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.

2 BOWCASTER EARLY BIRD BLUE GREEN Weapon 1977 Chewbacca Vintage Star Wars
2 BOWCASTER EARLY BIRD BLUE GREEN Weapon 1977 Chewbacca Vintage Star Wars
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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
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VINTAGE STAR WARS HAN SOLO  EARLY BIRD CHEWBACCA FIGURES MINT KENNER 1977
VINTAGE STAR WARS HAN SOLO EARLY BIRD CHEWBACCA FIGURES MINT KENNER 1977
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VINTAGE STAR WARS EARLY BIRD PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA FIGURE N MINT KENNER 1977
VINTAGE STAR WARS EARLY BIRD PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA FIGURE N MINT KENNER 1977
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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
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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 CHEWBACCA PLUSH FIGURE 1977 MAKES NOISE
STAR WARS CHEWBACCA PLUSH FIGURE 1977 MAKES NOISE
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1977 Vintage Kenner Star Wars Chewbacca Fur Figure Plush Poseable Toy Rare 12
1977 Vintage Kenner Star Wars Chewbacca Fur Figure Plush Poseable Toy Rare 12
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