Imai Star Command




In the 80s there was certainly no lack of licensed Star Wars product in Japan, as license holders such as Takara, Popy, Tsukuda and many others filled the shelves with some of the most innovative and cool as hell Star Wars items of the vintage era. That didn't stop many of Japans model toy companies from making their own Star Wars inspired items. One such company, Imai, who are a well known model company in Japan, produced a line called "Star Command."  The line featured an array of interesting interpretations of R2-D2, and had the mysterious floating Darth Vader head seen to your left, always looming in the packages background:
The first of in this series is also the most controversial. The Command Robot VR-1 is essentially an R2, wearing a WWII style helmet and shooting fricking lazer beams out of his "eyes". The inside of the package is what truly makes this R2 knock off seem a bit  insidious. He comes with WWII German "insignias". The instruction sheet even shows where to put them on for the desired effect. Now given that Japan and Germany were allies in WWII, culturally they view Nazi Germany and its symbols a bit differently than we do in the US (and most other parts of the world) So I doubt that any hate was intended by the folks at Imai in their use of the swastika on their product.
Next up is Imai's idea of what R2-D2 would look like wearing a pilot helmet.  The Invader Robot PO-5.   R2-X-Wing Pilot anyone?
The Invader Robot PO-6 seems to be an R2 wearing a turban. Pretty fun stuff from Imai.
Other than the floating Vader head,and the might be Tie Fighters on the box, the  Imai, Star Commandm, "Star Pard VR-0" vehicle  has pretty much nothing to do with Star Wars. Still a cool and rare part of a great line of SW knock off models.
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