Vintage Kenner Landspeeder Restoration

When I was a kid, one of the few Star Wars vehicles I had from the Kenner line was Luke’s Landspeeder. I remember how cool it was. With the lever to activate the “floating action”, it was a fun toy. I remember when my mom bought it for me at a local toy store, and I remember taking it with me everywhere – even the doctor’s office.

Sadly, one day I left it outside in our front yard when Mom called us in for dinner. When I went back outside to get it, it was gone. Some pesky Jawas must have made off with it while I was eating!

Ever since I decided to try to rebuild my vintage collection, a vintage Landspeeder has been on my list. I’ve just never picked one up. They aren’t especially rare, but most are in pretty beat-up shape (like mine was when I lost it). Well, I decided it was time to bite the bullet. Now, I could have payed out about $40.00 and picked one up in really nice condition, but I try to keep any money I spend rebuilding my vintage collection as low as possible. And, restoring these toys has become somewhat of a secondary hobby. I realize that restored toys with replacement stickers don’t hold much value, but that’s not why I do it. Anyway…. I picked up this bad boy for $4.99 on ebay last week:

Overall, it was in good condition. 90% of them out there have yellowed windshields, it’s just something that happens to the plastic over time. Really, the speeder just needed a good cleaning, replacement stickers (It appeared that the original owner put the decal under the hood on backwards, then tried to remove it to fix it and tore it. No problem), and SEATS!

I took the speeder completely apart and washed it in warm soapy water, getting rid of years of dust. I scrubbed in all of the nooks and crannys with a soft toothbrush. The springs in the wheel mechanism were in good shape but were full of dust and lint. I cleaned them out as well. The chrome is actually in better shape than I’ve seen on some $20.00 speeders.

I printed up some replacement decals, using a scan I downloaded at 12back.com ( Click for the Sticker scan ). They aren’t perfect, and I’m on the lookout for better stickers or a better scan, but they’ll suffice. I glued them in place using 3M spray adhesive.

I picked up a seat for the speeder on ebay for $7.99 (yes, I paid more for the seat than the speeder itself. Welcome to vintage SW collecting). The seats arrived earlier today and were in GREAT shape! I installed them (they just snap in) and the speeder restore is complete:

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