When my son was younger, he was all about Star Wars. He watched the movies repeatedly, amassed a huge pile of action figures, several board games and a few costumes. Then, for whatever reason, he moved on. The last time I brought my old Star Wars action figures up out of the basement, he was barely interested.
But with the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his interest in the franchise has been reawakened. His latest obsession is an iPad game in which he is collecting and trading Star Wars cards online. (Who remembers when trading cards were a tangible thing?) So when I heard him say his favorite character was Greedo, I reminded him that I have one of the original Greedo action figures.
After that, it was all I heard about from him – “Dad, can we go look for Greedo?” – until I went down into the cold basement, pulled out my boxes of old toys, and dug through them to find my Star Wars action figures.
In those days, they had an interesting design for the lightsabers, which could be extended by pushing them up through the character’s arm.
Kenner was the toy company that had been licensed to produce toys for Star Wars, which hit theaters on Memorial Day weekend in 1977. Interestingly, Kenner didn’t even have the toys on the shelves until 1978.
Sand People (Tusken Raider)
Death Squad Commander
My Boba Fett was a mail-order figure. I remember it was advertised that his jet pack would fire a rocket, but by the time mine came in the mail, they had decided the firing rocket was a hazard and it was molded permanently into the jet pack. I understand the few that made it to market with the working rocket are fairly valuable.
These first Star Wars figures are arguably the first modern action figures. By making the figures about 3 3/4″, Kenner was able to also produce ships and playsets to scale.
And here’s Greedo.
Although I have a nice Star Wars tin that I had offered my son to store the figures, he commented that the box I had them stored in was “cool”. I had to explain to him what a cassette tape was.