Oct 2, 2016


Starting in 1992, Galoob blessed the world with a really cool line of robot toys under the Micro Machines banner: Zbots! I fell in love with these figures the first time I saw them long, long ago; they're just so colorful and action-packed, y'know? And it gets better: a few of these roughly 2 inch Zbots resemble R2-D2 and C-3PO!

Many (if not all) of the Zbot sculpts came in two different color schemes, and Galoob gave each version its own name. Here's Shleppy:

This is some blatant R2-D2 action going on here. Here's Tiddo:

For the second Zbot series, Shleppy/Tiddo was later redesigned and made considerably less R2-esque. There's even tinier versions, too, named Taz and Punee that are part of the spin-off Mini Z's line.

Now let's move on to the protocol droid variety. Glaxar:


A third version of C-3PO was part of the Zbots Military Combots subset. Here's Nonkom:

Zbots didn't stop at only borrowing robots from Star Wars. Here's the robot from Lost in Space! Another one is inspired by the Forbidden Planet robot, too, and there's probably other knock-offs I haven't caught yet, I dunno.

Here's close-ups of the copyright stuff on the back of a "normal" Zbots three pack and a Combots three pack. Both say copyright 1993 Lewis Galoob Toys.

At a garage sale (or flea market? I forget...) I found a bag of what I at first thought were Zbots, but soon realized they were knock-offs or who knows what of Zbots. None of the sculpts were taken from Zbots, almost like a window to an alternate reality. To add to the intrigue, one of these figures resembles Darth Vader-- lightsaber and all!

Sep 27, 2016


Sometime around the theatrical release of The Phantom Menace, a company called Good Stuff put out this stuffed spaceship toy. Very TIE fighter-esque, right down to the wings' hexagonal shape (although the toy's cute, pudgy shape rounds the wings off a bit. This is what a newborn baby TIE would look like!).

Here's a close up of the tag's front and back. Says copyright 1999.

On the side of its wings and on one of the "stems" it says "Silver wings" and "SPACE FORCE".

On the other stem is a missile and a silly looking skull 'n' crossbones.

On the back it says something like "X-78A".

This TIE appears to have a family. On the web I've seen a very similar spaceship toy (the most obvious difference being two feet or guns or something protruding from its base) that's said to be from a set of bootlegs based off of Kenner's Star Wars Buddies. They were originally available in (if not other sources too) claw machines. I don't recall ever actually playing a claw machine, but I came close when I found a plush of Hello Kitty dressed as sumo wrestler E. Honda being held hostage in the claw's domain. I couldn't figure out how to play, though, there weren't any directions on the machine! So I passed. Sorry, Honda Kitty. (Update! I played a claw machine game to get a Super Mario Boo character plush... I didn't win...)


First off, let me say that I'm a huge video game fan, especially Nintendo. When I'm hitting garage sales and flea markets and such, not only am I on the prowl for Star Wars bootlegs and knockoffs, but I also have video games on my radar.

When I play these games I sometimes see characters or something that's ripping-off Star Wars. I always want to post them here on the site, but each one is never worth a whole post all to its own. Some aren't too exciting, like, I'm not even sure if the game makers are trying to knockoff Star Wars or if it's just a case of misinterpreted graphics or whatever. I finally decided that I'd go ahead and group them up into one big 'ol post for your reading enjoyment.

Now, I'm aware that this is one of those subjects that doesn't nessisarily represent something that you can physically collect, but I figured anyone interested in collecting this kind of stuff would enjoy looking at these...

Okay, let's begin!

The game Challenger for the Famicom (Japan's Nintendo Entertainment System) has two characters that look a lot like Darth Vader and Princess Leia! And you can't just blame it on bad graphics, either, the box art shows an illustration of a purple and red Vader wannabe and someone with a Leia hairdo.

I don't own the Famicom game (yet), but I found Challenger on a Power-Joy game cartridge that I used through a Power-Joy plug 'n' play system, one that looks like a Nintendo 64 controller mutated with a spaceship. (You can read more about Power-Joy related stuff in two of my other posts).

In the compilation cartridge Final Fantasy I [and] II: Dawn of Souls for the Game Boy Advance there's some Quarren!

They're called "Piscodemon" in the game, but their sprites sure resemble Squid Head.

While I believe it's really just a knight's helmet, this thing from Warlords has always reminded me of Darth Vader. This photo is from the Atari paddle plug 'n' play, and if memory serves, I believe it's based off of an arcade version, not the home console.

Star Strike for the Intellivision was obviously inspired by Star Wars. Here's the plot: Some aliens have a weapon that they're planning to use to blow up Earth. The aliens just have to wait for Earth to enter the weapon's range, then it's ouch-time for us humans. In an effort to save our planet, you hop in a spaceship and start flying in a trench and fighting off enemy ships, all the while trying to bomb certain spots on the trench's surface. If you fail, the aliens' weapon gets Earth! Doesn't this whole thing sound almost exactly like the Death Star scenario in A New Hope?

Also on the Intellivision is Space Spartans (which you can check out in my post about the game).

The game Mega Man X for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System features the character Vile; he's a villain with a jet pack, a helmet with a T shaped visor, and even missile-launching knees. basically a purple Boba Fett! Check out my post about my Vile toy.

Space Harrier 3-D is a shooter game for the Sega Master System that required use of the Sega 3-D Glasses. TIE fighter rip-offs make an appearance in this game.

The story told in the cut sequences in Bomberman Hero for the Nintendo 64 is almost like a retelling of A New Hope's plot. After my brother and I beat this game, we were like, "y'know, I'd actually be surprised if a princess didn't give us a medal now". And sure enough, Bomberman got a medal.

Check out my Aquarius Home Computer post to see some knockoff X-Wing goodness and to have the force with you in the game Alien Quest.