My first Hammerhead came my way by chance. Whilst sitting on the mat in my classroom with the other kids, circa 1982, the situation presented itself. The original 1978 line of figures were quite rare in the shops in my town by the early 80s. I had missed the boat having being born in 1976. All I had was the droids, Chewbacca, Vader & Kenobi. These Star Wars figures had this alluring mysterious magic as my memory of them were somewhat hazy. The shops had nothing but The Empire Strikes Back figures by the time I came around.
So imagine my delight when a kid in class sitting next to me asked me if I wanted his Hammerhead figure!! I said “Yes I would be interested” in a deadpan tone as I didn’t believe it could be true. He then mentioned there was a catch. He then pulled him out of his pocket. It was true! It was a 1978 Star Wars figure! It was Hammerhead and his head was unattached from his torso, alas the catch. I had broken a few heads by then and Super Glue was the saviour. This head however was differen’t. I had never seen one like it before. It was a head with a shaft that went into the body. But the base of that shaft was wider and the head could not be pushed back in. Not with child strength anyway.
So home I went and my father made the hole bigger for the shaft of the head to fit back into the body again. Repaired and articulate! Yet with a catch.. again! His head was quite wobbly due to the trauma inflicted by my father to squeeze that shaft in. I tolerated this head and tried to incorporate it into his personality, but In time it became far too annoying so he got glued down and happiness was abundant.
At some point I created my own double happy firework. For those who don’t know the term, Double Happies were like miniature sticks of dynamite. It was only made of paper but my imagination was ready for a ka-boom! Hammerhead was on hand. While I lit the paper fuse and pretended chaos was amidst, I then turned a match on Hammerheads open right hand. I was curious as too how strong the heat of the flame was and the flame viciously melted his fingers off. I was sort of sad but excited at his gained experience in life.
I got a Police speedboat for one of my birthdays. This was very exciting I tell you because of our Jaws craze. All games based on water were conducted on land, naturally, so finally having a boat that could float on real water opened up the possibilities games with a real sinking. Another obsession from Jaws… Quints Orca and the way it sank! During one exhilarating game (on the carpet) Hammerhead was trying to man the speedboat as it raced full speed ahead uncontrollably. He was the sole occupant left as all had been thrown overboard. Soon enough he joined his fellow figures and found himself overboard. The boat spun back around and headed in his direction! He tried to swim but it was a useless escape. The propeller sliced up his legs viciously! He was taken to Hospital right away and his legs were bandaged up. He recovered from his injuries but decided to leave on his bandages for some street credibility.
All this living took it’s toll on him. His joints became notoriously loose and standing became as issue. But Hammerhead wasn’t done yet! He had one more glorious run and that was in the last 1980s with the WWF craze. Prior to getting the LJN WWF figures, my Star Wars figures took up the task to wrestle in the squared circle. Hammerhead was ruthless with his Hammer Head Butt and killer face palming kicks, with those big webbed feet! Opponents also enjoyed body slamming him with his loose joints providing easy scoop ups… he would just mold to your intentions.
Hammerhead now rests quietly, retired in my bedroom draw.