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.

Star Wars Early Bird Figure Set + Original Mailer Box  Tray Vintage 1977 Kenner
Star Wars Early Bird Figure Set + Original Mailer Box Tray Vintage 1977 Kenner
$1,999.95
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1 4 Figure Peg 1977 Early Bird Display 1979 Cantina Playset Vintage Star Wars
1 4 Figure Peg 1977 Early Bird Display 1979 Cantina Playset Vintage Star Wars
$8.50
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Star Wars Early Bird Mail in Vintage Collection 2005 VHTF
Star Wars Early Bird Mail in Vintage Collection 2005 VHTF
$24.95
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Star Wars Early Bird Kit 1st Issue Small Catalog Complete Vintage 1977 Kenner
Star Wars Early Bird Kit 1st Issue Small Catalog Complete Vintage 1977 Kenner
$249.95
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Star Wars Vintage Style Early Bird Certificate Figure Offer Pack NEW
Star Wars Vintage Style Early Bird Certificate Figure Offer Pack NEW
$25.00
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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 Early Bird Figure Set + Original Mailer Box  Tray Vintage 1977 Kenner
Star Wars Early Bird Figure Set + Original Mailer Box Tray Vintage 1977 Kenner
$1,999.95
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C 3PO star wars 1977 hong kong ACTION FIGURE gmfg SHIP WORLD WIDE
C 3PO star wars 1977 hong kong ACTION FIGURE gmfg SHIP WORLD WIDE
$9.99
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Vintage Kenner 1977 Star Wars Chewbacca Figure Loose Complete
Vintage Kenner 1977 Star Wars Chewbacca Figure Loose Complete
$13.59
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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 Stormyrooper Hong Kong AFA 70 EX+Graded LOOSE Vintage
1977 Kenner Star Wars Stormyrooper Hong Kong AFA 70 EX+Graded LOOSE Vintage
$59.99
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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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1977 star wars CHEWBACCA w gun
1977 star wars CHEWBACCA w gun
$7.00
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Star Wars Han Solo Big Head 1977 Vintage Kenner Figure Loose
Star Wars Han Solo Big Head 1977 Vintage Kenner Figure Loose
$2.99
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1977 VINTAGE STAR WARS ORIGINALS Obi Han FIGURE LOT
1977 VINTAGE STAR WARS ORIGINALS Obi Han FIGURE LOT
$7.99
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STAR WARS VINTAGE DARTH VADER 1977 NO COO COMPLETE SABER + TIP C85
STAR WARS VINTAGE DARTH VADER 1977 NO COO COMPLETE SABER + TIP C85
$22.06
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