Vintage Star Wars Return Of The Jedi ROTJ Biker Scout Laser Pistol
This post is a look at the Star Wars Return Of The Jedi Biker Scout Laser Pistol. The pistol was only introduced for the Return of the Jedi.
The other blaster weapons, the Han Solo Laser Pistol and Electronic Laser Rifle were released by Kenner for all three films.
Kenner produced the Return of the Jedi biker scout laser pistol in 1984, a “role play” version of the Biker Scout pistol used in the film.
I always thought it was one of the best child-sized accessories produced by Kenner, but apparently it was not too popular at the time. This was probably because it was a “baddies” pistol and kids preferred to be the on the good side during play.
The pistol was a reasonable attempt to faithfully recreate the original prop and has gained a coolness factor over time.
Pistol as displayed in Kenner 1984 Trade Catalog
It was advertised in the Kenner 1984 trade Toy Fair catalog in a double page spread. It’s not that easy to detect, but the large picture of the pistol displayed is a prototype version. The colouring is different from the production model. If you look to the right of the Star Wars sticker, just below you can see a screw which was not there in the production model.
Pistol as displayed in Sears 1984 Wish Book
The Biker Scout Laser Pistol was available from Sears department store in 1984. You can see the pistol in the bottom of the right page in the Sears Wish Book 1984 below.
Pistol as displayed in 1985 Kenner Trade Catalog
Adding further collectable interest to the Biker Scout Laser Pistol is the fact that Kenner had included the toy as one of their new line of POTF “THE POWER OF THE FORCE” in the 1985 Toy Fair Catalog.
All the ‘first’ released 1984 Return Of The Jedi vehicles and Playsets were intended to be re-released in the POTF line of toys, but none actually were.
The Pistol was intended to be identical to the 1984 version (as far as I know!) but with the Star Wars ‘POTF’ logo.
As you can see below, a tantalising glimpse of what could have been but never was.
Pistol as displayed in Star Wars The Power Of The Force ‘Death Star’ Planetary Map
The Biker Scout Pistol in POTF branding also made it into one of the three Star Wars POTF Planetary Maps. These maps were in-package catalogs which were included with the very last vehicles Kenner produced in the Star Wars line. Toys such as the POTF Ewok Battle Wagon and the Droids series A-Wing Fighter contained this map.
The Biker Scout Pistol was only advertised in the ‘Death Star’ Planetary Map. All the toys and figures you see below were intended to be produced under the new POTF line or Droids series line. Some made it, some did not!
Lili Ledy Biker Scout Laser Pistol
Apart from the Kenner USA release, the Biker Scout Pistol was also produced by Lili Ledy in Mexico.
The pistol was close in production to the Kenner version, but there was differences. The Star Wars sticker was in Spanish Text. You can also see the use of slotted screws on the body of the pistol, whereas they were always Philips head screws on the Kenner version. In truth, I think the Lili Ledy version had a random use of screw types, whereas the Kenner were all philips type.
Clipper (Netherlands) mail away Biker Scout Laser Pistol promotion
The only other International version was that of Clipper in the Netherlands.
The Biker Scout Laser Pistol was available as part of a Clipper special mail away in Return Of The Jedi promotion. The promotion involved mailing back to Clipper a certain number of “names” cut out from the carded figures in return for a certain Star Wars ROTJ promoted toy or accessory. The cut out names acted as a proof of purchase.
Below is details from a Clipper 20″ cardboard store display header. You can see the Biker Scout Laser Pistol and other figures and accessories that were available as part of the mailer offer.
The Biker Scout Laser Pistol received by Clipper was the Kenner USA version, both the retail box and pistol. It was not especially produced or altered by Clipper. The mailer box the pistol was sent in, however, was unique to Clipper.
Detailed pictures of Kenner USA Biker Scout Laser Pistol
Below is my pistol in original retail box. The pistol has never been removed with the cable ties still in place.
The corners of the box were always a weak spot, hence they are often torn as you can see in the picture. With a lot of open space, both the top and bottom of the box is highly susceptible to crushing inward or warping.
In fact all the Kenner Star Wars Pistols and Rifle retail boxes suffered this problem, so it is difficult to find mint examples.
The box design was attractive and Return of the Jedi labels were applied to each side of the pistol. The scope was a “toyified” version of the original.
It takes 2 C batteries to give a pulsating laser sound when the trigger is pressed. And the see-through site was red with cross hairs to simulate an infra-red lens. This was a pretty cool feature.
The side of the box has a cut out section so you can use the see through sight feature.
Below is the other end view of the box. The line you can see through the box just below the Toys”R”Us sticker is a blade cut. This occurred when a trade box of the pistols was rather carelessly opened by the original retailer, slicing through the actual toy box inside.
The tip of the pistol is meant to poke out of this side. Due to warping, the inner cardboard holding the pistol has shifted in relation to the outer retail box causing the tip to get covered by the cardboard. This was quite a common occurrence with these boxes, even when they were on the retail shelves in 1984!
In future posts I will discuss other Star Wars toy blasters.