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Star Wars fan and Flickr user Darth Ray has posted some amazing photos of vintage Kenner Star Wars toys and well as images from inside the Kenner factory that built them. I especially like the photo above, which shows workers how to assemble the Millennium Falcon. Click here to see the rest, including promo images of some seriously happy kids.
[Via Nothing Major]
Just before Christmas 2012, Mickey Mouse bought an exciting gift for his parent, The Walt Disney Company. And it only cost $4.06 billion. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm Ltd. lock, stock and two smoking blaster barrels, I believe it’s time for the company to open a full-on Star Wars park at one of its resorts.
Star Wars has had a presence at Disney parks for years, and Disney recently opened two major additions to Walt Disney World and Disney Land, in the form of Fantasy Land and Cars Land, respectively. Plus, the company has at least five new Star Wars movies in active development – three sequels and two spin-offs – to be released over the next few years. The time is right.
Finally, the grand success of Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter provides a model of what a full-scale Star Wars park could be.
Existing Star Wars Attractions
Disney has a smattering of Star Wars-themed attractions and events in place. They’re all well done, and demonstrate the company’s desire to appeal to Star Wars fans. Now that it owns the properties outright – and has several big-budget movies pending – it’s time to make the jump to light speed. Here’s what’s in place so far.
Walt Disney World’s Star Tours attraction opened on April 12, 1992, shut down on August 14, 2010 and re-opened with a new experience for visitors on May 20, 2011 (The Disneyland attraction was also revamped). Disney states that the ride features 50 possible story combinations, which are chosen randomly for visitors to enjoy.
Walt Disney World’s Jedi Training Academy lets young padawans experience a 20-minute adventure in learning the ways of the Force. A lucky participant may even have a chance to confront Lord Vader himself (or kneel in reverent submission, if that’s her choice. All too easy.)
Star Wars Weekends is an annual event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park that’s a lot of fun. There are special activities, meet-and-greets, character appearances and a lot more. Star Wars Weekends attract huge numbers of visitors.
You’re A Jedi, Harry!
Meanwhile, the Force is strong with young Potter. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure resort. I’ve been twice, and I can tell you it’s extremely well done. Much like Walt Disney World, Islands of Adventure features several parks, each with its own theme. There’s Dr. Seuess, Jurassic Park, Marvel Super Heroes, Toon Lagoon and of course, Harry Potter.
It isn’t very big, but packs in a lot for Potter fans. The main thoroughfare resembles Hogsmeade, and features familiar stops like Honeyduke’s candy store, the Owl Post, The Three Broomsticks, The Boar’s Head and more. The effect of walking among the shingled buildings with their pointed, snow-capped roofs as John Williams’ themes are piped into the air is, well…bewitching.
Standout attractions include Mr. Olivander’s shop, in which a costumed actor re-enacts a scene from the first movie with a lucky patron; Flight of the Hippogryph, a mid-level roller coaster that even young witches and wizards will enjoy; and Dragon Challenge, a pair of edge-of-your seat coasters that test your mettle.
But the big daddy is deep within the Hogwarts castle. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is hands-down the best amusement park ride I’ve ever experienced. The castle itself is an elaborate, interactive queue (something Disney is getting better and better at) that features character interaction and events/props from the film to find and experience. Once inside, the ride is a heart-pounding adventure through many of the saga’s most exciting moments.
An Immersive Star Wars Experience
I mention the Potter park this because it suggests exactly what a Star Wars-themed Disney park could be. There’s so much story to choose from. Imagine strolling through Mos Eisley and coming across Watto’s shop. Eat at the Cantina or find the perfect lightsaber. I imagine main attractions like an X-Wing or TIE Fighter coaster, or maybe a podrace. There could be character interaction, of course. Young visitors could climb around the Ewok village, while others test their skill at the Landspeeder testing grounds.
Disney’s success with Pixar spawned the fantastic Cars Land. Universal hit the quaffle out of the pitch with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now it’s time for imagineers to turn their attention to the new acquisition and work some magic. A new Star Wars park would be awesome. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
The guys at Parker Brothers Choppers have built a full-scale, working replica of the famous Tron light cycle. As you can see in the video above, it’s just about the coolest thing ever. We want one.
Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed.
On second thought, be very, very proud.
Iomedes has assembled this amazing, 43,000-piece Venator-Class Star Destroyer out of LEGO. It weights 82 kg and is 2.44m long. It’s an exact replica of one built by Erik Varszegi a few years ago. Unlike Erik’s model, Iomedes’ uses no glue or screws. It’s 100% LEGO.
Fantastic work, Iomedes. You’ll find a full gallery of detailed photos here and a video after the break.
Malgusto has published 40 rare, incredible photos from the making of the original Star Wars movies. I’m a geek, yet even I haven’t seen these images before. Some are funny (Kenny Baker in Vader’s helmet is pretty great), some are sweet and some…well, let’s just say we see why Lando was taken with Leia.
It’s an impressive collection. Check them out.
Michael J. Fox appeared on Late Night with David Letterman last night to reveal the details and show off the shoes in person. The short of it: 1,500 will be auctioned off, and proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. It gets better: Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, will match all funds raised between now and December 31, 2012, up to $50 million.
The shoes are nearly identical to those worn by Fox’s character in the movie, and represent the “…first pair of rechargeable sneakers from Nike.” There is a bit of bad news, however. Contrary to initial reports, the real-life Air Mags do not lace themselves. According to the promo video above, we’ll have to wait “…until 2015″ for that.
As for the auction, it has already begun. The first batch of shoes were released on Sept. 8, at 11:30 p.m. EDT. Nike will auction off 150 shoes per day for 10 days. As of this writing, prices are very high; the “cheapest” I’ve found was around $4,000. It looks like serious collectors will grab most of the Air Mags. Of course, it’s for a very worthy cause.
To keep the 80′s theme going, I’ll quote Ferris Bueller: “If you have the means, do pick one up.” It’s just about the coolest 80′s collectable you’re going to find and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is a deserving cause. Good luck!
You’ll find lots of photos and an additional video after the break.