Did any of you ever receive a birthday present or toy when you were a kid, that you hadn’t circled in the Argos or Index catalogue, so subsequently it wasn’t on your wish list, and you were initially puzzled as to just what the item was? I did. And then after a while it became one of my favourite toys ever bestowed upon me in my childhood. I present to you this- the Star Wars Micro Machines Action Fleet Yavin 4 Rebel Base!
I remember being utterly perplexed as to what this item was after I had eagerly torn off the wrapping paper to this item back in 1997. I loved Star Wars, but didn’t know there was a toy based on the Yavin base that featured in the original Star Wars film. I think initially I just saw the X-wing Fighter and mini figures in the top right corner, and nothing really jumped out, so I don’t think excitement was my initial reaction at all. Which was unfortunate as I swiftly came to love this toy. Like other Star Wars Micro Machines lines the box featured artwork done by Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist whose vision brought the original Star Wars trilogy to life. I mentioned in the Mighty Max Skull Mountain post that I miss artwork on toy boxes, and it doesn’t get much better than this with a fantastic design featuring an X-wing zooming in front of the Yavin 4 temple base.
The set comes with six little figures, Han, Leia and Luke all looking as they do at the end of the original Star Wars, with Han wearing his medal, and Luke and Leia in their celebration attire, as well as Wedge Antilles, a Rebel guard of honour and an R2 unit.
The box boasts that this set comes with a ‘bonus’ battle-damaged X-wing. I dispute that this is a bonus, as no version of this Yavin playset was ever released which didn’t come with this X-wing, so therefore it isn’t a bonus! But whatever, it’s fine.
It is a nice version of the X-wing, which differs from the usual version as it features battle damage with evidence of being blasted on the wing. There is also a cracked effect on the cockpit glass as well, which you can’t see in this picture because I didn’t think about it when I took the photo, like an idiot.
Anyway, onto the playset itself. The set folds up for easy storage which is neat, although it still is a bit clunky with bits protruding out, which is something the smaller Micro Machines playsets don’t have, as they are about as compact as you can get. In case you’ve lobbed the box in the bin, the outer casing of Yavin 4 also features the box art of Ralph McQuarrie, which is rad.
Unfolding the playset reveals the entrance to the temple, supervised by a Rebel guard. As a kid, it always bothered me that the set came with this version of a Rebel trooper, instead of one holding a blaster pistol. I always thought that the staffs that the honour guards wielded at the end of the film were ceremonial in nature, not for actual use in combat, and probably wouldn’t be a fat lot of use up in a tower like this.
I only remembered the guy in the tower having a blaster pistol and a little scanning device. But a quick Google search has yielded that I remember incorrectly. The guy in the original movie is indeed carrying a staff or spear. Shows what I know eh? Although I’m still not sure what good a spear would be up there. Maybe for stabbing at mynocks or something.
Another thing I appreciated as a kid is that the door/drawbridge comes down, which is neat. I was always cutting an upside-down U into cardboard boxes as a kid, in order to have a working drawbridge, so it was nice to have one on this set!
The outside of Yavin 4 features a few different blaster cannons and trees which feel like they could easily fall off. I’m certain that I lost some trees from the Yavin 4 I owned as a kid which is perhaps why I am a little critical of the lack of compactness with this set. I never seemed to lose any Mighty Max and Micro Machines parts as a kid, as every playset case would close nicely away, safely storing all the figures until the next time I played. As such, if ever I discover Mighty Max or Micro Machines playsets in the wild, and they are lacking pieces, I can’t help but wonder as to what lengths the previous owner went to actually lose the bits, as each set was designed to close away with everything inside it when you were done!
The interior of the playset has quite a bit going on, with a whole bunch of rotating seats, just perfect for bored Rebel office workers to spin around on. There is also a few stickers that show various battle read-outs, and really does make the place look like a war-center.
The playset features two turrets which can fire projectiles, one on the very top of the set and one on the top floor, both of which have little gunner seats for characters to sit in. I like this, but I think without a projectile in each turret, they end up looking more like CCTV cameras attached to the Rebel base.
Inside the set is a little clip-on platform piece which can either be fitted onto the first or second floors, but when I was younger I used to think it looked like a private little booth in sports stadium or something. There’s also a movable ‘arm’ with a fuel nozzle attached, so you can refuel Wedge’s knackered X-wing.
On the right side of the set is a movable crane which can be used to pick up a weird grey block thing. I’m not sure quite what the block is, and I don’t recall the Yavin base showing any cranes in the movie, but I approve of any little extras that give play value, and it isn’t like the rebels having a crane in their hangar bay is unbelievable or anything, as they’d definitely have cargo or missiles to move.
On the subject of missiles, there is a little place to store the projectiles if they aren’t fit into the turrets.
The sides of the playset have two little opening compartments that the box says can be used to store figures and stuff in when the playset isn’t in use. I like this idea, but they don’t quite shut well enough for me to feel comfortable transporting the set around without fear of them falling out. I do however like the idea of these compartments being used as a hiding place when the Rebels all have a celebratory game of hide ‘n’ seek, after they blew up the Death Star. So that’s nice.
One final feature of this playset is that is has a little thing you can clip Wedge’s X-wing onto. When you slide the object located behind the X-wing forward, it will move the X-wing out, pushing open the outer wall of the base, like a garage door.
As a kid, I loved this feature! Any Action Fleet vehicle will clip onto the peg, so this feature isn’t just limited to the X-wing that came with the set.
So that’s the Yavin 4 Rebel base! With just six figures and an X-wing, it looks a little sparse, and looks better when filled up with some more Rebels and vehicles.
If I could go back in time and tell my confused child self just how awesome this playset was, I so would. I think Death Star playsets have been done to death in some ways, as there’s never really been a massive shortage of toys based on the planet killing superweapon. But playsets based on Yavin 4 aren’t quite so popular, so I’m glad that I own this one.
I will definitely be covering the Action Fleet Death Star on here as well. It might not be as nostalgic to me as this set, but it is still neat and very much deserves a post on here.