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Kenner Toys


The Early Bird Set

Just before the Christmas of 1977, Kenner offered the The Star Wars Early Bird Set. I can't remember, but apparently they still hadn't managed to get action figures out to the stores. The set came in a large paperboard package with a certificate to mail into Kenner in Cincinnati. They would mail you a package with four action figures:

  • Luke Skywalker(*)
  • Princess Leia
  • Chewbacca
  • R2-D2
(*)The Luke figure had a light saber which had a telescoping inner blade.

Also in the package was a display stand to show off the first twelve action figures. It was made from the same paperboard as the package. The bottom edge of the stand was ment to be cut away and had two postcard-sized publicity pictures and a card:

  • one picture of a stormtrooper in the prison cell-block hallway firing a "vaporous" bolt of blaster-fire
  • one picture of Han and Chewie, blasters drawn, in front of the ramp of the Millennium Falcon
  • a membership card of sorts "signed" by Cmdr Luke Skywalker
Lastly, there was a sheet of four decals shown below:

Click on each picture to load a LARGER copy of the image.

SW sticker Droid stickers MTFBWY sticker

The background is a manila page from an old scrapbook.

It is interesting to note that the style of the "W" on the Star Wars logo on the left. This is the only place I've seen the "W" extending out along with the other characters on the ends of the words.


Mail-in Boba Fett offer

  • The picture on the left is from the cardback of an action figure, circa 1978.
  • The picture in the center was a decal used to cover an area on the cardback which detailed the missle-launching backpack that Boba Fett was originally supposed to feature.
  • The picture on the right is from a Kenner toy catalog from 1979.
The background is a manila page from an old scrapbook.

Click on each picture to load a LARGER copy of the image.

Prototype Fett Toy Fett sticker Toy Fett

I remember cutting out proof-of-purchase seals from other figures and sending off for Boba Fett. I also remember looking under the decal and seeing the blurp about the missle-firing backpack. I thought that Kenner was keeping it a secret and that was the reason for the decal. I must have not heard the news about the safety concerns yet.

He came in a small white box addressed from Cincinnati. It is the same type of box that the Fruit Loops offer Han Solo in Stormtrooper outfit did. Fett came with the same rifle as a regular (old) stormtrooper. The new Han Solo, doesn't have any weapon at all.

Fett also came with a small sheet that addressed the non-functional rocket launching backpack and gave a short bio on the character.

(Star Wars Logo)

NOTE TO CONSUMERS
Originally our STAR WARS Boba
Fett action figure was designed
to have a spring-launched rocket.
The launcher has been removed
from the product for safety
reasons. If you are dissatisfied with
the product, please return it to us
and we will replace it with any
STAR WARS mini-action figure
of your choice.

Thank you for your support.
BOBA FETT IS . . .

A fearsome, intergalactic bounty hunter
who was introduced in the November
1978 Star Wars television special, "A
Wookie Holiday". He pretended to
befriend Han Solo, Luke Skywalker,
Chewbacca, C-3P0 and R2-D2
while secretly plotting with Darth
Vader to trap the Rebel Alliance. Boba
Fett will also play a major role in the
next Star Wars movie, "The Empire
Strikes Back".

(Kenner Logo)

Folklore

How many people remember hearing about what prompted the removal of the rocket? I remember that it was an accident involving the Battlestar Galactica toys. I'm not a big student of Urban Folklore, but, I can remember the story vividly. Keep in mind, this is the sort of things ten year old boys discuss:

Some boy almost choked to death on one of the missles. He lived in California (where everything happens, according to kids in the midwest). He was sitting on the top bunk of a set of bunk-beds when his friend (or maybe it was his brother) fired a missle from the Scarab toy (the land vehicle that looked nothing like the ones on Galacticia). The missle landed right in his mouth and he choked. I heard that he lived and I also heard that he died.
Of course, I have absolutely no idea what actually happened. I just put this in because this site is filled with my personal observations and feelings as I remember them. Anyone else have any other versions of urban myth on this or anything else? If so, send an email to me.

Update

The text on the flyer must be where I remember the name "A Wookie Holiday" as an alternate title for the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Also, how could Kenner do what they did to R5-D4? Shouldn't it also be deemed unsafe, or at least, very embarassing?


Coming soon: Old toy catalogs

  • die-cast prototypes

Coming soon: Thoughts on Figures

  • Where are my old card backs?
  • Where is the Gaffie stick for my Tusken Raider?
  • Dioramas

Toys I wanted to see

I really wanted to see a the heavy blaster rifle the snow troopers had set up to use against the Milliennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. I made a drawing based on the blaster cannon in the Imperial Attack Base playset. I never did send it in, and later on Kenner did make a Tri-Pod Cannon as part of their Action Figure Accessories. The cannon is pictured in a 1983 (ROTJ era) Kenner catalog. It isn't pictured in either of my TESB catalogs. They are from 1980 and 1981. The Action Figure Accessories many have came out in 1981 or 1982.

Click to load a LARGER copy of the image.

Toy balster cannon


Coming soon: Thoughts on POTF2 figures/toys

  • Steroids
  • Too many weapons
  • Long saber / short saber
  • Hey, this Luke X-Wing pilot is from TESB. Look at the boots!
  • Goofy toys - Deluxe Han, Luke and Stormtrooper (Ugh! It's the mini-rigs all over again!)
  • Is there a Han in Carbonite and ROTJ Luke packaged as SOTE?
  • Is there a ROTJ Luke packaged as Collection I?

New figure news

From a recent AOL Star Wars Online Fan Club mailing:
From: JessaDoc@aol.com
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 18:18:29 -0500
Subject: Star Wars Special Edition Parties!

New Star Wars Action Figures from Kenner hit the shelves this month:
     Luke Stormtrooper
     Tatooine Stormtrooper
     Greedo
     Momaw Nadon
     Tusken Raider
     R5-D4
     Jawa 2 pack (they look cool, tall and short one)
     Death Star Gunner

Kenner's Star Wars Action Figure plans for 1997 include:
     Bossk
     2-1B
     Luke in Hoth Gear
     Han in Endor Gear
     Lando in Skiff Guard Disguise
     AT-ST Driver
     Hoth Rebel Soldier
     Emperor Palpatine
     Bib Fortuna
     Leia in Slave Girl Outfit 
     Admiral Ackbar
     Dengar
     4-LOM
     Garindan
     Luke in Ceremony Outfit
     Gamorrean Guard           /|   ************
     Blockade Runner Soldier  {-----* Yes!  :) *
     Grand Moff Tarkin         \|   ************  
     A.S.P. Droid 
     Skiff Guard
     Ponda Baba

....thanks to T3PO for that info for the Club!  

Finally! An action figure that I've wanted to have for twenty years: a soldier on the Tantive IV. Years ago, I had considered trying to repaint my Death Squad Commander. Here's hoping that this isn't just a rumor.

If you're not on the mailing list for the AOL Star Wars Online Fan Club, just send email to vader129@aol.com You don't need to be an AOL member to belong. I'm not! Please mention my page. The chatroom trivia scores are boring reading since I can't play it, but it is a wealth of information.

It's proof that even good things come from AOL. Don't get me started . . . (Evil Grin)

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Copyright © 1997, Michael A. & Tammy G. Hendershot