Action Figure Overview: Star Wars - General Madine (Kenner, 1983)

 

General Madine from Return of the Jedi (Kenner, 1983)

I was definitely a huge fan of Star Wars as a kid!  I loved most of the figures that Kenner released for the first Star Wars movie and The Empire Strikes Back.  However, even early on there were figures like Power Droid and FX-7 that weren't very exciting to me.  I'm sure most kids who played with Star Wars figures felt like some of the figures just weren't all that cool.  One figure that often appears on lists of figures that kids could have lived without was General Madine.  He had a relatively small role in Return of the Jedi and his "weapon" seemed to be a pointer that you might see someone holding in a meeting, but General Madine stood out to me and I probably liked him more than most other kids did.

General Madine on the Forest Moon of Endor

The reason that I was so excited about General Madine wasn't 100% about the figure itself, but the way that he ended up in my collection.  He was the first figure I found from Return of the Jedi.  Without the internet back in the early 1980s, the action figure cardback was the only way I knew what was available (or going to be available) in stores.  Finding a new figure, no matter who, meant that I could look at the cardback and see who else was coming.  I realize that for most people, this might not mean much.  For me, having a figure from Return of the Jedi was a very big deal at the time.  If I'd found Luke Skywalker in his black Jedi outfit first, General Madine probably wouldn't have meant as much to me, but timing was everything in this situation!

This is the actual package from my childhood General Madine.
It was my first look at the figures from Return of the Jedi!

It wasn't just the cardback, but having a new figure from a Star Wars movie that I hadn't seen yet was very exciting!  As a result, I suspect my General Madine figure saw a lot more action that most kid's General Madine.  Yeah, maybe there's nothing particularly cool about his character in the movie, but since I hadn't seen the movie yet, he was full of potential!

My first Return of the Jedi figure: General Madine

I think Kenner did do a good job of making his uniform look nice.  Maybe the head sculpt and the paint job could have been better.  His face didn't really look all that much like the actor who played him, but I suspect not many kids cared very much about that.  Plus, it was close enough for a guy who was only a small step above being a background character.  Even giving him a gun might have made him a little bit cooler, but he did carry that pointer in the movie.  Regardless of any of that, I liked this figure when I first got him as a kid.  It's difficult to imagine knowing nothing about Return of the Jedi, but if you could see General Madine through the eyes of a kid who was getting his first glimpse of the new offerings from a brand new Star Wars movie, you might like him a little bit more too!

General Madine (Kenner, 1983)

Did you have an General Madine action figure as a kid?  If so, what did you think of him?  Tell me in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. I had a 21-B, IG-88, and a Boba Fett Figure as a child. Although I still have all of the aforementioned figures, I no longer have my IG-88 figure. However, I loved that figure so much that I purchased a Titanium IG-88 statue by Micro-Machines that I still have. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. What's all this talk about "had"? Don't people keep their stuff? I still have all my action figures from the early 80's.

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