The new deluxe Star Wars AT-AT from Hasbro makes me envious of my kids. No, that’s not quite accurate: it makes the eight-year-old me, the one from 1981, pop up suddenly and want desperately to play with it.
See, I had a lot of Star Wars toys. If it wasn’t an obsession, it was at least around the corner from obsession. And one of the sets, probably my favorite after the Dagobah one, was the Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Set. Even at that age I could tell that the terrain was an exact copy of the Tatooine set from the first movie (you know which movie I mean), only white — they hadn’t even bothered to get rid of the Sandcrawler tracks. But the cardboard AT-AT that formed the back of the playset was so cool: I mean, it had an elevator that you could use to move characters up into the AT-AT and back down. It even had windows where the characters could look out.
And compared to the new AT-AT that got delivered to my house a while ago, that old playset is as a TRS-80 to a Cray CX1, as William Hartnell to Matt Smith, as … you get the picture. The new AT-AT is gorgeous, with hatches everywhere, a winch to pull figures up the sides, a separate line to allow an action figure to mimic Luke’s lightsaber-grenade move, and even a speeder bike that comes out the back. And it has sound effects: a grinding clank-clank sound for movement, your basic pew-pew of the blasters firing, and lots of voices, from the AT-AT driver to Darth Vader himself.
Should you have any doubts about its playworthiness, see the above video I shot of my kids playing with it.
Hasbro’s Star Wars Deluxe AT-AT Vehicle retails for $108.99.
Wired: Just awesome. The only thing it’s missing is remote-control ability, and that might actually make it worse (I’m a big fan of hands-on toys).
Tired: Apart from the price tag, the only thing I don’t like about it is that it didn’t come out thirty years ago.