Hasbro Pulse dip into the history of their playsets, from both Kenner and Hasbro as they take a closer look at their recently released Star Wars The Vintage Collection Carbon-Freezing Chamber set and what inspired it.
Back in the day Star Wars playsets were entirely cardboard. They came with 3 ¾-inch-scale figures in plastic baggies– some of which you couldn’t find in the regular toy line. Though it may seem like the playsets were merely diorama-like companion pieces to character multipacks, they were actually one of the few ways for kids to appreciate the environmental artwork. For some kids, those cardboard playsets were the closest they would come to getting access to the evocative imagery they couldn’t see anywhere but on the big screen, since VCRs were not yet in every household.
Without any easy way for kids to rewatch the movies, it was important to provide playsets that were the right scale to let everyone recreate the scenes. The Micro Collection, created by legendary product designer Mark Boudreaux, fit that need perfectly. Each playset included die-cast figures in a 1 ¼-inch scale, pre-posed and the perfect size to fit into much more detailed environments. Several Bespin-inspired playsets were made, including playsets featuring the duel locations of the Bespin Control Room and Bespin Gantry, along with, of course, the Bespin Freeze Chamber playset. The Freeze Chamber playset, as the largest, was definitely the centerpiece of the Bespin World playsets of the Micro Collection. There’s just something about that scene that sticks in the minds of anyone who’s seen Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and it’s been a focus of playsets for many years.