Friday, August 14, 2009
Snaggletooth is Star Wars answer to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. You pick the player. Actually, the cantina lizard never spoke a line so he wasn’t even SAG-eligible. I mention this because a buddy of mine and I were rehashing about our old action figure collection. He recently nabbed the coveted Blue Snaggletooth from Ebay. Paid a pretty penny for it too— 40000 of them to be exact— pennies that is.
Now I preened over my collection for years, still do, but never put the Brobdingnagian Blue Snaggletooth into my Darth Vader Helmet-shaped carry case. I own the red runt version. What’s the big deal with all of this anyway? Well, if you go back to the original 1977 Star Wars flick you might recall him lurking in the cantina although he was not as prominent as Greedo who got wasted by Han Solo.
Back in the late 70’s, Sears had some special offerings, one of which was a cardboard cutout cantina set that fit into a cheesy plastic base. I got mine at the now defunct Alexander’s which didn’t come with the freebie figures (Blue Snaggletooth included). My buddy never even had the set. His collection was puny in comparison: no AT-AT, Ton-ton, or Dagobah (Home of Master Yoda).
I remember how happy I was the morning I woke up to find Snaggletooth resting on the kitchen table behind his clear plastic sheet. My dad watched me push aside my bowl of Cheerios and rip open my newfangled figure. The last one I needed to complete my collection. Kenner unloaded a new batch after the release of Empire Strikes Back. But, for the moment, I hadn't the foggiest clue a spinoff was lurking out there. I didn’t give a hoot about pedigree. I felt butterflies rustling in my stomach. I was inching closer to my Jedi dreams.
Today, I still carry the same Jedi spirit. I don’t crave things for their long-term profitability. It’s funny when I think of it now I realize all the marketing ploys used to get me hooked on the coolest toys when I was a kid. Sure I fell for some of them. But, I’ve built a lot of sentimentality to the little men I played with who helped me grow up.
Snaggletooth isn’t going onto Ebay. He is going to be my son’s first figure some day.