Star Wars pieces at Renaissance Antiques.

Bellemeade aerial.jpg

If anyone wants to see photos of the types of stuff it once contained, here's their Facebook page.

Bellemeade Antiques

Alex
 
That same gray vehicle shows up in all three pics and gives a bit of scale. It’s a shame when something like that has to close down. There used to be TONS of antique stores in my area but now there’s essentially nothing left.
 
That same gray vehicle shows up in all three pics and gives a bit of scale. It’s a shame when something like that has to close down. There used to be TONS of antique stores in my area but now there’s essentially nothing left.

Yep, that's the one I was misremembering as a pickup truck in an earlier post. It too was storm-damaged, and presumably its owners are leaving it 'in situ' until the insurance adjusters make a decision.

As for all the antique places going away, a good quarter century ago, I went on a tour of Indiana with a guy who goes by Sillof sometimes. I definitely remember we visited the hometown of James Dean, but the bulk of the road trip was what I described as visiting Planet Corn because all the way to the horizon in 360 degrees, that was all I could see! I don't even remember being able to see the roadway, just corn corn Corn CORN!

Every so often we'd wind up in a small town and he knew all the best toy sellers to hit. I remember one place had several Tonka Willow figures from 1988. I had just begun trying to track those down, so it was amazing to see them on pegs in a store again. (Completing that collection took me until 2018, thirty years after the film came out, and for the elusive Mangonel I had to buy three broken ones and piece it together a component at a time.)

Alex's Willow Collection Thread

Willow_resize_4.jpg


We fell out of touch, but the last time Sillof and I spoke, he reported that most of those small Indiana stores were long since gone. According to him, the rise of eBay killed them.

Alex
 
I definitely remember Sillof. He did those absolutely rad 6” customs, all steam punk and such. I actually think he started the whole Japanese interpretations trend. I think the whole Visions concept owes somewhat to his work twenty years ago. He was the first guy I ever knew to do Jedi/Samurai crossovers. He is a true internet legend. You are one of the first real customizers in the history of the hobby, and he holds a place at the top of famous designs. It’s incredible y’all travelled together back then.

The weird truth is, there’s not really any reason for ANYONE in ANY hobby to take a road trip anymore. I need one, as some kind of restorative soul shaker. I’m tired of spamming “Buy” and getting whatever I want for nothing. It’s really amazing to have been able to achieve all my collecting dreams so easily, but in some ways I wish the hunt were still on.
 
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