Sandcrawler M1-+

maskatron toy

“Gentlemen, we can un-block it. We have the technology…”

More jargon for you Star Wars buffs! I bet you didn’t know that the Jawas’ sandcrawler was a model ‘Em one minus plus’? Did you eh – eh? Thought you knew everything.

Yes, it’s WELL KNOWN amongst well-read Star Wars scholars (like myself) that the Jawas didn’t just drive around in some old Heath-Robinson pile of cobbled together rusty junk. No, it was a specially built ‘Em One Minus Plus’ model. Read about it here» Also known as the EmOneTakeAwayAdd.

star wars comic page detail

sandcrawler model number

Art Notes: Toys!

UPDATE 2013: See the droid on the bottom-right? I suspect that was copied from the story ‘War Toy’ that was serialised in the UK Star Wars Weekly comic in March 1978. It was actually a very moving story. Many of the reprinted supporting stories were, such as THREADS for example and the Tales of the Galaxy ‘Buddy can you spare a dime’ one involving an apocalypse, a phone booth and a giant ant.

war toy star wars weekly comic

Star Wars Weekly No.5, 8th March 1978 featured part 2 of the terrific story: War Toy. Remember it?

I absolutely loved the Erich Von Daniken-inspired ‘Man Gods from Beyond the Stars’ series. Judge its «influence on this comic! If you dare.

Hurrah – it’s 1977—or early 1978. Do you ever disorientated with all of this time-traveling readers?

I’ve noticed that R2 isn’t vacuumed up a shoot in this one – but rather lifted up by a giant magnet or something. I think I know where this came from!


maskatron toy

I loved this 1970s Maskatron Toy!

Did any of you have the Maskatron toy? In the ’70s there was a fashion for a while for robots that looked like people – usually in Universal Studios’ utterly crap TV offerings. When they got hit, their faces fell off – revealing all sorts of made-up computer bits. In the Six Million Dollar Man they were – I think – called Fembots! The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew reused the already paid for props for one of their quality episodes, and if I’m not mistaken, Britain’s Dr.Who even got in on the act with their own version! Maybe it was a Stepford Wives effect? Very exciting when you’re a child though, with nothing more exciting to watch – like Star Wars.

Anyhow… this Maskatron toy who was Steve Austin’s arch-enemy, but who never appeared in the series because they blew all of the budget and creativity on the brilliant opening title, had a big sucker weapon thing. It was probably supposed to be a magnet or something but really it was just a big black rubbery sucker with layers and layers of child’s saliva on it. And there you have the inspiration for the Sandcrawler magnet thingy.

Incidentally, if any of you has a better picture of the Cyber-Sink-Plunger please let me know. This stuff’s REALLY important. My son plays with what’s left of Maskatron – 36 years on – but the Space-Sink-Plunger is long gone. Possibly eroded by saliva.

star wars comic page artoo sandcrawler detail

R2-D2 being lifted inside the Jawa sandcrawler

Next: A bonus not-in-the-film-scene. Prepare to be baffled!

↓ Transcript
A very old, childishly drawn home-made Star Wars comic page from 1977 or very early 1978.

A gun fires upon Artoo Detoo with a flash of red and blue.

(inset) PANEL 2
Three Jawas lift and carry R2-D2.

We see the side of the Jawa Sandcrawler, with Artoo being magnetically lifted into it. On its side is written: M1-+ (fpr some reason, unknown!)

'Inside the Sandcrawler'

We see Artoo rolling along, chirping "BLUPT ZWIT", past a collection of characters. A Jawa holding a gun, a very large hovering robot fly, a purple and white skeletal looking droid, and another robot that looks like it was based on the one in the Marvel story 'War Toy', which was included as a re-printed supplemental story in the British Star Wars Weekly Comic issue 4.