Deconstructing a Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker Baby Stroller

AT-AT Stroller photo, author unknown.

Update: We’ve interviewed the father! <<< Click that link. This page is our old speculation. The linked article explains how the stroller was modified, and has a ton of photos.

Original article: This photo of a baby stroller modded into an AT-AT Imperial Walker has been making the rounds on the Internet.

What is its back story? Web sites often share photos devoid of detail. Here is my estimation of the stroller, pieced together from photographs I found (linked at the end of this article).

A father pushing his baby in a stroller was spotted and photographed on May 26th by multiple attendees of the Star Wars Celebration IV convention held in Los Angeles.

The Imperial Walker is a façade or shell fitted over what looks like a Cosco or Eddie Bauer stroller (given red foot brakes and a red lever on the handle, but I’ll be damned if the wheel spokes don’t look like a variation of the Combi Flash EX).

Correction: I asked Greg of DaddyTypes, and lest you think his stroller talk is just that, all talk, I’ll have you know he correctly pegged the dad’s stroller as a Baby Trend Trendsport Lite. It’s a discontinued model. I didn’t stand a chance. You just have to leave detective work to the proper authorities. He also noticed the dad is wearing a Boba Fett wristband.

The shell appears homemade, possibly cut from foamcore or cardboard and painted gray. Detailing was probably accomplished with pen, maybe inspired by publicly available schematics such as this papercraft AT-AT or a model. Metal or plastic wires can be seen holding the AT-AT’s corners together.

During the noon hour the baby took a nap, and a blankie was draped over the stroller’s hood.

Later, the AT-AT’s head was damaged, requiring masking tape to keep it attached. Masking tape is an unlikely component of most diaper bags, leading me to believe the father borrowed a roll from one of the booths at the convention.

Four tiny rebel Snowspeeders dangle as a mobile hung from a wooden dowel in front of the baby’s seat.

By the end of the convention, the parents found it easier to dump convention freebies in the stroller and carry the baby.

Incidentally, the photo on this page has been “claimed” by several web sites by way of their adding their own domain name to the image. I’ve love to hear from the original photographer, as well as the dad who made the AT-AT stroller.

So… what other details can you discern from the photos linked below?

Stroller images:

  1. Nap time side view (taken at 12:20 p.m.)
  2. Nap time front view
  3. New, The AT-AT passing Artist Alley (taken at 1 p.m.)
  4. AT-AT as convention shopping cart
  5. Taped-up neck and left for dead

Unrelated, but fun:

Update: The Master AT-AT Builder Speaks:

Howdy y’all. I received two e-mails from opposite ends of the country telling me they saw me and the baby on the internet. Pretty cool. The comments are awesome too. Even the ones making fun of me. [Editor's note: This story has been picked up by DaddyTypes then BoingBoing and Digg, Wired and lots of mainstream sites.] I’m a UPS driver in south Florida and got most of the supplies from customers to reduce the cost to almost zero. I was not going for exact replica, b/c time didn’t allow it. I just wanted it to look cool and give people something to talk about. Glad everybody’s getting a kick out of it. That’s how the head came off. The baby discovered he had something to kick and proceeded to practice baby double-bass drum on it. Thanks, Rick Russo. MTFBWY..always.

Second Update: We’ve interviewed the father! Read how the stroller was modified, see a ton of photos, and more.

Comments

19 Responses to “Deconstructing a Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker Baby Stroller”

  1. Roninspoon says:

    I got a shot of the stroller during nap time, and with the snow speeder mobile, as it came by our table in Artist Alley. http://flickr.com/photos/roninspoon/520755139/in/set-72157600284020367/

    June 20th, 2007 at 4:24 pm

  2. adrienne says:

    This is definitely foamcore with either wires, yarn, or twin stitches at the corners.

    What is the insignia on the orange part of the mobile? It’s also tattooed on the dad’s left ankle.

    June 20th, 2007 at 6:46 pm

  3. Darryl says:

    I was there and remember this only because I was sitting on the floor having a drink and the wife, husband and baby came over. The husband went to the toilet and the wife sat down on the floor. Someone came over and asked about the pram. I do remember the wife saying that the husband had made it himself.

    June 20th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

  4. missymo says:

    i happen to have a two or so year old un-mod-ed bady trend stroller in my bedroom gathering dust, my kid outgrew it (she’s officially school age now), i’m not certain its the same exact model, but it looks very close and is in good shape, we didn’t use it much, if you want it you can have it. i’m in nyc.

    June 21st, 2007 at 3:07 am

  5. Mad Katharine says:

    quote: “Masking tape is an unlikely component of most diaper bags, leading me to believe the father borrowed a roll from one of the booths at the convention.”

    Actually, masking tape is a component of the smarter parentals’ diaper bags. Tape is great for the occasional torn diaper tab or stroller canopy that won’t stay put in the wind, and if this dad is gearheaded enough to build an AT-AT around his kid’s stroller, you can bet he keeps masking tape on hand, and maybe even a roll of duct-tape in his rig, too.

    June 21st, 2007 at 8:35 am

  6. Normok says:

    The insignia on dad’s ankle is the Imperial symbol.

    June 21st, 2007 at 11:19 am

  7. Save says:

    That baby is have a great time!

    June 21st, 2007 at 11:26 am

  8. Liza says:

    I like the tinkertoy mobile with star wars ship models hanging from it. maybe not exactly safe as a permanent mobile, but cool while they were walking around! i work in the baby gear industry and i’m thinking Lucas and co. missed a marketing opportunity here! i’ve got a cellar full of SW figures and outgrown kids stuff….

    June 21st, 2007 at 11:27 am

  9. Trekkie says:

    The way that the baby is sporting an almost hairless head, I would assume he is a fan of Patrick Stewart (Cpt. Picard) and came to the event to show off his personal preference to Star Trek. lol

    June 21st, 2007 at 12:12 pm

  10. philldo says:

    Nice. Way to pimp out your baby’s ride! I applaud you on a quality looking stroller mod.

    June 21st, 2007 at 12:59 pm

  11. John says:

    The dad (who built it) told me that he put a Rebel insignia on top of the mobile (the blue piece)…however I’m not sure what the symbol is on the orange piece. The family was at Celebration the day before the pictures were taken, without the AT-AT stroller, when they stopped by the the “Diorama Builders” workshop where I was working. The dad was really friendly and while he was hot-gluing his tree for the diorama, he mentioned that he had made this AT-AT stroller – he’d bring it in the next day. Sure enough, they took time out of their day to come back and let me have a look. However, a few kicks from the baby earlier that morning had loosened the AT-AT head and the emergency masking tape wasn’t really doing the trick – so I offered him a glue gun and he patched it up on the spot.

    Might have to add “hot glue gun” to the diaper bag contents.

    June 21st, 2007 at 3:44 pm

  12. Thomas A. says:

    The insignia on the orange part of the mobile was seen on many of the Rebel pilots’ helmets, but I don’t know if anyone knows what it’s meant to represent.

    Also notice the Snowspeeder crushed under the Walker’s foot….

    June 22nd, 2007 at 1:12 pm

  13. Crais says:

    The link is dead

    June 22nd, 2007 at 1:41 pm

  14. John says:

    “Echo Station 3-T-8, we have spotted Imperial Walkers”
    I know this guy! He is a UPS driver in south florida. One of the coolest people I have had a chance to meet.
    I hope we will remeber me when he makes it big as a model designer for Lucas Films!

    June 22nd, 2007 at 1:51 pm

  15. Jesse says:

    It looks like the rebel logo on his left leg, too. Nice dedication.

    June 23rd, 2007 at 4:54 am

  16. Kari says:

    I saw the family while they were on their way to the Ewok village diarama area to find duct or masking tape to fix the head. They stopped over by the Road Squadron cars to let people take pictures. Dad talked to me for a few minutes about the stoller and the baby mobil. Very nice people. It’s great to see families passing on their love of SW to the next generation!

    June 24th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

  17. Graco Gecko says:

    Wonder what that kid is going to be when he grows up. Some sort of engineer perhaps?

    September 16th, 2007 at 7:10 am

  18. Ambajam says:

    That baby looks like he’s having a wonderful time. That’ll be one stroller that doesn’t end up sold at a garage sale.

    May 5th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

  19. kidletnation says:

    I can’t begin to express how cool i think this is. Now if someone would build a fully operational AT-ST baby walker.

    September 11th, 2008 at 6:20 pm