Evening Project: Vintage SW Action Figure Stand Restoration

A long time ago….

Back in 1978 or so, the Kenner Star Wars collection consisted of a mere 12 action figures. Yes, it was actually possible to “collect them all”. As a bonus, Kenner offered a display stand to display your collection on. It was a mail-in offer, and was (for the most part) very limited. Here’s what the offer on the back of the figure packaging looked like:

I always wanted one, but by the time I even discovered Star Wars, it was too late. The mail-in offer was expired. So, here I am, all these years later.

Lately, I’ve been bitten once again by what I call the “vintage figure bug”. I dug out my old, modest collection, cleaned them up, and purchased replacement weapons for them from ebay.

Anyway, these “mail-away” display stands fetch a pretty penny on ebay. One in good, complete condition will sell for $150-$200, which I just don’t have (and couldn’t justify anyway). But, about a week ago, I stumbled across this little gem for $10.00

So, I bought it. When it arrived, it was as advertised: Incomplete, with worn decals and missing the cardboard backdrop. The base was scratched up pretty badly as well.

I went to work to clean it up.

I started by giving it a good scrubbing with a toothbrush and dish soap. I removed all of the “discs” that the figures stand on, and cleaned the base really well. Then, I used some novus plastic polish to remove as many of the scratches as I could. I then removed the sticker by soaking it in soap and water, scraping as much of the paper off as I could, and using lighter fluid to remove the sticky residue.

A while back I found a scan of the backdrop online, so I printed it on two pieces of paper (too wide to print on one) and used spray adhesive to glue them to a piece of posterboard. I then created a replacement “name” sticker in photoshop, matching the original font as best I could. I then printed it on two pieces of paper. To more closely match the finish of the original sticker, I gave them a couple quick coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear Acrylic spray paint.

Once the paint was dry on the new “stickers”, I used spray adhesive to glue them to the cleaned-up base. I didn’t get them exactly straight, and will probably re-do it at some time in the future. But for now, I have a great display stand:

Add-in some figures, and this is how it looks: