Yub yub BFF…


By Shawn Robare

This week’s League topic is in response to last week’s Holy Grail & White Whale musings, and centers on what one prized possession we have that we would risk life and limb during a disaster to save.  I think this would be a pretty easy question for most collectors to answer, and I’d be willing to bet good money that most of these items would be relatively worthless on the monetary scale.  My guess is that it’s all about long-loved trinkets that have survived since our childhoods, and for me there’s no doubt that my most beloved possession is my Wicket W. Warrick plush from 1983…

Horrible picture, I know, I need to get a real camera (or at least a better cell phone…)

This little guy has been with me for almost 30 years and has never left my bedside.  Say what you will about the Ewoks (or Return of the Jedi), but at six years-old they were the coolest thing to happen to the Star Wars universe since Chewbacca played keep-away with the Ugnauts.  I think an aspect of these characters that tends to get overlooked is that they make great vehicle characters for the audience of kids watching these flicks, not just because they’re huggable teddy bear aliens, but because there’s nothing super special about them.  They don’t have the force, they’re not 7 feet tall with incredible strength, and they don’t have their own intergalactic space freighter.  All they have is their cunning wits and crude handmade weapons and traps, and honestly, what kid (especially little boys) doesn’t spend hours trying to make their own slingshots, spears, and neighborhood booby-traps?  Yes, I’ll admit that this is the same questionable, pandering writing process that led us to a pint-sized annoying Anakin Skywalker in the Phantom Menace, but I’d argue that the Ewoks hardly mar the viewing experience in nearly the same way.  Regardless, I loved them, and when my mom surprised me one day with this little fuzzy fella I was in heaven.

What he used to look like above…

He’s a little bit the worse for wear these days as he’s been on a few trips through the washing machine (which, by the way, is why his fur is so short and matted) and at some point lost his cowl, but if it’s possible I love him more now than I did at six.  There were some turbulent years where we’d get into some crazy knock down, drag out fights, but we always made up in the end.  I’m being serious about the fights.  Watching the trailer for the movie Ted freaked me out by how accurate the relationship between a boy and his stuffed bear (or, er, Ewok) can be.

Also, as a topper to the story, I actually did run back into a burning building to save Wicket a few years ago during a horrible apartment fire experience.  I’ve lost a lot of my childhood along the way, but I can’t imagine not waking up to this little guy after all these years.

Some of the other League members have also weighed in with their prized possessions.  If you have a second, why don’t you check them out?

Greg, Lefty Limbo, talks about his 1980 Mongoose BMX bike.

Eric, Toyriffic, talks about his 1978 Schwinn Scrambler.

Flywheels, Random Toy Reviews, talks about a couple of prized Transformers (Dinoking and Black Zarak).

Ashley, Life with Fandom, talks about his original He-Man figure.

Charles, Geek Show Ink, talks about his original Don Rosa Scrooge McDuck drawing.

TL, Flashlights are Something to Eat, lets us listen to his childhood on tape!

  • http://www.comicbookrehab.blogspot.com/ Joseph Adorno

    The bathroom, eh? Better make sure the grout and sealant fill in all the gaps, Steven. I remeber seeing Lou’s office in the DVD extra to the Ghostbusters box – a documentary that was a long loving tribute to the only major animation studio in the states where anybody could get a break in the business. Amazing how you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Joseph – You know, that’s one of the things I love about Lou Scheimer, the head guy from Filmation, his office is stacked from floor to ceiling with promo material, mint-in-box toys from all his shows, etc. He was just as excited to produce that stuff as I was watching it! Oh and now I’m totally imagining Spielberg obsessively checking ebay for bulk lots of E.T. cartridges. “Come on, momma wants to re-tile the bathroom!”

  • http://www.comicbookrehab.blogspot.com/ Joseph Adorno

    This reminds me of a sketch on Mad TV where Will Sasso played George wearing a giant Ewok costume. The “Ranch” was a run-down shack in South Central Los Angeles. In real life, George claims to be too grown-up for such things in his own home – I recall he only has a Chewie coffe mug in his office. Ditto Frank Oz – he only has a Cookie Monster cookie jar in his pad. A “fluffy” room? That’s much more softer than hard coins! In fact, every day would be a teddy bear pic-a-nic! With the same imagination, I imagine Spielberg has an unfinished mansion made from unsold E.T. video game cartridges. Unfinished because I think I still have mine, so he’s short one brick to complete a sewing room for Kate Capshaw.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Joseph – I’m imagining a very large portion inside Lucas’ mansion being a replica of the Ewok Village, and inside one of the huts is the “fluffy” room that’s filled waist high with a sea of unsold Wicket plushes. Lucas swims in it like Scrooge McDuck swims in his moneybin… ;)

  • http://www.comicbookrehab.blogspot.com/ Joseph Adorno

    That’s exactly what happened to the hood of my winter coat after I pulled it out of the dryer! I remember reading Mythmaker, this George Lucas bio, where they talk about these dolls. Lucas wanted Ewok teddy bears and pushed Kenner to make them. Kenner never made teddy bears before, but there was so much money rolling from the figures that they didn’t say no. According to that book, the dolls did not sell well, but George got what he wanted.

  • http://toyriffic.blogspot.com/ BubbaShelby

    Very cool. I agree about the Ewoks. I still think they are cool to this day, and they definitely had a special ‘something’ that was missing from Anakin, Jar Jar and the like.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Leftylimbo – Yeah, I remember the first time my mom forced me to wash him around 1994 or so. It was kind of devastating at first to see him all matted, but it also stopped years of annoying face tickling from his long fur…

  • http://www.leftylimbo.com/ LeftyLimbo

    Remarkable. I can’t believe how matted the fur got! It looks like two completely different entities. It’s amazing how attached we can become to our furry little plush pals. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Flywheels – Transformers may not be quite as hug-able, but they’re pretty darn cool too. ;)

  • http://randomtoyreviews.blogspot.com Flywheels

    Now that is pretty cool. Never was a big Star Wars fan growing up, but the Ewoks were always cool.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Dex – Holy Crap!!

  • http://aeiouwhy.blogspot.com/ Dex (@Dex1138)

    You want Ewoks? We got Ewoks! http://www.flickr.com/photos/dex1138/4901618452/in/set-72157624673049644 This was a bizarre sight to see, let me tell you.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Lamar – You know, plushes are some of the hardest bits of vintage goodness to reconnect with. There’s something inherently icky about owning someone else’s toys, but plush dolls were usually literally loved on and hugged which just compounds it. Finding these guys MIB is really tough too…

  • Lamar the Revenger

    I got Wiley the Ewok for my 10th birthday. I wish I still had the thing. I’ve seen Princess Kneessaa for $70 but never any others. I want one again!!