Model: Aratech Military Speeder Bike Prototype
Type: Personal Repulsorlift Vehicle
Crew: 1 Pilot
Weapons: Concussion Missile Launcher
Whipping through the forests of Endor on a Rebel strike mission against the Death Star shield generator, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia battled Imperial scout troopers atop highly maneuverable speeder bikes. Considered ideal reconnaissance vehicles by the Empire and the Rebel Alliance alike, their maneuverability and acceleration is superior to both landspeeders and airspeeders. This particular speeder bike was designed and built based on production sketches found in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Sketchbook; its creator was renown Star Wars artist, Joe Johnston.
Did you know that the original and conceptual Speeder Bike vehicle was originally utilized by the Rebel Alliance? According to the Return Of The Jedi Sketchbook, renowned artist Joe Johnston created the classic vehicle solely for the “good guys” during the Battle of Endor. Things changed. He designed the original Speeder Bike in a way that felt like it was an extrapolation of the freedom fighters. With greens and grays and a bulkier frame, the first concept drawing of the vehicle looked quite different from the final version we see the Biker Scouts ride through the forests of Endor. Now, thanks to the Expanded Universe line by Kenner/Hasbro, collectors get a taste of what two-dimensional artwork looks like when its translated into a three-dimensional toy. The Expanded Universe vehicle assortment pairs a concept vehicle with its pilot, and it’s one of the greatest things Kenner/Hasbro produced to date. The Speeder Bike takes the sketches of artist Joe Johnston and brings them to life. The designs are faithful, and the toys are beautifully executed. And Kenner/Hasbro managed to squeeze in play features that don’t take away from the integrity of the design at all.
The Speeder Bike is the smallest of the three Expanded Universe characters produced by Kenner Hasbro. And it comes with two distinct features. The vehicle fires a side-mounted concussion missile. And the outriggers flip forward during battle mode with the press of a button. Sure, the vehicle doesn’t possess a ton of action, but it’s enough to keep it interesting. Keep in mind that these vehicles were only drawings and sketches before Kenner/Hasbro touched them. So they had to develop ideas to incorporate in them to make them fun toys. The design of the Speeder Bike is faithful to the sketch. And, of course, Kenner/Hasbro had to develop the parts they couldn’t see and that turned out very well. The vehicle is designed beautifully. There are fantastic details throughout it, and its scale is about as perfect as you could hope. The vehicle’s paint job is simple. Most of the vehicle is silver/gray, but you’ll find some forest green “spray” to give it a worn look and to make it look partially camouflaged on Endor. On the right side of where the pilot sits, you’ll find a projectile. And there is a lever that launches it when you’re ready. Again, everything is here that you want to see. They did a great job with it.
The bonus here is the included exclusive Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot. Available nowhere else, the Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot looks a whole lot like the Endor Rebel troopers we see in the final cut on Return Of The Jedi, but different. Outfitted in a green jumpsuit, the Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot is also wearing goggles to protect his eyes from the high speeds of the Speeder Bike. You’ll also find details like a chest box and a holster on him as well. We don’t know too much detail about this character since he didn’t make the final cut in Episode VI, but the action figure is well-designed and nicely painted. He only comes with six points of articulation, but Kenner/Hasbro designed him with a slimmed-down approach, and he looks pretty good as far as we’re concerned. He doesn’t come with any guns or other accessories, but he interacts wonderfully with the included Speeder Bike. You can sit him in the seat of the Speeder Bike, and with a little effort, you can make him hold onto the handlebars with both hands. (It’s a bit of an arduous task to execute, but it is possible.) This is a wonderful vehicle and figure combination set. We hope Hasbro never abandons this toy idea going forward.
Assortment Number: 69760/69772
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Speeder Bike is an all-new vehicle.
Features Count: 2
Feature Details: fires a side-mounted concussion missile, outriggers flip forward during battle mode
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: projectile
Date Stamp: 1997
Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot
Status: Rebel Speeder Bike 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