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Expanded Universe

Cloud Car - EU - Vehicles

Name: Cloud Car
Collection: Expanded Universe
Number: N/A
Source: Expanded Universe (The Art Of Star Wars)
Availability: August 1998
License: Hasbro

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Model: Bespin Motors Cloud Car
Type: Atmospheric Patrol Ion Engine/Repulsor Craft
Affiliation: Cloud City Sky Patrol
Crew: 1 Pilot
Weapons: Dual Blaster Cannons, Proton Torpedo

Cloud cars are atmospheric vessels that employ both repulsorlifts and ion engines, filling the important gap between airspeeders and starfighters. Functional in many ways, twin-cockpit, patrol cars escorted the Millennium Falcon and her crew onto Cloud City during The Empire Strikes Back. It was here that Darth Vader had Han Solo frozen in carbonite while Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO were held prisoners of the Empire. This single cockpit cloud car was designed and built based on production sketches found in The Art of Star Wars; its brainchild was renown Star Wars artist, Ralph McQuarrie.

The Expanded Universe Cloud Car is perhaps our most-favorite item in the entire line. It encapsulates some of the greatest moments from The Empire Strikes Back but from a conceptual standpoint. And the toy features incredible detail and play features which makes it a perfect hybrid of toy and collectible for kids and collector respectively. What makes this particularly interesting is that it’s not completely accurate to Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept and sketches. Somehow Hasbro took ideas from across multiple sketches and drawings and developed a toy that is unique as it is beautiful, unless we missed some images in the book specifically reflecting the toy in this review. If you look at the reference materials we provided below; you can see how the final movie version, the first concept and then subsequent concepts are all intertwined in this single toy. So, while it may be technically incorrect to call this a concept vehicle instead of a Hasbro concept, there are so many elements from Ralph McQuarrie’s drawings entered here that it’s at worst a concept of a concept, but all from one artist. It’s a strange approach for Kenner/Hasbro to take with a vehicle, but for some strange reason it works well, looks gorgeous, and is functional as a toy.

The Cloud Car is beautiful. Cast in bright orange plastic, not unlike the final movie version, the Cloud Car is a single pod this time around and is quite smaller in stature than the one we see in The Empire Strikes Back. They added a play feature to the vehicle too. The front panels slide out to an open position and reveal a large firing proton torpedo (in addition to some pretty cool engine detail). With the press of a button found on the back of the vehicle, the “attack” wings open up to put the vehicle into flight mode. The wings are just simple slats of plastic, but we appreciate their inclusion nonetheless. The vehicle also has a large and crystal clear opening canopy affixed to a ball-socket joint that allows you to place it in a variety of interesting positions. But the cockpit area is huge, and there is plenty of room to place the included Cloud Car Pilot for when the vehicle is flying around. There are other details on the Cloud Car as well. It looks like Aurebesh is on the sides of the vehicle, but we had some difficulty translating it because not all of the characters on the vehicle are found on the reference materials we have. You’ll also find some tan/gray panels here and there on the vehicle as well.

We adore the included concept Cloud Car Pilot included with the Cloud Car. The character looks nothing like the pilots from The Empire Strikes Back, but he’s outfitted in an awesome green uniform. He almost looks like one of the various citizens we see running around Bespin when Lando Calrissian announces that everyone needs to flee Cloud City before more Imperial troops invaded their world. Interestingly, the pilot is also based on a concept by Ralph McQuarrie, but for reasons unknown, Kenner/Hasbro changed the ethnicity of the figure, which was unneeded. The original artwork shows a pilot with darker skin color, and the included figure is lily white. As we all know well, the Original Trilogy was full of diversity, especially the population on Bespin, and there were quite a few Bespin Guards that weren’t white. So a pilot who is also a person of color makes just as much sense. It’s a shame they changed the figure because it’s not an exact match to the artwork now. Regardless, the Cloud Car Pilot is a brilliantly sculpted action figure. He has a lean and athletic frame and interacts with the Cloud Car perfectly. Again, this is our favorite vehicle in the Expanded Universe line. It likely will be a favorite for you too.

Collector Notes

Cloud Car

Assortment Number: 69620/69786

UPC: 076281697864

Retail: $14.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Cloud Car

Status: Cloud Car is an all-new vehicle.

Features Count: 3

Feature Details: nose-mounted launces fires proton torpedo, assault wings and air foils deploy during attack mode, open cockpt and pilot takes the controls

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: torpedo projectile

Date Stamp: 1997

Cloud Car Pilot

Status: Cloud Car Pilot is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 1997







Expanded Universe Vehicles

Airspeeder

Cloud Car

Speeder Bike

Added: February 13, 2019
Category: Expanded Universe
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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