Take your Star Wars figures outside, like when we were kids.
You owe it to yourself to occasionally take your figures off the shelf and relive your childhood by actually playing with them. Oh sure, you can bring a camera along with you to justify your actions to other adults but between us it’s just fun! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what you do. Take a quick look at these awesome outdoor photos from Russel Hurst and then as quick as you can, head over to Instagram and give him a follow (@StarWarsInTheYard) because, WOW is his stuff good! Russel sent us just a sample of his work and tells us, “These are all shot in my backyard with some prop/effects or using my concrete steps and or plants as backgrounds.” We especially like the dialogue that he posts with a lot of his photos. Great stuff!
Searching for battle droids
I took these photos a few years ago in my favourite place on earth, Killbear Provincial Park near Parry Sound, Ontario. Yes, that is pure Canadian Shield that the figures are standing on. I had big plans to take the photos you see below and then another set the following day. That didn’t happen for a few reasons. First, I wasn’t able to actually shoot this scene until the last day of our camping trip. Second, although I was at this particular area of rock early in the morning, the day was already hot and humid so the area quickly filled up with other campers looking for a cool swim in Georgian Bay. What really turned this into a half story was the fact that I had to use figure stands to keep the characters standing and by the time I was finished I was annoyed by the time it took and the fact that figure stands just take the fun out of outdoor Star Wars figure photography.
So instead of Anakin and Obi-Wan facing off against countless battle droids, they find only one deactivated droid lying on the ground.
“Well Master, what do you make of this?”
“Anakin, sometimes if you go looking for trouble and find none it’s best to turn around and go home.”
To be continued….
Rex Tales Volume 2
Brandon Taylor brings us a second look at clone Captain Rex!
They were comrades and brothers. They fought side by side and along Jedi generals.
Captain Rex fought with Ahsoka Tano at the Siege of Mandalore.
Then Order 66 came…
After leaving Commander Tano’s side, Rex had something to take care of personally. The clone captain heard rumors that his brother CC-2224 had murdered General Kenobi. And he had to either clear Cody’s name or kill him.... no matter the outcome it was all Rex’s responsibility.
“Sorry Brother...” the clone captain whispered, looking over the lifeless body of his comrade.
For the first time since Order 66 Rex knew what his mission was now.
Rex finished burying his brother and said to himself “... hopefully Wolffe has faired better.”
Rex Tales Volume 1
Brandon Taylor is back and he’s brought a ton of great photos of Clone Captain Rex! The first set is a little recon mission with General Anakin Skywalker. The pair dispatch a squad of battle droids only to find out that they may not be alone. Next week we’ll bring you another great photo story from Brandon as we begin “Tales of Captain Rex.”
All it takes is a simple background like a tree to make our Star Wars figures come alive. A great set of photos from Daniel Slavin. Be sure to check out his Instagram for more awesome action figure photography.
Imperial Walker on Patrol
A follow up set of photos from the "Biker Scout On Patrol" album. Also taken at Pinery Provincial Park, Grand Bend, Ontario. The stretch of beach along Lake Huron features sand dunes and the dune that the AT-AT is standing on came up to eye level on me, which meant giving the walker a larger scale. Click on an image below to see them full screen. -Mac
Paul Van Dyk sends along some photos of his son, Nate having “some fun times!” with his Star Wars figures this summer. Last summer saw Nate at the beach, setting up an awesome Star Wars Command battle and this time we get an interesting series of events as we discover a crashed X-wing fighter and then a platoon of Clone Troopers repelling down the staircase inside the house. But then things move outside as the clones discover a large area of downed trees. They disembark from their AT-TE, with Nate and a Republic Gunship providing air support. Just when they think the area is secure, one of the troopers yells, “CLANKERS!!!” and they face a sudden barrage of laser blasts from Federation Battle Droids!!!
We only have one question, Nate: Do the Clones beat the droid army?????
Chris Leddy is building a home. He’s got blueprints. A mortgage. A real estate agent, a lawyer and…four Star Wars action figures. Because that’s how Star Wars collectors roll.
Obviously we’re pleased as punch at seeing our online personas frolicking in the dirt. What’s even cooler is he’s found what appears to be an actual scaled version of a Sandcrawler to pose them in front of.
Now here’s where things get weird.
Apparently Biggs and Porkins are also on the same planet and they have confronted Dengar and Tarkin. Of course the pilots are from the Power of the Force line so they look extra bad ass. These two are ready to kick some butt. It’s the Star Wars Story that you didn’t know you wanted!
Still, ya gotta wonder what the new neighbours are gonna think of their new neighbour.
Thanks again, Chris!
R5-X2: A Star Wars Story
I took these photos on a camping trip to Killbear Provincial Park in August 2016 about a month before Dan and I started the Sandcrawler podcast so clearly I already had Jawas on my mind. Killbear Park is located on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario. The photos were shot along a stretch of rock and beach within the park (Yep, right on the Canadian Shield). I thought it would be fun to turn them into vintage Topps trading cards just to kick the fun nostalgia factor up a notch.
If you ignore the trees in the background it’s easy to imagine a group of Tatooine’s best scavengers coming upon a lonely droid and adding him to their “for sale” pile. I used strictly Power of the Force 2 Jawa figures because they are easy to balance on the uneven rocky surface and the cool little window on top of their heads allow their little eyes to glow yellow. They have always been my favourite version of these “disgusting creatures.” The droid is a Japanese import from around 2007. It’s an R5-X2 Remote-Controlled figure. (SEE MORE BELOW PHOTOS)
The backstory I conjured up while laying flat on my stomach in the July heat on a large rocky surface was that R5 was a droid who had served at Jabba’s palace since The Phantom Menace era has finally had enough of that vile gangster and has escaped. But as a wise old wizard of once said, “the Jundland Wastes are not to be travelled lightly.” As R5 is corralled by a group of Jawas and added to their collection. What became of R5-X2? Some say he somehow ended up with the Rebel Alliance and was present on Yavin right before the Battle of Scarif. Maybe Biggs bought him on his last visit to Tatooine before heading off to join the Rebellion? We may never know!
Scarif Troopers In Action!
Brandon Taylor (seriously we need to give this guy his own page here!) hit the beach for a vacation and in true Play Outside fashion, he brought along a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers including everyone’s favourite troopers that we barely saw in Rogue One, the Shoretrooper AKA Scarif Trooper. Brandon brings us four different scenarios for the troopers and as you look at his photos just start humming the soundtrack to Rogue One. You’ll soon be transported to tropical climes in a galaxy far, far away!
“Our patrol is under attack!! Man down!!” Send reinforcements!”
“Commander, We’ve found something”
Troopers secure the shore landing site and prepare for the Advance when the shuttle arrives.
Brandon Taylor returns with a squad of Black Series First Order Snowtroopers led by their Snowtrooper Officer! The price for peace and order in the galaxy is high. Though the cost in substantial The First Order guarantees to push forward and secure Order.
Scout Trooper On Patrol
Initial reports indicate Rebel terrorists have infiltrated Scarif. TK-1229 patrols the outer fringes of the Imperial outpost searching for possible Rebel activity. As he makes his way through the forest to the edge of the beach he spots something and calls in an AT-AT to assist...
I shot these photos at Pinery Provincial Park in Grand Bend, Ontario and were featured on our Modern Collecting page before we started Play Outside last year. -Mac
Look for the AT-AT on Patrol next!
Something Familiar About this guy
We kick off the 2019 Summer Edition of Play Outside with someone that Brandon Taylor says is Captain Tiberius Pin’e Rebel Intelligence Officer. Now, we don’t know everyone in the Star Wars universe but we’re pretty sure this guy wasn’t on Yavin, Hoth or Endor. We don’t know whether to thank Brandon for this set of photos or give him a Vulcan nerve pinch. (Seriously though, this is a great looking custom job, Brandon so thank you for sending them!).
In our last installment, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker had found the perfect place of isolation on a lonely island. Gajo Rasic returns and this time he’s brought a visitor for Luke.
A great set of images of Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker on the rocky cliffs of Ahch-To. Gajo Rasic brings us our latest Play Outside photo album from the shores of Lake Ontario, specifically Lakefront Promenade Park in Mississauga, Ontario. Gajo says:
“Take my latest Star Wars acquisition from last weekend's RENDEZVOUS AT DOLLARAMA, add one of my favorite spots to chill and finally a pinch of The Sandcrawler’s Play Outside and you get what I call "Solitude." “
Brandon Taylor's Muck Troopers
No sooner than the official start of Spring started and Brandon Taylor is back with another wonderful set of Play Outside photos! Brandon tells us:
Nice weather (and no rain) today here in Arkansas, so y’all know what that means?!? Yep some Play Outside pics. I found this mucky stagnant puddle down the back of our property. What better place to hunt down nasty dirty rebels? Had to supplement foliage with some artificial succulents.
Hope y’all like them.
What’s not to like, Brandon? You’ve done what most kids would have done: seek out some muddy, standing water and add some Star Wars figures to it! The artificial plants give his photos a slightly otherworldly quality too. Great idea!
An amazing set of Star Wars figures outside and in action from Josh Deleff. What we really like in many of these photos is that he’s been able to give the illusion of a desert which must be difficult to do considering he’s from Northern Canada. We’re particularly fond of old Ben Kenobi speaking to a couple of Jawas. Be sure to check him out on Instagram where he’s recently posted some really fantastic winter photos.
“You will go to the Dagobah system. There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me.”
Mark Peirson shares just one photo with us but it’s a doozy and it’s one that any Star Wars fan probably acted out as a child while playing in the snow. Luke Skywalker, hurt and freezing, collapses on the snowy plains of Hoth. He sees….his dead master? What is he telling him? Go where? Dagobah?
Mark uses the Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi Force Spirit figure in the photo and Ben’s cloak and “spirit” paint applications really look great in the snow.
Echo Base to Starkiller
Jake Stevens of From 4LOM to Zuckuss returns with another Play Outside entry as he took advantage of an unexpected snowstorm in Washington State to bring us some Sequel and Original Trilogy fun! First up, troopers patrol the snowy plains of Starkiller Base in their First Order Snowspeeder (and looking very much like a Kenner mini-rig). Then, Rogue 4’s Snowspeeder has crash landed in the glacial wastelands of Hoth!
Winter Edition Continues!
Echoes of Starkiller
PLAY OUTSIDE continues with our first Winter 2019 entry from our good friend, Erin Gaudette (aka Erin From Work)! From the barren ice fields of Hoth to the headquarters of the First Order, Starkiller Base, Erin shows us that even the cuteness that is the Funko POP! can become an action figure under the right conditions.
Thankyou for playing outside!
We present a mix of photos sent to us from various listeners. We are really overwhelmed by the response we got for our request for photos of your Star Wars action figures in the outdoors! It’s great to see that for alot of people we’re never too old to take our toys outside and play with them. Thank you to everyone that sent us photos or tagged us on social media. Whether it’s summer or winter, anytime is a good time to PLAY OUTSIDE!
First Order On D’Qar
Brandon Taylor returns with another awesome set of Star Wars figures in action! In the swamps of the Outer Rim planet of D’Qar a platoon of First Order Troopers search out the remaining Resistance Fighters that weren’t flushed out by the initial assault.
See more of Brandon’s awesome Play Outside photos!
ACTION FIGURE TOURISTS
When we were kids, we would play with our Star Wars figures and maybe wish we were were one of the characters, living out some high adventure in a galaxy far, far away. As adults we continue to collect Star Wars toys and if we haven’t become too jaded with the realities of real life we might still have that wish.
Marcus Doidge has taken that idea and ran with it. He has created custom action figures of himself and his wife and took them on vacation where the figures are basically doing the tourist thing themselves! It’s a great twist on our Play Outside feature and makes us wonder, is there Star Wars figures that look like us and if so should it look like it's having more fun than us?
Mimban Trooper: Lone Wolf
As is typical with alot of Star Wars movies, we often get action figures for characters that were barely, if at all in the actual film. Case in point, the Mimban Stormtrooper from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
With his cape and mud-splattered armour, the Mimban Stormtrooper is a pretty cool variant of your usual TK. The Force-Link version of the character is a very cool toy, even if the figure’s articulation is limited. The super long rifle, slung over one shoulder just adds to the cool factor.
I took these photos at Killbear Provincial Park this past summer, and realized after sifting through them that I had sort of made a loner of the trooper. But I think it suits him in a Boba Fett sort of way. He’s even too cool to advance up the hill with the rest of his squad!
UP FROM THE DEPTHS!!!! IT CAME FROM ANOTHER PLANET!!!!
LYING DORMANT FOR CENTURIES IT HAS AWOKEN FROM IT'S WATERY SLUMBER!!!
AND IT IS HUNGRY FOR BLOOD!!!!!
BEWARE THE ACKLAY!!!!!I
If anyone could get in contact with Tom Kane, we could have him do a great voice over for this! Sandcrawler co-host, Mac visited his favourite place on earth, Killbear Provincial Park and brought along the awesome Acklay from Attack of the Clones. But instead of keeping the toothy dude in the prequel era, Mac chose to have him attack a squad of Shoretroopers along an isolated shore of Scarif.
Shoretrooper Beach Defense!
Our second set of photos from Brandon Taylor are full of colour and action and shore troopers from Rogue One! Brandon tells us, "What do you do when you take a family vacation to the beach??? Well bring the shoretroopers along for the fun. Had to share my last pictures. Have some more from these shoots if y’all would like to see them."
-we sure would like to see them, Brandon!
Fronsee Family Funko Odyssey
David Fronsee and his family took a trip across the country and he brought some Star Wars figures along! The family's ultimate destination was Seattle and also Everett, WA the headquarters of FUNKO! Along the way they stopped at a bunch of cool American landmarks, with their Star Wars Funko Mystery Minis in frame! David chronicled the whole trip on his Twitter account and sent us the highlights!
Corellian Imperial Outpost
Chris Leddy (@VintageViewport) shares some fun he had with his daughter and his Star Wars figures: "Hey guys, set up a little diorama today with my daughter, Cecilia. We’re calling it a “Corellian Imperial Outpost.” Made sure to include Dengar and Tarkin for you two. I know it’s amateur, but hoping to eventually do some higher quality set ups some day. Enjoy!
Chris, it ain't about quality, it's about heart and your photos have a ton of it! Let's start with the first image which looks like it was taken from a Sear's Christmas catalogue from the early 1980's! The real world or "found" items that he used such as the flipped over metal basket, now a prisoner hold. Random metal boxes make up the "buildings" in this scene which reminds us of being kids, using what we could find or scavenge from the kitchen or garage. There are so many bad dudes in this scene that maybe it should be named the "Most Wretched Hive." But there IS Ahsoka Tano lurking in the bushes so maybe it's the bounty hunters and imperials that should be careful. Extra bonus points for the small fire pit out front and double-points for the use of both Dengar and Tarkin!
In the Sand With Star Wars Command!
Paul VanDyk brings us a great set of photos of playing outside on the beach at Rondeau Provincial Park. Instead of the usual 3.75 or 6-inch action figures, Paul and his son brought along some "Star Wars Command" figures, based on that old standby-little green army men! Paul says it was a blast playing with his son but, alas, the Rebels lost.
Brandon Taylor-Punisher Squad
A quick head swap and a squad of Death Troopers become Punisher Squad! Brandon adds an extra layer of storytelling to the troopers we first met in Rogue One by giving the squad leader a Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher) head. With his military haircut and serious expression he makes an excellent squad leader. See more of Brandon's awesome toy photography on his Twitter account.
CANADA DAY WITH BIGGS AND GOLD LEADER
Canadians love telling people when someone famous is Canadian. If you've listened to the show you'll already know of Mac's love of rebel pilot, Dutch Vander, played by Canadian actor, Angus MacInnes. Another Canadian that flew in the Battle of Yavin is Luke's best buddy, Biggs Darklighter, played by Garrick Hagon. That's pretty much the premise for the following series of photos as Dutch and Biggs scout out locations in the Yavin system. Friend of the show, Jake Stevens was kind enough to host this fun photo story on his site last year. We thought it would be fun to revisit it again. Happy Canada Day, eh!
CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW FOR A LINK TO THE ENTIRE PHOTO STORY:
Chris Pratt's scene of taming raptors in Jurassic World became quite the meme a few years ago as people recreated the scenes with zoo animals, children and chickens. Rex On Leave was right there in the thick of #JurassicZooKeeper. But in keeping with our Star Wars theme, Rex chose to fight lizard with lizard by replacing Chris Pratt with the bounty hunter Bossk!
CLICK THE IMAGE FOR MORE OF REX'S PHOTOS.
MATTHEW COHEN:SHOOTING THE GALAXY
At first glance, this photo looks like a still from A New Hope as Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker help See-Threepio to his feet after the Tusken Raider attack. In fact you are looking at action figures. We are thrilled to feature Matthew's Instagram feed on our site as he has taken some stunning photos of Star Wars (and other) toys in the wild. Click the photo below to see Matthew's Instagram account.
CHRIS HAMILTON: PASS ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
Our good friend (and the voice you hear at the beginning of each episode) Chris Hamilton, took these adorable pics of his equally adorable daughter, "T" who is 6 years old. We aren't entirely sure which part of canon her action figure choices are from but hey, it's Star Wars! Bonus points for the turret behind the AT-AT. Maybe the gang in the walker went for a stroll to Vader's castle?
JAKE STEVENS: BUGFACES
Our good buddy, Jake Stevens sends us a few quick photos he took during a bbq. It's that simple! Heading outside? Grab a Star Wars figure or two. Jake has chosen two creepy and bug-like characters, Moloch from Solo: A Star Wars Story and the bounty hunter, 4-LOM. These two might carry blasters but at least they won't sting or bite you! Check out the eerie green glow that's just peeking through 4-LOM's eyes. A really fun feature in the Black Series version. Jake's dog seems to have taken an interest in the bounty hunter too. With all the brown grass surrounding Moloch, he looks even more like a locust or grasshopper.
Bounty Hunters On the Beach
Big thanks to Gretchen Winkler for being our first guest post to Play Outside! Gretchen shows us what life as a bounty hunter on vacation must be like. From IG-88's beach blanket to a clone trooper kickin' back and catchin' some rays, Gretchen's photos are a real Beach Blanket Bounty!
Han Solo’s Last Chance
Han Solo and Chewbacca receive a very special cargo from another smuggler only to find out that it's a shipment intended for Jabba the Hut (spelling and figure used are intentional). Having messed up one too many deals for the crime lord, Solo is confronted by Jabba and his goons to informs Solo just what's at stake.
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