(The Empire Strikes Back)

Date Stamp: 1980

Release Date: 1981

Carded Availability:
  The Empire Strikes Back
  Return of the Jedi
  Power of the Force

Assortment No. : 38310

Retail: $2.49

Weapons and Accessories: 

  • Gimer Stick
  • Snake
  • Belt
  • Cloak

  • Point of Interest: 
      This figure fist appeared as ‘Yoda’ on The Empire Strikes Back 32 back card. The figure’s name was changed to ‘Yoda The Jedi Master' on the Return Of The Jedi 65 back card. During the Return Of The Jedi 65 back releases, the image on this figure's card was replaced with a new image. Though known examples indicate that the switch took place during the 65C production run, It is possible that earlier examples could exist. The original photo made its last appearance on the Return Of The Jedi 65C back. Note that the distinction of 65D and 65E cards is the Anakin figure offer stickers, the 65C was the last printed 65 back variation. The new image was used on all other cards after including The Power Of The Force and Tri-Logo cards.

    Comments: He is easily one of the most popular figures in the entire vintage line. Back in the day, he was the man without having to be ‘Yodaman’ and he didn’t need a Lightsaber accessory to fly off the shelves. For that matter, during ‘Yodamania’ of 1980-81, there is little doubt that the Yoda The Jedi Master figure would have sold just as well if he came with a dead bug or piece of gravel instead of that crazy snake. Back in his puppet days, he was huge… even if size matters not.

    Major Variations: Though all vintage figures have minor variations, the Yoda figure was available in two distinctively different forms:

    The Orange Snake Yoda is considered to be the original figure by most collectors even though both versions were released on The Empire Strikes Back cards, and both stayed in production right up until the end of the line in 1985. This version not only included an orange snake, it also came with a light coloured gimmer stick. The figure itself was moulded in lighter coloured plastic and featured lighter spray ops on the arms and feet. The Orange Snake Yoda has a minor variation in the eye spray ops and can be found with orange or light brown eyes.

    The Brown Snake Yoda is considered by the majority of collectors to be the variation. This version is distinctive not only by its brown snake, but also by its very dark brown gimmer stick. The figure itself was moulded in darker plastic and sports darker spray ops on the arms and feet. The eyes on this figure are painted very dark brown.

    Both versions also have minor variations in the colour of the cloak and the belt, but to the casual collector it is nearly impossible to spot the difference. What’s more, both figures have their own fair share of minor colour variations in both plastic and paint.

    There is much talk of a Yoda being released with a green snake, but research and common opinion show this to be a case of plastic degradation and not a true variation, just like the green limbed Chewbacca. It is extremely important to note that common opinion has been proven wrong in the past. At this time it would be dismissive to rule the green snake out all together as a variation.

    Text & Photography by D. Martin Myatt.

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