Without wanting to seem mono-thematic here at Vintage Action Figures, last week's look at Indiana Jones made me want to take a closer look at another Harrison Ford action figure – indeed, not one but TWO figures: the big and small head varieties of Han Solo. When in 1978 kids could finally get their hands on Kenner's 3 ¾ inch Star Wars action figures (with 1977 stamped on the back) the Han Solo figure complete with Rebel Blaster proved enormously popular. Let's face it, not only was he the … [Read more...]
Vintage Star Wars (1977–1989)
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 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!
With the release of the J. J. Abrams' directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015, a new era of Star Wars movies begins with a trilogy of sequels. And with it, a brand new generation of action figure collectors...!
Back in 1977, the only Obi-Wan Kenobi anybody had ever heard of was played by veteran British actor Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars movie. Ewan McGregor, on the other hand, who would slip on Obi-Wan's cloak in the prequels, must have been just about old enough to play with the Kenner action figures which belatedly appeared in 1978, but was probably still too small to have seen the movie at the time! Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi was one of the original so called "12-back" Star Wars 3 3/4" … [Read more...]
Kenner's sculpt for the Star Wars Stormtrooper (later renamed Imperial Stormtrooper on the repackaged The Power Of The Force card back) was one of its most accurate action figures. Like many of the vintage Star Wars figures there are, however, minor variations in moldings and even stance - collectors should keen an eye out for varieties that may fly under the radar of less-informed sellers. … [Read more...]
Love them or hate them (or even love-to-hate-them by joining those who have formed a Facebook group dedicated to their eradication) the Ewoks are very much part of the Star Wars trilogy and for the action figure collector provide a few harder to find variations to track down. Being the characters that so many – even die-hard Star Wars fans – loathe, as well as being figures that are not so instantly recognisable to the uninitiated, means that you can often pick them up for mere cents in the … [Read more...]