Welcome to the second part in a series of articles on Dixie Cups – a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable sidestep from the world of vintage action figure collecting. Make sure that you’ve read the first part before you continue.
Similar to the A New Hope line there are 40 cups in The Empire Strikes Back Dixie Cup range and I’m delighted that I own all of these cups from my last month of hunting. They are easy to track down and all for less than 50p per cup. I think the Empire logo on here is very impressive.
The Second Series (The Empire Strikes Back)
The second series of cups feature 13 characters, 10 ships or vehicles and 17 different scenes with movie quotes. Once again, the main heroes and villains of the saga were featured but it is surprising that there are fewer characters than the previous series when you consider the larger cast of Empire.
The biggest surprise of all is that the Wampa managed a character cup ahead of fan favourites the bounty hunters. Boba Fett got his own cup, but Imperial characters like General Veers and even the TIE Fighter Pilot missed out. The Wampa on the left looks suspiciously like a frozen Wookiee.
Initially it can be tricky to identify whether a character cup belongs to the ANH or ESB set if it was available on both, but generally the more text it has then it is ESB.
Once again, Dixie Cups didn’t disappoint with their vehicle cups and managed to include a blink-and-you-miss-it AT-ST and the seldom celebrated Rebel Cruiser.
The artwork on both are fantastic and the attention to detail needs to be celebrated. They even managed to cram a full scene into some of the vehicle cups such as the AT-AT one.
The movie story begins with 4 cups covering the Hoth scene which seems too few until you remember that the Hoth scene is a fairly short segment in the full movie. We then move onto Han as he races around Imperial Star Destroyers, before flying into the asteroid field and avoiding the Space Slug.
Next, we join Luke as he visits Yoda on Dagobah and learns the way of The Force. Surprisingly there are more cups to show the Falcon escape than there are for the entire Dagobah segment.
As mentioned above, the bounty hunters didn’t get their own cups but they did appear as a group in the movie quotes set.
The final arc ends on a cliffhanger as Darth Vader asks Luke to join him to complete his training – no mention of ‘I am your Father’ and no hint at the ending.
As a narrative the story of these cups is pretty impressive once again with possibly only the appearance of the Emperor and the carbon freezing chamber being the obvious omissions.
These cups were packaged in amazing boxes which featured 100 assorted cups. For The Empire Strikes Back series there are 24 to collect with 8 different fronts and 3 backs: Yoda, Darth Vader, Cloud Car, Dagobah, Star Destroyer, AT-ATs, Tauntauns and Asteroids.
Photos (c) Richard Hutchinson and Matt Cooper