This is not a review of the Kenner Star Wars figures. Instead, this is a story about how my mom and I found the best Yard Sale Find EVER!
I had to be 1987 or 1988. I can’t remember exactly. Not sure how it is around the rest of the country but here in the midwest as soon it gets warm out then Yard Sale Season starts. All summer as a young kid you’ll get dragged around by your parents to different neighborhoods to find any good deals on all kinds of products.
Back in the 80s, these could be boring as all get out as there were no handheld games, cell phones, or any other way of distracting ourselves like we do now. My mom would dig through baby clothes for my brother and my soon to be sister. This would be yawn-inducing.
One of the good things was that if you found something in a box of discarded toys or a book that you could easily talk your mom into picking it up for you. Usually, stuff was $1.00 or less. I picked up a lot of Stephen King books this way when I was younger. I could end up walking back to our car with a stack of paperback books to fill the rest of my summer with.
One magical day we were hitting up multiple yard sales. It was overcast if I remember correctly. I hadn’t found anything worth my time or lack of money. It was a pretty lackluster trip. I probably even complained. My mom and my grandma were doing their usual pursuing. Looking over clothes. Kitchen stuff.
We pulled up in front of a house and the first thing I noticed was that there was a kid behind a table full of toys. He looked to be selling a bunch of them. Reflecting on it for this article I’m curious about what the reasoning was. He didn’t seem that much older than me but maybe he had hit that mindset that he was a grown-up now and didn’t need them anymore. The mind wanders.
As we walk up the big thing I see is that action figures are bundled up in baggies. There seem to be deals that you can grab multiple figures for a price. I went down the table and saw G.I. Joes. A few He-Man figures. Nothing super great. But then at the end of the table, a spotlight from heaven came on. There at the end sitting with multiple figures bagged up was the Ewok Tree Village!
I ran up and took a look. Everything seemed to be intact. The elevator with the rotating lever to raise and lower your figures onto the platform. The swinging boulder trap. The spit over the campfire. It was all there. I immediately grabbed my mom.
I was in a rush because I didn’t want someone to come in and swoop in to steal my yard sale treasure. I eventually got her to put down something she was looking at and come see what I had gotten so excited for. I don’t remember what the listed price was for this. When my mom saw it at first she started to tell me it was a little much for some toys at a yard sale but she saw how excited I was for it so she turned back and went into bargaining mode. She asked if they would take less for it and it was on.
The next few moments are a blur in my head but I know at one point she just motioned to the whole lot (figures, Ewok village, and all) and threw out a price. The kid seemed to think it over. Finally, he seemed to see what he could buy with the sum of money he was being offered. The village was mine!
When I got home I immediately set it up in my room. I unbagged all my new figures and started playing out all sorts of Star Wars scenarios. Many figures were put over the spit to cook on an open fire. Many an Ewok traveled up in down in the elevator. The boulder hit many a Storm Trooper.
Eventually, my other toys seem to find their way to the Ewok village at some point. Batman visited multiple times to stop a plan by The Joker to take over the Ewoks. He-Man even stopped in to thwart a scheme by Skeletor to enslave the tiny race known as Ewoks. Many characters were thrown into the tree trunk that opened all the way to the bottom. Quite a fall.
As the years went on I played with it less and less. The figures ended up scattered to the wind. I grew up on a farm and my stepdad even found my Return Of The Jedi Luke Skywalker mixed in with the hay that we used to feed the cows. When he returned it Luke now had a slice through his head where a cow tooth had hit it while chewing.
My brother inherited the Ewok village after I had grown tired of it. He continued the many adventures that took place in the forests of Endor. Captain Power had many adventures being captured and held prisoner in the forest of the Ewoks. Last I saw the Ewok village had been thrown into a toy box. My nephews had discovered it and many adventures continued. For a toy set that was a random yard sale find it has lived many lives through many generations. The only thing from that yard sale I can tell you exactly where it is would be my Boba Fett figure.
I found it once and threw it in my pocket. He then took a place on my desk at home until I had moved a handful of years ago. He’s been in a bag full of old toys ever since. Just like Boba’s hopeful escape from the Sarlac pit it may be time to free him from the bag and take a place of prominence once again as a reminder of the fateful day I found the Ewok village at a yard sale.