Star Wars

Vintage 1977 Kenner Chewbacca action figure

Whilst George Lucas' surprise box office smash Star Wars movie may have reinvented the science fiction genre, the collection of Star Wars action figures also spawned its own sub-genre in the field.

Since the advent of the recent Star Wars prequel movies (which did not always thrill hard-core fans of the original series), the collection of Star Wars action figures has been subdivided into three distinct eras: Vintage (1977–1989), Neo-classic (1990–2000) and Prequels (1999–present). The vintage era covers the three original movies - Star Wars (aka A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Vintage action figure collectors have targeted Star Wars figures for investment purposes for many years, but many more choose to focus on them because of sheer nostalgia and a real love for the series of movies. It may seem strange today when every cinema release is preceded by a huge merchandising campaign, but when the Star Wars action figures first came out, giving fans the opportunity to recreate scenes from the films and even invent adventures of their own at home, it was an entirely new movie merchandising concept!

"Early Bird" Star Wars Figures

If Star Wars changed the way movies were made, then the Kenner Star Wars action figures reinvented the toy industry with the popularization of the small 3 ¾ inch action figure. Amazingly, however, in 1977 when the film was first released, the success of the film caught Kenner (and Palitoy in the UK) entirely by surprise and they were unable to produce any Star Wars action figures in time for Christmas, meaning they might well have missed out on the peak gift giving period! In what was undeniably an audacious move by Kenner, they created the very first of what would later become prized collectibles, when they pre-sold the so-called "early bird" certificate packages which were essentially empty boxes with an order card that could be redeemed for figures of either Luke SkywalkerPrincess LeiaR2-D2 or Chewbacca when they were ready. The kit also contained a cardboard fold-out which illustrated the first 12 figures which would be made available. True to their word, these "early bird" figures were the first figures Kenner then produced and posted out to customers who had ordered them.

Vintage 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set with DT Luke  Early Bird Certificate Pkg
Vintage 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set with DT Luke Early Bird Certificate Pkg
$7,995.00
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Vintage Loose 1977 Star Wars A New Hope R2 D2 Dark Blue Early Bird Figure C 8
Vintage Loose 1977 Star Wars A New Hope R2 D2 Dark Blue Early Bird Figure C 8
$19.99
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Star Wars Vintage Retro Reissue OTC Early Bird Certificate VOTC figure kit ANH
Star Wars Vintage Retro Reissue OTC Early Bird Certificate VOTC figure kit ANH
$119.99
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Star Wars Vintage Early Bird Mail Away Order Action Display Stand Base main part
Star Wars Vintage Early Bird Mail Away Order Action Display Stand Base main part
$4.19
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VINTAGE STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE STORMTROOPER W 3 LINE COO COMPLETE EARLY BIRD
VINTAGE STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE STORMTROOPER W 3 LINE COO COMPLETE EARLY BIRD
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The figures were later released individually and just about any vintage Star Wars action figure still found in its original packaging sells for considerable sums nowadays. Loose figures are still readily available, however, and you'll find a large selection of Star Wars action figures on these pages. Budget obviously influences the choices any collector makes, but tracking down the 90 odd vintage Kenner Star Wars figures is a great place to start - whilst Hasbro continues to produce toys and merchandising for all six Star Wars films, the original Kenner or Palitoy items are arguably the most sought-after by serious collectors.

Vintage Kenner Star Wars figures

STAR WARS FROM THE 1977 MOVIE MINI ACTION FIGURE CASE WITH BOTH TRAYS
STAR WARS FROM THE 1977 MOVIE MINI ACTION FIGURE CASE WITH BOTH TRAYS
$69.00
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Vintage Star Wars Chewbacca 1977
Vintage Star Wars Chewbacca 1977
$8.00
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Vintage Star Wars 1977 Obi Wan Kenobi
Vintage Star Wars 1977 Obi Wan Kenobi
$4.00
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STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES 1977 78 83 Lot
STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES 1977 78 83 Lot
$14.99
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Darth Vader RAISED BAR No COO Vintage Star Wars RARE 1977
Darth Vader RAISED BAR No COO Vintage Star Wars RARE 1977
$4.00
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Vintage 1977 STAR WARS LUKE SKYWALKER ACTION FIGURE CARD BOARD BACK KENNER
Vintage 1977 STAR WARS LUKE SKYWALKER ACTION FIGURE CARD BOARD BACK KENNER
$4.99
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Vintage 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set with DT Luke  Early Bird Certificate Pkg
Vintage 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set with DT Luke Early Bird Certificate Pkg
$7,995.00
Time Remaining: 1h 54m
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1977 Kenner Star Wars Stormyrooper Hong Kong AFA 70 EX+Graded LOOSE Vintage
1977 Kenner Star Wars Stormyrooper Hong Kong AFA 70 EX+Graded LOOSE Vintage
$59.99
Time Remaining: 2h 4m

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1977 Kenner Star Wars Chewbacca Loose AFA 80
1977 Kenner Star Wars Chewbacca Loose AFA 80
$69.99
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1977 Kenner Star Wars Stormtrooper Loose AFA 75
1977 Kenner Star Wars Stormtrooper Loose AFA 75
$59.99
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