Thursday, September 30, 2010

Custom Flashback - Vintage Ewok Village Play Set Repaint (4/2006)

Can you believe it? This is the 50th post on my customs blog. (What I can't believe is that it took me this long to get to that number.) What better way to celebrate this mega milestone than to spotlight another vintage custom! This custom spotlight features the "Yub-Yubbing" awesomeness of the vintage Ewok Village. I can actually credit this piece as the one that got me into customizing Star Wars figures. I painted this play set back in 2006 when I was looking to have a creative outlet outside of work again. I always loved painting and I was also looking to create a more detailed display for my collection. Restoring and updating vintage play sets seemed like a good way to fill that creative void while reaching my geeky goal. I recently went back to refresh it with some washes in order to punch out the natural sculpt details more. It also helped show off the paint job I gave it back in 2006.  The Ewok Village was a truly cool play set that most Generation X-ers still fondly remember. I remember when my Mom bought this for me on my 7th birthday, I also got Wicket with it. It was one of my most memorable birthday gifts and I played with it for years after. (Thank you Mom for the great memories, you rock!)

When you look at the size and features of it it's still far superior than the majority of play sets released in the last 15 years. It's sad to see that the golden age of large play sets is over, it has been that way for quite some time. Growing up in the 80's, large play sets were an integral part of just about every action figure line. They were the epicenters of our child hood action figure adventures to wage heroic battles from. So many kids will not experience this cool aspect of action figuredom. The current generation of kids are just not into classic toys like so many of us were growing up, they are more into their iPods and the internet. (BTW - I am laughing as I type this. I am writing an article about a crusty old play set I repainted in order to post it on the internet that I was just indirectly bashing!)

Being a professional Industrial Toy Designer, I can confirm the great difficulty and financial risk in designing a worthwhile play set like this. I really can view this from a very practical business sense and also view it from a design perspective. The limited shelf space, high price points, large development costs and slow sales have created a retail atmosphere that just does not want to support items like these. There is just too much financial risk for the manufacturer and retailer. So when a play set does make it to retail it really has to be something special and it must be supported by a TV advertisement campaign.  Break out the violins, shed a tear and lets move on to the custom spotlight:

The Ewok Village was another prime example of toy perfection and it's truly a testament to the Kenner line's greatness. If you look past the bland molded color scheme, the sculpt is really well done, it's a true work of art that stood the test of time! This play set was so good that even Kevin Costner's Robin Hood borrowed it for their recycled Toy line. It become a Sherwood Forest base that sported new (at the time) leafy tree cap attachments.

 If anyone has those for sale please contact me I would love to add them to my custom.

As always, comments, hate mail and Yub-yub songs are always welcome.


  1. Dad said this post has inspired him. He primed my Ewok Village for painting months ago, but he still hasn't gotten around to painting it. Thanks for reminding me so I can remind him to get it done already :) I hope mine comes out as cool as yours.

    Dad also wants to know how you got pictures to represent the links for your pages onto your main page. He's been trying to figure it out for two weeks now. I think he's about to have a meltdown.

  2. Here's the song you wanted courtesy of Parry Gripp!